Monday, February 28, 2005

Updates to the weblog and housekeeping

I am trying out some new features for the weblog.

Email delivery: Click on the Subscribe by email with rssfwd link to get each entry delivered to your email address. This is a service designed by a very nice person over at actually takes the RSS feed from this site, formats it for email and send it off to you. I hope this works for everyone who isn't using RSS readers (and that yanime can keep it going! Good job!)

Tags: whenever possible, I'm going to include tags in the posts. Tags make it easier to search for related material. My tags are linked to Technorati's tag search. When you click on one of my tags, anything else that Technorati has with the same tag will come up. So the tag Open Access, which is (oops, was supposed to be!) attached to the previous post, will turn up lots of related materials in blogs, Flickr, Furl, and

I've also cleaned up a post that was causing some problems in some RSS feed readers. My apologies to anyone whose reader choked on the MS Word formating accidentally imported with the Wintersession schedule.

I try to post at least once a week, so if you don't see something that often in whatever reader you are using, please check the site and let me know if something didn't come through.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Open Access Resources

The Open Access Resources Guide ( is now live. Lots and lots of open access (freely accessible) resources on the web, including books, journals, teaching materials, audio, and video.

Please send additions and corrections, via any of my contact methods.



Friday, February 25, 2005

Alert! Visiting campus in March and beyond?

If you are planning on visiting campus after March 2, please be aware that our construction will be starting soon. On March 2, 2005, part of our parking lot will be blocked off for construction vehicles, reducing the nearby parking. Check with Campus Police and the campus map for more parking information.

Sometime during Spring Break, asbestos abatement will be started in the basement of the library. The entire ground floor, including Periodicals, Oversized Stacks, Juvenile, Thesis, and Microfilm collections will be unavailable for the entire period of the abatement. (Staff will not have access either!) This is scheduled for 9 days, so it will definitely affect the week after Spring Break and possibly a few days beyond that. I will post more details as they become available.

Update: The work will start Saturday, March 19th. See the official announcement, here or here.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Online Social Networks 2005 Conference

I've been very quiet these last two weeks because I've been attending the Online Social Networks 2005 Conference. (And Welcome! to those from the conference, as we check out each other's blogs.) It's not that I've been away...naturally, it's an online conference. But the sheer amount of information has been mindboggling. With lots of presenters and over 400 participants, there has been a lot of talk going on! Just a few of the events are mentioned below. I've linked to presentations and homepages where possible, but the conference itself is restricted.

OSN2005 has been roughly divided into 3 areas, Organizations, Individuals, and Politics, plus the "Main Tent" where the big events take place, and 2 social areas, the Cafe and the Games Corner. All the conference tracks have 3 sections, Scan, Focus, and Act. Scan is the introductory phase, Focus contains the majority of the presentations and discussions, and Act is the wrap-up and "take home" section. Organizations had presentations on Blogs in Education, Flickr, and the experience of arranging an online conference in southern Africa. Individuals covered analysis of librarian weblogs, Hawaiian social networks, the tsunami relief efforts online, and Internet music. Politics covered several online political movements, citizen journalism, and the use of the Internet in fighting terrorism. We also got demonstrations of the TappedIn and Second Life communities.

The presentations in the Main Tent included a keynote talk by Howard Rheingold, Lisa Kimball, and Joi Ito, talks and presentations by Brian Reich, Ze Frank, Nancy White, and Jon Lebkowsky.

Some of the best experiences, as with most conferences, occured in the social areas. Anyone could set up a "table" in the Cafe, so we ended up with 4 dozen conversations on everything from the social aspects of libraries to Finnish civic dialogue, Skype (Internet phone service), silver surfers,, Meetup, and the Dunbar number. In the Games Corner, we played with some Hipbone Games, the Buzzphraser, and Virtual Money Game.

I now have several long lists of Tools to Check Out, Readings, Blogs, Books, and tagged websites. Some of these will end up in this blog.

One great advantage of an online conference is that you don't have to run up your credit card to attend. No hotel bills, no restaurant charges, no site fees. It was certainly one of the best $35 I've spent. I hope that some of my readers will join me at the projected OSN2007!


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Social Bookmarking in Education

Social bookmarking is just one of the "newest things" sweeping the Internet. In essence, social bookmarking lets you maintain a personal collection of links online, similar to the bookmarks or favorites in your browser, but they are also accessible to others on your own personal archive page. The real meat of the services, however, is "tagging". When you save a link to your collection, you tag it with one or more keywords to describe it. Multiple people can use the same words, so you can search for everything tagged with "distance education" or "RSS" and get the collected archive of everything that anyone using the service has found using that tag.

Two of the biggest multipurpose social bookmarking services are FURL and Both have free registration, and easy pop-up saving forms. has a nice feature of suggesting tags, while FURL actually saves a (private) copy of the page, so you can see it even if the page disappears or changes.

There are also social bookmarking services aimed at specific people or formats. Flickr is a photo service with some neat annotation features. Connotea and CiteULike are aimed at academics and researchers and interface with certain databases and journals.

How can these be used for educational purposes? I first started using FURL when I was finishing my last few classes for my Master's of Education. I set up FURL categories for each class (EDTC575 and EDTC590) and saved my research findings as I worked. The best part was that since FURL (and all the others) is completely web based, it didn't matter if I was home, in my office, or on the Reference Desk, if I found something useful I could FURL it for later use.

A professor could save readings for a class this way, too. Since each tag has it's own URL, like my classes above, the URL could be posted in the syllabus. Many of these services also have RSS feeds, so students who use a news aggregator can see new postings automatically.

Groups can use these services for collective projects. Either a group account can be established, with the password passed around to the group or, in what is probably a safer and more useful version, a group can establish a unique tag and tag all group-related links with it. Joy Weese Moll set up for her Digital Libraries class. (Thanks to the Shifted Librarian for this link!) This could get very interesting, since other people, outside of the class, could potentially add things as well just by using the tag. You could get people from all over the country contributing to your class reading list!

That's the "social" part of social bookmarking. Sure, you are likely to get some things that aren't useful or relevant for your purposes, but in return you get resources that you never would have found on your own.

More Resources:
Update (2/5/05): Here's another example of a course using tags: "Toward a Literacy of Cooperation":
This one is taught by Howard Reingold (Smart Mobs) and his colleagues at Stanford. Howard Reingold is one of the speakers at the Online Social Networking Conference 2005. (Thanks to Mike at Feedster for the link!)