Take the Wikipedia Adventure? #newCardigans

Listen to Wikipedia

your mission, should you choose to accept it…

#newCardigans, colleagues, friends, family… is to take the Wikipedia Adventure.

Start the Wikipedia Adventure, learn to edit in under an hour
Start the Wikipedia Adventure, a guided journey through editing Wikipedia

Even if you’ve already started editing Wikipedia, I’m curious whether you think the Adventure is something you’d recommend?  I’ve edited in minor ways a few times since 2012, so I still have a lot to learn and did even within the first mission.

Screenshot celebrating my first mission success and invitation to Mission 2
Screenshot of progress to Mission 2

Please comment if/when you have started/completed one of the missions (either below, or on my User talk page).

What journey brought you here?

Do you remember we talked about how the journey is as/more important than the destination?

My journey to this post:

A long-term interest in Wikipedia(+)Libraries

From Google calendar reminder to email something or other

where I was reminded that the Wikipedia Library is looking for volunteers

Wikipedia Library Calls for Volunteers
Learning what Wikipedia Library volunteers do

wondering about current coordinators

starting with Ocaasi, where I found the Adventure

undertook a mission, became excited, started to share

and after many, many diversions* over the last four hours,

finally, finish this post with a recommendation that you:

Listen to Wikipedia

Live, or here is a snippet:

*please ask me about them.

Listen to Wikipedia

Sons are useful for… making icons

Calendar in Chrome icon

Or: Mothers and sons learn together

Can I?…

My calendar is in Google calendar. A shortcut on my desktop lets me open it in Chrome with one click.  Of course, then I decided I wanted a special calendar icon for it.  I wanted a calendar in the middle of a chrome icon. Yes a calendar icon would have been simpler but I had a notion of it needing to look similar to the shortcut I have at work.

Would you?

This is where my digital-media-trained and his Photoshop skillz comes in.

That’s great but …

Unfortunately his beautiful combinations looked fine in photoshop, but the first opened at my end with a black background, another had a white background, and when we tried to save as .ico in bmp or png formats (because Photoshop CC did not seem to be able to save to .ico) some showed no image at all.

Trial and error

Some of the clues we tried:

  • Ryan at StackExchange suggested that we must first save the .png files to the computer, and then open them with Photoshop (during copy paste techniques Photoshop converts the transparency to black).
  • Although my issue does not involve WordPress as did Mike Lee’s 2012 issue with the black turning up when he resized images, I wondered from his problem statement whether I might eliminate resizing as a possible cause by using images that were already the desired size. That appeared to help, but we were working through ideas so quickly I am not sure if it was required, because for the one below Mr 17 did resize one of the source images.  I’d have preferred a blue calendar, but could not find one the right size licenced for reuse.
Calendar in Chrome icon
Image (pre-iconised) I use for shortcut to Calendar in Chrome

Source images are from Wikipedia: (Calendar) and (Chrome).

“Ask me about pins”*

Does anyone else think of Apprentice Postman Stanley* when they hear “Pinterest“?

Pinterest is visually appealing and as Sequeria (2011) pointed out it taps the fundamental human desires to collect and flaunt the collection. However, I wondered how likely is it that Pinterest would serve library goals of collaboration or engagement with users, and how one might evaluate its effectiveness for those goals.


My idea of “collaboration” is as Freed (2012, ¶ 6) defines succinctly: “Two or more people working together towards shared goals”. Cooperating and sharing the same space are not the same as collaboration.

Luckily a fellow student was also curious and had friends willing to contribute to shared boards.  We quickly discovered major limitations to be worked around for collaborative use.

  • No direct method to ask to join a board.
  • No direct communication with contributors other than through pin comments.
  • No way to remove or suspend an irrelevant pin – Even if the ‘shared goal’ is clearly defined in the board description, when pinning content only the board labels are displayed in a pinners’ list, so it is easy for irrelevant content to be posted accidentally or through misunderstanding.

Effective Library Pinning

Of the many library boards I explored, I noticed very few showing evidence (as measurable in number of likes, repins or comments) of engagement with or appeal to their community. Those that do, I am gathering on a board “Effective Library Pinning“.

For the many others (with some interesting ones pinned at Library Pinning), perhaps sharing book covers and event photos achieves the purported value of Pinterest for driving traffic (Bullas, 2012) ** — if so, I hope some begin writing about it (or maybe join my board).

Seed a game

Simply setting a fun topic can engage users but do need workarounds to kick off. For example:

New York Public Library (NYPL)(n.d) identified pets as a popular Pinterest topic and rallies users around a theme of their signature lions. NYPL picks up relevant pins if they’re tagged #NYPLLittleLion.


In Kansas City Public Library’s contest *** , members created their own “Perfect Library” board, emailing in the URL (Harper, 2012).  Following this example, Pinterest might be used among other tools to brainstorm with the community prior to a redevelopment.

I wonder if workarounds increase the barriers and reduce the number of participants?

This has been a response to the first optional OLJ Task (Module 2); evaluating my use of Pinterest as a social bookmarking tool, critically evaluating the effectiveness of different features and/or functions; and briefly stating different ways an information organisation may be able to use Pinterest to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees. The switch from Delicious to Pinterest approved by Lyn Hay in the Facebook group on July 25, 2012.

* Until you’ve read Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal, nevermind. –^–

**Thanks Dale. –^–

*** Thanks librarygal. –^–


Bullas, J. (2012, February 8). Pinterest drives more traffic than LinkedIn and GooglePlus. jeffbullas.com. Retrieved from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/02/08/pinterest-drives-more-traffic-than-linkedin-and-google-plus/
Harper, J. (2012, April 9). Pin your perfect library Pinterest contest. Kansas City Public Library Blog. Retrieved from http://www.kclibrary.org/blog/kc-unbound/pin-your-perfect-library-pinterest-contest
New York Public Library. (n.d.). Little Lions. Pinterest. Retrieved September 27, 2012, from http://pinterest.com/nypl/little-lions/?timeline=1
Sequeira, N. (2011, December 11). [Answer to:] What’s special about Pinterest? Why do some people find the site maddeningly addictive? Quora. Retrieved July 25, 2012, from http://www.quora.com/permalink/Ojxauw7Hm



Picks of the tweets … 001

Today (or maybe everyday, this is a first so who knows) I found and enjoyed:


(Collin Van Uden) tweeted: @stilgherrian No, *it’s* factual. “Everything” is SATISfactual. And here I thought you were a fan of good research.

While we’re on a philosophy kick, how about a round of

What’s ‘the most important thing?’

At that moment, in that conversation it was for

(rob harris) : @marcmcgowan84 But your readers read him in your paper before they heard from him elsewhere. That’s the most important thing.

Yin + Yang
Creative Commons License Hartwig HKD via Compfight & Flickr

These tweets were found because I set up some librarianesque social media monitoring following examples by Andy Burkhardt.

I also found a new way to enter images by using the Compfight WordPress plugin which searches CC licensed images at Flickr and then inserts with a button.  It is not yet perfect, but it might beat what I was doing before. Nevertheless, for the record, downsides:

  • the thumbnails are too small to see whether I really want that image;
  • when I want to use an image both in the post and featured I have to repeat the steps;
  • I haven’t worked out how to get it to caption satisfactorily.

Ubiquitous reference

Plucky! by Steampunk Family the von Hedwigs (2010) via Flickr CC-BY

I want another word for that… for the way this idea is like hunting people to serve.  I can see a comedic Monty Python skit with librarians in deerstalkers or pith helmets carrying tablets and nets, stalking tweeters in the wild to answer questions they didn’t even realise they had made 🙂

Target searching and responding to tweeters

For example, even though Andy Burkhardt’s suggestions preceded Twitter’s removal of RSS, [UPDATE: 10 July 2013 after twitter changed from APIv1.0 to 1.1 this hack no longer works] there are hacks described by Piers Dillon Scott at Sociable which boil down to:

  • start with http://search.twitter.com/search.rss?q=
  • add keyword
  • precede that with %23 after the = if you want a # tag
  • follow either with %20geocode:latitude%2Clongitude
    pick up a geocode from brenz.net: copy and paste the latitude and longitude and put %2C between them
  • and add a radius, say %2C25km

[UPDATE: Because keyword from twitter alerts are so interesting I will be looking into the strategies Aaron Tay blogged using IFTTT & Google script and/or Zapier & Mention.]

From that (with a keyword of book) I found in my local area:

Now if either was a student at UB I could link to the ebook in the catalogue;

or mention that the Ballarat Library (sorry Central Highlands library) could get a copy via SWIFT. (Unfortunately no permalink through SWIFT).

Dave the Plinth by Dave McGowan (2009) Flickr CC:BY-NC-ND/2.0

Similarly UB have books on the shelf that non-students may read which could help with:

But, if reference was my job in either place, would that be appropriate? I think it would be fantastic marketing, but if not, why not?

Target searching and responding to bloggers

A similar suggestion made back in 2006 has kept a part of my brain buzzed about ubiquitous reference ever since. Brian Mathews described [pdf] following 40 blogs of people who had identified themselves as students of his institution and searching them for specific keywords.

 article, assignment, book, group, help, journal, library, librarian, paper, project, professor, research, reserve, and test

Moyobamba butterfly hunters by Geoff Gallice (2012) on Flickr CC:BY

He gave examples of help he gave that students appreciated. An important discovery he made in the process that students objected to official “librarian” contact but welcomed responses under his name (he had librarian in his profile). Brian concluded that

such a service provides “timely, meaningful, and intuitive assistance … creates a personal connection … [and] allows them to see us as allies”.

Target searching

Now, just so that I can finally close the tab that has been open since I was researching RSS uses; a quick synopsis of what Elyssa Kroski had to say in April about monitoring social media.

  • She proposed and describes using the start page tool protopage.  (I am enjoying Google Reader, it lets stuff disappear when you’ve skimmed it).
  • She lists how to find search feeds on a variety of tools: blogging services Google, WordPress and IceRocket; the search tools naturally Bing and Google Alerts; a few aggregators and LinkedIn and Facebook – although I think that one is already out of date.

Leave the bubble

Monitoring for public comment is one reason to search for mentions of the library – but it detects only those who are already aware of the library and service.  Searching the wider community for the keyword book or article , read or reading, or someone suggested “?” allows you to pop the bubble, even if it does risk getting wet.

Wet by H Koppdelaney (2010) via Flickr CC:BY-ND/2.0