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


(aka OMG – diversions ahead)

Until I find a Xoom-compatible twitter app that will display my follows by category I am not quite ready to follow a fictional character, but I do want to share how fascinating it is:

  • Twaggies (comics from tweets, pressed and tweeted, pinnable)



(aka: maybe I just should have tagged it with Delicious?)

Still Delicious after 6 years?

Later this year my “OLJ for INF206” category will conclude with an evaluative and reflective report including three of seventeen possible (OLJ) “tasks”.  To be able to write that then; I will now and until then need a starting point and landmarks against which to check my progress.

For example:

If I am to evaluate my use of Delicious as a social bookmarking tool and include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features and/or functions, I need to have tried those functions.  Yet if this is “as evidence of meeting the learning objectives of the subject”, all of those I evaluated before the subject do not count.  Similarly, well before this subject, I had already learned about multiple ways that “information organisations use Delicious to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees”. Can I learn more?

Features & functions

Checking against Kroski’s (2008, p. 54) list of common features of social bookmarking tools:

  • Bookmarklets
  • Bookmarks
  • Tags
    • As well as using as many keywords as possible, I used subject codes and terms to save and share material for classes. I tagged with todo and toread, but rarely checked back on those. I have often sought out tagging strategies, hoping to improve my rediscoverability and reusability. Did I save any in Delicious? <– something to seek
    • The tagroll (in other tools called a tag cloud) I created for a blog sidebar in 2006 was lost in an upgrade, and became irrelevant when Blogger finally got labels.
    • Although Delicious no longer encourage(teach) them, there is apparently a WordPress Plugin. <– something to try
  • Search
    • My favourite feature because it searches my notes as well as the tags and titles.
    • However I was miffed when the option to first search just my own links disappeared.
    • I search my own collection either to inform a conversation from something I believe I saved, or to rediscover a variety of material that I am sure I gathered although I do not recall the specific tag.
  • Subscriptions / Saved by others
    • I followed the delicious accounts of bloggers whose collections looked to be regularly interesting, and I check them out somewhere between occasionally and rarely.
  • Global Tag Cloud
    • Perhaps this became less popular because Delicious dumped it for highlighting stacks. I certainly rarely looked at it.

Other features/functions:

  • Private Tags – occasionally came in handy, particularly when “for:” was a tag; or when I prefer my research to be private.
  • Tag Bundles
    • I found handy as a home-educator to bundle tags into the key learning areas – eg: my SOSE bundle.
  • Linkrolls
    • Delicious stopped encouraging these (by no longer showing how to make them), however I managed to resurrect and edit the code to gather material in a post on research diaries a year ago;
    • People got around this with widgets and gadgets.  However the download burden for loading widgets needs to be considered if serving a mobile audience. I would want to be able to track its usage to see whether it was worth it.
    • Can I create them again for this WordPress site? <– something to try?
  • Daily post to blog
    • When I tried it with blogger it required a workaround with diigo;
    • yuck.  This is a great way to lose an audience.  Receiving such posts through my RSS feeds was boring. Sure I found one or two interesting items, but too many were just links with no context.
    • It might work out okay if you are careful about
      • volume (for daily posts I’d recommend no more than three new links)
      • only using it if it includes your own notes, and
      • writing engaging, personal perspective notes.
  • Send to others & Twitter
    • I used the for: tag until a Send field appeared and also emailed while saving.
    • Long ago while saving a link I know I sent @twitter, yet my search of Twitter with from:moonflowrdragon source:delicious came up blank


    • have asked @Delicious

[Update 26 July] and received reply, conversation, and answers

  • import/export
    • In the mists of time I believe I imported a file of bookmarks to Delicious.
    • In the aforementioned search for an autopost option, I exported to Diigo.
    • During the Yahoo! crisis I learned to backup. My choice was to re-install a Diigo toolbar, import my latest, and subsequently save to Delicious via Diigo.
  • Stacks (when Avos bought Delicious back).
    • for the experiment, I tried it out in summer 2011/2012 and even made one public; <–Try another? maybe libraries using delicious?
    • I never really took to it because I saw no value in sending people away from my/organisational site.
    • Most uses I’ve read about already were primary or early secondary school gathering activities. <–something to search?

Since the start of INF206:

  • Save from Twitter & Facebook. <–something tried
    • Email from Delicious was timely – set up very easy;
    • Useful for backing up tweets with links… but that means it will have backed up links to all of the blogposts that automatically tweet!

… what have I missed?

After all of that, my learning plan still needs a starting point on how information services can use tools like Delicious… Next Time.


Kroski, E. (2008). Web 2.0 for librarians and information professionals. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

If you’ve read this far, you deserve delicious dessert…