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 CompfightWordPress 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.
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 🙂
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
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”.
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naturally Bing and Google Alerts; a few aggregators and LinkedIn and Facebook – although I think that one is already out of date.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.
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.
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:
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
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.
Perhaps this became less popular because Delicious dumped it for highlighting stacks. I certainly rarely looked at it.
Private Tags – occasionally came in handy, particularly when “for:” was a tag; or when I prefer my research to be private.
I found handy as a home-educator to bundle tags into the key learning areas – eg: my SOSE bundle.
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?