Social bookmarks and social sharing plugins quickly emerged as a standard feature across the web. Attached to the end of blog posts, news articles and appearing in email signatures. In fact don’t look now but if you look to your right you will see that familiar blue bird next to a @multimediaIT follow icon!
But what value can we gain from the likes, + 1 and followers we receive? How often do people click our social plugins? Should we be finding ways to encourage more activity on our social bookmarks or is it a waste of time?
We want to know our audience and what it is they want to read so that we can gauge our readership and target our material. Looking at metrics on our social plugins can show us this and help us find out not only what people are reading but what they are sharing and who that subsequently draws in.
The SocialShare report written in January this year found that “about half of the top 10,000 websites have a link to their Facebook pages from their home page, 40% link to their Twitter pages and when it comes to like buttons, Google+ is now second place to Facebook.” In response to this they found that the popularity of these social plugins is on the rise and the increased presence of Google+ on websites has resulted in a rise in popularity, in fact “the stats show that Google’s +1 is more widely used than Twitter’s share button”!
But let’s conduct our own experiment…Are you using social plugins? How big is your community? Who are you reaching? What do your readers ‘like’? What do they share? Why?
Comment below and tell us your thoughts on the value gained from social sharing.
How to Get Your Social Sharing Buttons to Stand Out, Deborah Sweeney (Jul 19, 2013) http://socialmediatoday.com/deborah-sweeney/1607461/how-get-your-social-sharing-buttons-stand-out
Report: Facebook Like Button Most Used, Google +1 Button Surging, Greg Finn (Jul 8, 2011) http://searchengineland.com/report-facebook-has-the-most-implemented-social-plugins-googles-1-surging-84926?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=tweet
SocialShare Report, BrightEdge (January 2013) http://www.brightedge.com/social-share-january-2013
We’re delighted to announce that Facet Publishing is providing three prizes for delegates at the MmIT 2013 national conference.
The prizes include Cloud Computing for Libraries by Marshall Breeding (one of our keynote speakers from MmIT 2012)
The No-nonsense Guide to Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing by Charles Oppenheim
and Getting Started with Cloud Computing, edited by Heather Lea Moulaison and Edward Corrado
Book your place now through our online form: https://docs.google.com/a/sheffield.ac.uk/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFlyZUFyNHF5UDAxeEVwZlpGcGwwR2c6MA#gid=0
The full conference programme is available on our Events page: http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/special-interest-groups/multimedia/events/pages/mmit-conference-2013.aspx
Andy Tattersall and Claire Beecroft’s MMIT 2012 conference presentation, A Free Web Toolkit for the Modern Library, is now available.
A Free Web Toolkit for the Modern Library
There are legions of free Web based tools that can help you promote and organise your library and information service. You may have heard of many of them, but how do you choose from a bewildering number of tools? Which will survive in the long term? Which ones offer true value? And which will have true impact? In this session, delegates will be introduced to a variety of tried and tested web 2.0 tools which we believe offer something of real value to LIS professionals. We will debate their pros and cons before demonstrating some inspiring ways in which they’ve been put to use, drawing on examples from public, business and academic libraries. The workshop will show delegates how to make the tools work best for you with minimal effort and how to make them join up to make a cohesive tool kit for any modern LIS. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering ‘Where do I begin with web 2.0?’, the answer is ‘Here!’
Here’s a promo video for Andy Tattersall and Claire Beecroft’s ScHARR Workshop: “A free web toolkit for the modern library”. In the workshop, Andy and Claire will introduce delegates to a variety of tried and tested web 2.0 tools which offer real value to LIS professionals.
This workshop is part of the MmIT National Conference 2012: Reduced budgets? Increased impact!
Tools and technologies for an effective library and information service being held on Tuesday 17th April 2012 at the University of Sheffield.
In January, LYRASIS Technology Services launched FOSS4LIB.org, a website to provide guidance to the library community about free/open source software (FOSS). The site already hosts an impressive registry of open source software as well as ‘decision-making tools‘ to help when considering making the move away from proprietary software.There’s more content being added all the time and you can also sign up for an account if you’d like to contribute.
In other OSS news, the Vufind discovery software has just released version 1.3. This latest version includes enhancements such as new search plugins (Europeana search, Google Maps, visual timelines), a ‘book bag’ feature and enhanced RSS feeds.
Kyushu University Library has also announced the release of Cute.Catalog, an Advanced Discovery Service build using eXtensible Catalog. You can see it in action at: http://catalog.lib.kyushu-u.ac.jp/en
June 28th 2011 was a big day in search engine & social media land, seeing the launch of Google+ (pronounced ‘Googleplus’ or ‘Googleplussed’?). Well, ‘launch’ is perhaps the wrong word, with only a small amount of early testers having access to it; the general launch date apparently “won’t be long” (https://plus.google.com/). Essentially, Google+ may be seen the introduction of social networking elements with the ubiquitous Google search interface…why use a search engine and a social networking site when you can do both at the same time? Google+ allows users to log into the Google environment and personalise it as usual, with the addition of a live and customisable newsfeed stream called ‘Sparks’ and a way of putting contacts into groups for social networking known as ‘Circles’. ‘Hangouts’ allow a small group of contacts (10) to link up for a webcast session, and a ‘Mobile’ element most notably allows group instant messaging chats. For a fuller description of features, check out the official Google blog at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/introducing-google-project-real-life.html.
Overall, the jury is currently split. Clearly Google is trying to take on Facebook with this venture, with the aim of drawing all users into one information finding & sharing tool. This is not lost on a great many commentators (cf. xkcd’s rather amusing strip), and it’s true that most people are focusing on the looming assault on Facebook. With high-profile failures in the form of Google Buzz and Google Wave, Google really need to do well with this product, though the project is not an off-the-cuff venture and has been in development for some time (cf. this very positive review from Wired). But it seems to be trying to do more…certainly one can see the appeal of having a tool which makes it easy to search and share, and addition of web-conferencing and mobile tools is a powerful incentive to try it. There are downsides with the current version (read Phil Bradley’s blog posting, which highlights the confusion about the ‘+1′ function for web-links which doesn’t seem to act like a ‘like’ button on Facebook), but it’s too early to really tell what will happen. Perhaps the big question many will keep asking is ‘Would it replace Facebook?’, though (speaking personally) this author of this posting would be tempted to try it in a workplace setting before deciding whether or not to shift lock/stock to Google+. Certainly this has the potential to be far more than ‘just another social networking tool’.
Will you be planning to use Google+? Join the debate below!
Using Yahoo Pipes has fast become a cornerstone of mashups in the library world. This popularity is largely down to just how accessible it makes the process of mashing data. It provides a nice, visual interface for remixing and reusing information from multiple sources.
At its simplest, Yahoo Pipes lets you combine multiple RSS feeds into a single, comprehensive news or information source. The introductory video seems to have disappeared from the website, but there are some great guides and pretty extensive documentation available in other places. We’ve also put together a walk-through for creating a basic pipe from multiple feeds. This is available as a word document which you’re welcome to modify and/or reuse.
Another way to get to know Yahoo Pipes is by viewing the source and cloning existing pipes to see how they were constructed. And in that spirit, I’ve listed a few that demonstrate some of the main uses of Yahoo Pipes. Click on ‘Edit Source’ to see what’s happening behind the scenes or clone the pipe to use it as a starting point for your own creation.
Starter pipe: A very simple pipe to combine RSS feeds and sort items by publication date.
Library Technology: A Different Version- Combines multiple feeds and returns results for these that match particular keywords.
UK Academic Library Blogs - Combines multiple feeds, sorts into ascending order and limits the feed to 5 items at a time.
This is hopefully enough to get started and, like most things, the best way to learn about something like this is by trying it out yourself.
In a future post, we’ll take a look at some of the more advanced features such as geocoding.
Today, Gizmodo have been highlighting the awesome web design of Bret Victor on his website, Worrydream.com. Particularly worth checking out for those in the library world is the Interactive Library prototype. Hopefully this is the type of thing we’ll start to see reflected in library website design in the near future.
The Stay N Alive blog has an interesting post about how both Twitter and Facebook seem to have unceremoniously ditched RSS .
While Twitter have provided some basic information about how you can still use RSS (using the developer resources — so not particularly user-friendly), it’s still a crying shame that the RSS icon is no longer such a visible presence on the homepage. There are also various workarounds to be found for accessing Facebook feeds but no telling how long these will last.