IL2006 Day 3: A Wiki as a Research Guide

Chad Boeninger:

Had a bunch of research guides:

  • redundancy of resources
  • no interlinking
  • multiple edits of the same content

why wiki?

  • easy to add content
  • more room for content and nuggets
  • organize by categories
  • searchable
  • huge potential for building community
  • They used wikimedia

They use wikis for instruction, for making guides for class. They’re easy to update

IL2006 Day 3: Don’t Call it a Wiki

Marianne Kruppa:

They decided to create a subject guide because of KCPL’s subject guides

Decided to use a wiki to do it

SJCPL’s subject guides have articles created by librarians

how did we do it:

  • sandbox server so staff can play with new tools
  • tested a couple of wiki products
  • picked mediawiki because of the familiar interface
  • technophobes knew what to expect
  • easy install included
  • find your cheerleaders
  • don’t call it a wiki (for the technophobes out there)
  • jump in and see what happens

They made wikis part of new staff training – coolness.

IL2006 Day 3: introduction to wikis

Nicole Engard…

Huge list of wiki softwar:

Nicole again – Wiki on her Intranet

Problems to solve:

  • collaboration between departments
  • better navigation
  • etc

Darren Chase:

They wanted:

  • collaboration
  • documentation/policies
  • troubleshooting/FAQs
  • in-house control
  • web accessible
  • organization
  • ease of use

Options they explored:

  • keep the old thing and organize it better
  • static HTML pages
  • cms
  • blog
  • wiki

they chose a wiki:

  • pbwiki
  • dokuwiki
  • kwiki
  • wikiwikiweb
  • mediawiki
  • twiki

compare wikis at

They chose twiki:

  • easy editing
  • access control
  • file locking
  • webs
  • revision control
  • plug-ins

Building twiki:

  • linux
  • apache
  • perl 5.8
  • perl modules (instead of sql/databases)
  • plug-ins

effective support builders:

  • make it easy to join and use
  • keep it simple
  • must be real world
  • hands on training
  • continuing wiki refresher courses

Aside – his stories between his points were great!

IL2006 Day 2: My Introduction to Videoblogging Video

IL2006 Day 3: Keynote: Web Presence for Internet Librarians

Shari Thurow, Grantastic Designs webmaster/marketing director… She’s done SEO stuff. And she’s getting an MLS degree…

She chooses to work WITH the search engines, rather than exploit them.

Why worry about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Because people search, for many reasons.

Search engine friendly design:

  • user friendly web site design that can be easily found on both crawler-based and human-based search engines

importance of design:

  • end users/site visitors/target audience – primary audience
  • human and crawler based search engines – secondary audience

5 basic rules of web design:

  1. easy to read
  2. easy to navigate – sense of place (on non-home pages, back door entry), scent of information (click home button, easily get to search)
  3. easy to find
  4. consistent in layout and design
  5. quick to download

Make this stuff easy to find:

  • on search engines, web directories, and industry-related sites
  • go directly to the relevant page
  • within 7-8 clicks!, preferably less (as long as people feel they are making progress – Neilson says up to 25 clicks! wow…)
  • most important info “above the fold”
  • contact info

understand how search engines work: They do three things – index text, follow links, and measure popularity (other people need to think your site is good)

You HAVE to provide site navigation that crawlers can follow – no flash, no javascript kind of stuff.

In other words…

  • contain words and phrases that match what your target audience types into search queries
  • provide easy access to keyword-focused text
  • contain enough high-quality content

Hmm… we need to get a google adwords budget…. just a thought

SEO stuff:

  • text component – index text. on the page critereia…. target words and phrases. These should be the words your customers type into search engines in order to reach your site.

How to make your content appear focused:

  • html title tag
  • breadcrumb link
  • headings
  • introductory paragraph
  • call-to-action
  • conclusion paragraph
  • graphic images????

Showed example:

  • stake and stakes in title
  • stakepullers in URL – don’t use underscore. Use hyphen or cram words together
  • breadcrumb links – stake pullers is used….
  • heading 1 and 2 – stake pullers
  • word also in paragraph
  • captions with the pictures

primary text vs secondary text:

  • primary – title tags, visible body copy, text at the top of web page, in and around hypertext tags
  • secondary – meta-tag content, alternative text, domain and file names

easy way to find what search engines see – copy all junk on the page, then drop that into Notepad – what you get is what search engine see

Link component, site and page architecture (follow links) includes…

  • site navigation schemes
  • cross linking
  • type of web page
  • page layout and structure
  • URL structure

types of site navigation in se freiendly order:

  • text links
  • navigation buttons
  • image mapes
  • menus (forms and dhtml)
  • flash

remember to design primarily for your users – not for search engines

Have two forms of navigation on your website. one for target audience, and one for search engines – they often commpliment each other.

embedded links are search engine friendly – those are links within a bunch of text… they tend to be contextual.

tell people what to do when they read something. ex – what do you want people to do when they read your bio? Go somewhere else? Or go to the info on your site? Hmm…

If you do a site map – it’s for context, rather than a collection of links. Write a summary paragraph on the site map – who you are, and what you do. Then put major links on the page.

She said people look in the middle of the page first… which is wrong. Take a peek at eyemapping research –  people look in the upper left first, then scan across the page in a loose letter F pattern.

information pages:

  • faq
  • press releases
  • tips or how to pages
  • glossary, reference, and dictionary type pages
  • location pages
  • category and gallery pages

Cross linking:
all sites should have related, relevant cross-links

number and quality of links
number of times people click on links to your site

she started speeding up, so I missed the rest…. but you get the idea.