CIL2008, Day 1: Widgets, tools and doodads for library webmasters

Speakers: Darlene Fichter, Frank Cervone

Firefox tools:
safecache: protects privacy, defends against cache based tracking techniques
safehistory: protects your privacy by defending your history cache
FoxMarks: automatically synchronizes bookmarks
FEBE: Firefox Environment Backup Extension – syncs extensions between computers

Other webtools for collaboration
meebo chat widget
LInkBunch: lets you put multiple links into one small link
DocSyncer: automatically finds and syncs your document files to Google Docs – this means everything.
Twhirl: desktop client for twitter
polldaddy: fast simple way to put a poll on your site

VisCheck: shows what things look like to a colorblind person…

Feng GUI: automatic alternative to eye tracking – creates heatmaps based on algorhythms…

Browsershots: creates screenshots in different browsers – service actually visit browser/PC combination. Cool!

Photoshop Express: coo new online photo editor

Think website distribution: get an “add this” tool – lets customers bookmark your stuff on different site

Google Gadgets: gadgets you can add to your site – things like countdowns

altavista babelfish translator: gets at the gist of what’s going on – not perfect, but good enough

Nifty utilities:

ProcessTamer: monitors CPU usage of processes, reduces the priority of apps that hop the cpu

FIle Hamster: real-time backup and archiving of your files while you work

Syncback Freeware: backup all files with a single click, scheduler to automate backups, versioning, incremental backups, machine to machine via ftp – encryption and compression, too.

LinkExtractor: pulls links off page

Moving large files:, slipload, yousendit, mediafire, panda (peer to peer)

reCaptcha – interesting…

anonymouse: check if resources accessible outside your ip range, or for privacy

Prism: app that lets users split web apps our of the website and onto your desktop?

Find more widgets:
widgetbox, google gadgets, previous cool tools presentations

CIL2008, Day 1: Fast & Easy Site Tune-ups

Speaker: Jeff Wisniewski

Keep content fresh

– Update your copyright date! You can use code to do this
– add a last updated script to your page (do it as an external script so you use one script in many places
– add photos to contacts! Goes a long way in increasing user’s trust in a website

Turn boring old contact info into exciting hCards
– using microformats extension – allows you to import contact info into your address book

Don’t use click here. Instead, use Current articles are available here (with current articles text as the link)
– “Current articles” – a trigger word, it’ll be highlighted as a link, so it’ll stand out more

Harness the awesome power of the 4 question survey!
Great questions to ask:
1. what’s the purpose of your visit to our website today
2. were you able to complete your tasks today
3. if you weren’t successful, why not?
ps – ask for their email

Web 2ify your site

update look with web 2.0 stylr, etc

Use graphics when possible


Yslow (firefox extension) – helps figure out why your page is slow

Exploit the user’s cache to speed up your site

For server admins:
– set certain file types to stay fresh/not expire
– image file types, css, js files, pdfs
– this helps speed

add an expiration date code thing in your .htaccess file – another speed thing

single image rather than multiple combined images will speed the site up – fewer http requests

eliminate inline scripts – call scripts externally instead

spring cleaning – tidy your homepage
validator – will automatically fix your css
CLEANCSS – it will unbloat your css, compresses it, etc

Move important info our of the blindness zone (top header area, far right, etc – “banner blindness”

Page titles
Google Webmaster accounts? sign up for account, get lots of goodies, including title tag analyzer

page titles – best way to structure:
document title | section name | library/site name

add labels – screen readers read this, the checkbox text becomes clickable – not just the checkbox itself

make sure to use radio boxes and check boxes appropriately

Make your site social media friendly

add social bookmark links
– social bookmark creator – select bookmark service, it spits out html code to dump into your website

Q from me – is it dynamic?

CIL2008, Day 1: Hi Tech + Hi Touch

Speaker: Jenny Levine

Computers and the Internet will not save the world (Clifford Stoll, from 1995) – what’s missing is human contact. This is also true in libraryland.

We know how to do this in our buildings:
– Delft Public Library (DOK)
– they have electronic based contextual digital signage (run off a Wii, of all things)
– they integrate games, etc so it’s clear everything is content
– iTunes booths
– Gaming is a social event – the social aspect happens around the games – not the games themselves

Our jobs – connecting people in these spaces

It’s not the tech – it’s the touch

Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody – another mention of that book. I need to read it.

***”We don’t own this but… We Can Get it For You” (linked to ILL) – much better than a normal ILL link.

Database of the week via SlideShare idea…

Human presence is important – showing that (IM “I’m online” button)

Tampa – having kids make videos advertising the ask a librarian service

ACRL is using the Meebo Chat room to bring people together. 65 people appeared…

Creating Serendipity for Users:
technology is making it easier to connect with people
LibraryThing for Libraries – extends the catalog via people (tagging, related books, etc)

BiblioCommons –
Very social opac – stuff like coverflow visual viewing, saved items and viewing other save item lists, people connections via in-boxes, etc. They’re focusing on the people parts

Tagging – they prompt for adjectives so you get the tone of a book

You can add trusted sources (what other people like)

Participating in Digital Community, or Lots of Links to David

I’ve been doing some thinking about all the different digital communities I participate in on the web, so I thought I’d create a list of them. It’s not a short list.

Things I use the most:

Video stuff:

  • My videoblog
  • (I store all my videos at blip – they rock)
  • YouTube (sometimes I post video here too)
  • (experimenting with this – they call it “lifecasting” – but in web years I’m an oldie, so it’s really just a new, easy-to-use webcam service)

Podcasting services (mainly experiments):

  • utterz (easy-to-use mobile service – done from my cell phone)
  • talkshoe (used mainly for the LITA election podcasts – not sure what to do with it now)

Music stuff (you can find me singing and musiking in a few different places):

  • (newest stuff goes here)
  • SoundClick (first place I put music – and it’s still around!)
  • SoundClick for my 80’s college band (we so rocked)
  • PureVolume (I have 4 songs here – not really doing anything with it)

Other things I toy with:

  • Pownce (just friend people who friend me here – really nothing else since I’m good with twitter)
  • Plaxo (link to people who link to me, not much else)
  • LinkedIn (mainly link to people who link to me)
  • Skype (davidleeking on skype)
  • Second Life (Daweed Quatro in Second Life)
  • MySpace (recently been actively used with some college friends who have just “discovered the web” :-) )
  • LibraryThing (I go on LibraryThing binges once in awhile…)

Seeing this list, some of you will have different reactions. Some of you might think “Dang, David – that’s WAY TOO MANY things to sign up for!” while others of you are probably thinking “slacker – get with the program!”

Either way, I’ll say this – if you want to fully understand how the emerging web works, you have to experience it. You have to sign up, friend people (the more the merrier), and PARTICIPATE. There’s no other way to really understand what’s going on and how you might use it personally or for your organization. Reading about it won’t give you a full grasp – it’s like reading about going to a major league ballgame vs. actually going to one – two very different experiences.

Closing Question – is there anything you use frequently that’s NOT on this list? What do you like about it? Something on this list you don’t use? Why?