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)