IL2008: Implementing a Next Gen OPAC

Speaker – Jeff Wisniewski

problem: old opacs weren’t designed for usability
– they were designed for the back-end of libraries
– designed to store data

Look at Jeff’s library’s OPAC – pittcat – much nicer looking than most other opacs (it’s still in beta)

they plan on keeping the more traditional-looking opac search for the forseeable future – eventually they’ll look at useage stats and go from there.

goals for new interface:
– does it have an intuitive interface?
– zero instruction needed, like amazon’s search interface
– no dumb error messages
– expose more of their collection (faceted search thing)
– integrate various silos (other databases they had, locally-created stuff, etc)
– get it up and running yesterday!

If you can, don’t do an RFP. It’s sorta backwards, hard to write, frequently states the obvious

instead, they made a features list
– must have
– highly desirable
– and a third category
– had to have the must have features

made a spreadsheet for the selection process with each vendor and their features listed.

Do this for your users – not your staff!!!
– boolean, advanced search, etc – your users DON’T CARE. So don’t offer it.
– resist the power search…

they renamed the old catalog the “classic” catalog – funny!

Do publicity on the new thing!

– call it what it is – map, not cartographic resource; music, not sound recording (that’s what the majority of them are)
– hyperlinks – you can put them practically everywhere

make sure it’s visual – use book jacket pics, etc

give your catalog legs:
– create facebook search widgets
– embed search widgets elsewhere, too

social stuff – do it even if you’re not quite ready yet

integration with other databases (federated search)
– some have them

IL2008: Defining & Measuring Social Media Success

Speaker: Jeff Wisniewski

Why be social
bad reasons – it’s cool, my boss told me to, etc
better reasons – provides innovative ways for libraries to connect with ysers we may never see face to face, to encourage, promote, innovate, learn, adapt, to improve customer service, to discover and deliver what users want, to market without marketing

Listen first
is it a conversation? What’s being said?
Listen first to see what the tone is

Developing a social media plan
define a strategy
define goals – ie., increase awareness of library services, increase the number of new cards issues, etc
pick a platform or two
the right platform depends on your goals

Then – start!
start blogging/leaving comments, etc

Assessing social media success
quantitatively and qualitatively – both are needed
what you are measuring – the “trinity approach” – behavior, outcome, experience

the what (behavior)
number of blog posts
– Boyd’s Conversation Index: posts/comments + trackbacks, should be greater than 1
number of facebook friends/fans

Outcome: the tangible benefit of your social media activity
– higher satisfaction
– fewer help desk calls
– more searches
– increase in funding

Example – are your flickr imsages viewed? Monitor the number of users. Also monitor referrals from flickr to your website, then you can say collection use has increased by 2.1%… coolness.

put on your listening ears!
listen/engage/converse – take action
be authentic – admit problems and engage that way

Experience metric – experience CAN be measured and evaluated
stars, scars, or neutral? (positive, negative, neutral comments)

5 things to get started:
1. monitor general search engine results
– focus on google (they do the best in including social media stuff in search results)

2. monitor social media search engine results
– why?
– used by high-value, highly connected, highly influencial users
– pays great divedends if they are fans of the library
choose the specific social media search engines that match your media efforts
– delicious – see how many people bookmarked it (quant) and something else…
– twitter – do you show up? How often?
– advanced search has a local search option

3. create alerts
– check standard web logs for refers from search engines. What terms do people use?
– use quotes
– choose “comprehensive” to get results from news, globs, web, video, and groups

4. analytics
– create a conversion funnel to measure a social media action chain. It measures follow-through. IE if they go to a signup page, did they finish the process? If they did, that’s a conversion.

5. assess the nature and sentiment of activity
– what’s the stregth and tone of the social media activity?
– is it deep, is it a drive by, one-off comment?

IL2008: danah boyd Keynote

danah boyd gave this morning’s keynote session. An aside – Howard Rheingold AND danah boyd – way to go, Information Today!

Title: Social Media & Networked Technologies: Research & Insights

Web 2.0 means different things to different people.

  • user-generated content
  • techies – always beta
  • business crowd – it was a glimmer of hope (an “after the first crash” thing)

Early days of the web – very topic driven.

Now instead of information organized around topics, it’s arranged around people – around friends.

What make it a social network site?

physical world – clothes, hair styles, etc define us
digital world
– we’re an IP address…
– we repurpose stuff to reflect us (ie., lying about age in myspace).
– younger people’s profile pages are similar to their bedroom walls (and probably horrify their parents in the same way)

Friending (not sure that was the word she used):
– it’s still awkward to us
– some have 30-50 friends (it reflects their real life friends)
– some have 1-200 friends, trying to collect a whole school
– 3rd category – people who collect as many friends as possible
– MySpace lets you arrange friends “in order” Top Friends is a very tricky thing. Bands are safe, put them in your family list (that’s safe), put your girlfriend in the top 10, etc.

– not much meaning in those – I’m bored, what’s up type conversation
– it’s a type of social grooming – very similar to the “how are you” greeting in the physical space
– it’s a way of validating each other

Status Updates:
– facebook status, twitter
– lots of different purposes
– creating a sense of peripheral awareness
– this will still evolve for the next several years

Why are we using these tools and services?

one reason – parents don’t let their kids out of the house – so they chat on myspace, txt, and talk on the phone

Quote by a 16-year old: “if you’re not on MySpace, you don’t exist.”

Properties of public spaces:

– what you say sticks around.
– every ephemeral act is stored

– you can copy/paste
– take stuff from one context to another
– I’d probably put mashups here, too
– she mentioned modification of content/context
– it’s also a way young people bully each other

– “It’s public”
– It’s a global medium… but the average blog is read by a whopping 6 people
– you have the option of reaching a million people, and the reality of reaching no one

– currently, you’re not searchable as you walk around
– your boss doesn’t always know where you are
– with the internet, you become searchable – even by people you don’t want to find you

plays out in 3 different dynamics:

there are invisible audiences
– we’re a visible audience, and she’s adjusting the presentation based on our reactions… with the web, we don’t know our audience
– so we have to deal with the possibility of invisible audiences
– friends – an invisible audience

collapsed contexts:
– a wedding is a highly scripted event
– online, we might be socializing with our boss AND our kids
– it’s challenging to deal with both contexts

public = private
– about control

Tagging – the skills librarians learned in grad school are now becoming skills everyone needs to learn. Wow.

wikipedia – collorative knowledge. The most transparent gathering of knowledge the world has ever seen.

young people learn about it by means of grafiti – they erase everything on a wikipedia page and put their name on it. In the process, they learn.

we should teach kids how to interact with it and add to it and be critical thinkers, rather than to avoid it …

And my battery ont he mac died – go search “danah boyd” il2008 for the rest of the talk :-)