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Pikas Maryland Tech Day 2007

Presentation given at Maryland Technology Day, Laurel, MD October 4, 2007

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Pikas Maryland Tech Day 2007

  1. 1. The What, Why and How of Collaboration Tools Christina K. Pikas Maryland Technology Day October 4, 2007
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Real goals, do you have them? </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing among... </li></ul><ul><li>Re-purpose existing software or buy new? </li></ul><ul><li>Gaining participation </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating </li></ul>
  3. 3. First - Who's Here? <ul><li>Special libraries? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law firm? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Academic? </li></ul><ul><li>Public? </li></ul><ul><li>MLS or MIM students? </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Information Professionals? </li></ul><ul><li>Vendors? </li></ul><ul><li>Non-library folks? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Background <ul><li>Lots of information on blogs, wikis, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May not be from your setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less information on how they interact </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complex information ecology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information sharing climate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Types of information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Access to funding, servers, IT staff </li></ul><ul><li>Legal and security concerns </li></ul>
  5. 5. The bottom line: We are never starting from a blank slate!
  6. 6. Real Goals <ul><li>It is ok to have the goal of demonstrating a technology or learning a technology to build expertise in the library! </li></ul><ul><li>(…then what?) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Potential Goals <ul><li>Expand the role of the library as a catalyst for information sharing and stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Establish and maintain relationships and networks with customers </li></ul><ul><li>Market library services and programs </li></ul><ul><li>Library as online space </li></ul><ul><li>Internal library tool to support staff work </li></ul>
  8. 8. Choosing among... <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Online bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail discussion lists </li></ul><ul><li>Forums/message boards </li></ul><ul><li>SharePoint </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletters </li></ul>Or picking from?
  9. 9. How do blogs really work? <ul><li>In practice: </li></ul><ul><li>Each contribution is individual and signed </li></ul><ul><li>Posting is normally kept in a time line arrangement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what information is best arranged this way? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what information is better arranged by subject or geographically or... ? </li></ul></ul>Blogs are reverse chronologically arranged collections of discrete posts...
  10. 10. Blogs +/- <ul><li>They do well at capturing comments for each post </li></ul><ul><li>They are easy to keep up with using RSS* </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to link to specific posts </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative at the macro level </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes difficult to chase conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Need to post fairly regularly to maintain non-RSS readership </li></ul><ul><li>Personal vs. corporate voice </li></ul>*note: many people use RSS readers that are web based - these won't be very useful for intranet feeds!
  11. 14. How do wikis really work? <ul><li>It’s the read/write web, where users can edit without knowing HTML </li></ul><ul><li>Typically </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep revisions so that you can see what has changed and revert to a previous version </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have levels of access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User contributions are generally merged into the whole without specific attribution </li></ul></ul>Wikis are web pages that visitors can edit*... *note: a meaningless definition, but you'll know one when you see it!
  12. 15. Wikis +/- <ul><li>Great for consensus documents </li></ul><ul><li>Great for things that can change fast </li></ul><ul><li>Great for things that have an end goal </li></ul><ul><li>Not great for things that require voting or individual opinions </li></ul><ul><li>Not great for settling arguments </li></ul>
  13. 18. Other 2.0 technologies
  14. 19. What older technologies? <ul><li>Forums and bulletin boards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Really good for threaded conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-mail lists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reach the most people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are familiar and are the workhorse </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Newsletters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are great for less frequent, well thought-out content </li></ul></ul>
  15. 20. Newsletters
  16. 21. But… no money, no time, no IT? <ul><li>Maybe there’s something that has a new blog or wiki plugin? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SharePoint new versions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confluence wikis also do blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is there a possibility of using a hosted service? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wordpress.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pbwiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google groups? </li></ul></ul>
  17. 22. SharePoint <ul><li>Many different versions </li></ul><ul><li>Many organizations have access to a lightweight version that came with Microsoft web server software </li></ul><ul><li>Newest version has </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail and RSS alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs and wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion boards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jack of all trades and integrates with Office </li></ul>
  18. 24. Open Source <ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Server and setup can be expensive </li></ul><ul><li>But there are lots of choices and many books to help </li></ul>
  19. 25. Adoption <ul><li>If you build it, will they come? (short answer: no!) </li></ul><ul><li>Assimilation gap: many IT products are purchased, then never deployed, or if deployed, are not widely adopted </li></ul><ul><li>Fashions for corporate software come and go </li></ul><ul><li>If 1-10-90 applies on the web, what if your total population is only 100-10,000? </li></ul><ul><li>What does adoption look like for a library supported collaboration tool? </li></ul>
  20. 26. Gaining Participation <ul><li>Talk to the potential users before building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite these users first and take their suggestions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Model the content you would like to see </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a scaffold or template </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give examples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nurture the content that does appear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage healthy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discourage unhealthy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make it easy and low risk </li></ul>
  21. 27. Participation (continued) <ul><li>Encourage the participants </li></ul><ul><li>Make it part of their work process </li></ul><ul><li>Market tirelessly (do try not to be too annoying!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in other media - by e-mail, by posters, by flyers, by handouts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Appear in search results </li></ul><ul><li>Drop in to casual conversation :) </li></ul>
  22. 28. Legal and Security <ul><li>For intranets </li></ul><ul><li>Good to have a disclaimer that information still must go through standard public release procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Standard compliance rules apply </li></ul><ul><li>Caretaking to ensure growth can also head off potential problems </li></ul><ul><li>Use real names, link to identity </li></ul>
  23. 29. Legal (continued) <ul><li>For internet tools </li></ul><ul><li>Consider requiring a password to edit </li></ul><ul><li>Use spam filters and comment moderation to start or be ready to add fast </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor for spam </li></ul>
  24. 30. Other notes <ul><li>Be sure to brand the thing with your logo </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to link to the library web site </li></ul><ul><li>Connect your work to the library </li></ul><ul><li>Be committed! </li></ul>
  25. 31. Contact Information <ul><li>Christina K. Pikas, BS, MLS R.E. Gibson Library & Information Center The Johns Hopkins University </li></ul><ul><li>Applied Physics Laboratory </li></ul><ul><li>Voice  443.778.4812 (Baltimore) </li></ul><ul><li>240.228.4812 (Washington) </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blog http:// christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com </li></ul>
  26. 32. Resources <ul><li>Crawford, W. (2007). Balanced libraries: thoughts on continuity and change. [Morrisville, NC]: Lulu. </li></ul><ul><li>Nielsen, Jakob (2006, October 9). Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute. Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox. Retrieved October 2, 2007 from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html </li></ul><ul><li>Preece, J. (2000). Online communities: Designing usability, supporting sociability. New York: John Wiley & Sons. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipatterns. com (wonderful resource for wiki gardening!) </li></ul>
  27. 33. Sites Shown <ul><li>RecentArticles (APL internal only) </li></ul><ul><li>The Gaming Zone: http://thegamingzone.wordpress.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Business Blog: http://www.library.ohiou.edu/subjects/businessblog/ </li></ul><ul><li>Gibson wiki page (APL internal only) </li></ul><ul><li>The Biz Wiki: http://www.library.ohiou.edu/subjects/bizwiki/index.php/Main_Page </li></ul><ul><li>APL Scuttle (APL internal only) </li></ul><ul><li>Lav Notes: online at http://www.library.jhu.edu/about/news/lavnotes/index.html </li></ul><ul><li>SharePoint Services: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/default.aspx </li></ul>