Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Make the Internet work for you

That was the jist of my final slides from last week and I think it would be my main tip for anyone struggling to think about how to fit web 2.0 into their working day, particularly blogging.

The simplest way to make the Internet work for you, is to create a start page.  This is an example of the one I use in my job for the Ballast Trust.

A start page is the page that appears when you open up a web browser and you can set one up with several different providers like igoogle, netvibes or bloglines.  By using a start page you can customise what content you see and subscribe to news feeds or rss feeds to ensure that content is pushed to you rather than you having to go around various different website to check if anything new has been posted.

On your start page you might have:

  • Email - this lets you see new enquiries or comments sent to your blog.

  • Bookmarks - browse useful websites or articles that you have saved previously, it can be useful to have a bookmark for items that you think will make good posts for your blog.

  • Reader - this feature lets you read the new posts from blogs you've subscribed to and perhaps prompt you to comment on them.

  • Flickr stream - this can show you new activity on your flickr account.

  • News feeds - you can subscribe to existing ones like the TNA feed or set up feeds for specific subjects like "literary archives", or "shipbuilding scotland".  This can help you keep blog posts and your work current and relevant.

Obviously a start page will only be as good as the information that you subscribe to and decide to put on it, so you need to make an effort in the beginning to find other sources of information that you can work off and related blogs or rss feeds.  Once it is set up though it should be easier to make it part of your daily life, particularly if you have to look at it every morning!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Web 2.0 and Archives

New presentation

On Friday I was in Hawick to do a short presentation about Web 2.0 for Archives and more specifically to talk about the blogs that I use for work. These are the Ballast Blog and when I'm at Glasgow University the Archive Services section of this blog.

I've put my slides up on slide share so they are now available here.

One of the things I did differently for this presentation was try to explain how I attempt to work blogging and other web 2 activities into my daily routine. This seemed to be quite useful so I'm going to write it up as a separate series of posts this week for this blog.

The other presentation that morning was about the Scottish Borders Archive and their blogs, voyage of the vampire and my diary and my secret. These are two great blogs based on the diary of George Henry Scott Douglas and the diaries and letters of his sister Hannah Charlotte Douglas.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

If we build it, will they come?

Joy Palmer has written an excellent article about Archives 2.0 in the July edition of Ariadne. The article 'Archives 2.0: If We Build It, Will They Come?'

It got me thinking about whether I've focused too much on the tools of web 2.0 rather than the ideas and I think I'll definitely take on board some of Joy's ideas for a presentation I'm doing in a few weeks at Hawick.

There is also some discussion about it on the forum of the Archives 2.0 ning site here if you want to join in.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

SOA Conference

The Society of Archivists' conference is happening this week down in Bristol. I posted a while back about the web 2.0 aspects that they were introducing this year. Before the conference begun, the blog was used to give people an opportunity to ask questions for some speakers ahead of time (see this post for Tim Padfield's session).

Since the conference actually started though the trickle of posts on the blog have increased and I'm now receiving regular posts through my reader about the different presentations. So a big thank you to Jenny (Hon Sec) and the other authors for getting these posts up, I've found them very useful.

So if you'd like to know what's happening at the conference and weren't able to attend in person, check out the blog or twitter feed.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Wikis and project planning

Last week I attended an information session on a new initiative for archivists in the UK called the Archives Pace Setter Scheme (I blogged about it here).

This scheme aims to highlight the new and innovative projects that archives and archivists across the UK are doing and at the same time to promote better project working and planning within the archive sector.

I had thought of lots of projects that I could do at work, some of which involve web 2.0 tools like our blog or flickr experiments and others which are more routine but new to us like a cataloguing database.

I hadn't thought about using web 2.0 tools to manage projects or plan them until I read this post about the use of wiki software by the Archives Service Centre at the University of Pittsburgh. They are using it internally within their department to monitor the progress of finding aid projects, unprocessed collections and digitisation projects as well as to record ideas for student projects and feedback from users. More details are available in this newsletter article or on ArchivesNext.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Archives 2.0 wiki

I've previously posted about the list of web 2.0 technologies and examples of archives using them that ArchivesNext compiled here. This list has been turned into a wiki resource called Archives 2.0 and has loads of examples and links to archives 2.0 in action.

It's a great place to start if you are trying to convince your management of the benefits or looking for examples of other institutions doing certain things.

I particularly like the examples of twitter and microblogs, most of which I didn't know about and there are lots of interesting ideas for using twitter to post diaries entries or allow users to ask questions as well as simply providing general updates.

  © Blogger template Brooklyn by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP