Week Nine: Instant Messaging

Welcome to week 9 of 23 Things Kansas. I’m Liz Rea from NEKLS, and I will be your guide this week to the wonderful world of Instant Messaging.

Examples of IM icons

Introduction

Before we get started, lets think about the past:

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”

- Western Union internal memo, 1876

How quaint and shortsighted this quote appears to be! Where would the world be without the telephone? Pundits have been saying similar things about the future of chat communication… but those of us who use it regularly can’t imagine a world without it.

Terms and Abbreviations:

Service Provider – In the case of Instant Messaging, the company that runs the servers which users engaged in chat connect to. Often, companies that provide e-mail also provide access to Instant Messaging as a part of their e-mail service.

Examples: MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk (Gtalk), Facebook Chat, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger)

Emoticon – You’ve seen them: :) ;) :( :* They are punctuation marks put together to express emotions. A great deal of communication is nonverbal; emoticons help you express some of the meaning that might be lost in a chat vs. phone vs. face to face communication. To learn more emoticons, see this list of emoticons from Wikipedia.

Common IM shorthand -

  • LOL – Laugh out loud. Also: ROFL (rolling on floor laughing)
  • ty, yw – Thank you, and you’re welcome. Also tyvm (thank you very much), np (no problem), and yvw (you’re very welcome)
  • j/k – just kidding
  • bbl – be back later. Also ttyl (talk to you later)
  • afk – away from keyboard (most commonly used in the middle of a chat when you need to leave your desk for just a moment)
  • For those of you really interested, here is a much more comprehensive list

Sharing and Productivity

Instant messaging (IM) is a great tool to use to stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues and customers.  Libraries of all types are using IM as a way to connect with their patrons. It can be a great tool for answering reference questions, especially if you have a lot of millennials in your patron population.  If you are curious about libraries that are using IM reference, the Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki has a great list.

Instant messaging users communicate quickly through typing in real time. IM is less immediate than a phone call, but more immediate than an email.  In fact this is one of the advantages of using IM instead of email: you at least know (more or less) if the person you want to talk with is available.  According to OCLC’s report Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World 59% of the US Respondents have sent or received an instant message in the last 12 months. Sadly only 38% of US library directors have used IM.

Top 5 things people in my office use IM for:

  • Discussing projects without leaving our desks.
  • Quick communication with co-workers who may be internet connected but not in the office (out on a consulting call, for example).
  • Talking, solving problems, and sharing links with our member librarians.
  • Sharing interesting links (it’s much easier to click a link in an IM message than it is to try and tell someone which URL to type), even when we are in the same room.
  • Knowing the status of your co-workers through their status message.

Tools for your consideration

There are lots of ways to connect to Instant Messaging services:
meebo.com – web based, extremely easy to use. Allows web access to all of the major chat services listed here.

Use a client (a program on your computer) to connect to multiple service providers at the same time. These programs will need to be installed on your computer. Examples of IM clients include: Adium (Mac), Trillian (PC), Pidgin (Linux, Mac, PC)

Tool Instructions and Activity

Getting Started with Instant Messaging

There are four basic steps to getting started with Instant Messaging

  1. Choose your service, get an account – There are a plethora of chat providers these days, and (give or take) they all have pretty much the same features: text chat, the ability to send pictures/files, and video chat (if you have a webcam). One of the drawbacks with having multiple providers is that users of one service cannot talk to users with a different service. Both Meebo and any of the clients listed above allow you to connect to multiple services at the same time, as long as you have accounts. If you are signing up for a new account, you might want to check with your friends and see which provider they are using, so that you can sign up for the same provider.
    These services are free:

    AIM
    Google Talk

    MSN Messenger

    Yahoo! Messenger

    Facebook

    If you already have an account with AOL, Hotmail, Google Mail (Gmail), Facebook, or Yahoo! mail, you can use the same log in information to log in to Meebo to use instant messaging.

  2. Log into your chat provider through Meebo using the account information you just created (or with your existing account information).
  3. Find buddies to chat with – Make a comment to this post that includes which IM Provider you are using, and how to find you (usually your email address), then find another person using the same provider and add them to your buddy list. Meebo has excellent instructions on how to add buddies using their service.
    Note: this exercise is going to mean that you get a lot of requests to “Authorize” people who want to chat with you. For the purposes of this lesson it would be good to authorize everyone who asks. You can always remove them later.
  4. Begin chatting! – Double click the buddy you want to talk to, then type in the box, and hit enter or click send. It’s that easy!

Talk about your IM experiences on your blog. Tell us what you think of Instant Messaging; Do you like it? What concerns do you have using a tool like Instant Messaging? Has it changed the way you work at all?

Extra Credit: Come talk to several librarians, including myself, just click to join the #23thingsks IRC channel. Type your nickname and click Connect. See this screenshot for help on where to click to start chatting. This multi user chatroom is hosted on Freenode (what is IRC?). I’ll be in that chat channel all week, pop in and say hi anytime (though please give it a few minutes, I don’t always see new users right away). You can get my attention by saying my name, just type “wizzyrea” to make my computer beep. :)

Guidelines and Expectations

Don’t expect instantaneous responses – People can’t always answer you immediately. They may be away from their computer or on the phone. They don’t hate you, they’re just busy too!

Be online when you are at your computer, but make good use of your status display. Don’t be afraid to mark yourself away when you just don’t feel like talking.

Special Note: this lesson was heavily discussed and worked through in an online chat with library friends from around the world.

Week Ten: Video on the Web

Woo hoo – You made it to Week 10! That is fantastic! My name is David Lee King, and I’m facilitating this week’s lesson. And believe me, this week should be FUN. Here’s a video to get us started off on the right foot:

Introduction

Most likely, you have already discovered YouTube, and have probably even received a link to a funny YouTube video in your email inbox. Did you know that you can use video in a library setting to introduce library services and tools to your patrons, and have fun in the process? This week, we’re going to learn how video applies to libraries.

There are different types of video on the web, including:

News video: Did anyone watch a clip from the Olympics online? If so, that’s a great example of new video. Most newspaper and television news websites have added video to enhance their stories. This type of video consists of traditional news pieces done by professional journalist and by “regular people” off the street.

Shows: Missed your favorite tv show last night? You can probably catch up the next day by visiting nbc.com. Go to Hulu and you can watch a lot of current and past television shows. And there are a growing number of shows created for a web-only audience and released in a web-only format.

Screencasting: Ever wanted to show someone how to use the library catalog? One way to do it is by screencasting. Screencasting takes video of your computer’s screen – mouse movements, clicks, etc. – and even overdubs your voice. This gives you the ability to teach people how to do something via video.

Machinima: Take your virtual world avatar (i.e., your World of Warcraft or Second Life character), and make a short video of the avatar doing non-normal stuff. For example, a librarian at my library used her World of Warcraft avatar to talk about the library.

Live video: Ever wanted to strap a video camera to your head and record 24/7? Probably not – but that’s how lifecasting started. There are a growing number of web-based services and tools that let you easily broadcast live. Some of these tools are desktop-based and use the webcam attached to your computer. You can also take lifecasting one step further and make it mobile – for example, some cell phones can now broadcast live video.

Video blogging: This is what I do with video. You’re probably familiar with a blog – thoughts typed and posted to a website. Videoblogging is the same idea, except posts are created with a video camera, and the video is posted to a blog.

Sharing, Productivity, & Community

So before we get to the nitty-gritty tools section … how does video fit into sharing, productivity, community and libraries? The sharing part’s pretty easy to figure out. Make a video about your library – your services, an event that’s happening, a new resource – and embed that video on your library’s website. Ta-Da! You have just shared useful content with your patrons. Same with productivity – show people how to search your catalog via a short 2-minute video. You will have just saved the patron’s time, which = productivity for that patron. You probably just saved time for yourself too, since with video, you can teach once then use that video for a long time.

But what about the community part? This is the fun part about video. There are many ways to connect with your community using video. There’s usually multiple ways to comment on a video. For example, the library’s blogpost that includes the video will probably have a comment box. The YouTube version of the video (if that’s where you uploaded your video) will also have a place to comment on the video. Comments = community.

But it’s about more than simply allowing comments. Want interaction? You probably need to ask for it. Ask for people to comment – in the text surrounding the video, and in the video itself. The first part of community and interaction is inviting someone else to comment. Since you are offering the video, you’re the one that needs to start.

Here are two examples – Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Topeka has been making videos for a couple of years now. I have been creating a weekly technology video show for the last 4 months – check them out! And Allen County makes a lot of videos, too.

Tools You Need to make video

The most important tool you need is a video camera. STOP! I know, you’re thinnking “but I don’t own a video camera!” Let’s take a show of hands – how many of you own a digital camera? I’m guessing that most of you admitted that you own or have access to (i.e., work or a friend) some type of camera that takes video. Remember – we’re not making the next Oscar-winning movie here. Our goal is to get our message accross, and any normal digital camera, basic camcorder, or even a webcam can do the trick. Many people are very successful with a Flip Camera. This runs about $129, and has one big red “record” button – dead simple to use.

Video editing software: The other big thing you’ll need is video editing software. If you own a computer that was built in the last 5 years, you have access to basic video editing software. All PCs come with Windows Movie Maker, and all Macs come with iMovie. If you want to upgrade, there are several software packages that offer more bells and whistles starting at around $100 (and on up). Figure out your software, and save your video as a .mov, .mp4, .avi, or .wmv, and let’s move to the next section – a place to put the video.

Store that video on the web. Your best bet for uploading your video is YouTube. Sign up for a free account, then click the Upload button and follow the instructions. Your video will be live in no time! blip.tv and vimeo.com are two other very popular services to use for getting your video to the web.

Other tools to try:

  • ustream.tv and justin.tv are both great places to livestream a video. Instead of recording a video, editing it, and uploading it later, with livestreaming you are broadcasting live. The video you make can be viewed as it’s being made.
  • qik.com – another livestreaming service. This works great on an iPhone (ustream does this, too). This way, you can livestream from a mobile device, wherever you are.
  • 12seconds.tv – just for fun. This takes and uploads video … but the video will only be 12 seconds long. Think Twitter, but instead of typing you’re talking.

Instructions for this week’s activities

So now it’s your turn. Let’s get some video-related activities going on!

Activity #1: Find a Video and Embed it into your blog

Find a video you like and embed it into a blog post on your blog. Maybe do a search on YouTube for your favorite hobby. Embedding is pretty easy, too. For example, with a YouTube video, look for the Embed link when you’re on YouTube. Depending on how your blog is set up, you’ll do different things with that embed code:

Activity #2: Make a video!

This might be challenging … and I challenge you to do it anyway.

  • Step 1 – go get your camera (or borrow one if needed).
  • Step 2 – start shooting. Take a video of your cat. Do a 30-second book review. Use Jing and make a quick screencast. Anything goes.
  • Step 3 – edit your video. I can’t help you much here – this will depend on what video editing software you have access to. If you need help, you can probably do a Google or YouTube search, and find just what you need! Do some basic edits, like add a fade in and fade out to your video. Then save it in a YouTube-friendly format.
  • Step 4 – get a YouTube account and upload your video.
  • Step 5 – embed that video on your blog, and link to it here, in the comments!

If you need help, remember to ask in the listserv – that’s what it’s for!

I’m looking forward to watching everyone’s videos – go get that camera, and start making video!

Week 11: Break

Take the opportunity this week to catch your breath, get caught up, further explore a tool you didn’t have time to during a particular week, comment on participant blogs, or simply take a break from 23 Things Kansas.

Week 12: Screencasting

Welcome to week 12 of 23 Things Kansas. I’m Sharon Moreland, Technology Consultant for the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS), and I will be your guide this week to the wonderful world of Screencasting.

Introduction

According to Wikipedia, that wonderful free online encyclopedia, a “screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration.”  So, basically a screencast is a video recording of your computer screen, mouse movements, and keyboard strokes, with (or without) narration.  Here’s an example – An overview of an online catalog.

Sharing and Productivity

Screencasting helps you help patrons, staff and even software developers.  How?  Do you have an online catalog that allows patrons to place their own holds?  Record a 5 minute how-to video demonstrating the process and post it to your library’s Web site.  Screencasting can also be used with IM reference to answer questions about subscription databases – the staff at K-State’s Hale Library shared this tip at the 2008 Unconference.  Use it to help train new employees.  For example, you might have a trainee watch a screencast on how to add new patrons to the catalog and then follow-up with Q&A.  Think about all of the software programs we need to be familiar with, including any and all of the wonderful Kan-ed and State Library databases, and then use screencasts to demonstrate how they work.  At NEKLS, we use screencasting to record problems we encounter with our Koha ILS and share those with the software developers. Why try to explain in writing what you can demonstrate in a two-minute video?  Talk about efficient!  Educators have also been making fantastic use of screencasting to provide feedback on papers and create brief instructional videos.  Here are more ideas for how to use Screen Capture in Education.

A recap of some uses for screencasting:

  • Demonstrating library-related software, including the online catalog
  • Training
  • Sharing bugs and software problems
  • Answering reference questions
  • Software tips and tricks

Tools for Your Consideration

  • Jing! – After downloading the program to a PC or Mac, you can create and annotate screen shots (stills of your computer screen) or take 5 minute screencast videos that are saved as .swf (Adobe Shockwave) files.  You can upgrade to Pro for $14.95 a year.  Videos can be downloaded to the computer or stored for easy sharing online at screencast.com.
  • Screentoaster.com – Set up an account, hit record – here’s the demo.
  • Screencast-o-Matic.com – After setting up an account, you can create 10-15 minute videos that are easy to upload to YouTube.

In January, the EmergingTechEd.com blog compared a dozen different screencasting tools, if you want to explore further.

Tool Instructions and Activity

If you are able to download software to your computer, install Jing!, if not, check out Screencast-o-Matic.com.

Rather than write out the instructions, I’ve made screencasts!  Seemed appropriate.

Step 1 – Finding and installing Jing

Step 2 – Setting up your Screencast.com account

Step 3 – Capturing a Video

OR

Click to see How to Use Screencast-o-Matic.com

Activity: Let’s keep it simple – share a link to a screencast you created in the comments.  Then, post it on your blog and write about the experience.  How can you see using screencasting at the library?  Think of all the great tutorials we will be creating this week!  Exciting.

Carry over from Week Nine: Come chat with us by joining the #23thingsks IRC channel. Type your nickname and click Connect. See this screenshot for help on where to click to start chatting. This multi user chatroom is hosted on Freenode (what is IRC?). I’ll be in the channel when I’m at my desk.

Things to remember when screencasting:

  • Be aware of background noise, both visual noise on the computer screen and auditory noise.
  • Log out of chat, email and any other programs that might pop up or otherwise interrupt you while you’re recording on your computer.
  • For training or demo screencasts, go through the process a few times to make sure everything works as expected.
  • Be aware of patron privacy – if you want to share your video with the world and it happens to be about your online catalog, be sure to use fake patron accounts – some of our favorites are Nick Fury, Charles Xavier and Barack Obama.
  • Tell us what you’re doing with your keyboard and mouse, since we can’t see your hands even if we can hear the clicking.
  • Test your mic and sound quality – is it loud? soft? hissy? high? low?

Week 13: Slide Sharing

Logos:  Zoho Show, slideshare and Animoto

Cindi Hickey

Welcome to week 13 of 23 Things Kansas.  I’m Cindi Hickey, WebJunction Kansas Coordinator and Director of Library Development for the State Library of  Kansas.  I will be your guide for Week 13:  Slide Sharing.

Introduction: It’s April in Kansas and I think that we have finally achieved Spring!  Now that you don’t need a parka and galoshes I know you would rather be outside than online.  Take your camera with you and you will have a head start on this week’s activity.  The topic for our lesson this week is online slide sharing.

The term “slide sharing” (also known as presentation sharing or presentation hosting)  refers to websites that let you upload or create slide shows (presentations) and then share them with your friends, followers and the public.  (Don’t worry.  You get to decide who can see your slide show.)  You can use slide sharing tools to upload a slide show and use it anywhere or create a slide show that tells a story or sends a message.

Blue DotSharing/Productivity/Community: Slide sharing websites are social media that blend sharing, productivity and community into one tool.  Slide sharing websites allow you to share your work by linking your slide shows to other online social media — Twitter, Facebook, Delicious.  Some slide sharing tools also let you e-mail your slide show or embed it on your website or blog.   Slide sharing websites are communities — you can connect to other slide sharers through comments, invitation and by linking your slide shows to your blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Most obvious, however, is the productive nature of slide sharing.  Because you can use slide sharing sites to put your slide show online, you can access, download or run it from the website making it available anywhere your are, anytime you need it.  But don’t worry!  If you don’t have computer software for creating presentations, you can create them online with two of the slide sharing tools featured below.

Red DotTools: There are many slide sharing websites with more popping up everyday.  For this lesson, we are going to look at three slide sharing websites that offer a variety of tools and features.

Slideshare – http://www.slideshare.net: Slideshare bills itself as the world’s largest community for sharing presentations and documents.  You can upload PowerPoint, OpenOffice and Keynote presentations, and Word, Open Office documents. You can share them on your blog or website, or send a URL to friends by email.  You can find presentations and documents on almost any topic by searching or through tags.  It is completely free.  Supported Formats:  Presentations=pdf, ppt, pps, pptx, ppsx, pot, potx (Powerpoint); odp (OpenOffice); key, zip (Apple Keynote).
Documents= pdf, doc, docx, rtf, xls (MSOffice); odt, ods(OpenOffice); Apple iWork Pages.  Max file size: 100MB.

Zoho Show 2.o – http://show.zoho.com:

Zoho Show is one component of an suite of productivity and collaboration tools.  The full list of tools can be found at http://www.zoho.com.  Zoho Show is a an online tool for making presentations.  It includes themes (slide backgrounds), clipart and drawing tools (shapes), drag-and-drop and is very easy to use.  When you create and save a presentation you can Access, import, edit and share it from anywhere; you can run your presentation remotely and you can share it.  You can upload pictures or you can connect to your Flickr or Picassa account to pull in pictures already loaded to the web.   Zoho show also allows you to upload existing slideshows.  Supported file formats are MicroSoft PowerPoint(.ppt, .pps) or OpenOffice(.odp, .sxi).  Imported file size is limited to 30 MB or less.  You can also export a presentation created in Zoho in one of five formats, including PPT and PDF.

Animoto – http://animoto.com/:  If you want a jazzy, video-like slide show with music, transitions and more then Animoto is for you.  In fact, I hope you all will try an Animoto slide show because it is so much fun.  As the Animoto website says, “Turn your photos & videos into pure amazing.  Animoto automatically produces beautifully orchestrated, completely unique video pieces from your photos, video clips and music. Fast, free and shockingly easy.“  Just gather up your photos, graphics and videos (if you have some) and get started.  The easy to use interface will help you get everything uploaded and arranged.  You can even upload your own music or use the stock music Animoto provides.  Then set back and let Animoto make you look good.   (Well at least as good as your uploads.)  Try it.  I think you’ll like it.

Yellow DotInstructions:


  1. First and foremost this week – HAVE FUN!  Slide sharing is a great way to tell a story, present your case or share a message with the public or just your friends.  (Hint:  There is still time to join Snapshot Kansas 2010. )
  2. Choose your slide sharing website.  You can pick from the websites showcased above or pick any other slide sharing website you like.  (Check out 10 Useful Online Presentation Tools to Promote Business if you want to sample some other slide sharing websites.)
  3. Create a slide show of 5 or more slides.  You can create your slide show offline and upload it to your selected slide sharing website.  Or you can create it online using Zoho Show, Animoto or any other slide creation website you like.
  4. Share your slide show.  Use the slide sharing website’s sharing tools to share it.  Put a link on your blog so you’ll have a record of it and post your slide show link to the comments area of this lesson and/or the 23 Things Kansas mail list at 23thingsks @ googlegroups.com (No spaces.)

Please note: This week is Kansas Library Association conference week and that is where I will be from Tuesday to Friday.  Feel free to send me questions at chickey @ kslib.info (no spaces), but please be patient.  I will check mail everyday, but I may not be able to reply until evening.  If you attend the conference look me up at the State Library booth.

Now – Go forth and create!

Week 14: Library Thing, Etc.

I can’t believe it’s been 14 weeks, everyone deserves congratulations!  Amanda McConnell, Circulation Coordinator at the Lawrence Public Library, and Erin Downey Howerton, School Liaison with the Johnson County Library, will be your guides for this week.

Introduction- Over time we’ve seen bookstore websites and library catalogs increasingly grow in function and add new options for browsing and interactivity.  This week we’re looking at some 2.0 tools aimed at book lovers.  Whether you think of it as social networking for readers, social cataloging, or personal library tools, sites such as Library Thing, Shelfari, Goodreads, and others are allowing readers to connect in new ways.  We’ll tour some sites used to organize a collection, track personal reading histories, and discover a wealth of information about books and readers.   Did you know?

  • LibraryThing has well over 500 reviews of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone including reviews in 10+ languages and shows the many different covers that were released.
  • There’s a community of people waiting to help you remember the name of that YA ghost story set in Wisconsin with an El Camino…
  • LibraryThing’s Zeitgeist shows David Sedaris among the top 75 authors just edging out Virginia Woolf and coming in right behind William Gibson based on holdings in member libraries.
  • 7, 315 members belong to a group called Librarians who LibraryThing.

Sharing/Productivity/Community- I’m sure many of us might appreciate the efficiency gained by having a catalog of the books we own.   An easily accessible log of what we’ve read and our impressions of it could also be a handy personal or professional tool.   As a reader, these tools could be another way to find that next book, find readers with similar interests, and share & discuss your reading.  The large community of users allows you access to people and comparative information in a way that was not possible before.

Tools for Your Consideration-

LibraryThing

Shelfari

  • Launched in 2006 and bought by Amazon in 2008
  • Quick Highlights Tour
  • There is a shelfari app on facebook, but several users are having difficulty with it.
  • How to Add Shelfari to your blogger blog  (Usually works like a charm, but in case you’re not getting the shelf, only a link, try copying and pasting the widget code instead of clicking on “blogger” as suggested here.)

Goodreads

For more details, check out this Comparison Chart for LibraryThing, Shelfari, and Goodreads compiled by Jody Wurl @ Hennepin County Library.  Or check out some of the many other tools out there:

  • Google Books My Library Added in 2007 according to google books history
  • Anobii Originating from Hong Kong in 2005 the name is short for bookworm
  • Book Jetty Tour this site founded by Herryanto Siatono in Singapore
  • We Read Not very old, this application is usable on many social networking sites
  • Along with literally hundreds of other online resources for book lovers…  I’m sure others here have many other favorites.

Activity & Instructions-

A)     Create an account on Shelfari.  Add to your profile and bookshelf as much as you wish.  Explore the site and write about your experience on your blog.  Easy Get Started Guide.

Or     B)      Choose your own project.  Explore any of the sites above further.  If you already have an account, add to it, or try something new.  Write about your experience on your blog.

Have fun!  Share your two cents and vote for your favorite tool.

Week 15: Wikis

This is it!  You’ve made it to the second-to-last week of 23 Things Kansas. This is the last week of “things”; next week is the wrap-up week! Time sure does fly by fast. I’m Eric Gustafson, director of Morrill Public Library in Hiawatha, and I’m here to talk about Wikis.  If you paid attention during Week 8: Cloud Computing, this might be a review for you. Hey, it’s the last week and you deserve a break.

Introduction

How many people here have heard of Wikipedia? Wait, everyone has? According to Wikipedia (see what I did there), a wiki “is a website that allows the easy creation of and editing of any number of interlinked web pages  via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) text editor.”

However, why read about it when you can watch a great Common Craft video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY

Sharing/Productivity/Community

The great thing about wikis is the ease with which users can collaborate.  Need to plan a conference or a program?  Think about using a wiki. Looking for a great way to create a knowledge base that everyone can contribute to? Maybe a wiki is right for you.

Wikis have several advantages over more traditional websites:

  • Like a blog, a wiki allows you to edit with an easy to use interface.
  • Wikis are built to handle multiple users.  You can choose who you want to edit your wiki.
  • Wikis are searchable with search functionality built right into the site.
  • Wikis are designed with collaboration in mind, so it is easy to add and link new pages.

Obviously, there are many possible ways in which a wiki can be used in the library environment, so be sure to keep that in mind the next time that you have a collaborative project!

Tools

There are a number of sites (these are often called “wiki farms”) that will allow you to create your own free wiki and I will highlight two of the most popular here.

PBworks

This site’s name, formerly PBwiki, comes from the idea that making a wiki is as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich.  Launched in 2005, it was one of the early wiki farms and now boasts over 1,000, 000 wikis. One of the advantages of this site is that the free version does not have ads.

Wetpaint

This wiki farm, launched shortly after PBworks, shares many of its functionalities. It has added some social networking functions and boasts a slick interface. However, the free version is heavily peppered with ads.

There are many other wiki farms that you could choose to use and not surprisingly, Wikipedia has a great comparison of them.

This Week’s Instructions and Activities

Activity #1

For the first activity this week, I would like you to try editing an established wiki (and blog about the experience). In most cases, that means finding a wiki and choosing the “edit” or “edit this page” options. Sometimes you will be prompted to create an account, and some times you won’t; it really depends on the individual wiki. With Wikipedia, you don’t need an account to do this. For example, you could find your hometown on Wikipedia and add an interesting or little known fact. Or maybe there is an error in the entry for your favorite author that you could correct.

Here are some wikis that you might consider editing:

Just remember that there are lots of wikis out there on many different subjects, so it’s good to explore. If you are really uncomfortable editing a wiki, please explore some examples of wiki use and write about your experience in your blog.

Activity #2

For one of the final activities in 23 Things Kansas, I would like you to use a wiki to collaborate with your peers! I have created a wiki for this purpose, so let’s get started.

  1. Visit the 23 Things Kansas wiki that I have created.
  2. Find the page titled 23 Things Kansas Participants and click on the easy edit button and either
    1. Sign in with an existing Wetpaint account,
    2. Sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, or Windows Live account OR
    3. Create a new Wetpaint account.
  3. Once signed in, you should be able to click on the add a new page link to add a new page to the site. A window should open with several options.  Please be sure to
    1. Set the page location so it is under 23 Things Kansas Participants by selecting move page and clicking on 23 Things Kansas Participants.
    2. Enter your name as the page name
    3. Then click on add page. You should see your page appear.
  4. Navigate to your page and choose the easy edit option.  Tell the group what you enjoyed most about 23 Things Kansas and feel free to spice up the page with a photo or embedded video.  Don’t forget to save when you are finished!
  5. Link your new page from the 23 Things Kansas Participants page by
    1. Navigating to said page
    2. Clicking on easy edit
    3. Typing your name on the list
    4. Using the mouse to highlight the text of your name and choose the link button in the upper right hand corner. This should open a window from which you can use the find page option to select your newly created page from the list. Don’t forget to save when finished!

If you have any questions about either activity, please ask on the listserv or post in the comments area of this blog post and I will be happy to help!

Congratulations on completing 23 Things Kansas! (But don’t forget about Wrap-up Week next week!)

On to new horizons!

Rocket ShipGreetings!

We are headed into the home stretch for 23 Things Kansas! In just a matter of hours 23TKS will be just a memory but we hope the things you have learned and experienced will live long and multiply.  Our crack team of mentors will be spreading out to take walk through your blogs to see who has crossed the finish line.  Because of the overwhelming response to the 23TKS program and all of the hard work you all have contributed we have many blogs to visit.  We will be taking next week to get that done.

The prize drawing will take place on Tuesday, June 8th at the NEKLS office in Lawrence.  We will video record the drawing and post it to the blog that morning.

The State Library will begin sending out the CE certificates as soon as the list is completed.  We will post to the blog when we have e-mailed them all so watch for the posting and please let Cindi Hickey know if you finished the lessons, but don’t receive the certificate.

As always, post your questions to the 23TKS mail list or directly to Brenda Hough, bhough @ nekls.org or Cindi Hickey, chickey @ kslib.info.

Congratulations to you all no matter where you are in the training program.  Thanks for the smiles and the inspiration!