Digital


Day one of talks from last year’s National Digital Forum at Te Papa are now available on YouTube.

If you are interested to find out about all things digital in NZ’s GLAM sector this is the place for you!

Topics include WW100, creating a digital marae, the Dunedin flat names project, developing NZ sign language archive, terminology control (one for all you cataloguers out there), using volunteers in digitisation projects, digital publishing and more.

Presentation vary in length from around 10 minutes to half an hour or more.

The four keynote papers from last year’s National Digital forum can now be found on YouTube. They are:

All are well worth a look and last around 50 minutes.

Cover of Bones of the lostEach month, we explore what  Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts and social media postings were popular – in order to learn more about what our customers are interested in.

Website pages

An interesting fact: 19 of our top 50 pages this month are for kids. Our kids pages are perennially popular.

August’s popular blog posts

Photos on Flickr

It was a busy month for our images in August, with 136,446 views. 13 and 20 August (Storylines pictures) both got more than 7600 page views.

We are at 1,510,618 page views. This is good news as we reached the million mark on 23 October 2012.

Top on Twitter

We have 2540 followers.

Facebook favourites

Sketch of the Canterbury Plains from the Bridle Path, Port Hills [ca. 1850]

Sketch of the Canterbury Plains from the Bridle Path, Port Hills ca. 1850

  • Christchurch city scenes http://ow.ly/nUi9r Take a look at #chch days gone by. 1+ a day: sample our digital delights. ^DR
  • Crime writing superstar Kathy Reichs (professor and leading forensic anthropologist) is coming to Christchurch, courtesy of The Press Christchurch Writers Festival.  She’s the creator of the character Temperance Brennan and producer of Bones). Book now for her talk http://ow.ly/o782I and read her books (but I bet a lot of you have already). http://ow.ly/o788c ^Donna
  • RT @ww100nz: New Zealand received the news of the outbreak of #WW1 at 1 p.m. on 5 August 1914 (NZ time). http://t.co/2Wq7HEHUul

Tumblr2Tumblr. Think of it and no doubt you think of the associated phrase F*** Yeah. There are plenty of wibbly GIFs and fan stuff (Is Michael Fassbender a shark?) and a lot more besides. As a blogging platform, it is easy to set up, fast-growing, and has recently been purchased by Yahoo.

If you go to Explore Tumblr, you will get a feel for the type of stuff being posted: LOL, Food, Fashion, Art, Vintage are the current top five tags. You can follow Tumblrs, and tagging is critical as it is the main means of finding stuff.

Excellent background reading is found in two articles:

I love Kate’s description of  Tumblr as “the best baby Twitter and WordPress didn’t know they ever had.”

Central Hawke’s Bay District Libraries is the only Kiwi library doing it at an institutional level, but New Zealand librarians are colonising the space. I’ve been dabbling for a while, in order to figure out how and why a library might want to be in this social space. Here are some observations:

The potent image

There is a strong visual component to Tumblr. GIFs, video, images, photos, and even text itself are all well-handled in all the blog themes. If you have an art or photo collection that you want to promote, Tumblr should be a strong contender.

Even the monthly archive of your blog pulls together posts in a super-visual style:

Tumblr

Literature lovers unite

Publishers, booksellers, literary people, and readers hang out on Tumblr. They share literary news, photos, and snippets of interesting stuff. Often these people or groups will have a Twitter, Facebook, possibly a Flickr, and Tumblr is their publishing place of choice for longer format material.

Things to think about

It is easy to share …

You will find a lot of sites make it easy to post stuff to Tumblr. You can also reblog posts you like. This is super-easy – I especially love how you can get Flickr images up into Tumblr with a simple click. I’ve set my Tumblr up so it fires off a tweet when a new post goes up. It is all interconnected and simple.

- but who does the content belong to?

When you reblog a post, it looks like it is your content which can lead to confusion. Sometimes it is unclear where the post originally came from, or who owns the content. This can be problematic for libraries in terms of copyright and attribution.

An in-between place

Not as short as Facebook and Twitter, not as discursive as your WordPress/Blogspot blog or website – Tumblr can serve as a place where you both share your own content and repost stuff that is useful, interesting, and relevant.

Let’s get together

Tumblr would be a great space for us for the GLAM sector to share content collaboratively. It would be an environment in which to share our historical content and images (remember vintage is one of the top five tags – so there is an inbuilt audience). Some of us keen on making DigitalNZ sets had a go at promoting the gems we found via The DigitalNZ Fan Club.

Tasty Tumblrs

Smithsonian Libraries
A Tumblr of semi-random stuff from the stacks of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Millions millions
The official Tumblr feed for The Millions, the online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture.
The Composites
Images created using a commercially available law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters.
Writers no one reads
Highlighting forgotten, neglected, abandoned, forsaken, unrecognized, unacknowledged, overshadowed, out-of-fashion, under-translated writers.
Unhistorical
Day-by-day reflections on history and culture

Tumblr tags

Reading list

This article was also published in Library Life’s social media issue, August 2013.

Audience at Mark Sommerset reading at Central Library

Take photos of your events and share them around. Mark Sommerset drew a happy crowd at Central Library Tuam.

Christchurch City Libraries has been using social media since 2007 when we started our blog. Since then, we have added Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. These tools help us share our stuff, inform people about events and resources, and allow us to have conversations with our customers.

Here are some things to consider about launching your community group on social media:

Practice and play

Play in the tools as yourself before you launch your organisation’s online presence. This gives you time to see how it works, to practice using it, and to become more familiar with getting the best out of the medium. Once you have launched on a social network, spend some time posting and browsing.

Plan and prepare

Think sustainability.

  • What tools best suit your organisation?
  • Who will be doing the writing and posting?
  • How much time do they have?
  • Can the tasks be shared?

Favourite tweets and like Facebook posts that you think work well. You can learn a lot from good examples:

  • What wording works?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • What makes you want to read more?

Be there

Kids' artwork

Keep your eyes peeled for interesting things. It is easy to take and share photos in the age of digital cameras and smartphones.

The most effectively communicated message is tailored to the medium – in Twitter you need to be pithy and punchy, in Facebook you have a bit more room to explain things. There are tools that allow you to share posts between platforms, but it is best to do a Facebook post in Facebook etc.

Being present also allows you to gauge what’s happening in the community, to answer queries, and to take part in discussions. You should be a listener as well as a broadcaster.

Timeliness

Be alert. If something is in the news, share what you have that is useful and relevant. Timeliness is one of the most powerful advantages of social media – it is no coincidence that Twitter is quoted often by the media.

If you are promoting an event, give people plenty of prior warning and follow up with more messages closer to the time. It is not a simple matter of mentioning the event once.

Photos and pictures are powerhouses

What’s the stuff that gets people revved up in social media? We’ve found that images have great traction. Whether they are heritage images, photos of events, or shots from around town – these are often the things that get retweeted, reposted, liked, and shared. If you are on Facebook, have a go at making an album of images. They make the most of your pictures, and are easily shareable.

We use Flickr to manage our images, and this works well in a social media context. You can plop images into blog posts. It also interacts well with Twitter and Tumblr.

If you have graphics, images, or posters you want people to share or print out, consider having a downloads section on your blog or website.

Example: New Zealand Post Book Awards

Participate as well as promote

St Asaph Street sign

What’s happening in your neck of the woods? Show you have an eye on local stuff.

Start conversations with your followers. If you have questions, ask them. Answer their questions. Comment on their posts.

Follow other local groups and organisations, and you will be setting up a useful network for your group. If you want an idea on which organisations to follow, see who your favourite groups are following – and then follow them too. Build up your network and you will start seeing interconnections, crossovers, and ways in which you could work together.

The reciprocal sharing of information and ideas is one of social media’s great strengths. It is a place to broadcast your message, but also to listen to what other have to say, and talk about it. Sharing is a two-way street and offers lots of opportunities. Promoting both your own activities, and those of other groups, is a way to maximise engagement with the community.

If you worry that social media is catering only to the online community, remember that people online talk to people offline too – so your message can be spread through word of mouth.

Tools

Facebook has a large audience, and allows you to connect with relevant groups and local organisations, Creating a page gives you a space to share events and other information:

Here are some local Facebook pages that illustrate how an active presence and community can work well. They take a different approach and yet are all effective:

Other tools:

  • Twitter is a microblogging platform with a fast sharing, active community.
  • Tumblr lets you create attractive, highly visual blog posts. It is popular with teens.
  • WordPress and Blogger are blogging platforms, and many groups use their blog as a website.
  • Flickr is a photo-based blogging platform.

Resources

Web and social media Sports New Zealand
Effective use of online channels is increasingly critical for sports organisations. Many in New Zealand have risen to the opportunity with great creativity and understanding.
Includes a nine-step guide to using social media for New Zealand sports organisations starting off in social media.

How-to Guides – Social Networking CommunityNet Aotearoa
Resources for setting up and running community organisations and projects.

Christchurch City Council courses for event organisers Learn how to plan, organise and promote your own community recreation programme or event. CCC regularly run two workshops throughout the year: Get Set Go! and Spread the Word! These workshops and guides have been designed in collaboration with Wellington City Council.

Kia ora, this year we will bring you information on what Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts were popular each month. Satisfy your curiosity!

On the blog

31 January was our busiest day as Cats r us highlighted library cats. Also in the top 5:

Photos on Flickr

Barbara Collie and GeorgeThe last day of the month was our busiest day on Flickr as people enjoyed the library cat photos – especially this one of Barbara Collie and George.

Facebook favourites

Albums of photos are often the most popular on Facebook. Visuals rule the day. In January it was:

Jason Scott photo by Webstock on FlickrJason Scott is mad and he wants you to know it. In fact he’s bloody furious – people’s stuff is being deleted, the world’s nascent digital history is being destroyed, entire artforms are being erased and forgotten. But he and his “bizarro breaking bad librarian” friends “are going to rescue your shit” and if you’re really lucky it may even find its way into a museum.

Jason, @textfiles, is an archivist and historian with a particular interest in digital formats. He started out on BBS systems and has filmed a documentary about them. From there he started collecting textfiles and ascii art and this has developed into a network of archives. Some of the ascii art started out as teletype art and even typewriter art before being transferred to ascii.

Out of the Yahoo announcement that it would close down Geocities in 2009, the “human race coming online for the first time”, was born the Archive Team (not to be confused with archive.org) and his principles of RAGE (“I find hostility’s really worked out for me”), PARANOIA (trust no one with your data – companies are constantly being taken over and destroyed and with them goes your data) & KLEPTOMANIA (backup everything and download entire sites to protect them for posterity). With software such as the Archive Team Warrior, a virtual archiving appliance, they encourage site owners to capture their own sites to help with the ArchiveTeam archiving efforts. But they can only grab public information and encourage everyone to make secure back-ups of all their private data. After hearing of the loss of the sole copies of recollections of deceased family members and entire family histories when Geocities was deleted we should all make this a priority. Recent projects include saving as much of MobileMe that they could get to – they have rescued 420 Terabytes of data over the past two years.

Jason also has a very famous cat Sockamillion @sockington.

So last week I went to the amazing Webstock conference in Wellington. I have gone to this most years and always there seem to be a few themes that seem to creep into many of the talks given. Because usually many of the speakers are American its not uncommon for the ‘themes’ to be heavily influenced by whatever is going on over there, but this is valuable because many of the trends we see in the US eventually make their way here as well. This year a major ‘theme’ that I picked up on is that the news media is broken.

Clay Johnson @cjoh talked about “industrialised ignorance” where a highly politicised media is based on affirming the reader in their existing beliefs, not in informing them. One of the stunning examples he gave was that of the leaked AOL document, The AOL Way, available as slides over on the Business Insider website. It demonstrates how every click that we make reinforces the demand for more of that type of content and therefore is an ethical choice. He showed how today ignorance is caused by the consumption of information, not by its lack, and recommends that we all go on an Information Diet, become a conscious consumer, shift our focus to the local and focus on producing quality content ourselves.

Miranda Mulligan @mirandamulligan was equally critical about the news media although more from a design perspective. She says that journalism is important for democracy but that too few journalists understand the current mediums. They need to understand how the Internet works, not to become developers, but to understand how their content will be consumed. She’s worked in the news media for years trying to teach them but it hasn’t worked so now is trying to get web designers to be journalists as she sees them as being “uniquely positioned to have global view on how the business works”.

Meanwhile Robin Sloan is a media inventor and writer. We have his book book cover Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, but his talk wasn’t about that. Rather he discussed some of the inventions of the past: printing and the development of italic script, movies and Edison’s rotating ‘black maria’ studio (one of his early ‘movies’ featured cats boxing) and his own invention of a new type of media, the ‘tap essay’ available in the Tapestry app for iOS.

I thought that all of these sessions were very interesting as they demonstrated how different sectors are handling the tremendous changes that have been occurring in information format and delivery over the past decade. I think that there’s a message there for librarians too, like journalists our job is still being transformed by the internet and we need to understand how it works, not just at a surface level, in order to be able to help our customers. Karen McGrane talked about throwing away any idea of there being a ‘primary’ medium and focusing on the content and that’s part of this too. Finally we need to become more mindful consumers of information so that we can better assist and teach our customers – if we all need to be on an information diet maybe librarians need to learn to be information dieticians.

The weaknesses of content management systems (CMS) have always been pretty obvious to me so I was not at all surprised when Karen McGrane referred to them as “content mis-management” in her content strategy workshop at Webstock this year. CMS just substitutes one set of problems for a set of different problems where people can just shove any old garbage onto the internet with no editorial process or standards. The CMS, she said, is “not your editorial staff, its your printing press” and therefore only a part of the content life-cycle, not the final solution as many try to treat it.

Blobs vs. Chunks

Mobile content strategy rule 8

Separate content from form and create presentation-independent content. Don’t encode meaning through visual styling – instead, add structure and metadata to your content.

A big part of the problem is that we’ve gotten sucked in to believing that content creators need a MS Word-like WYSIWYG interface, but this allows them to dump unstructured ‘blobs’ of styled content onto the web. These blobs are inevitably unsustainable and in the face of the need to now re-style content for various forms of delivery, including but not limited to mobile, they are extremely limited.

What we need, Karen says, is systems that create more structure around content, to create content in reusable ‘chunks’, not amorphous ‘blobs’ and systems that can deploy the most appropriate content for the platform. So we need to create content packages: for example, we might have 2 or more variations on the page title, of different lengths or keyed to different audiences, a short and long page description, the page content itself,  appropriately structured with subheadings that can be reused as in-page contents links, several sizes of each relevant image and a range of metadata.

The content management system would then be set up to fit with the various tasks of its users and to publish the various chunks in the most appropriate way. Karen gave us ten ‘rules’ for content strategy: (more…)

There is a new podcast series called Library Chat: Conversations about the library world with professionals working in and around libraries. Listen to the first episode where Corin Haines, Manager of Digital Services – Libraries and Information at Auckland Council, talks to Jenica Rogers, the Director of Libraries at the State Library of New York at Potsdam. Topics covered include:

  • staff development
  • balancing the needs of seasoned staff and new recruits
  • communication within the profession
  • social media

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 103 other followers