Archive for the ‘Social Software’ category


July 19, 2007

Today’s Third Thursday Tech Talk (t4) showcased and our library’s contribution SwemTools. I embedded the Facebook Presentation, but most of the links are below:


Fred Stutzman’s Our Lives, Our Facebooks – given at one of Google’s TechTalks

Facebook Groups for Librarians

And of course, SwemTools.

If you’ve got comments about SwemTools specifically, please post them on the application page.


SirsiDynix SuperConference – Day 2

February 21, 2007

I went to a very interesting presentation called Look What I Can Do! Social Networking and Keyword-in-Heading Searching in the OPAC.  In this presentation the OPAC is Web2 and not iLink/iBistro which is what we run.  The first half dealt with browse headings.  The problem with browse is that the patron has to know how the heading begins.  The first presenter described how he extracts the browse headings to a MySQL database and indexes them.  The patron can then search for keywords within the headings.  If all the patron knows is the first name of the author he could retrieve all the author headings with that name.  Of if he wanted to find things on the Civil War, he could use those words in a search to find all the subject headings that included Civil War.  Clicking on a heading takes the user to the OPAC.

The second presenter described how she rebuilt the MyAccount feature to include tagging, book-lists, and reviews.  As with the keyword-in-heading application, Unicorn data is extracted to MySQL  There are private and public tags and book-lists can be shared for collaborative projects.

As with the presentations I attended yesterday, customers are figuring out how to add value to data outside  boundaries of Unicorn and the OPAC.  I look at these two apps as proof-of-concept and feel inspired to pick up the skills to perform this sort of data manipulation/data massaging and look for opportunities for mashups in the library.

Later in the afternoon was the API Sharing Session which I moderated.  This
session was mostly administrative and

  • we welcomed the new APIers
    • gave them some tips about the forums and listservs
  • discussed the API enhancements and the enhancement process
  • discussed the desirability of an API wiki
  • discussed the API training opportunities

Following the Sharing Session we held the API After Hours session for the die-hard crowd that didn’t want to go to Colorado Springs.  We had two presentations:

  • some very interesting report customizations done by Infohio
  • a more technical discussion of the social networking app from the morning session.

Following the presentations two of our experienced members gave the audience the opportunity to try to stump them.

I might go back and fill in some details of today’s events but right now I’m about to fall asleep.

You say Spam, I say Spamato

August 18, 2006

I ran across Spamato a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d give it a try. I had been using Thunderbird’s adaptive spam filter with a decent amount of success (in addition to enabling our corporate junk filter). What intrigued me about Spamato is the fact that there are six different filters that run at the same time. There is a bayesian filter, a collarborative multi-hash filter, two URL based filters that query different sites (Google and a collaborative site), a custom rule manager, and a collaborative filter where votes and a trust system come into play.

All these filters work together to decide if a particular message is spam or ham (spam = unwanted email, ham = wanted email). What I really liked, though, was the fact that there is a web server that gets installed that lets you configure everything, and had some nice statistics that show you what’s going on.

So, if you’re in the market for a new spam filter, definately check out Spamato!

Social Software Staff Presentation

August 7, 2006

Mack’s Desk

Originally uploaded by Max46. This image was sent to the blog as an example of how applications are sharing information. The original image was uploaded to Flickr for inclusion in the Librarian’s Desks group then sent to this blog.

Here are other links for the presentation. We expect to add an mp3 file later.

UPDATE: Audio of August 7 Social Software Presentation now available
I added an introduction and Troy cleaned up the audio of the presentation using Apple’s Soundtrack Pro. It was fascinating to watch. He removed the audio that preceeded the start of the presentation, the shuffling, scraping noises as people came in and found seats. After I recorded an introduction, Troy added music tracks that play under the introduction and come up at the end.

Listen to it here — Social Software mp3

Zohoshow slide presention

Zohowriter notes for presentation

Diigo links used in the presentation

Get More Out of

July 24, 2006

If you’ve not signed up yet, you seriously need to get over to and create an account to start tagging the web. If you’ve already started, you may enjoy Sean Tierney’s post on “6 ways to pimp your” I’ll provide a brief summary:

  1. Create a “toRead” tag that you can access offline (software like Avantgo can cache these to your phone/pda).
  2. Use the “Private Saving” feature to conceal bookmarks you don’t want to share with the world (in settings > experimental>private saving).
  3. Follow what you’re “mentors” are tagging. In the world, a mentor is a person that writes and thinks like you do…you can subscribe to an RSS feed for these tags to see what they’re finding that’s interesting.
  4. Expose your tags through your blog or other online media
  5. See what other people have bookmarked.
  6. Create an open public dialog (freedbacking) on your site.

To practice what I preach, I just started an account for techview at So check us out (ok, wait a little bit so we can get some stuff in there first).

What else is on my desktop

June 27, 2006

Since I posted on what can be found on my desktop I’ve thought of four more services that I use fairly regularly. One I know you’ve heard about. The others might be interesting to explore. — The content of digg comes entirely from its users who post stories they think are interesting. Other users vote on the the stories. You don’t get to apply tags but you can leave comments and the comments are often informative in and of themselves. According to John Dvorak it has a greater readership that the New York times on-line. You can narrow the stories you see by some broad categories such as Technology and Science. Not surprisingly, I look at the technology stories first. With thousands of people combing the Internet for interesting stories you have a much better shot finding something that you would have missed. Just today I found an article on one of my interests, RSS (RSS: The New Internet Protocol?) that appeared on a blog of which I wasn’t aware.

dailymashup — The Daily Mashup is another popular link site that I try to scan at least once a day. It has hard core techie stuff interspersed with sites such as this one that helps you predict when airfares will go up or down. I’ve found useful sites on web design including techniques for using CSS effectively and a discussion on how people read a web page. If you are interested, the article is F-Shaped Pattern for Reading Web Content. Why is this important? It will help you place the important informaiton of your web page.

skype — Skype is a voice over IP (VoIP) service. That includes the Internet. They are offering it free until the end of the year. With Skype, from your PC, you can place phone calls. You need a microphone and speakers but a headset works better. Skype supports Skypecast, a large, hosted call, in an on-line session supporting up to 100 participants. I’ve used it myself in an on-line meeting and I thought it worked well.

MySpace — Unless you have been cut off from all news for a while, the chances are you have seen a story about MySpace. Currently it is the largest social network with nearly 90 million subscribers. I signed up out of curiosity but never did anything with my account until I read a couple of posts on Bill Drew’s Baby Boomer Librarian blog. On Monday Bill posted:

I am in the process of searching for other librarians on MySpace so I can send them requests to be added as a Friend. I am hoping to start up or find a MySpace group about using MYSpace to reach our users. If you only accept invitations from people you know, send me an invitation via MySpace.

He also referenced an interesting article from PC Magazine, MySpace Nation. Social networking is not just for kids is the gist of the article. So I became Bill’s friend and started looking around. I checked out his friends and found people whose blogs I read as well as a friend I normally see only at the SirsiDynix Superconference. I also discovered that there is a noticable library and librarian presence in MySpace. I’m getting a better idea of just how big this social network really is. I’ll keep you posted on what comes of this.

You might have noticed the absence of any reference to Google in writing about my desktop. I started listing the services offered by Google and am up to 17 and am not yet finished. Google is a discussion unto itself.

LibraryThing in the WSJ

June 27, 2006

I’ve mentioned LibraryThing in past posts.  There is a good article about it here in the Wall Street Journal.  The developer, Tim Spalding is on a listserv to which I also subscribe, NGC4LIB (Next Generation Catalogs for Libraries).  Tim is interested in exploring how LibraryThing can work with traditional library services.

Don’t be fooled that the WSJ articles appears under Time Waster.   I think you’ll come away seeing that it isn’t a toy.