Thursday, May 04, 2006

WAPL 2006: Communication... That's the Key! Blogs, Wikis, Email... When to Use What!?

Stef Morrill and Nichole Fromm's enthusiastically-delivered session was all about technologies that can help you communicate with your patrons and with each other.

They said the most important thing to take away from this session is it's really easy to play with all these technologies.

Think about using some of these new technologies and environments to replace methods and techniques to do what you're already doing, but in a more efficient manner.

They talked about...
  • email lists
  • weblogs or blogs
  • wikis
  • RSS aggregators
  • instant messaging
  • web conferencing
Library newsletter format options:
  • paper
  • email
  • pdf - not a webfriendly format
  • blog - about as easy as a word processor to use, patrons can leave comments, automatic archiving
  • the verdict: if you're already doing a newsletter in paper format, keep that plus think of a doing a blog too (rather than email or pdf versions)
Publicizing library events:
  • fliers in the library - cheap & colorful, but people go poster-blind quickly
  • calendar on the libary web site
  • email
Keeping up professionally:
  • conferencespaper journals
  • email lists
  • RSS - it's like "putting your professional development on steroids"
Communicating with Co-Workers:
  • face-to-face
  • telephone
  • email
  • instant messaging
Holding a meeting:
  • face-to-face
  • telephone conference calls
  • videoconferencing
  • web conferencing
Collaborating on a project:
  • emailing documents
  • using wikis - one document with no confusion about which version is the most up-to-date; it's as easy as to edit as using a word processor
  • collaborative environments like Basecamp
How to get started with blogs and RSS:
  • Setting up a free blog in Blogger is an easy 3-step process; all you need is an email address to set up your free blog. You don't need to know any HTML to create your blog. Nichole set a new blog on the spot!
  • Setting up a free Bloglines account is even easier; all you need is an email address.
How to find blogs to add to your Bloglines account:
How to get started with wikis:
How to get started with with instant messaging:
How to get started with web conferencing:
Note: no gnomes were injured during this session.

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