Wiki voor Informatievaardigheden

Followers of the SPOETNIK program at the University Library of the Universiteit van Amsterdam are using a wiki to build a guide for new staff members. They are pooling their experiences to create an information resource for new and future users. They are also learning how to use a web tool (a wiki) by doing what they do best, providing information about information resources.

The LOOWI (Landelijk Overleg Onderwijs Wetenschappelijke Informatie) started using a wiki to exchange information about the information literacy activities of the participating libraries about a year ago. This not only eased the task of the note taker at the LOOWI meeting, it also made it easier for the participants to share their news and keep the information on their activities up to date. It’s a great time saver too during the meeting, leaving more time for questions about each others activities. The wiki, LOOWI-OUI, complements the LOOWI website which is a showcase for information literacy resources developed by libraries in the Netherlands and overseas. A wiki is a collaborative tool that fits perfectly with the aims of the LOOWI to work together to build and share resources.


Today is the 31st of march. I started SPOETNIK on the 4th of March and have enjoyed every minute of the course. I’ve learned a lot in a few short weeks and am looking forward to the next exercise appearing on April 7. This seems to me a good time to look back on what I’ve learned and see where this new knowledge had brought me. Which are the applications I’m using and finding useful, which have I tried and put aside?

Gmail is a winner, not only do I have lots of room for messages and photos, my Gmail log-in is also my Google Account for YouTube and lots of other Google goodies, such as Google Talk and Google Docs.

Blogging with WordPress. WordPress have made it really easy for me to write and present a blog. Even the spam filter is built in. WordPress is easy to use and the instructions are very clear. As you can see I’m still using it! The encouragement and inspiration from other SPOETNIK bloggers was a major factor too. I was a little late starting the program but I felt welcome from the start. I also learned from the comments made by others following SPOETNIK. Thanks also to Brughagedis who thought up a why to show us a diverse selection of SPOETNIK blogs in I-frames.

RSS feeds in combination with Netvibes. This is a winner too. I’ve made the upgrade from Netvibes Coriander to Ginger and am currently thinking about how to furnish my public universe. I’ve experimented with the country settings to take advantage of the preselected information resources available in the Netherlands and in Australia. A page of my netvibes is devoted to SPOETNIK feeds. I’ve got RSS for Ubaspoetnik posts and comments, for my own blog, and for the feedjumbler mix made by Klijt Berroo. I’ve been dropping hints about how I like Netvibes to my colleagues at the EUR, trying to get a few people interested for a Netvibes Universe for Economics and Business Administration and Management. Here’s one of the netvibes universes I’ve found that I’m using as an example to get the subject specialists on board. It’s written by Jason Welker, “a 21st century teacher using the collaborative tools of Web 2.0 to teach Economics to international students.” Jason Welker also has a blog, welkerswikinomics

Chat using Google Talk and Meebo. Google Talk was really easy, at least once I’d invited all you SPOETNIKers to chat with me, before that I was feeling pretty shy and lonely. Do teenagers feel like that too, if they have no ‘contacts’ to chat with? Meebo was more difficult to get the hang of. I put a meebome widget on my blog, expecting to be replying to visitors directly on the blog page, and was confused when this didn’t work as I’d expected. It was good to have help on this matter from ubaspoetnik via Google Talk.

LibraryThing. I can see how people can like LibraryThing. My daughter, Bonny, loved it for tracing Manga series but I’m a little to set in my ways to use it much myself. By the way, Bonny also loved what AmazType did with the title word ‘Manga’. Thanks to Schwitter for this tip.

Flickr is great. Playing with Flickr was a lot of fun too. I’ll continue to use Flickr and Picasa for sharing photos on the web. I was luke warm about at first, but since I added to my FireFox browser, I’m finding it quite easy to tag and add new favorites to my collection. It sure beats sending e-mails to myself when I want to remember a link that I want to add to my personal favorites on another computer. I’ve also started searching for links to interesting sites. I can see myself making collections of links and sharing them with others.

Google Docs is perfect for working collaboratively because it’s simple to use. So what if it doesn’t have all the features of Office? If you really want these features you can do a final edit in a word processor later on. Anyway, the simple version works better with blog software. I can see myself using Google Docs in the future too. I like how it’s possible to see the versions between revisions.

Comment & chat

This evening I took a little time browsing in the list of blogs on SPOETNIK – there are so many! I ended up picking a few at random and leaving some comments on the posts that I liked. The mix of personal and professional content made it really interesting reading.

I’ve started on SPOETNIK’s exercise for week 4 which is all about chat. We use Chatfone at the UB EUR for chat with our library users – or we did until recently. We’ve not been able to use Chatfone for a few days now so this is a good time to experiment with alternatives. I’ve been reading the information on Meebome. It looks pretty good. I’ll fit it into my blog to play with it. This should be pretty easy to do in WordPress as Meebo is one of the widgets available in the set of standard widgets for blinging one’s blog.

Choosing an RSS Feed

The exercise for week 3 of the SPOETNIK program was to put an RSS feed on this blog so that all you readers can pull my recent posts to your RSS Readers.
I took a lot of time to make a choice for a feed service. It’s hard to make a choice if you don’t know what features to look for. Neo Sapiens, the template I’ve chosen for my WordPress blog, already has a ‘syndicate’ function for ‘entries’ and ‘comments’. I figured that experienced blog readers could use that, so I’ve left it as it is.
My Firefox browser allows me to bookmark blogs or put them into the bookmarks toolbar, so other readers using Firefox could use that function too. Then I had a think about how other readers could access my posts, what if they used other browsers or other RSS version codes? I also wanted to know which posts interested you, my readers, the most. It would be good to see some stats!. So I started searching for more information on RSS feeds. Eventually I chose FeedBurner. Want to know why?

  • It’s used by lots of people and companies
  • It’s so popular that it’s been taken over by Google
  • It’s web based.
  • It’s compatible with most RSS readers
  • It’s really easy to sign up
  • It’s free

Flying start

SPOETNIK is a great way to make a flying start with interacting with the Internet. It’s been set up by people who work at the Library of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. SPOETNIK is based on the Learning 2.0 program developed by Helene Blowers at the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County, USA.

The SPOETNIK program consists of a series of hands-on practical exercises that can be completed in 12 weeks.

My life motto is “better late than never”, so even though the course started at the end of January 2008, I decided to join the people at the Library of the Universiteit van Amsterdam in their quest.

The exercise in week 1 was to set up a Gmail account. The instructions given by the UBA Sputnik crew are plainly written and easy to follow. Thanks guys.

The next step, sending the details of the Gmail account to the UBA Sputnik moderator, was quickly accomplished. I had a reply within an hour! My Gmail account is listed on the UBA Sputnik blog under the tab ‘Deelnemers’. You have to let your eyes drop to near the bottom of the page to the list of ‘Niet UBA-deelnemers’ (non UBA participants). I’m there listed as ‘hoigagarin’

I must admit I’ve had a little practice recently. The ‘Meet the expert – and make your own Hyves profile’ workshop organised by the NVB-WB at the University Library in Leiden got me started on the 17th of January. I set up a Google account with Gmail for use with Hyves – to keep track of my scraps and social messages. The Google account allows me to upload videos to YouTube, which I can then show as ‘Gadgets’ in my Hyves.