Author Archives: tnixey

Tiki Toki Time

I attended the Society of California Archivists conference this past Saturday and discussed with my Preservation Management teacher, Vicky McCargar, part of a session on Thursday about social media and digital collections.  She shared with me the tools highlighted in the session that she had made note of.  I reviewed one that seemed like a neat tool called Tiki Toki through which you can make timelines.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/

Outside of the timelines shared on the homepage as examples of how to use the site, you cannot view or search for timelines there.  I resorted to conducting a Google search for “tiki toki library” and retrieved some examples of library related timelines.  Of the sites I looked at, my favorite timeline was developed by ALA for Banned Books Week.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/51787/Banned-Books-Week-Celebrating-30-Years-of-Liberating-Literature/#vars!date=2010-06-24_23:14:11!

Other information organizations with timelines include the Metro Transportation Library and Archive, the Weinberg Memorial Library, and the Salinas Public Library.  Some of the examples link to their organizations’ websites through their timelines but I was unable to find any of the organizations link to the timelines through their websites.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/49819/Metro-Transportation-Library-and-Archive-History-of-Transit-in-Los-Angeles/#vars!date=1873-07-03_00:00:00!

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/15233/Weinberg-Memorial-Library/#vars!date=1989-01-01_00:00:00!

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/106071/History-of-the-Salinas-Public-Library/#vars!date=1912-09-27_01:37:5

Not only can Tiki Toki be used to display the history of an organization, it can also be used to share and highlight an information organization’s collections.  Timelines can be made public or private.  The tool is integrated with YouTube and Vimeo allowing for the display of videos.  Categories of events can be color coded as was done with the Weinberg Memorial Library timeline.   They can be embedded onto a website as well as available for group contributions.  To allow for multiple people to work on a timeline, they have to be provided with a password.  Unfortunately, access to features is determined by the subscription level and the free service is limited.  The ability to embed the timeline onto a website as well as group editing requires at least a five dollar monthly fee.  In addition, the amount of embedded views per month and the number of timelines that can be created under one account is also limited and based on your subscription rate.  These associated costs may have something to do with why I could not find links to the timelines on the websites of the organizations in the examples.

Here is a short YouTube video about Tiki Toki.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdZUUVMSNJ8

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Searching Tags in Tumblr

In reviewing Tumblr once again, I realized how limited their search capabilities are when looking for something specific.  When reviewing the site previously, I explored whatever was presented to me on the home page and was satisfied with that.  For current purposes, I wanted to find examples of information organizations using the site and it was not easy to do.  First, I learned you could only search tags.  Lame! 

I began my searches under a great deal of distress after reading in Write here, right now – how Tumblr changed blogging by Belam and Myddelton (2011) that “metadata the bane of our work lives, has no place here – Tumblr happily lets you ignore tags, URLs and even post titles if you want to.”  After retrieving the information organizations that I found using the site and reviewing a number of irrelevant, retrieved results, I was glad to see the implementation of metadata even if it was simply with the use of tags and titles.  It seems logical that the information organizations I examined provided the most thorough metadata.   Metadata is good!!

My first search attempt was for “public library” in which many interesting sites were retrieved but none that I selected were products of an information organization.  I do not like that you are not able to determine the creators of the results until you click on the images retrieved.  I noticed a lot of the results retrieved with this search were images of a library’s architecture or collection display.  It is nice to see that libraries are being recognized in this way.  I did not find an information organization with this search but I did find a fun site that highlights librarians and their outfits at http://librarianwardrobe.com/

I then had two search queries that retrieved zero results “library institution” and “San Jose Public Library.”  So, I searched for an example we had already seen “New York Public Library.”  From what I could tell before getting frustrated, the results did not include the actual New York Public Library Tumblr site.  However I did find the Tumblr site for the National Archives at http://todaysdocument.tumblr.com/  How awesome!  They upload multiple images and documents daily with themes including politics, everyday life, the environment, and events and holidays such as posts for the first day of spring.  The images include collection information and links if the images are published online.

After reviewing The National Archives Tumblr site, I got the idea to search for the term “archives” with which I found additional interesting sites including the JFK Library Tumblr site at http://jfklibrary.tumblr.com/  and the Oakland Tribune Archives at http://oaklandtribunearchives.tumblr.com/  The JFK Library site posts images, scanned documents, videos, and quotes frequently.  A link is provided if the images are published online.  Items are being reposted from other Tumblr sites.  Also, current news items and events are posted alongside the historical, JFK related items.

The Oakland Tribune Archives Tumblr site is interesting because its presentation is different than the other sites I have examined.  The archives presents mostly photographic images in a three column arrangement rather than one continuous column like I have seen with other sites.  I very much enjoyed the selection of images posted but It is difficult to determine in what order the images are posted, although this type of information may not be particularly important for other viewers.  Also, only when you click on an image are you presented with the metadata relevant to that image, including image titles.  If a viewer is not curious enough to click on images, they are missing vital contextual information about the images.   

Tumblr, like other Web 2.0 tools discussed, is a tool through which an information organization can share information about themselves and their collections. The sites I reviewed heavily used Tumblr to highlight their collections and were very visual.  Although the following on Tumblr is not as extensive as Facebook, there is a following nonetheless.  Therefore, if there are resources and interest available, Tumblr would be another beneficial tool to aide in connecting with an information organization’s patrons.

Google Plus Me – Maybe :)

I am intrigued by the potential of Google Plus.  Personally, I do not have a pressing need to hop on board especially with my current use of Facebook and LinkedIn.   If acting on behalf of an information organization however, I can see how it would be beneficial to incorporate Google Plus into the mix of an organization’s social media tools.  Some information organizations are doing it right with their Google Plus pages, The New York Public Library as we saw for example, while others are not.  For instance, while browsing libraries on Google Plus I saw at least one library that had not created a new post in over four months.  As another example, one library has a visibly appealing Google Plus page with frequent enough posts but has not connected with individuals or other institutions to develop their circles, from what I can tell.  I wonder if this is due to a lack of understanding on how to use the tool or something else??

Awareness of the continued growth of Google Plus is important for an information organization as well as consideration of using it as a social media outreach tool.  If however, let’s say, the resources available in an information organization only allowed for the development of one social media tool, it would probably be the most beneficial to start with a Facebook page.  Facebook continues to have the greatest reach into patron communities.

ToeKnee

Pearltrees and Pinterest

I would first like to discuss a tool I was introduced to last semester, pearltrees, that is used to collect and organize websites.  I was drawn to this tool because of the kind of information mapping it allows for.  I have been using pearltrees for a little over a semester now and I am slowly adding pearls based on my different interests and activities.  In my opinion, the tool is super easy to use and manipulate.  I also recently figured out that you can upload your own images for the pearls.  AWEsome!  The social aspect of the tool comes from the ability to view other people’s pearltrees and even use their pearls.  When your pearls are used by someone else, you are alerted via email and you can then view their tree, use their pearls, and are potentially connected with someone who has similar interests.  You can also develop a pearltree as a member of a team.  Here is the link to my pearltree:

http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-u=1_812187&N-p=57002202&N-s=1_6151820&N-fa=6151820&N-f=1_6151820

Pearltrees is kind of similar to Pinterest in that both are social tools that assist in the organization of information found online.  You can share pearls via both Facebook and Twitter similar to how you can share pins with Facebook when using Pinterest.  I have minimal experience with Pinterest and have just started to explore how libraries are using it.  I appreciate the ability to create categories in order to organize pins.  However, a category with hundreds of pins is a bit overwhelming.

Pinterest is definitely set up as more of a social tool and pearltrees more as an organizational tool.  Pinterest is a valid social media tool for information organizations to use to connect with their patrons.  Concerning pearltrees, I wonder if it could be useful amongst the staff of an information organization who can use the tool as a team to organize and access websites that are relevant to the organization.

ToeKnee