Thursday, 8 April 2010

Thing 23: overview and conclusions

This project has definitely been worthwhile. I feel as if I haven't been able to delve deeply enough into some of the tasks - often my posts languished as drafts, being updated as I got a chance to do more things. Even so, I only scratched the surface. Some topics were things I had some familiarity with already, of course: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr... But either there were aspects of these that I hadn't been aware of, or I was prompted to think about their applications in other contexts than the personal, which was interesting.

In some cases, I remained sceptical whether there was much point establishing an academic presence everywhere that is popular with potential users. But with some thought and research into reader-practices, the future is bright!

As far as personal use of Web 2.0 goes, I think my favourite things were:
iGoogle and Google-Reader: The idea of having iGoogle as a home-page with GoogleReader added to it grew on me, making sense as a way of centralising content from your favourite blogs, web-pages etc, so minimising the amount of trawling around you do checking for updates. And it's something which could be customised to pull-in content related to work activities.
Blogging: I already had a blog, but I was pleased to look into ways of enhancing it with gadgets and extra features - making it potentially more enjoyable for the notional audience.
Gadgets: really neat, fun and great for enhancing the dynamism of a blog or web-site

I was not too moved by: The jury's put on this, I guess. But to extent I've played with it so far, I didn't feel like I benefited from it, nor had confidence in the rather fluid nature of the Folksonomies. It did strike me, though, that groups could exploit it for particular projects.

It would be nice to see the library's web-pages become more informed by Web 2.0 functionality. It would make them more inviting and useful to the modern reader. A presentation at this year's staff conference (Isabel Holowaty's) made me see the great potential of a web-page augmented with, perhaps, 'ask a librarian' via instant messaging, widgets for direct access to e-resources, podcasts, RSS feeds and so on.

In general, Web 2.0 functionality has great potential. It needs to be selective, well thought out and tailored to particular needs, otherwise it just adds the horrible feeling of being deluged with content via the web, rather than informed and aided by it.