Archive for June, 2009

Discovery 7 – Tagging


As librarians we already know all about tagging. Even if we think we don’t. Have a look at our Catalogue page here. You’ll notice there is a tab labelled “Subject” by searching our catalogue by subject we are in fact searching using tags.

So what is tagging?

Tagging is a form of meta-data. A descriptor applied to data to define something about it, usually a searchable term. So we use tagging in libraries for our collections, the tags we use on the catalogue are actually from the Library of Congress Subject Headings for Bibliographic records. These are set tags that we use on our collections to make them searchable by subject.

Generally when we talk about tagging we are talking about user generated meta-data used with many online tools and websites.


By this point in the Learning2.0 program we are already signed up on Flickr, Twitter and have a blog going. All of these tools can benefit from tagging posts or pictures. Think about it, When you do a search for a picture on Flickr. The search results are based on tags from your search term.

Think about what types of online data you can be tagging?

Flickr has a list of tags to the right side on every photo page. Tags can be created for images at or after the time of uploading and tags can even be applied to your photo’s by someone else.

Twitter uses tagging as well. People started creating hashtags for twitter meme’s as well as covering certain topics of interest, for example. A group of people all attending the cebit conference that was held in Sydney in May were using the #cebit tag on their posts. You will also notice #followfriday and #musicmonday on twitter. check out Twitterfall for currently trending topics and tag searches.

When writing your blog posting in your chosen blogging platform (WordPress for most of you) you will notice you can add tags to the posting. Have a look at the Learning2.0 tags we have used on these posts.


Place some tags on your flickr photo’s, make sure you tag your next blog postings and try using some #hashtags on twitter.

Now that you’ve used them. Search for them, Try to find your own posts by searching Flickr or Twitter for the tags you used.

Seek out other things that interest you based on key word tagging. (Photography, Gardening, Motorsports, State of Origin etc.)

Create a tag cloud using Wordle and bask in it’s Taggy goodness.


June 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm 2 comments

Discovery 6 – Mashups


A music video to get you in the mood!

This is a mashup from Kutiman, a musician / artist from Israel who mashes up unrelated  music videos from YouTube to create new songs and music clips. 

When something like a song, picture, map or piece of text is digitised (copied or scanned so a computer can ‘read’ it), it is relatively easily to mix and mash it together with another digitised thing.  The results can be entertaining and fun, like the music video above, but mashups can also help represent complex and seemingly unrelated data in new and interesting ways.

Some companies like Flickr (which we explored in our last Discovery exercise), offer a service called an API – Application programming interface. This is something like a computer program that can remix and reuse data that is supplied by you.


They best way to learn is to play around with mashing up some of your own data. You’ll need the photos that you have been uploading to your Flickr account to play with these Flickr mashup tools. If you don’t have enough photos uploaded yet, you can easily use other photos available on Flickr.

If you run out of ideas with those tools, there are heaps more available at:


Have a play with as many of these mashup tools as you like, and then post the results of at least one of your own mashups to your learning  blog. Most of the mashup services will give easy instructions about how to save results of your mashup or how to upload it to your blog.

June 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

Discovery 5 – Flickr

How many times have you thought “I wish there was a way I could share my travel photo’s with family and friends without the hassle of emailing or posting cd’s/dvd’s”

It’s something we have all come across at various times in our lives and it’s not simply limited to travel photo’s. It might be photo’s in general, Not all of our friends and family are close by and sometimes sharing images can be a hassle.

It may have passed many of us by but in the late 90’s several online image companies rose providing hosting and photo-finishing services to it’s clients. It wasn’t really until the earlier 2000’s that online social media sites popped up with image storage and sharing functionality.

Flickr was one of the first, founded by Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield. In 2002 Flickr revolutionised the way we share images.


Watch this video to discover the concept of Flickr

As you can see Flickr allows users to upload, Edit, Organise, Share, and Engage with their images. Flickr in it’s maturity is the best of breed for online photo sharing and is widely used throughout the world.

Take the tour here

Additional to personally uploading, organising and sharing your own photo’s, Flickr encourages us to get out and Explore! the world of online images. Explore allows us to view random images from Flickr based on something the Flickr team calls Interestingness.

Flickr is comprised of many user created and moderated groups, you can become a member of a group and post your photos as well as participate in discussion in a forum style setting.


Sign up for a flickr account here, click on the “Create account” button.

Check out some groups of interest, the below are just library ones but do a search for some subjects that interest you.

Create a set in Flickr. Sets are like groups and allow you to better organise your photo’s.

Upload a photo, add it to your new set.


By now you should know your way around the basic functions of Flickr.

Setup your profile page and account settings. Your profile page should say a little about yourself and can link back to your blog.

Your account settings is the place where you can change privacy and permissions and should be carefully reviewed before uploading to Flickr. The default setting for privacy of images is “All rights reserved” however you can chose to apply a Creative commons license to images for rights and usage. More info on Creative Commons here

Upload some more photo’s and place them in multiple sets. Also add them to some groups. If you are a member of the Townsville group then that’s a good start.

Now is a good time to participate in some discussion, pick one of your new groups and post on one of the discussion threads. Spend some time and look around for a subject that you can actively participate in. (You’ll be suprised how much discussion happens in flickr groups.)

Comment on other people’s photo’s. By this point other participants of the learning2.0 program should have some photo’s up online.

Finally record your experiences on your Learning2.0 blog.

Note:- Flickr has many options and various little facets to find and work out. If anyone has any issues or questions make sure to contact any of the Learning2.0 program team. Feel free to Tweet questions, we  will reply where we can.

Comments on this post are also a good central place for Q&A’s.

June 9, 2009 at 10:49 am 2 comments

Discovery 4 – RSS

Feed-iconAt this stage of your learning journey, you may have found that you have quite a few websites and blogs to visit on a regular basis. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go to one spot to read the latest news and blog postings? RSS can help!


RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It is a computer file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web.

Think about the websites, blogs and news sources you visit every day. It takes time to visit those sites and browse the pages for just the information you want to read. Imagine if you could visit all those information sources and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually. Would that be valuable to you? Well, it’s available now through a newsreader and RSS.

Watch this video to get an overview of RSS:


To gather and read useful and interesting RSS feeds in one place, you will need a feed reader (also known as an aggregator).


1) Set up a free account with a feed reader/news aggregator. Here are some choices:

Bloglines – simple but useful reader, ideal for beginners

Google Reader – also easy to use, has some more features than Bloglines

Netvibes – has a more graphical interface and tabbed pages so you can group feeds by topic

All of these sites do a similar thing (aggregate RSS feeds) but the look of each is different. Play with each one and choose the one you like the best.

Each of these tools have step-by-step instructions and help pages to get you started.

Bloglines Help

Google Reader Tour and Help pages

Netvibes Tour and Help pages

2) Subscribe to at least 10 blogs or news feeds. It is very easy to add feeds – check the Help pages of your selected reader for tips if you get stuck.

 Where and how to find blogs and feeds:

  • This blog! CityLibrariesLearning
  • Your fellow CityLibrariesLearning participants! You will want to add some of your fellow participants’ blogs to your account. This will help you keep up-to-date on what they have to say about CityLibrariesLearning, their discoveries, and comments.
  • Do a blog search in Google. This search limits results only to blog postings. This can lead you to bloggers talking about what you are interested in.
  • Libraries Interact – a collaborative blog written by a group of Australian library staff. This blog also has a list of individual Aussie library blogs
  • Unshelved – a daily Library cartoon
  • LIS News – articles about Libraries and information science from a variety of sources



Now write up your thoughts about RSS in a post on your own learning blog. Here are some tips to get you thinking:

  • What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your personal life?
  • How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?
  • What tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?
  • Find any great sources we should all add to our feed reader?

June 3, 2009 at 9:05 am 3 comments

Twitter – TownsvilleLib

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Learning 2.0 is a discovery learning program created by Helene Blowers. Content and style for CityLibrariesLearning has been borrowed and duplicated with permission, under a Creative Commons License.
Creative Commons License
CityLibrariesLearning by CityLibraries Townsville is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.
Content has also been borrowed and duplicated under Creative Commons Licenses, from All together Now by the School Library Journal and Michael Stephens and 23 Things on a Stick
June 2009
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