wilsworld conference 2010 july 21 2010 allan r barclay ebling library uw madison l.
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WiLSWorld Conference 2010 – July 21, 2010 Allan R Barclay Ebling Library, UW-Madison. Gadgets, Widgets & Other Embeddables : Microcontent for the Masses. Blogs – short post excerpts, quoted text and post/comment feeds News sites – slideshows, embedded videos, tickers

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Presentation Transcript
microcontent has been around for years

Blogs – short post excerpts, quoted text and post/comment feeds

  • News sites – slideshows, embedded videos, tickers
  • PowerPoint slides – pictures, video, the theme from Star Wars

Microcontent has been around for years

Then came YouTube and all that 2.0 stuff

  • Embedded video & audio files and playlists – free for anyone
  • Tweets, Facebook statuses, other ADHD fodder
  • Mashups – AJAX & other developer tools


Where are you taking me?

  • Journal article of the future – embedded data you can play with
  • Online software applications which live in “the cloud” (ooh!)
  • Communication and collaboration environments
  • In general - la carte content & functionality shared widely
axioms caveats excuses

The Presenter and Presentation

These definitions are imperfect and broad - perhaps criminally so

There is way too much content in these slides to cover in a presentation – consider them the handout, not the class (“CiL style”)

These slides are dull – no images, code or diagrams – sorry!

The examples should or will be more exciting

The Subject Matter at Hand

Axioms, Caveats & Excuses

  • Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should
  • If you build it they may not care
  • If they don’t know about it they definitely won’t care
  • Technology doesn’t solve problems, it’s a tool for problem solvers to use
  • Content is king
rss feeds the workhorse of microcontent

News headlines

  • Blog post and comment feeds

RSS Feeds – the workhorse of microcontent

Widgets – make a personalized info dashboard or start page

  • Google Gadgets (and PageFlakes, Yahoo, etc)

Embeds – lively up your blog or website

  • YouTube videos
  • Google Maps

Some Examples of Microcontent

Installables – turn your browser into a Swiss army knife

  • Toolbars
  • Bookmarklets

Your library

  • Departments, schools and other collaborators
  • Professional library organizations or societies


LibGuides & other pathfinders

Learn@UW and other learning management systems

Some Library Use Cases

Current awareness or other services

  • Create a set of Google Gadgets for an audience or subject
  • Create a feed from internal or external sources for an audience or subject
your content

News, classes & events

  • Journal tables of contents
  • New books
  • New articles – RefShare and the like
  • General information (i.e. highlights, blog posts)

Your content

Their content

Library Ideas – RSS Feeds

  • News, classes & events
  • Journal tables of contents
  • Funding information
  • Clinical trials
  • Politics & appeasement (“our Beloved Chancellor’s musings”)
your content8
Your content
  • Logins, request forms and other rapid access gateways
  • Anything you can get as an RSS feed

Their content

Library Ideas – Widgets

  • Anything from your vendors (i.e. databases, e-books, journals)
  • LibraryThing and other bookish or library things
  • Anything you can get as an RSS feed
your content9

Camtasia and other tutorials (audio, screen capture)

  • Classes and other instructional content (video capture)
  • Calendar of events (i.e. Google Calendar)
  • Map and directions (i.e. Google Maps - basic or customized)
  • Presentations (i.e. SlideShare)
  • Anything you can get in an RSS feed

Your content

Library Ideas – Embeds

Their content

  • Tutorials and instructional content (“serious”)
  • Teaching examples (i.e. YouTube popular media clips – “fun”)
  • Professional conferences, other events – Tweets and Flickr pictures
your content10
Your content
  • General library toolbar or more specific (i.e. EBM, departmental)
  • Bookmarklets (I.e. FindIt, RefWorks, ezProxy)

Their content

Library Ideas – Installables

  • Search engine plugins
  • Bookmarklets (i.e. PubGet, Mendeley, LibraryThing)
pubmed other literature database results
PubMed & other literature database results
  • Saved searches – basic or advanced
  • Journal tables of contents

Forward, AquaBrowser - catalogs & OPACS

  • Searches for updates
  • New content

Library Examples – Search

Prominent search boxes

  • UW-Madison Libraries
  • Ebling Library
  • Xerxes (database select & search)
handouts and other documentation

YouTube and other video embeds

Handouts and other documentation

  • Common Craft tutorials
  • Vendor product tutorials
  • Scribd embedded document viewer
  • Google Docs shared files

Library Examples – Instruction

Interactive Tutorials & Coursework

  • Pharmacy resource & searching tutorial in Captivate
  • Supplemental assignments from face to face classes
feed parsing and display

Google Reader Clips (display widget), shared item pages

  • Feed2JS (hosted or local install – very simple to use)
  • SimplePie (local install – more powerful, complex)*

Feed parsing and display

Feed filtering and cleanup

  • FeedRinse – filter, combine existing feeds
  • FeedBurner – easy subscription, statistics and some cleanup by magic

Tools – RSS Feeds

Feed customization & creation

  • Yahoo Pipes – do just about anything to any feed, in a GUI environment**
  • Google Reader – create custom OPML bundles (Feeds as Blog Roll)
tools embeds

Video & Images

  • YouTube, Google Video, ForaTV, SciVee TV
  • Embedr (playlist - supports different video sources)
  • Jing (quick and dirty screen captures/tutorials)
  • Flickr (images hosted remotely)
  • Lightbox, other software (local images -Jquery, Scriptaculous, Moo Tools)*


  • Scribd, Issuu (embedded document viewers)
  • Google Docs (document, spreadsheet, presentation)

Tools – Embeds


  • Maps (Google Maps, Bing, Mapquest)
  • Professional (SlideShare, LinkedIn)
  • Social (Facebook, Twitter)
tools widgets installables


  • Google Gadgets – create or browse existing*
  • PageFlakes, etc – also allow creation or browsing*


  • Toolbars - Conduit
  • Search engine plugins – Firefox extensions page

Tools – Widgets & Installables

widget focus google gadgets


  • Single basic feed
  • Multiple feeds

HTML or application-based

  • Login or other form
  • Social gadgets?
  • Other more complicated functions – above my pay grade!

Widget Focus – Google Gadgets

Getting started

  • Gadgets API and documentation
  • Google Gadgets Editor
  • Find an existing gadget and look at the source code
the future

The Future ?

From: http://www.freshgasflow.com/flight401.htm

wrapup conclusions

Microcontent can be low key and high impact

  • Microcontent can be epic fail and no (or even bad) impact
  • Need to devote R&D time but tools can be dead simple
  • Don’t have weak content - be useful (or really really funny)
  • Users may prefer “a la carte” content, not ponderous sites
  • You too can have a site that doesn’t look like its from 1995!

Wrapup & Conclusions

that s all folks

Questions? Comments? Tips?

No? Then go home!

Allan Barclay


That’s All Folks!