Social Web & Communication Tools: Social Bookmarking, Instant Messaging, Weblogs & RSS Feeds

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Tools for Web collaboration are increasing and range from one-to-many tools that allow sharing of personal links to one-to-one communications tools such as instant messaging. This poster shows how these tools can be applied to library settings and how they will impact reference and teaching. Online “social bookmarking” and reference management services help researchers organize and share information. URLs or bibliographic information can be saved, “tagged” using descriptors, and commented upon. Ensuing list(s) are available to all registrants, enabling users with same or similar tags to discover the research that others are reading. These tools have implications on the information seeking behaviors of researchers. Weblogs (“blogs”) can be used as communication space between instructor and student, within research/student groups, or between library and user. They are easy to set up and are an effective liaison tool. Tables of contents, site content, and search alerts are increasingly available as RSS (Really Simple Syndication / Rich Site Summary) feeds. Libraries can also create feeds to announce new books, or for news distribution services via blogs. Instant messaging (IM) is a communication method favored by university students. More immediate than email, yet less intrusive than phone, it offers clients and colleagues options for making contact. There are many free applications available; some aggregate the most popular ones (Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, Google). Tools to be covered include: Connotea, CiteULike, Blogger, Bloglines, Trillian, Meebo
Poster presented at Special Libraries Association 2006 Annual Conference, and PowerPoint version of poster (in pdf) sent to Chemistry Division for their online Web conference,
Library & Information Science