Tag Archives: social media

North Wales Libraries Partnership Top Tips

Cyril in the John Spalding Library

The John Spalding Library in Wrexham hosted the North Wales Libraries Partnership (NWLP) workshop “Search is more than just Google”. Delegates from public, government, academic and NHS libraries gathered together to look at the effect of mobile technologies on search, open access, getting better results from Google and alternative search tools. The consensus reached during one of the breaks was that Cyril, one of the library’s residents and pictured on the left, should have ignored Google’s nutrition advice and gone for the more authoritative sources available in the library and on the web. If only he had waited and attended the workshop he would have known exactly where to look!

There was much discussion on how mobile devices change how we can search – not always for the best – and there was concern, as usual, over how much we willingly give away about ourselves to services such as Google and Facebook. Open access was debated in the afternoon along with possible directions for academic publishing.

An edited set of the slides is available on authorSTREAM at http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/karenblakeman-1856150-search-google/ and Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/karenblakeman1/search-is-more-than-just-google.

The Top Tips that the group came up with included some of the usual advanced Google commands but others concerned cloud computing and social media. Here they are.

1. Back up your stuff. Having your data hosted in the cloud means you don’t have to worry about it disappearing when your laptop or server crashes. But what if your cloud service goes under or your account is deleted for some reason? Have you made a local backup of your essential files and treasured family photos? One of the participants mentioned the Library of Congress digital preservation toolkit for preserving family memories (http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/).

2. Private browsing for “un-personalising” search results. If you want to make sure that your results are not being influenced by past searches and browsing behaviour, find out where the private browsing option is in your browser (in Chrome it is called Incognito). This ignores all cookies and past search history and is as close as you can get to unfiltered results.

3. Change the order of your search terms to change the order in which results are listed. This is an old trick but still seems to work.

4. Use advanced search commands such as site:, filetype;, intext:, to focus your search. Some of the commands are available not just in Google but also in Bing and DuckDuckGo.

5. Create “newspapers” of articles mentioned on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or news sites by using services such as Paper.li (http://paper.li/). These can be generated from hashtags, keyword searches or your own Twitterstream. Have a look in the Paper.li news stand to see if someone has already created a paper on your topic. Paper.li automatically compiles the newspaper but there are other services such as Storify (http://storify.com/) and Scoop.it (http://www.scoop.it/) that enable individuals to curate the content that appears in their personal newspaper.

6. Guardian Data Store for datasets and visualisations relating to stories in the news (http://www.guardian.co.uk/data). This was so popular that it was mentioned twice for inclusion in the top tips. What people liked about this is that the source of the data is always given and there are links to the original datasets.

7. Million Short http://millionshort.com/. If you are fed up with seeing the same results from Google again and again give Million Short a try. Million Short runs your search and then removes the most popular web sites from the results. Originally, as its name suggests, it removed the top 1 million but the default has changed to the top 10,000. The page that best answers your question might not be well optimised for search engines or might cover a topic that is so “niche” that it never makes it into the top results in Google or Bing. One person loved it because the type of research they do often pulls up pages of Amazon and eBay results in Google. Not a problem with Million Short

8. Google Reading level to change the type of results that you see. Run your search and from the menu above the results select ‘Search tools’, ‘All results’ and from the drop menu ‘Reading level’. Options for switching between basic, intermediate and advanced reading levels should then appear just above the results. Click on the Advanced option to see results biased towards research.

9. Beware fragmented discussions. Articles can be posted and reposted in many different places: blogs, websites, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. with the result that potentially useful and informative discussions are dotted all over the place. Learn how to locate fragmented discussions in your subject area and where they are likely to occur.

10. Try something other than Google. Take a look at the slides for a few(!) suggestions of what you could use.

Tweets from the past

Embarrassed by some of your first tweets from 2007? Wish you hadn’t got involved in that drunken virtual brawl on Twitter last Christmas? There was a time when you could safely assume that those ramblings would be lost in the mists of Twitter’s archive never to be seen again. A search on Twitter would only give the last few days worth of postings and Google no longer archives the whole of Twitter. True, the Library of Congress does keep copies of every single tweet for posterity but access is only allowed for serious research purposes. So far, the Library has received  about  400 inquiries but has not yet been able to provide access (http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2013/01/update-on-the-twitter-archive-at-the-library-of-congress/). So you can breathe easily again? Unfortunately not.

There are commercial organisations such as Datasift (http://datasift.com/) and Gnip (http://gnip.com/) that charge an arm and a leg for analysing tweets and other social media comments, but the cost puts their services out of the reach of the casual searcher. You may find, though, that your forthright hashtagged tweets at a conference have been recorded for all to see free of charge (Sharing (or Over-Sharing?) at #ILI2012, http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/sharing-or-over-sharing-at-ili2012/). And Twitter, itself, is finally providing access to historical tweets.

You can now download your entire collection. Go to your Twitter home page, click on the cog wheel in the upper right hand corner and select settings.

Twitter Settings

At the bottom of the Settings page is a link to request your archive.

Request your archive

You should receive an email a few minutes later with a download link. The file is zipped and once you have unpacked it you can browse your tweets by year and month or search the archive using keywords or hashtags.

Downloaded Twitter Archive
Browse downloaded Twitter archive by year and month
Search downloaded Twitter archive
Search downloaded Twitter archive

I have not been able to work out how often you are allowed to download your archive and, rather annoyingly, there is no top-up option.

Twitter also runs searches on its entire archive – sort of. There is no obvious date option at the moment, not even under advanced search, so it is appears to be all or nothing, and it does not give you everything straightaway. I thought I would have a look at the tweets on Internet Librarian International 2009, hashtag #ili2009, and was surprised that there seemed to be so few. I scrolled down to the bottom of the results and saw “You’ve reached the end of the Top Tweets for #ili2009″ with a link to “View all tweets”. Twitter then loaded the remaining tweets as I continued to scroll down the page. About Top Tweets Twitter says:

“We’ve built an algorithm that finds the Tweets that have caught the attention of other users. Top Tweets will refresh automatically and are surfaced for popularly-retweeted subjects based on this algorithm. We do not hand-select Top Tweets.”

There are also links at the top of the results page that enable you to view Top, All, and tweets from just ‘People you follow’.

Twitter Archive search

There are in fact advanced search commands that can be used to include a date range in your search (see https://support.twitter.com/articles/71577 for details). Changing my search to #ili2009 since:2009-10-01 until:2009-10-31 did seem to work. I am not convinced, though, that Twitter is giving me everything, even when I choose ‘All’. It’s a start and long overdue, but I’m not going to abandon my own archiving strategies just yet.

Search gets personal and social

My INFORUM 2012 presentation on “Search gets personal and social” is available on authorSTREAM at http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/karenblakeman-1431533-search-gets-personal-and-social/

It is also available temporarily at http://www.rba.co.uk/as/

A paper is also available on the INFORUM web site at http://www.inforum.cz/en/proceedings. It covers much of what I said but bear in mind it was written a few weeks beforehand and the presentation was updated with new developments the night before I gave the talk.

Presentation: Search Turns Social – Resistance is Futile

The presentation I gave to CILIP in Hants & Wight yesterday (Search Turns Social – Resistance is Futile) is now available on authorSTREAM at http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/karenblakeman-1392940-search-turns-social-resistance-futile/

It is also available on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/KarenBlakeman/search-turns-social-resistance-is-futile and temporarily on my web site at http://www.rba.co.uk/as/

Presentation: Spring Clean Your Social Media

The presentation I gave at CILIP in Surrey last night (Spring Clean Your Social Media) is now available on authorSTREAM at http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/karenblakeman-1368248-cilip-surrey-20120322/ and on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/KarenBlakeman/spring-clean-your-social-media

 

 

Update: Claire Gravely has written a blog posting covering some of the issues we discussed. See “Karen Blakeman’s talk on spring cleaning your social media – some thoughts and musings” Library Claire http://www.libraryclaire.co.uk/karen-blakemans-talk-on-spring-cleaning-your-social-media-some-thoughts-and-musings/

Updated and new social media guides

The first of my updated guides and one new guide covering social media and collaborative tools are now up on http://www.rba.co.uk/web2/. I use these guides in some of my social media workshops and they are intended to help people get started with the various tools. You will notice that there are two Getting Started with Blogger guides: one for the old interface and one for the new. Don’t worry if you have not seen the new version of Blogger – Google is rolling this out gradually so it may be a while before the option appears on your screen.

The guides are Word documents so that you can edit them for use in your own organisation. I have given them a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License but if you are not sure whether your use of them will be covered by that license do get in touch with me.

So far the guides include:

Getting Started with Twitter
Introduction to Blogs
Getting Started with Blogger – Old Interface
Getting Started with Blogger – New Interface

SWAMP presentation available

The presentation that I am giving later this morning (July 11th, 2011)  to the South West and Mid Wales Library Partnership (SWAMP) is now available for viewing and download in various places. Entitled “Where’s everyone gone? New places and ways to meet your users” the presentation is mostly images so may not make much sense on its own. It will be looking at how we can communicate more effectively and electronically with users and colleagues.

You can find it on my own web site at http://www.rba.co.uk/web2/, on authoSTREAM at http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/karenblakeman-1099746-where-s-everyone-gone-new-places-and-ways-to-meet-your-users/ and on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/KarenBlakeman/wheres-everyone-gone-new-places-and-ways-to-meet-your-users

My Online Information 2010 presentations

If you have not already spotted the links on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc  to the various presentations I gave at “Online” in London earlier this month here they are all in one place. I gave two talks as part of the free seminar programme that was part of the exhibition, a conference presentation and a pre-conference workshop. They all have a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial license assigned to them  (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ for further information on the license).

Google’s New Search Features: has it gone too far?
1st December 2010

This presentation was given in the exhibition area as part of the free seminar and masterclass programme. I have added comments to some of the screen shots so that they make a little more sense to those who were not there.

Google’s New Search Features: has it gone too far

authorSTREAM
Slideshare

Challenges of Finding Quality Business Information
1st December 2010

A second presentation I gave as part of the exhibition free seminar programme. Again, I have annotated some of the screen shots.

authorSTREAM
Slideshare

Search Engine Wars: let battle commence
30th November 2010

This is a presentation I gave as part of the Online Information conference. It is quite different from the one I gave  with the same title to INFORUM in Prague earlier this year. I wish I could say it was because so much has changed since then: unfortunately very little has changed.

authorSTREAM
Slideshare

Guide to Using Social Media to Promote Your Organisation and Services
29th November 2010

This was a one day workshop pre-conference workshop. The slides merely formed a framework for the day.  There were more services and issues discussed within the group than are shown in the presentation.  The link given below, which is a direct link to a ppt file on the RBA Information Services web site, will not be available indefinitely.  The presentations on my social media page are updated every time I run a workshop or give a seminar on the topic.

PowerPoint Presentation (9.5 MB)

Removing information about you from Google

A question that I am often asked during my workshops is how can one persuade Google to remove a page or information from the web. Sometimes the person wants personal photos or videos to be removed or they are asking on behalf of a company who wants less than flattering comments and opinions deleted. In most cases Google does not control the content put up on web sites or social media, it merely indexes it. So the short answer is that you cannot make Google remove information you do not like except in very specific circumstances, for example copyrighted material on YouTube, images of you or your house on Street View.

“Removing Your Personal Information From Google”
http://searchengineland.com/removing-your-personal-information-from-google-55014 is an excellent overview from Search Engine Land of how you should go about having sensitive information removed (if possible) and dealing with negative publicity. Your first move is to contact the web site owner yourself but unless the information is libellous, breaches copyright or data protection laws you might not have much luck. Suing the web site owner is an option but you could end up generating even more bad publicity for you and your organisation. Swamping out the negative information with your own positive responses is by far the best approach and one that requires you to know how to use social media.

The oft cited example of  how not to tackle bad publicity is that of Nestle. (Just Google Nestle social media fail or Nestle social media disaster.) “Nestle fails at social media – Attempts to censor Facebook” from TechEye http://www.techeye.net/internet/nestle-fails-at-social-media is a neat summary of the events. There are also umpteen Slideshare presentations on how Nestle “did it wrong”. Many people have forgotten or never knew what the original argument was about, but after the social media debacle the perception of Nestle as corporate bad boys was reinforced.

The Search Engine Land posting has links to other articles offering sound advice on the topic including:

The Real Lesson In the Yelp User Review Lawsuit
http://www.ninebyblue.com/blog/social-media/the-real-lesson-in-the-yelp-user-review-lawsuit/

and

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Managing your reputation through search results
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/10/managing-your-reputation-through-search.html (I love the bit “.. don’t assume that just because your mom doesn’t read your blog, she’ll never see that post about the new tattoo you’re hiding from her.“)

Workshop: social media strategies

I am running a pre-Online Information conference workshop about social media strategies on Monday, 29th November 2010 at the Olympia Conference Centre, London –  “The real-life guide to using social media to promote your organisation and services”.

In essence it will cover:

  • how the major search tools are incorporating social media and real time information in their search results and how you can use this to increase awareness of your organisation and its services
  • the importance of identifying relevant platforms and applications for your organisation and tailoring content for them
  • ways in which you can generate and re-use content to reach more potential users
  • engaging with existing and potential customers and users
  • how you can monitor the effectiveness of social media
  • technical and human resource issues and the skills needed to implement a social media strategy

Further details are at Online Information 2010, http://www.online-information.co.uk/online2010/conference/conference-programme/workshop_presentation.html?presentation_id=1266

If you wish to book a place but are not attending the conference you need to click on the “Book Conference Place” link. Fill in the your details on the first page and on the next you can select the workshop only option.

If you have already booked a conference place then you need to call Jo Letts (Joanna.letts@incisivemediacom and +44 (0) 207 316 9361).

Prices are  £195 + VAT if you are attending the conference and for the workshop only £399 + VAT