23 Things – The End

Before Easter we published the last of our 23 things. You can still finish off looking at and blogging about them to qualify for prizes (for those who want to do it at a later date you can work through it over the summer and let us know when you have completed it).

The closing date will be Monday 22nd April and to qualify you need to complete this form There are three options for completion:

  • All 23 things
  • Partial Completion
  • Didn’t blog but took part in the sessions

We will publish the details of celebration in the next few weeks.

We have all enjoyed running this course and hope everybody has enjoyed it.

The 23 things Team


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Thing 21: Wiki on a stick

Many wikis are big. Wikipedia is enormous. The library has two Wikis: the library wiki, which runs on Mediawiki, the same software as Wikipedia, and the E-resource Wiki, which runs on Semantic Mediawiki, which allows you to set up forms to simplify entry and to query the data like a database. All of these need a server to run on.

You can also get tiny wikis: wikis meant for personal use or sharing with a small group, and which don’t need a server. They are sometimes called ‘wiki on a stick’, because you can carry one on a USB stick. Some people use them for simple note taking, some for presentations, some for collaborative work.

The best known one is TiddlyWiki.  It is easy to use, but takes a little setting up – recent browsers (especially Firefox) have problems allowing it to save until you configure them.  If you set one up on your Y drive you will be able to use it from your work computer too, but if using Internet Explorer you will need to make some changes to the security settings.

First, go into ‘Tools’ in the Explorer menu, select ‘Internet Options’,  then ‘Security’, then ‘Local Intranet’, and pull the slider bar down to ‘low’. Click ‘Apply’, then restart Explorer.

Next go to the TiddlyWiki site and download TiddlyWiki, using ‘Save As’ to put it on the Y drive. When its there, right click on the  zip file and select ‘Extract All’. Finally right click on the file called empty.html, select ‘Properties’, and set ‘Unblock’ followed by ‘Apply’.

That’s it. The wiki is the html file called empty.html. You can rename it if you like, copy it around, email it, or save it on other drives. To run it double click on it and your browser will open to show it.

TiddlyWiki works on small chunks called ‘tiddlers’, which can be anything from a sentence to a page long. Writing in a tiddler is very similar to writing in Mediawiki: mostly plain text, with links in double square brackets. TiddlyWiki comes with some built-in tiddlers (called ‘shadow tiddlers’ ) which control the look of the page: when you first start you are invited to edit these, and so change what you see when TiddlyWiki starts.

Suggestion: change the title, change or remove the subtitle, add a new tiddler called ‘Home’, and hide the StartingPage so you just see your new Home tiddler when you open the wiki.

If you liked TiddlyWiki, there are a lot of variations of it for different purposes, such as managing TODO lists or organizing notes for novels. http://giffmex.tiddlyspot.com/ has a list.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Wiki

Thing 22: Library Wiki

Following on from the information on Wikis which was covered under Thing 21, Thing 22 is the RHUL Library staff wiki.  For many of you this is not something new, however it is always great to revisit it, particularly because the Library wiki gives you an opportunity to use wiki technology during the course of your day-to-day work.

We have created a new Library Staff Who’s Who page on the wiki and for the Library wiki Thing we would like you to create your own entry on the page.  Here are the instructions on how to add your info.

1. Visit the wiki and select the Library Staff Who’s Who page (this is on the homepage in the Essential Information section).  You will need to login to do this.  You should use your computer centre user name and password to login.

2. Select the Edit button in the top right hand corner of the page to edit the page.

3. Find the point in the page where your details should appear, going alphabetically by surname.

4.  Add your name, and then make your name into a Level 2 Headline.  You can do this by selecting the text and then selecting the level 2 headline button (circled in blue below)

Capture - headline text

5. Add your job title and phone extension

6. Add a picture of you.  This is a bit more tricky, to do this you need to follow these 2 steps:

– Firstly upload a file.  There are instructions on how to do this here

– Secondly put a link to the file on the wiki page.  To do this you add the following code: [[File:AmyW.JPG‎]] replacing the text in red with the EXACT name of your file.

7. Now maybe add a bit of text about your role, what you do and any special projects you are working on.

8. Finally remember to save the page by clicking on the Save page button.

While you are here maybe take time to look at the content of the wiki that relates to your area of work, and ensure that it is up to date.  Wikis become more useful the more people use them, adding further information and ensuring the content is current.

Leave a comment

Filed under Publishing, Wiki

Thing 23: Dropbox

We arrive at our final thing … Dropbox.

Dropbox is similar to Google Drive in that you can store and share files with it but it isn’t exactly the same.

It is a free desktop application which allows you to store your documents online so that you can access them from multiple computers, via the web and on mobile devices in a similar way to how Evernote allows you to access your notes anywhere.

As well as allowing easy access to files anywhere it also can sync with your photos from your phone so photos taken on your phone are available to you anywhere. This is especially useful, as I found out, when you lose your phone as all the photos are there!

Take the Dropbox tour here.

There is also a nice video here.

Like Google Docs, Dropbox can also be used when collaborating with others on a project as it enables easy file-sharing without the need for creating duplicates. For example, one person can drop documents and files into Dropbox and then invite other people to access and edit those files.

Sharing documents using Dropbox
Sharing with someone who already has a Dropbox account:
Create a new folder inside your Dropbox folder, select a file from your computer and paste it into this folder. Now go to the Dropbox website, log in if you aren’t already logged in, and click on the tab called ‘Sharing’.

Select the option to share an existing folder, click ‘next’ and then select your folder. Enter the email address of someone with whom you wish to share your folder and click ‘share folder’. This will send an email inviting the recipient to view your older via Dropbox. If the recipient is not yet a member of Dropbox, the email will direct them to page asking them to register.

Sharing with someone who does not have a Dropbox account
Dropbox will also allow you to share single files (but not folders) with people who do not have a Dropbox account. In order to do this, simply copy and paste a file into the folder called ‘Public’ which is already inside the Dropbox folder on your computer.

Next, navigate to your Public folder via your account on the Dropbox website, right-click on the file you want and select ‘Copy public link’. This will give you a URL which links to your file and you can then paste this, for example, into emails or blog posts in order to share it with others.

Thing 23

If you don’t already have a Dropbox account, go to the Dropbox website and create one. Once you have created an account, you will be directed to a page that explains how to download Dropbox. Only do this on your usual computer and / or at home – you can use the web version on shared PCs.

After you have downloaded and installed Dropbox, you will have a Dropbox folder on your computer where you can store any files that you want to share with others. You can access these files from any computer by logging into the Dropbox website with your username and password. From here, you can view, download and upload files securely using any web browser.

Leave a comment

Filed under Office 2.0

Week 9: Publishing

After last week’s catch up week we are back with things 19 and 20 and it is all about Publishing. In today’s online world you don’t have to be an artist to create great online materials.

We are introducing you to Issuu, Smore and in the cool extra thing a great way of producing infographics using Easel.ly.

Our materials will not make you sleepy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Publishing, Week 9

Thing 19: Issuu

Issuu is an online digital publishing platform that allows for amazing presentation of all types of material including newsletters, magazines, catalogs, or similar publications.

“Issuus” look like a magazine or book–color photos or illustrations, layouts as you want them, pages that turn digitally.
This is the library charter as an Issuu and this is one of the IS training courses.
They are quick to create, you just need a PDF and you can share them, embed them and email them easily. There are advanced options including adding audio.  Issuu allows  you to use your own logos, choose colors, and include icons. The process is guided and simple. Once complete, your finished product can function as a book, complete with pages that need to be turned.
This video gives you an idea of what it is:
In 2009, TIME magazine included Issuu as one of the 50 best websites of the year. “Maybe a gadget like Amazon’s Kindle can compete with the old-fashioned ink-on-paper experience, but for our money – which in this instance, is zero dollars – we’ll take Issuu, an online newsstand with infinite shelf space, hundreds of interesting micro – publishing projects and a slick online reader.”
Here are some other library examples
City University Library put all marketing and training documentation online and embedded in the library website.
You can also search the issuu library and find interesting and useful information, search for Royal Holloway and see who else is using it.

Thing 19

Have a look at how the links above use Issuu. Do you think it is a useful method of publishing? You can blog about this but if you want to publish something you can use PDFs, Word Documents, Powerpoints and Rich Text Formatted files.
Publishing on Issuu

  1. You will need to register but if it is for the library you can login with the library’s account (ask any of the team for this) to upload items.
  2. Once you’re logged in, click the blue ‘Upload document’ button.
  3. Select the document file and fill out the required details
  4. Click ‘Upload’ and let the file upload completely.
  5. We will now automatically convert your uploaded file to a nice Issuu publication.
  6. Once the conversion has completed you can find your uploads in My Library.
You can upload most common document files, including PDF, DOC, PPT, RTF, WPD, ODT and more. Documents must be less than 500 pages and 100 mb.
There are instructions on how to create a PDF here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Publishing, Week 9

Thing 20: Smore

Smore allows you to create appealing online flyers, quickly and easily. To get started visit http://www.smore.com and sign in using your Facebook account or sign up for an account. Once you’ve signed-up/logged-in, click on the big red ‘Start a new flyer’ button at the top of the page to get started. You’re then presented with a options that help create a template for your flyer. Select these and you’ll be taken to the WYSIWG editor, which allows you to customise your flyer. To get a feel for this, watch the following video:

There are a few different things you can customise, so have a play around and see what you can do!

There is a good guide to using Smore here: http://theindustry.cc/2012/08/28/create-beautiful-webpages-instantly-with-smore/ – check this out for a useful,  step-by-step guide to creating a beautiful flyer (or as we say, leaflet!)

Once you’ve created your flyer, you’ll be able to publish it and share it with others, and well as collecting lots of useful statistics about who’s viewing it.

Thing 20 Create a Smore flyer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Publishing, Thing 20, Week 9

Cool Extra Thing – easel.ly and Data Visualisation

This weeks Cool Extra Thing is easel.ly, A tool which allows you to create and share visual ideas online. You will need to login to use easel.ly – in fact I recommend you do this before you do anything else, I designed a whole graphic and then the system crashed… Once you have logged in you can use easel.ly to represent data in a graphic form. There are a number of templates you can alter or alternatively you can have a go at designed an infographic from scratch.

I designed an infographic to show what devices and browsers are used to access the RHUL Library website (information I got from our google analytics account).


While this infographic is nice in the way it presents the data in a graphic form it does show the big challenge in this area – you have to invest time in working out what data you are going to display and how you are going to display it, because otherwise there is a risk that the infographic is not actually adding anything useful.

When done well the power of displaying information in a visual form is immense. A particularly good example of this is the BBC infographic which visualises the internet – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8562801.stm . This is a few years out of date now but it still is interesting – the graphic representation of the domination of US sites is particularly striking.

The Information is Beautiful site has some lovely graphic representations. One Library related one is the Books Everyone Should Read. This includes the UKs most borrowed library books, and the books people would take with them from desert island disks


On a slightly less beautiful theme the Guardian has mapped the European Trade in Horsemeat – also an interesting graphic!

I hope you enjoy exploring the possibilities of data visualisation.


Leave a comment

Filed under Publishing, Week 9

Week 7: Multimedia

We looked at images in week 3, but this week we’re going further and looking at a range of multimedia.

The early days of the web were much more text based, and images could take a long while to load. We’ve come a long way from the days of the Cambridge Coffee Pot when people logged in from across the globe to see a scratchy black and white live image of … yes you’ve guessed it, a coffee pot!

Today you can view videos from round the world, create videos and listen to Podcasts from all sorts of media outlets.

Leave a comment

Filed under Multimedia

Thing 16: YouTube/Vimeo

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

YouTube is a video sharing site, hosting thousands of videos, created by both amateurs and professionals. Anyone can view videos on YouTube. However, in order to upload videos or to benefit from the site’s “social” features users need to register for a free account. For the purpose of 23 Things you do not need to register, as we’ll only be viewing and sharing videos. There is a huge amount of content on this site, all available to search and share with others, and libraries have started to use this service by uploading walk throughs of their facilities, user guides and other promotional material. A good example is The British Library, who have their own YouTube ‘channel’, where you can access a variety of films.

There are a number of instructional videos that librarians might find useful such as this one about searching with Boolean Operators. Dominic and Kim have recently commissioned this video on Patron-Driven Acquisition E-book purchasing as part of the E-BASS25 JISC project: watch it here!

And the Library has its own channel too!

YouTube EDU brings together YouTube content from Universities around the World, which you can search in. For this Thing you are asked to browse YouTube, search for library instruction videos, and when you find something of interest, share them with the other 23 thing-ers by adding them to your blog. To do this, follow the instructions at the end of the step-by-step guide for this post.

Other library videos:

Study like a scholar, scholar (Harold B. Lee Library promo)

Cookie Monster in the Library (Sesame Street!)

Mitchell and Webb’s Insulting Librarian

Finding YouTube content Locating relevant material can be a challenge on a fluid site like YouTube. The site has just updated its design as well, but this handy guide should answer any questions you have about layout or functionality. You’re now ready to start searching! Remember:

  • the query bar at the top allows for keyword searches, which you can then filter
  • pay attention to who has uploaded the content
  • if it is a trusted source, explore their other videos
  • it’s worth subscribing to YouTube channels of organisations and institutions directly relevant to your research. You can only do this is you have a Google Account and are signed into YouTube

Sharing YouTube content Thing 22 is to find and share two YouTube videos that you find interesting, or relevant to your work.  We also want you to comment on why you are sharing this content and why you think it is useful. Embed one video into your blog and share the other via Twitter. The Share button will provide a custom message – you can edit this to provide your commentary. Don’t forget to write a blog post about your experiences with YouTube.

But what is Vimeo?

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

Good question. I was wondering this myself. Apparently, it’s the ‘Coolest Video Site for Creatives’ and has a number of features that make uploading and embedding videos a lot easier, and prettier. This man thinks that the quality of videos is improved, also. But it seems to be that Vimeo is a little smaller, helping us to filter down the abundance of videos we could find – you’re more likely to find what you want, and quicker. BUT, if the site is smaller, your work is less likely to be found, as most people will visit YouTube first.

Try both sites, and see which is easier to use. Blog about which you prefer and why.

1 Comment

Filed under Multimedia