Monday, June 29, 2009

Website Wows

I received notice of the Webby Awards and cruised through some of the nominated websites (there are lots!). Not heard of the Webby Awards? Nominated by anyone for excellence on the Internet. There are a number of different categories and honor is given to The Webby Award and the People's Voice Award in all of the subject categories.

You might want to take a look if you have some time - just to see some of the cutting edge work being done in the website world. Some of my favorites were:

  • Just Add New Zealanders for the drop-dead photography in their Locations area
  • Adidas for such an innovative home page even if I don't wear their shoes
  • WHITEvoid - just for being such a daring site in how it presents itself. While I still have no clear idea of what it does, the presentation is stunning
  • Wordle - just for playing and creativitiy!
If you browse through the site and find some nifty website and website features, tell here!

Meanwhile, we are still diligently working on the search function and learning a lot in the process. I could make this blog twice as long with the details of it all but will leave that to another blog, another day. If you have any specific questions about progress, about the new site feel free to ask in the Comments area. I will get back to you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Search and Discovery

We're working on the search function right now, can you tell from the title? It seemed to me this was a good time to dust off the 40 pages i've been carrying around in my bag and actually read Online Catalogs: What users and librarians want because it relates to search. Aside from reading at the patio table and surviving a wind gust {that's another blog post!} here are some interesting findings of what users want:

1. direct links to online content
2. evaluative content like summaries or tables of contents
3. relevant search results
4. availability information
5. simple keyword search with advanced option

Knowing these things is good to keep in mind as we continue to develop the search process. Have you found or do you use sites which have really good search?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reading this summer?

As we continue to work on the search function, it occurs to me that we do this in the name of read and to listen for pleasure or to watch movies and documentaries to learn and be engrossed in something. The website is just the means to get you there. Where do you get your reading and movie list from? The newspaper, friends and family, Oprah? Hopefully you are engaged with the great staff who can provide reading recommendations up one arm and down the other. Me, I need my goodreads account to help me remember ...but thank heavens for that!

If you have places where you find good reading and watching, this blogger wants to know! Post here to start a list. In the meantime, let me make a plug for ALD's Summer Showdown. The best books have been picked in picture books, childrens, teen and adult fiction. Take a look at the lists, comment and vote! Have you read any/all of these? We'll vote one off every week; by the end of summer the most favorite takes all!

Monday, June 8, 2009

What kind of online participant are you?

As we continue to work on website development, the question comes up about participation from patrons - you! There is a theory called Participation Inequality or 90-9-1. It posits that 90% of us are lurkers on websites, blogs, etc. - we prefer to read and watch rather than participate or contribute. 9% of us will put our toe in the water and contribute to a thread or edit a comment and a whopping 1% of us are active contributors/creators.

With these numbers, I wonder where you stand? How much do you lurk? Where? Where do you contribute and why? Are there online communities that seem to draw you in more than others? Do you find yourself returning to certain sites but not others?

It seems to be like the retail experience. Am I drawn in by the colorful window display? Find the staff friendly and knowledgeable? Even if I did not purchase anything, I may return another time because it was a positive experience. Can I make the same analogy to a website? Some do have nice window displays but their interior pages are not very useful. Others are terrific sites which provide lots of information so I choose to bookmark them.

In my world, I return again and again to goodreads. I find I like keeping track of my reading and it helps me to remember when I want to recommend something. On the other hand, I haven't much used my personal account. While I have experimented with creating lists and tagging items, it has not drawn me in.

With that, I leave this blog returning you to the second paragraph - let me know where you like to hang out in the cyberworld. We'll create our own mini-study!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Of website work and website debuts

In the web world we are hard at work on the search function and making sure the search function is working as you know it and love it - working well! Not more to report because the details would be painful and searches, marc records, etc etc. We are also beginning to tie up some lose ends in other areas in anticipation of being able to input content sometime this month!

Hats off to our neighbor Rangeview Library District for the launch of their new website ~ some terrific stuff!

And because i enjoy posting a visual with the blog, this pic is in celebration of spring and the peonies blooming in my back yard!