What I learned in 2008 (about Web 2.0)

2 02 2009

Grand Round is a weekly collection of the best writing in the medical blogosphere. The coming Grand Rounds (February 3rd, 2009), hosted by Not Totally Rad has the following theme:

February is the first anniversary of my blog. Therefore, the loose theme for submissions will be anniversary-related: write about something cool or important that you’ve learned in the past year.

Well, I have learned a lot in the past year. The most profound personal experience was the death of my father. I experienced how it is to loose a beloved, but I also learned that death and grieve can affect people so deeply that it changes their behavior. I now understand this behavior (anger, mental confusion) is a manifestation of deep grief, which is transient and natural. Luckily our body and mind appear very resilient.

I will restrict to another thing I’ve learned: Web 2.0.
Just like the “Samurai Radiologist” I started a blog in February 2008. Thus Laika’s MedLibLog also celebrates its first anniversary.

Useful Web 2.0 tools

This blog was started as a tool to communicate thoughts, new found skills and ideas with other (>150) SPOETNIK course members, Spoetnik being a Learning 2.0 project to encourage library staff to experiment and learn about the new and emerging Internet technologies.

During the library 2.0 course I learned the basics of blogging, chatting, RSS, Podcasts, Wiki’s and social bookmarking. Each week another item was addressed. This learning program had a direct and positive impact. For instance, I could inform my clients how to create a RSS-feed for PubMed searches. By taking RSS-feeds/email alerts to interesting blogs, wiki’s and journals I kept better informed.

Hard to imagine (now) that I hardly new anything about web 2.0 one year ago.

Web 2.0 is not just a set of tools.

In the beginning I considered blogging largely as a selfish activity. It also appeared a lonely activity. As long as we discussed a course assignment there always was an interaction with at least a handful of other participants. But as soon as the program came to an end, I started to write more and more about medicine, EBM and medical library related matter, which didn’t appeal to most of the other course members. I wrote about things that interested me, but the writing would be absolutely useless if nobody would read it. Thus, how to get an audience?

There were I few things I had to learn and there were a few people who gave me a push in the right direction .

  • Wowter, who gave feedback to my posts right from the start and who encouraged me to continue blogging, posted a list with 17 tips for beginning bloggers (in Dutch) of how to increase visibility and findability of your blog. I became aware that ‘linking’ to others is what is making the web 2.0 world interconnected.
  • Second Dymphie, a Dutch Medical Librarian, encouraged me to start twittering. It took quite a while before I grasped the value of twitter as a networking tool. Twitter is not meant to say “what you do”, but it is a way to share information of any kind. Before you can share it, you first have to find interesting tweeple (people on twitter) and it did take a while before they followed me back (partly because my first tweets weren’t that interesting). Thus I had to learn by trial and error how to become a prolific twitterer.
  • Third I read a very interesting blogpost on “I’m not a geek” of Hutch Carpenter called Becoming a web 2.0 jedi, showing a simple but very accurate chart of the ever deeper levels of involvement one can have with Web 2.0 apps and the Web 2.0 ethos, as Hutch calls them. “Down are the lower levels, those of passive involvement, level 2 is giving up little pieces of yourself, while level 3 is a much bigger sharing experience. Share your own life, share your knowledge, share the stuff you find interesting. A big leap for a lot of us used to being more private. May the force be with you.”
    Seeing his post I realized that my journey had been quite different (figure below, made in September 2008). During the Spoetnik course emphasis was given to the tools themselves not to the ways you should use and share them and contribute to others. We skipped the reading of blogs and wiki’s, the lurking on twitter, but started with chatting, RSS and blogging. Although Web 2.0 tools are the basis, Web 2.0 is more an attitude than the usage of tools, it is about sharing information and thoughts.Or as Dean Giustini says it: It is about people.

The Ecosphere of Twitter and blogs.

I also experienced that all web 2.0 tools are not stand-alone tools, but can reinforce each other. This is for instance true for RSS, bookmarking tools , blogs, but also twitter (a microblogging service). A recent post of Sandnsurf (Mike Cadogan) at Life in the fast Lane uses a brilliant ecosystem metaphore to describe the twitter-blogging relationship. He describes the blogging ecosphere, where twitter decomposes information from journal articles and long blog posts into readily digestible information (nutrients and humus). See Figure from his post below (but read his post here for the whole story). Just like the Jedi chart this diagram illustrate exactly what web 2.0 is about.

Lessons to be learned

I have learned a lot. Am I now a real web 2.0 Jedi?
I’m not sure. In the ecology-model my blog is a young tree, surrounded by many others. But some ecologic dangers are luring.

  • The relative success of my blog results in “an abundance of light which results in a pressure to keep producing enough good quality posts”.
  • I’ve subscribed to so many RSS-feeds I seldomly read them.
  • I have so many twitter-followers (app. 300) that I can’t keep up with all of them as much as I would like to.
  • I read so many things, but haven’t got the time to work them out (or I simply forget).
  • I find it difficult to separate chaff from wheat. Many blogposts and web 2.0 information are not very accurate and superficial. Furthermore people often echo a subject without careful checking or without adding value.

Or in the words of sandnsurf: the death of a blog can ensue due to excessive exposure and Twittaholism. I hope It will not go in that direction, but I have to figure out a way to coop with the overwhelming amount of information and find a balance. That will be part of my (web 2.0) learning process in 2009.

One other thing:

I forgot to mention one very important experience. During my web 2.0 journey I virtually met many interesting, kind and helpful people from all over the world, from US, UK, Eastern Europe to India and Australia. Closer to home I also ‘met’ many very nice Dutch and Belgian people. I never liked the idea of intentional networking, but in web 2.0 the networks arise spontaneously. In a very natural and gradual way I became a member of a large health and library community and that feels good.

You might also want to read:





Spoetnik Symposium

27 11 2008

Yesterday the Spoetnik Symposium was held (see my previous announcement here).

SPOETNIK was a 17 week course on NEW (web 2.0) internet communication methods for librarians. The main target group consisted of UBA (University Library of Amsterdam) librarians. In total, there were more than 160 course members, each having his own blog.

The organizing UBA-spoetnik team, organized the Spoetnik symposium to learn from each other what has been done with the knowledge obtained a half after the course had finished.

The program was as follows:

14.00 Opening by Robin van Schijndel
14.10 Since SPOETNIK – part1: Blogging after SPOETNIK by Jacqueline (alias Laika)
14.25 Since SPOETNIK – part2: Colleagues about SPOETNIK by Alice Doek
14.40 Group discussions
15.30 Koffie- en theepauze
15.45 Feedback from the discussion groups
16.15 Since SPOETNIK – part 3: New applications by Pascal Braak
16.30 Closure and drink

spoetnikThe symposium started a few minutes later because Jacqueline was a bit late: she had to take off Laika’s astronaut suit (well kind of, she torn her new pantyhose and had to find a new one (that didn’t fit), she dubbelchecked whether she took her USB-stick with her and she forgot her glasses). It could have been worse, because it was just a few hours in advance that Jacqueline found out that the meeting was not in THE Doelenzaal at the Kloverniersburgwal but in the (also beautiful and old) Doelenzaal (zaal = room) in the UBA (main library of the University of Amsterdam). Of course, everyone else just knew this. That underlined the feeling that the Academical Medical Center and most other departments of the UBA are both physically and mentally apart, although still connected.

The atmosphere was very relaxed. Before the speeches, there was a lot of rumor or as Alice said: it is like a reunion. And that ‘s how it felt! Finally I had the chance to meet my colleague bloggers in real life. I met Boekenvlindertje, Duijfje, Dyoke of Zygomorf (which I had always wrongly pronounced as Díe Joke, should be Dieuwke) and Turquoois, and I had long chat with Bert of “Een beetje adjunct” and finally with my blogmate George of Brughagedis, the one with whom I shared Google Docs, but never a drink, before. Both Bert and George have written a blogpost about this meeting (see here and here)

Although George doesn’t want to be in the picture, he was mentioned in the introductory speech of Robin as one person that ‘meant a lot for the course’. That is certainly true. You need some active contributors to inspire the rest. Besides George was the first to create an OPML-feed of all blogs (together with Pascal) which made it a lot easier to keep up with all Spoetnik blogs.

My talk was next. In 15 minutes I had to outline “Blogging after Spoetnik”. How did I continue when the course was finished? Here is my powerpoint presentation.

The theme I choose was “Blogging is navel gazing?!”. I notice that many people (including myself in the pre-web 2.0 phase) consider blogging as something egocentric, just an outlet for one’s feelings and frustrations, or hobbies and thoughts. What I hoped to show is that web 2.0 is not just a set of web 2.0 tools, but it is a whole philosophy. It is the philosophy of gaining momentum when sharing. But to do this you have to be patient, you must have a story to tell (content) and than you have to find readers, else you will remain ‘lonely’. I recommended twitter as a very good source to build up a community, if you use it the right way (find people to share things with). Although I have to say that it is a lot easier for me, as a health 2.0 blogger to find a large global community than someone specialized in Dutch linguistics.
Thus I feel committed to write an introduction on how to use Twitter effectively. Preferably in Dutch: at least 2 UBA colleagues spontaneously said they regret that I had changed to English.

Alice told us the origin of Spoetnik and gave an overview of the opinions of many other well known Dutch librarians about the course. The comment of Wowter was missing however, possibly because he expected Alice to use a web 2.0 way of finding it (Feeds and Twitter). (You can read his -Dutch- comment here). Many other libraries will follow the example of Spoetnik and 23 Dingen, although in a shorter version.

Pascal showed us that there were many new web 2.0 tools ( a few slides with last week’s additions), but according to Pascal none of them was really new, but all variations on a theme. He did whisper that he had a new twitter-firefox api for me, so I hope he will provide me with further details.

In between we discussed in groups what we had learned from the course, what we liked and didn’t like about different tools. Using Google Docs, we brainstormed about how we could implement web 2.0 tools in our library, UBA-wide. A very interesting part of the program, this exchange of thoughts. Robin gave a quick overview of the ideas, but shortly all input will be available at the Spoetnik-website together with the presentations.

The Spoetnik course has been a success, this meeting was a success and hopefully the implementation will also be a success. As Bert said: step by step. Rome wasn’t build in a day. Besides most UBA people are now involved in the implementation of a new program: Aleph. This has to be handled first.





Technorati authority dropping due to anti-spam initiatives?!

29 10 2008

In the previous post (Technorati rank & authority dropping like the stock market) I mentioned the acute overnight drop of my Technorati Authority from ~46 to 5 and the loss of many backlinks.

Here I suggested that this dropping in authority might be connected to the loss of Google backlinks.

From the Technorati discussion forum it is apparent that many other bloggers are having similar problems: the loss of blog reactions and thus “authority”.

Going through some of those discussion, I found that answers of the administrator gave a clue to the cause of the vanishing pings.

In the discussion string http://support.technorati.com/discussions/topic/4655 the administrator wrote on October 17, 22 and 28 respectively (see Figure):

[Note the different insight over time and the light hearted tone:

” Hello all, we did a bit of spam cleaning over the weekend…” ]

The last response links to a blogpost of Ian Kallen on October 27, entitled: Data cleanups and mishaps, that clearly confirms that the “mishaps” do relate to (finally) cleaning up Technorati spam in a very rigorous way.

Here is the integral text of the Technorati blogpost.

“Technorati has a number of initiatives in the works to improve the data in our search indexes and analytics systems. Web spam sites (splogs) have long been an issue that we’ve been working to address. The days when pings came only from legitimate blogs are long gone. Including all of the spam and duplicates, Technorati receives over 8 million pings per day. Over 90% are recognized and blocked as soon as they’re received. The remainder is allowed into the system and selectively processed – a large portion is determined to be spam later.

Recently, we’ve been focusing on link farms and pornography sites that have been getting into the system. Link farms are networks of sites linking to each other and other sites with the intention of raising search rankings. Sometimes, these sites link to legitimate blogs to “camouflage” these intentions or simply because the content has been stolen from another site. During a recent scrub of the system, a number of legitimate blogs were misidentified as spam. The flags set on those blogs were reversed, so going forward they are being indexed correctly again. However, some of the link and post data scrubbed from our search and analytics systems could not be reverted. We’re working on upgrades to make that data handling better managed but in the meantime, there are some gaps in certain blog’s data which may affect the authority of blogs they linked to. Additionally, some blogs suffered authority drops due to being the beneficiary of camouflaged links from spam sites being removed (wittingly or not); when those spam sites were removed, so was a portion of the authority of the legitimate blogs they linked to.

We have a number of technology initiatives in the works to improve the scaling characteristics and data quality of our systems. More news will be arriving on that in the weeks and months ahead.

Indeed this explains a lot. As I wrote in previous posts ( Blog Spam and Spam Blogs 1 (see here) and 2 (see here)) many splogs have linked to my blog and much of my content has been and is being stolen by such blogs!!

So I’m punished twice and hard for writing about health related issues (the desired niche for spamblogs selling cialis, viagra and those kind of drugs).

Once by blogs stealing my content and ending up high in ranking (see comment of Wowter and Keith Nockels here) and once by Technorati finally cleaning up those spamming blogs in a rigorous way, dragging me along in their slipstream!

Thanks Technorati! For shooting holes in my ranking, not responding to my mail and not adequately helping those who are hit by your rucksichtloss (excellent German term for what has been done, something like recklessly in English) weeding of the spam blogs that you’ve allowed to exist in Technorati for years! (see this critic in Wikipedia mentioned in my previous post).

Technorati, what are you going to do about it?






Co-comment faster than light?

1 10 2008

Just a very short note on something I stumbled upon in co-comment.

As I wrote previousy (in Dutch) I use co-comment to keep track of my comments, comments to interesting items and comments to posts of my favorites.

Today I got a red envelope in my Firefox toolbar notifying me there was a new comment.

Looking at co-comment I saw my comment of 43 min ago at PIMM, Partial Immortalization. However when I took a look at his site the comment was still awaiting moderation.

I noticed this before when some-one else (Wowter) posted a comment at my site: that comment already showed up at my co-comment before I even read it, let alone approved it!

This is kind of odd: what is moderation worth if the the comment is already made public elsewhere?

Is this one of the reasons that there are so many double or triple entries of the same comment in Co-comment, one after placing the comment, the copies after approval or editing??

What about spam-comments?





#Sciblog – a bird-eye’s view from the camera

2 09 2008

Last Saturday I learned from @AJCann and @Jobadge (Twitter) that there was a Science Blogging Conference going on in London, that you could virtually attend.

Although I planned to do something else (banking for my mom, pick up my daughter from her overnight stay; Saturday is my-shopping-&-bodyshape-sauna- & blogging-if-I-have-some-spare-time-day), I decided to follow it. In the meantime I tried to blog about something else, which didn’t work.

I largely followed Cameron Neylon’s streamed video on Mogulus. It’s main value was the audio-stream, as well as the candid-camera function peeping at the audience from behind.

I came in late (back from banking) and unfortunately missed the Keynote lecture of Ben Goldacre from Badscience.

The next session didn’t do it for me, partly because the 3 blogging ladies ( Jenny Rohn, Grrl Scientist, Anna Kushnir) were almost inaudible and what they had to say about the bridging function of blogs between scientists and the general public (also figuratively) didn’t catch my ears. In the meantime the virtual attendents including, Fang (Mike Seyfang) from Australia, AJCann, some other guys and me, chatted in Cameron Neylon’s room.

In between I followed Twitter-messages having the hashtag #sciblog (see here). I was not familiar with hashtags, but it is a predefined tag you can add to you microblogging post to easily tract what is being said about a subject (even when you don’t actually follow the persons themselves, so as a spin off you can get acquainted with some real interesting people).

Example of a twitter message on #sciblog:

#sciblog matt woods: friendfeed encourages discussion and closes feedback loop 9 minutes ago from TwitKit

However, Hashtags is an opt-in service. You must follow @hashtags -and it has to follow you- for the service to index your tweets, so it took me some time to get it done (For more information, see this twitter wiki.) Althoug the procedure in itself was very effective, the twitter messages didn’t add much value for people already attending.

Another online backchannel, the Friendfeed room appeared more lively, but I soon stopped following the threads. Furthermore I ‘m so old-fashioned that I think speakers do deserve my attention while they’re talking (but perhaps that is because I’m not yet used to chatting at the back-scene). Checking my notes afterwards with the Friendfeed comments was useful however.

Next I followed Matt Wood’s introduction to microblogging and aggregation services and Breakout 6 “Communicating Primary Research Publicly” by Heather Etchevers (Human in Science), Jean-Claude Bradley (Useful Chemistry) and Bob O’Hara (Deep Thoughts and Silliness).

I found these presentations interesting, but tracking my notes back I couldn’t see where Matt ended and the others began.

During his lively presentation with a lot of gesturing, the heavy “sequencer” Matt Wood from “Green is Good” told us he had decided not to worry to be open and just send the message out to the public. You could use blogs to communicate your scientific findings, but blogposts do not handle versioning, although you can sometimes manipulate the post’s date (WordPress blog). Another tool is microblogging services. Twitter is more of a social platform, whereas Friendfeed is more apt for more information-exchange (no 140 character-limit). A new microblogging service is identi.ca. (see for instance this readwriteweb post)

Labnote books (and wiki’s) were a recurrent subject through the 4 presentations. They are very useful to blog primary research. People should write their motives, use it as a diary (writing down all details and circumstances), recording the results (videorecording, freehand sketches, figures, prints, text), followed by periodic summing up.

Why this is useful?

  • You don’t have to remember it (people tend to forget) (although some lab-scientists don’t like to take the notebook along to the bench)
  • Archive of ideas, (to share with people in the lab, collaborators or even ‘the world’
  • (If open) some results may be available direct outside the lab, which may be very useful for cooperation and exchange of thoughts or help (why did my blot fail?-how to proceed?)
  • It may help as a bridge to the public, i.e. by showing if public money is being spent well or for direct communication of your data to the public.
  • The info is verifiable if you link to the real data
  • Science is far more efficient this way and results are revealed instantly. Why wait till everything is distilled out? The scientist’s approach is as Hans Ricke quoted Richard Feyman from his Nobel Lecture 1966 (at Bob o’Hara ‘s blog) :

“We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn’t any place to publish, in a dignified manner,what you actually did in order to get to do the work.”

As Hans said blogs may fill that hole, because they are the place to publish this!

Major Pitfall may be that journals may not accept data reported on a wiki. And another that some people may run away with your ideas. By writing it all down you make it very easy on them. Still if everybody would become open…. For Science that would be a great good.

What I liked most of these presentations is the openness and the creativity of the presenters.
As a (medical) librarian and a scientist these thoughts came to my mind:

  • I’m a bit jealous that I worked as a scientist in the web 1.0 era. This way of approaching science looks very stimulating to me, but maybe that’s only a romantic look from the outside?
  • How do we as librarians step in? Can we play a facilitating role? Should these primary findings be aggregated and made available in a searchable way?
    We should at least keep more in pace with the new scientific developments and the way researchers exchange and find their information. It’s entirely different to what we are used to. (we= most librarians I know, including myself)
  • I wonder if such an approach could also be used in medicine and/or in EBM. Are wiki’s like this useful for CATs for instance? Question, PICO + domain, best study type, search, critical appraisal, summary, power point presentation, pdf-files, video of CAT etc??? link to video of casus perhaps?

To get an impression of the great features of such a wiki/open notebook, take a look at http://usefulchem.wikispaces.com/ (Jean Claude Bradley). You can also go to the Useful Chemistry blog and click at “UsefulChem wiki”. Note for instance the links to the notebooks of the individual scientists. Really impressive.

Below you also find the (short) presentation of Heather. Hope the others will follow soon and share their presentations

more about “Sciblog2008 Etchevers“, posted with vodpod
Other Info





Spoetnikblogs als een woordenwolk

9 08 2008

In een vorige post (zie hier) had ik het over WORDLE, een programma waarmee je woordenwolken kunt maken.

Het leek mij leuk om mijn Spoetnik-blogroll in een Wordle-creatie te vangen. Alle links die in mijn blogroll staan (stonden?!) bracht ik over naar Word en ik gaf gewicht aan de links door ze een aantal malen te kopieren, varierend van 1x tot 6x. De grootte van de woorden in Wordle is namelijk afhankelijk van hun frequentie. De woorden kun je in Wordle invoeren bij “create”. Wanneer de woordenwolk gecreeerd is kun je het aanpassen: lettertype, kleurenpalet en orientatie. Vervolgens kun je het in de galerij opslaan en printen, maar niet als figuur downloaden. Het is nl. gebaseerd op Java-script. Ik doe dat indirect via een programmaatje dat ik gekocht heb: SnagIt.

Vervolgens leek het me leuk alle spoetnikblogs in een echte wolk te vatten. Ik heb wel de http’s en wordpress etc. termen erafgehaald. In eerste instantie had ik het niet aangepast aan mijn blogrollversie, met als gevolg dat iemand onder 2 namen kon voorkomen oefenings~40’s~blog of oefening40. Vervolgens heb ik alleen de officiele spoetniknamen (webadressen) aangehouden. Alle blogs die geen belletje bij me deden rinkelen noteerde ik 1x, blogs die dat wel deden 2x en blogs die op mijn blogroll voorkwamen minimaal 3x. “Opgeheven” heb ik maar laten staan en blogs waarvan ik weet dat ze onder een andere naam gehandhaafd zijn heb ik ook vermeld: Een Beetje Adjunct (http://zeemanspraat.wordpress.com/ van Ubabert) en FNWI nieuwbouw beta bibliotheek (http://betabieb.wordpress.com/ van Zygomorf). Vanzelfsprekend is het gewicht dat ik eraan toegekend heb geheel persoonlijk.

Wordle is vooral fraai, het maakt woordwolken, blogrolls, tagsclouds e.d. tot een kunstzinnig object, een tastbaar iets. Helaas zijn de namen niet aanklikbaar, dus als blogroll heb je er niet veel aan.

Wil je de plaatjes beter bekijken, klik er dan op en kijk of je naam erbij staat.

Nu ik de blogroll bekijk, bedenk ik wel dat deze niet meer uptodate is. Veel mensen onderhouden hun Spoetnikblog niet meer. Aan de andere kant heb ik nu andere blogs leren kennen die èn actueel zijn èn op mijn interessegebied liggen. Daarom ga ik links van Spoetnik-blogs verwijderen, voorzover ze niet meer bijgehouden worden om ruimte te maken voor andere blogs/links.

Willen jullie me laten weten of:

  • je vindt dat ik je onterecht verwijderd heb (je gaat door met je blog)
  • of ik je misschien vergeten ben en je wel op mijn blogroll wilt staan?
  • of jij (of jouw bieb) misschien een andere blog bent begonnen? (geef dan de link)
  • of vertel hier even hoe het met je gaat, heb je ook een “after-spoetnik-dip”? of is het leven er alleen maar zonniger op geworden tijdens je vakantie en na de spoetnik-drukte?

Wil je zelf een WORDLE-plaatje maken, lees evt mijn vorige post (zie hier) of ga direct naar de Wordle-create pagina. Het wijst zich wel vanzelf en het is leuk (lees verslavend) om wat te experimenteren. Ik zag tussen 2 haakjes dat Bert op zijn nieuwe blog Zeemanspraat al een maand eerder een Wordle-wolk had gemaakt van een van zijn presentaties (zie hier)

Spoetnikblogs, UBA -en niet-UBA-deelnemers, vetgedrukt zij die (ooit) op mijn blogroll staan (stonden):

(Ja sorry niet overal de nr ervoor, ik had ze eerst verwijderd, maar om de verwijderde nummers achteraf weer toe te voegen???!! EEn karwei hoor, handmatig al die links toevoegen en http en wordpress.com verwijderen pfffffff)
UBA-deelnemers: 1. ubaspoetnik 2. spoetnik.mtb-schoorl.nl 3. astolfosullaluna 4. nielsmr 5. swealtsje ; robinvs ; swealtsje ; jaapdevisser ; afvalchinees ; jwdjoker. salamanc ; dexie ; moirac ; oefening40 ; lezen20. ; woutv ; nabaghlavi ; snavely ; donkeytail ; sperwer4 ; ijsbus ; ubsarah ; metgezel dorades ; zygomorf ; aristotalloss ; h1gh5 ; laikaspoetnik ; brughagedis ; averhag1; bidocblog ; pentagruel ; oktoberkind29 ; ubafranca ; duyfje ; sarabeemsterboer ; kramerotten ; plisu ; lynndelisa ; gildederspoetnikker ; margrieto ; filipsdestoute/ ; joeri25 ; geraldapm ; . criticus ; mammen ; annadv. ; creabea ; berendina. ; basler ; majomikl. ; acqvier ; overzichter ; gvulot ; gitele.; bibliobes ; athahualpa zanni3s ; mfeijen 59. mjdebooys. 60. timelost 61. jansenangeline 62. tillie 63. wmeijer1 64. googoes 65. epbintje 66. ubabert 67. sabineg49 68. hoorn 69. datinka. 70. wodunit 71. agje 72. boekenvlindertje 73. biciuvajamvw 75. rfernho 76. davehak 77. zwaandebbie 78. klokhuis 80. mar1jke 82. jeroenub1 83. snahamrof. 84. praagselente 85. herrie1 86. roosophetrokin. 87. 1forens. 88. grrootje 89. geantduprov 90. kaihenriquez 91. nancykleenex 92. aanbrand 93. turquoois 94. klijtberroo 95. hian46 96. technopcj 97. pussycat123 98. kate57 99. happymax100. lieuwekool 101. jbties 102. zichor 103. julietteolivier 104. staminalopodax 105. grensgebieden 106. snoever 107. guusroeloff 108. bknuppebv 109. ritagulinck 111. marcelsampimon. 112. iwoiwo 113. nikspoet 114. jeroenxx 115. debibliotheker 116. kladblogje 117. gazendam 118. elkedagwatanders 119. pimpampet 120. agnessavd 121. prbiebmiep 122. moniquekooijmans 123. schwitters 124. diederikmajoor 125. zonnetje4 126. redibis 127. yvonne18 128. loindesponts 129. raybeuker 130. martien128 131. trijnvanhamborg 132. truitje 133. mietjekopietje
Niet UBA-deelnemers
: 1. hollander68 2. wondersteen 3. hobbeltjes 4. ratafurell 5. tandory 6. no33.nl 7. evantee 8. peepastinakel 9. annajo 10. makok 11. gertiebastiaansen 12. ubautist 13. happinez 14. /wimam 15. maaikemo 16. calypta 17. gevleugeld 18. sotoha 19. xspainter 20. aagjedeboer 21. hoigagarin 22. rovingreports 23. bibliotheekheb 24. mariettevandepoll 25. chuqui9 26.leefsma 27. http://vooruitkijkengodelieveengbersen.blogspot.com 28. http://riamuisje.wordpress.com 29. http://pulpje.wordpress.com
74.

———————————–
Like to know what this is all about?? I’ve made a word cloud of the blogs of the online course SPOETNIK on NEW (web 2.0) internet communication methods for (dutch) librarians. First I made a cloud of the spoetnik blogs that were on my blogroll, then I made a cloud of all Spoetnikbloks including all cancelled ones (“opgeheven”).

However, I decided not to leave all Spoetnik blogs permanently on my blogroll for purely nostalgic reasons, but to remove those blogs that are poorly maintained or in a dormant state.
On the other hand I will soon add some blogs that I’ve been into lately, mostly on the field of medical librarianship, medicine and science.

If you’re interested in Wordle, you might take a look at my previous post on this subject or go directly to Wordle to create your own word-cloud.





Twitter Traumas: Twitter’s Janus Face

7 08 2008

In a few posts I praised Twitter, the free microblogging service, for its value as a rich source of social contacts, news and ideas. See for instance this post about Twitter as a modern tamtam or this one titled: “Forget Hyves go Twitter”.

In the short period I used it (2 months) I also noticed some drawbacks: its frequent down times, for instance. The sudden disappearance of half of my followers, a phenomenon, which appeared to affect half of the Twitter community last week. The vanishing of part of the archive (@Deeboeks). However, last week the situation has come to a head by the banning of some if its most active users. Why? Because these highly following and followed twitterati were apparently suspected as spammers. Without thorough verification, that is. These addicted Twitter-users were greatly inconvenienced.

@davedelaney: “(from his blog) Take my email analogy and consider how you would feel, or as if someone took your personal journal and address book and refused to return them.”

@pfanderson: (from her blog) “Now, two important points. First point, earlier this week I stated in this blog that Twitter is my #2 productivity tool. In other words, this is REALLY important for me! Second point, Twitter funkiness (like Second Life funkiness) is not unusual, so at first I did not realize this was anything beyond the typical. (…..) All kinds of alarms went off. I had just been asked to demo Twitter (among other social techs) at an important upcoming meeting. Wait a week? For them to just look at the problem? Ummm, that could be a REAL problem!”

Well, it isn’t bad when spam is banned. Indeed many of the spamming or advertising twitterati are following a huge number of people, but are followed by relatively few. Thus a ratio of 1500:50 sets the alarm bells ringing. But then you must do a second check: of profiles, website links and tweets, of course. A proper check of @davedelaney, @tibbon, @conniecrosby, @skalik, @marjarpanic, @abrudtkuhl, @pfanderson (one of my favorites) @narain (a twitterer I referred to as bringing breaking news about Bomb blasts in Bangalore!!) would have learned that these people intensively use twitter for serious purposes. Quite different from other twitterers that follow a whole crowd, only producing twitter messages like: “want to do X than look at this (= my) website” or all kind of quack. And these twitter-spammers are not banned…

But everybody can make mistakes, as long as you….. right, 3rd problem….. communicate it directly to your customers, preferably before you ban them. And if you faile to do so, … right 4th mistake…. do you best to fix the problem and …..o.k. 5th really unforgivable mistake …. always give yours sincere apologies!!

Nothing of the kind happened and that is really bad. If I could, I would ban @Ev (Twitter’s silent leader who was enjoying wine and pie while some of his most loyal users were panicking, according to @davedelaney‘s description) at least for a while. Without checking, without notification, without responding to his frequent requests for help, and foremost without any apology afterwards!!

As far as I know all accounts are back now, but it has cost these people a lot of precious time and has changed their feelings about twitter as a program.

@davedelaney has a poll at the end of one of his post asking:

Are you having second thoughts about Twitter now?”

66% of the responders gives an affirmative answer.

There are some Twitter alternatives, but as Delaney says:

“Of course my main love for Twitter is the Community (…). Without the people there would be no Twitter. I don’t love Twitter, I love the people on Twitter who make it such a vibrant place to be. I don’t love Twitter, I don’t even like Twitter at the moment – I may even hate them.”

Further reading:

On Dave Delaney’s blog (August 3rd) : 5-reasons-why-i-hate-twitter. Very balanced: he also gives 5-6 reasons why he loves Twitter; some alternatives mentioned as well)

An account of the banning adventure :can also be found at the blogpost of @pf anderson: twitter_banning.html and on here slideshow on Flickr

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Eerder promootte ik Twitter als een microblogging-dienst, omdat het zo’n rijke bron is van sociale contacten, nieuws en ideeen. Zie bijvoorbeeld de berichten: Twitter as a modern tamtam en “Forget Hyves go Twitter”.

Maar in de korte periode dat ik het gebruik, ondervond ik ook enkele nadelen. Twitter is bijvoorbeeld herhaaldelijk niet bereikbaar (“down” , “upgrading” of te zeer belast). Vorige week verdween ongeveer de helft van mijn fans (en ik heb er al zoveel), maar “gelukkig” bleek ik niet de enige te zijn. Soms verdwijnt een deel van het archief, bij @Deeboeks bijvoorbeeld: “Al mijn tweets van voor 6 april 2008 zijn uit ‘t archief verdwenen”. Maar vorige week was toch wel de klap op de vuurpijl. Opeens waren de accounts van de meest actieve twitteraars verdwenen. Waarom? Ze werden kennelijk van spammen verdacht en zonder staving verwijderd. Dat bracht behoorlijk wat ongemak met zich mee, daar dit juist mensen zijn die Twitter veel gebruiken en er deels ook afhankelijk van zijn. Voor @pfanderson: is Twitter is haar “#2 productivity tool“. @davedelaney: “zegt het als volgt:

“consider how you would feel, or as if someone took your personal journal and address book and refused to return them.”

Natuurlijk is het bannen van spam niet slecht. Als de verhouding following/followers 1500:50 dan moet er wel een belletje gaan rinkelen. Maar dan moet je vervolgens het e.e.a. checken: profiel, evt. website en natuurlijk de aard van de tweets.
@davedelaney
, @tibbon, @conniecrosby, @skalik, @marjarpanic, @abrudtkuhl, @pfanderson (een van mijn favorieten) @narain (die het nieuws over de aanslagen in Bangalore bracht!!) zijn intensieve en serieuze gebruikers. Dat kun je in één opslag zien.

Iedereen kan fouten maken, maar je moet natuurlijk wel goed en tijdig communiceren met je gebruikers, alles doen om de fout te herstellen en vooral achteraf je excuses aanbieden. En dat is allemaal niet gebeurd.

Wat zou ik graag Twitterbaas @Ev (die alleen twitterde dat hij heerlijk genoot van wijn en quiche terwijl zijn klanten in paniek waren en om zijn hulp vroegen) het zelfde lot doen ondergaan: account rucksichtlos verwijderen, niet op de hoogte brengen, niet reageren en niet helpen. En natuurlijk al helemaal geen excuses aanbieden!!

Ik geloof wel dat alle accounts nu weer in orde zijn, maar het heeft deze mensen wel veel ergernis bezorgd en hun gedachten over Twitter veranderd.

@davedelaney heeft zelfs een poll gezet onder zijn Twitterbericht met de vraag:

Are you having second thoughts about Twitter now?”

66% van de mensen die hierop gereageerd hebben zegt ja.








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