Librarians on the Commons

There are lots of librarians on the Commons, and about a year ago, fellow Commons Facilitator Brian Foote (@brianfoote) started a wiki page to compile links to their work, focusing especially on blogs and groups.

An amazing amount has happened since!  Included below are some updates, and a bunch of images, one year later.

Please feel free to contribute more links and annotate the existing ones!

The following comes directly from a Commons Wiki page.

Libraries and Library Issues on the Commons

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Google Maps Now Available on Commons Blogs

With the latest release of CUNY Academic Commons 1.1.1, all blogs will be able to easily embed Google maps into posts and pages.  Check out the appended wiki page for the simple instructions.

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WordPress Image-handling Plug-ins

from a Commons Wiki page

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Openbare Bibliotheek – Amsterdam

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I took a short trip to Amsterdam last week and came across Openbare Blibiotheek – the largest public libary in Europe. Built in 2007 at a cost of 80 million euros, it was a welcome sign that progressive societies still value free access to information. And then I came home to reality on Wednesday to read the Times article “Anger Builds as a Private Company Takes over Libraries“…

I’ve included a slideshow of some pictures I took, so we can all be jealous…

The Openbare is truly amazing – 10 floors, 1200 seats, 600 Apple computers, 28,000 square meters of space, an awesome collection of CDs and DVDs, a theater that seats 250, conference rooms which may be rented for special events, a gourmet cafe on the roof, overlooking the city, with a fully stocked bar … only in Europe! With a staff of 200, the library is open 7 days a week, 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

MediaWiki Shortcuts for Common Tasks

Several people have been asking me about writing wikis, and I put together a shortcut “cheat sheet” describing how to do six common tasks on the wiki. There’s a link to the wiki page in FAQ, and I’m including it, below.

from a Commons wiki page

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WordPress Control Freak? Try Atahualpa…

We know how it can get sometimes, when you can’t find the right theme for a new blog. That’s where the folks at bytesforall come to the rescue. With 268 (and counting) customizable options, this theme rocks!

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Wiki Upgrade and RSS Feeds

The Commons Wiki has been upgraded to a more modern version of MediaWiki (1.15.4), and this lets us do some cool things that were previously not possible. External feeds can now be drawn into wiki pages dynamically and wiki content can be fed out to Web pages, RSS Readers and other wiki pages.

I’ve been playing around with our Wiki’s new RSS functionality, and have begun including some feeds in the right sidebars of Wiki Wrangler

Haven’t had the time to fully explore all this, but I know these new extensions will help in the new Wiki home page redesign, spearheaded by Chris Stein (@cstein). Dynamic content will soon come to the Wiki home page in the form of popular wiki pages, featured wiki pages, wiki resource pages, recently changed wiki pages… The possibilities have multiplied with this upgrade.

Below is some how-to documentation I wrote, posted on the wiki.

Have fun!

(from a Commons Wiki page)

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Apture Plug-in for WordPress

I activated the Apture plug-in today and it’s pretty cool.  Apture lets you create a collection of links, each of which is popped up in its own window.  The idea is to keep your readers on your site while reading or watching content from other sites.

The first link you select serves as the frame, and all the subsequent links appear as icons underneath the control bar.  Here is a sample Apture link I created: Open Access.   I chose a youTube video as the frame, and included a wiki article from the Commons Wiki, an image from Flickr, an article from Wikipedia, Open Access on Twitter, Peter Suber’s Linked-In account,  and an e-book  from Google Books.  When you select web pages, you can open up snippets, or the whole page in another window.

Apture may be activated by going to “Plugins” on the WordPress dashboard.  Scroll down until you find it, and click on the “Activate” hyperlink.  Once it is installed, you will be guided to set up an Apture account.  A quick “Getting Started” tutorial is available.

See Apture for documentation and additional information.   Unfortunately, Apture does not work on the iPad.  Apture requires Flash Player, and Apple doesn’t allow it.

This can also be done using Apture’s “embed” function.  The following sample was just embedded in the post:

Spam Comment

I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting spam comment on some posts and wonder if anyone else is experiencing the same problem.  I’m including a wiki page below that provides some information about spam comment.

Commons Guide to Blogging – Spam Comment

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Adding Wiki Content to Blog Posts

I’ve been looking at the various ways to use blogs and wikis together, and found a new one (at least to me).

Suppose you want to record what you learn at a class or a conference. Both wikis and blogs let you compile links and share information, but blogs are better suited to broadcast that information. On the other hand, wikis allow content to evolve and grow by enabling collaboration. Blogs allow feedback in the form of comments, but searching through comments is not that convenient.

So here’s an alternative that lets you use both!

Using the WordPress plug-in “WIKI INC” you can include wiki content in your blog post or page. I created a wiki page to further explain, and have dynamically “included” it below to demonstrate this plug-in’s functionality.

Everything below here comes dynamically from a Commons Wiki page

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