Walter Nelson of RAND is starting us off with a presentation about alternative uses for applications commonly used in blogging and XML feeds. We have to meet our clients where they are, not where we want them to be. People don’t always understand XML feeds, but many do understand Web sites. Integrating feeds into a Web page might be more powerful than trying to get clients to use aggregators.
Karen Coombs from the University of Houston is telling us about how they’re using blogs for internal communication because they didn’t think their current intranet would work well for it. Using blogs for their service points allows the staff to share news about what’s happening. Some of the problems include integrating the blogs with their current intranet and since information that isn’t necessarily public gets posted to the blog, the staff can’t use certain tools to subscribe to the blogs’ feeds.
Aaron Schmidt of Thomas Ford Memorial Library reminds us that “No one cares that you have a blog.” He emphasizes using blogs as tools as opposed to just having a blog for the sake of having a blog. He believes library customers don’t really care what kind of tools library Web sites offer. They’re more interested in the things they can do on a library’s Web site.
Finally, someone besides me got the question about whether blogs or wikis are better for libraries. The answer the panelists gave matches what I usually say. In the words of the great Wayne Wiegand: “It depends.”