The Web 2.0 challenge is designed to familiarize you with emerging technologies and help you be more comfortable in learning about and exploring them. In addition to the web tools covered by the course, many other emerging technologies have the potential to be useful in law libraries.
Your task in the wiki portion of the challenge is to find some relatively new technology that you think is notable and write about it. Software, hardware, web app, gadget, concept—anything is fine! A Web 2.0 Challenge 2009 wiki has been created at http://w2c2009.pbworks.com to give you some practice in editing a wiki.
The password for this wiki is: challenge. PBWorks also requires you to enter your name and an email address. Guests following along should feel free to use the course wiki for this exercise.
- Create a page on the wiki and write a couple paragraphs explaining why this technology is important and how it might be used in the law library environment. (Hint: to create a new page, edit the wiki’s front page by creating a link that leads to your new page).
Note: There should ideally be one and only one page for each technology discussed. If someone else has already written about your first choice, please choose another topic. Consider adding to the first topic in step 3.
- In your paragraphs, include links to information, articles, and relevant websites about this technology.
- When you are done, check out the pages created by other W2C2009 participants. Find one that interests you, maybe one you’re familiar with, and edit a sentence or two of your own into the original work. Optionally, post a comment expressing your opinion about the technology.
Remember, Wikis are not blogs! In a blog, someone “owns” the blog, and posts articles or content and other people add comments about the posts. But no one owns a wiki article. Instead, many people update and add to a wiki’s content, making it more comprehensive and robust. Comments below the content are usually avoided; but if used, they are most appropriate for personal, subjective opinions, not for factual additions and corrections
- Write briefly about some of your thoughts or concerns about law library use of wikis in your course blog, linking to the page you created.
Hat tip to the University of Penn and the 2007 CIS 700, Emerging Technologies class for giving us the idea for this exercise.
OPTIONAL ADVANCED ASSIGNMENT ACTIVITIES
- Try creating your own wiki from scratch. Your wiki should have at least five pages, but its content does not need to be polished -- the idea is to build on it over time, so consider this just a start.
Possible topics for your wiki include:
- A circulation policy manual
- A guide to local court rules and procedures
- A legal research guide, such as how to locate documents for state legislative history
- How-to guides for office and Web 2.0 technologies
- Track electronic resources information such as contacts and license terms
If you need some sample content, try using this material for creating a circulation manual for a law school library:
- Students: may borrow only monographs and videos. They may check out monographs for 4 weeks and videos for 10 days. Items due on a day the library is closed may be returned the following day without penalty. Fines are $.50/day. Materials may be renewed twice. Renewals are not automatic.
- Law School Staff: may borrow any items for 4 weeks and have unlimited but not automatic renewals. Staff are not subject to fines.
- Professors: may borrow any items for 1 year. Renewals are automatic. Not subject to fines.
- Subscribers: may borrow monographs for 2 weeks. May not renew items. Items due on a day the library is closed may be returned the following day without penalty. Fines are $1/day.
- Public: may not borrow items unless they pay the annual subscription fee.
Feel free to add other topics to the manual like library hours, opening and closing procedures, and important contact information. If you work in a government or law firm law library, try including procedures that reflect your own policies.
Decide how to manage this wiki, keeping the following considerations in mind. You may want to discuss your thinking about these issues later when you write your course blog entry for this assignment:
Visit Wikimatrix and use the wizard to choose a wiki application. You may want to discuss the following considerations in your blog:
- Who will edit this wiki? Is editing restricted?
- Who be able to read the wiki? Any member of the public, only those associated with your law firm, law school, or agency, or something in between?
- Will users be able add comments to the wiki? Will it serve as a forum to discuss library policy, or should policy discussions take place outside the wiki?
- Should the information be organized in many pages, or just a few?
- How will users be trained to read and/or edit the wiki? Will your users need a Word-like editor?
- Where should the wiki reside? Does it need to be on an internal server or can it be hosted remotely?
- Does the wiki need to look like the library’s website?
- Do you need to upload document or media files?
- Are you able to pay for a wiki application?
- What other considerations are important for your specific needs?
Create your wiki and link to it from the front page of the W2C 2009 wiki.
- Is "choice wizard" detailed enough?
- Which wiki works best for your needs?
- Can you use the wiki recommended by Wikimatrix in your library? If not, what alternatives are available?
Invite some other people to edit your wiki. You may want to discuss the following considerations in your blog:
- For the purposes of this exercise, try one of the easy-to-use applications such as PBWorks.
- If you'd like to try MediaWiki (the application used by Wikipedia and Wex), you can create your own wiki at Editthis.info.
- Other free wikis include Wetpaint and Socialtext (for limited users or self-installations).
Write briefly about your experiences with wiki creation in your course blog.
- Did the edits make sense? Did they help the content?
- Were your users able to easily work with the wiki application?
- What do you like about the wiki applications? What would make it easier to use?