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Archive for the tag “learning”

LibGuides – Enterprise 2.0 for the Library

Currently I am completing a Request for Proposal document outlining a web 2.0 implementation plan for the QUT Library. After investigating the Library’s current situation and identifying the tools they are currently offering their clients, I have come across one in particular which I am going to discuss in this post. This tool is known as LibGuides.

LibGuides is a software package developed by Springshare, a company who has made it their goal “to develop practical web 2.0 applications built specifically for libraries and educational institutions,” (Springshare, 2009). LibGuides is a “web 2.0 content management and library knowledge sharing system” that can be used to create attractive, multimedia rich web pages to share resources, content and knowledge collaboratively amongst users. LibGuides puts the power of content creation in Librarian’s hands. It provides a flexible and easy to use interface from which Librarians can create customised pages specific to the content they wish to display.

Below is a fairly long and unintersting video about the uses and benefits of LibGuides… but if you don’t feel like watching it all (Iwon’t blame you) I’ll give you the low down of how LibGuides works, what it offers and the benefits it provides.

How does it work?
The benefit of LibGuides comes from the ability for Librarians to customise the look and feel of the website and add content modules to the page similar to MySpace’s Profile 2.0 system. Dragging and dropping modules onto the page is simple and these modules range from plaintext modules to fully-fledged RSS modules, multimedia modules, Delicious tag cloud modules and so on. These modules or widgets depending on what you prefer, can be further customised to enable commenting, polls and so on to enable participation from its users.

What does it offer?
LibGuides offers Librarians with an unlimited potential to create meaningful, attractive and useful content for their clients. With the ability to drop LibGuide modules onto the page, multimedia, tag clouds, polls, commenting systems, social media integration and sharing are all at the finger tips of the Librarian without the need for profound technical knowledge.

What are the benefits of LibGuides?

  • Integrating and embracing Web 2.0 technologies such as Twitter, syndication in the form of RSS feeds, social media sites such as Facebook, wikis and blogs has never been easier and with thousands of pre-made templates designing is even simpler.
  • Creating communities, sharing resources, monitoring usage and catalysing learning is much easier.
  • Receiving user opinions and running polls or questionnaires is as simple as dropping a module onto the page and customising a few fields. But for advanced users, customisation is powerful and can be used to adjust the appearance, look, behaviour and content of a module.

All in all I believe LibGuides is a huge step in the right direction for Libraries wanting to embrace web 2.0 concepts. It offers more flexibility and control in areas such as subject guides, learning portals and so forth allowing content to be customised and encouraging, enhancing and increasing collaboration and sharing in ways that Web 2.0 can only offer. You can try out LibGuides in use at the QUT Library’s subject guides: http://libguides.library.qut.edu.au/
Or if you are looking for more information on LibGuides you can visit their website at: http://www.springshare.com/libguides/index.html

Enterprise 2.0 in action

After my last post I have decided to take another angle at businesses using enterprise 2.0. In this post I’m going to discuss only one company who has used enterprise 2.0 in their business internally. Why only one? Because there’s a lot to talk about and you don’ t want to be reading this all day.

A company I found that has dived head first into adopting enterprise 2.0 is that of Accenture, a global consulting firm, (Buckler, 2007). The CTO of Accenture, Donald Rippert, sees the future of technology in the enterprise merging with technology in the realm of web 2.0. In 2007, Accenture went live with “a new global employee network that looks much like Facebook,” (Buckler, 2007). After discovering how easy it was to find content on Youtube, no matter how novice or unheard of the content creator, Rippert wondered why finding information on their corporate database and archives was next to impossible. The key to solving the mystery lay in the way social media and web 2.0 applications use and promote tagging of content. So in a similar manner that delicious enables tagging, the idea of users adding value and assisting searches via tags was conceived.

After introducing the online global network within Accenture, the company then introduced several other web 2.0 tools that they transformed/reinvented into their own enterprise 2.0 tools. These include a wiki called Accenturepedia and a video-based knowledge sharing system called AccentureTube (borrowing its name from web 2.0 site YouTube). Accenturepedia runs much like any other wikis allowing employees access to centralised data to which they can contribute themselves. AccentureTube acts as one large internal video database which users can upload work-related content, tag it and share amongst colleagues. The idea was to keep the system familiar (by borrowing ideas from YouTube), to enhance and promote its use, (Neal, 2008).

In terms of the Wikinomics business models (Peering, Being Open, Sharing and Acting Globally), Accenture has been able to achieve all of these goals internally. The company was already global so by offering the enterprise 2.0 tools without pressure they fostered and promoted global interactions amongst their employees. This in turn lead to peering, in that the different facets of the company could collaborate, find each other and communicate ideas easily. Although I have not discussed how Accenture reaches out to its community, they are miles ahead in terms of sharing their innovations, reasearch and experiences across a broad range of fields including their adoption of enterprise 2.0 via their website. They are actively being open and sharing their information to the wider community via blogs, podcasts and downloadable documents.

Accenture’s enterprise 2.0 ventures can also be compared to the SLATES paradigm as proposed by Andrew McAfee. Firstly, searching was made easier by the ability for employees to tag media with keywords. Secondly, linking was acceleratd by giving the masses the ability to edit wikis, tag media and so forth hence creating a dense link structure in their intranet. Thirdly, employees were given the ability to author. They can edit, create and contribute to the Accenturepedia wikis. This also steams from the inherent nature of web 2.0 being about collaboration, the network effect and users adding value (some patterns identified by Tim O’Reilly as being at the heart of web 2.0). Tagging was delivered by Accenture as discussed earlier to categorise and give relevance to content so that user could find and gain information more quickly. Extensions come of course with tagging, the AccentureTube if similar to YouTube, would use tags to offer relevant and similar types of video content to the user in a side pane, extending extra content to them. Signalling would be intergrated into their enterprise 2.0 tools to enable users to quickly view what has changed and what content has been added. This could come in the form of RSS feeds or email updates to changes in a wiki they are monitoring.

Finally, how does Accenture’s E2.0 infrastucture address Dion Hinchcliffe’s extension to the SLATES paradigm? Hinchcliffe sights social, emergent, freeform and network-oriented elements as an important part of enterprise 2.0. In my opinion the Accenture infrastucture covers the social, emergent and freeform nature of E2.0 and its fully web-based nature allows information to be addressable and reusable.

For anyone interested, I’ve found a video interview with the director of Fast Innovation and director of innovation, technology and learning at Accenture that might be of interest here. In particular, she briefly mentions how she tried to convince management to get an “avatar”.

Thank you for reading my post. I’ll keep up updated if I find any more interesting news articles on Accenture.

References
Accenture. (2009). Accenture GLobal Research and Insights. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, https://www.accenture.com/Global/Research_and_Insights/default.htm
Buckler, G. (2007). Accenture CTO gets his Web 2.0 on. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=43006
Dawsom, R. (2009). Implementing Enterprise 2.0 – Sample Chapter. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://implementingenterprise2.com/IE2_Sample_Chapter_2.pdf
Koser, M. (2009). Accenture gets into Intranet 2.0. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from,  http://www.frogpond.de/index.php/archive/accenture-gets-into-intranet-20/
Neal, D. (2008). Innovation comes as a standard. Retrieved, August 19, from, http://www.computing.co.uk/itweek/analysis/2215255/innovation-comes-standard
Ross, J. (2009). FASTforward’09 Interview: Kirsti Kierulf, Director, The Fast Innovation Center and Director, Innovation, Technology, and Learning, Accenture. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from, http://www.fastforwardblog.com/2009/02/10/fastforward09-interview-kirsti-kierulf-director-the-fast-innovation-center-and-director-innovation-technology-and-learning-accenture/

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