Internet Librarian 2010, day 1, part 2

Information Architecture and Navigation

Jenny Emanuel, of UIUC, talked about ways to improve your web site:

Home pages:

  • Identify the site, establish the brand
  • Set tone and personality
  • Allow people to do something right away
  • Reflect the personality of the library

Pathway pages:

  • Gateways to secondary content
  • Great for categories of stuff you can’t put on the homepage
  • An additional way to navigate

Finding stuff:

  • 5 ways of finding anything (3 of them can be a search box, a site map or index, and pathway pages)
  • But ease of finding is better than multiple ways

URLs:

  • They’ve lost their purpose
  • Can be used as breadcrumbs
  • Length and organization: no more than 2 slashes
  • Index pages (index.html)
  • Lowercase letters
  • Naming conventions

Folders:

  • Lower case names
  • Less than 10 letters
  • Broad topic areas that fit with navigation (such as Basic info., Library content, and Guides, how-tos)
  • Index pages can be your pathfinder pages

Scrolling:

  • Don’t scroll on a homepage or pathway pages
  • Other pages OK, but be reasonable

Writing:

  • Readers read in an F-pattern
  • Break up text, use bullet points
  • Use active voice
  • Don’t rehash content on lots of different pages

Page creep:

  • Don’t allow similar pages
  • Each page has a purpose
  • Each page has a home (in the navigation structure)

Tutorials, guides, etc.:

  • Pick one name or define differences

Accessibility:

  • Each page should have a title in the title tags
  • Meaningful link text (not “click here”)
  • Image descriptions in the IMG tag
  • Bullet lists for lists
  • Tables only for tabular content

More later.

Internet Librarian 2010, day 1

Keynote by Patricia Martin. She says we’re living in a “Renaissance generation.”

  • More blog content than the collections of the Library of Congress
  • Facebook would be the 4th largest country
  • More e-books published [last year?] than traditional books

Winners are those who can go from “me” to “we” (think of end users), empower creativity, manage the human interface.

In the future:

  • No [one] “story”
  • Screens everywhere
  • Return on time (rather than investment)
  • Cloud storage
  • Story is the new killer app
  • Precognition

ALA and Finca collaborated on a campaign to encourage the use of financial info in libraries.

Add value to your community:

  1. Put the user at the center
  2. Let users collaborate on rules
  3. Curate the human interface

Not sure what some of this means. Definitely food for thought.

Search Engine Update

Chris Sherman of Search Engine Land talked about what’s new. His links for this talk are at http://goo.gl/5lOx, but he didn’t have time to talk about everything on that list.

There are now just two big search engines.

Google:

  • Faster indexing
  • Faster results
  • Algorithmic changes (all the time)
  • Search suggestions as you type (for example, weather, time, flights, spell check)
  • Image swirl: visual links, related terms
  • Real-time search: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. (Can get e-mail alerts of this **)
  • Can find out what’s new at www.google.com/newproducts/
  • (Privacy concerns from sites like Inside Google

Bing:

  • “More on this page” links
  • “Intent classifiers” change results and 2nd-level options (synonyms, general/local/news results, difference points of view, product reviews)
  • Bing Entertainment (5 million full-length songs)
  • Bing maps
  • Travel: fare predictions
  • University search (Google had something similar)
  • Event search

Yahoo: Now uses Bing index, but results sometimes differ.

Blekko: Uses “slashtags” to limit search results. In private beta; tweet or e-mail to beta test.

Targeting: Ad targeting has gotten quite specific. See Criteo and Google Ads Preferences

Factual.com has data sets.

Ask.com back to Q&A. Not really a general search engine any more.

More later.

Water district race-ist

Water board elections have gotten more newsworthy this year. But one Southern California candidate makes the news for all the wrong reasons.

Political newcomer Jeff Hall has run a discreet campaign trying to unseat an incumbent on an obscure Riverside County water board. He hasn’t posted any signs, didn’t show up to a candidates forum and lists no occupation on the November ballot.

But Hall is well-known as a white supremacist.

As California director of the National Socialist Movement — the nation’s largest neo-Nazi group — Hall has helped lead demonstrations in Riverside and Los Angeles, where white supremacists waved swastika flags, chanted “white power” and gave stiff-armed Nazi salutes surrounded by hundreds of counterprotesters.

More from the Los Angeles Times.

The Water Resources Center Archives Prepares to Move to Southern California

The WRCA sent this out to its supporters today:

The Water Resources Center Archives Prepares to Move to Southern California
Update October 2010

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and members of the water community,

Much progress has been made since July 16, 2010 when the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) announced its decision regarding WRCA’s future home. Following a thorough review of the three proposals that were submitted from UC Berkeley, Davis and Riverside to house WRCA, UC Riverside was selected as the new academic home.

The UC Riverside campus (UCR) is partnering with California State University. San Bernardino (CSUSB) to continue to provide access to and development of this world-renowned collection. In fact, the move will allow UCR and CSUSB to build a statewide collaborative network that will enhance access to WRCA’s unique materials. This network will not diminish services to the UC campuses but increase support for water research agendas of the UC and CSU campuses and external clientele of WRCA.

Throughout August and September, a transition team has been meeting to gather information and propose a strategy for the move. The transition team will shepherd WRCA through the complex process of moving the physical collection as well as the online catalogs, archival collection guides, WRCA web site, several databases, the On Water blog, and Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information.

Although some access points may change, virtual use of catalogs (via OCLC and Melvyl) and digitized content will remain largely unaltered and available to the public throughout the move. The web site and catalogs will remain accessible at UC Berkeley until we are positive that the files have transferred correctly and are accessible at UCR.

Moving a library is a complex, time-consuming process, and necessitates that access to the physical collection be limited for several months before and after the move. Below is a fairly accurate timeline concerning access to the collections.

October 15, 2010 – WRCA facilities will close and all services will be suspended except for digital interlibrary loan (ILL).

November 15, 2010 – Digital ILL will be suspended.

January 3- 17, 2011 – WRCA collections and equipment will be moved from UCB to UCR. WRCA will be completely moved out of O’Brien Hall by January 31, 2011.

April 25, 2011 –WRCA resources will be formally available at the UCR Orbach Science Library and the CSUSB Pfau Library.

The majority of WRCA’s collections will be located in the UCR Orbach Science Library. Materials specific to the Santa Ana Watershed will be evaluated at a later date to make a determination if components may be located at CSUSB Water Research Institute (WRI) in the Pfau Library. WRCA staff will continue: collecting published and archival materials; an outreach program; and developing unique services.

Thank you all for your continued support of WRCA and for your patience. WRCA looks forward to serving UC, CSU and the California water community for years to come from its new location in Southern California.

We plan to send out another update about the transition in January 2011.

Sincerely,
Linda Vida, WRCA Director
Paul Atwood, Archivist & Head of Technical Services

ANR’s official announcement, plus links to the three proposals that were considered, can be found on ANR’s public website:
http://news.ucanr.org/newsstorymain.cfm?story=1313