Thing 1. Set Up Your Blog

Now that you have a better idea of what 23 Things On a Stick is all about, it’s time to set up your very own blog to begin recording your progress and thoughts on the 23 Things On a Stick. There are several free online blog hosting services including Wordpress & Typepad, but we recommend Blogger, a Google product.

This is a very important Thing. You will record your progress in your blog & others will be reading your blog. Read through all of the instructions!

Set up your blog by following these steps:

1. Create an account in Blogger

  • Go to
  • Click on the long orange arrow that says Create Your Blog Now. Follow the 3 step instructions.
  • You will need a Google Account. Follow the directions to set up a Google Account if you do not have one. You can use any email address—it does not need to be a Gmail address. Your email becomes your Username. Your Display Name is how your posts are signed--you can use your real name, initials, or a nickname.
  • Create a password for your account. (The first of many usernames/passwords you will create for 23 Things On a Stick. Think now how you will remember them all. Or use the same one or similar ones for every Web 2.0 tool.)
  • Remember to write down your Username and Password.
2. Name your blog This is the hard part! You will create a both a blog title and a URL for your blog.
  • The blog title is the name that will appear on the banner at the top of your blog. The blog title does not need to be unique--nor will you be able to tell if it is unique. There are probably hundreds of blogs with relatively generic names--BobBlog or Musings, for example. That is OK. However, we do recommend that you not name your blog 23 Things On a Stick, 23things, or similar names just to avoid some confusion. Add an identifier--Bob's 23 Things or 23things on the Prairie. Browse the list of Round 1 blog names for ideas. Be sure that the blog name appears in the masthead of your blog. If it does not, go to the Settings tab and enter your blog name in the Title box. Click Save.
  • The URL is the unique Web address of your blog. This URL is how you will find your blog or tell others how to find it. We recommend a short, easy to remember URL. You must be sure that no one else has registered the URL you want on Blogger! Blogger will tell you if the URL you want is available--click Check Availability. (Note: This is where some Round 1 23ers caused a lot of confusion--they just picked a URL and registered it with us without first setting up their Blogger blog and checking URL availability. Some of those URLs took us to highly unusual places!)
Remember that the whole web world can see your blog title and blog address. Create a name that reflects the 23 Things On a Stick program, but is uniquely yours. Here are some names of other people’s 23 Things blogs:
  • In Blogger, the URL format is There is no www in the address when using software.
  • The URL for your blog will look like these examples
Please remember your URL address and/or bookmark it.

Blogger Settings
Be sure that you have enabled comments. We want to comment on your posts, as do others.
1. Under the Settings Tab, click the Comments link. We recommend the second choice under Who Can Comment? Registered Users.
2. If you want to moderate comments (review all comments before they are published) scroll down and turn moderation on.
3. If you want others (up to 10 people) to know when you receive a comment, you can enter their email addresses in the box near the bottom of that page.
Click Save Settings once you are done.
3. Select your template.
  • The fun part--Blogger has several templates so choose one that fits you. The first Choose Template screen has only a few; choose one. If you want to experiment with other Templates after your blog is set-up, go to Layout and choose Pick New Template. You will see many more choices. Try some; it is easy to see how your blog will look in the different choices.
  • If you run into problems, check out Blogger's Help file and Tutorial or here’s a MINITEX Blog Tutorial . Another tutorial is here. You can ask us, too.
  • Be sure to enable comments under Settings on Blogger.
  • Be sure your blog title appears on the masthead of your blog. Go to settings and enter it in the Title box if it does not appear.
  • Spend some time exploring the features of Blogger—spell check, how to upload photos or video, font choices, text size and color, and more.
4. Create an avatar.
  • An avatar is an online representation of yourself. Go to to design an avatar. There are many choices for appearance, accessories, pets, etc. (You will have to set up an account if you don't use Yahoo!) You can make an avatar that resembles the "real you" or create an entirely new you (If only it were so easy!)
  • Save your avatar and export to your blog.
Here's how to export your Yahoo! avatar to your blog.
  1. When you are on your page, go to "Home" tab and look at the right column. One of the options is: "EXPORT: Use your avatar in web pages and blogs and more." Click there.
  2. In the Center of the page, one option is your avatar's HTML code. Copy (Control C) the code, go to your blog. Sign in. On Blogger Dashboard there is an option to add a Manage posts, settings, or layout; Go to "LAYOUT." You will see various page elements.
  3. Click Add Page Element from the page. From the pop-up box that opens, choose the item marked "HTML/Java Script
  4. Paste (Control V) the HTML code into the Content box. Add a title in the title box if you wish.
  5. Click Save Changes.
  6. Back on the Layout page, you can drag and drop that PAGE ELEMENT to wherever you want your avatar to appear on your blog.
After you have completed Steps 1-4, you are ready to register for 23 Things On a Stick. Register one blog per person.

5. Register your blog.

Here's how to register:
  • Click here to register your blog. Once you have clicked the Register button, you are registered. You will not receive a confirmation email. SurveyMonkey, the tool we use for registration is very reliable; we will get the registration. Don't know your region? Click here for a map.
  • We will add you to the 23 Things on a Stick blog lists according to your region. We will not list your name; only your blog's name. Remember, it may take a week or so to get your blog on the mother blog. Don't panic (and don't re-register!)--it will get there as soon as we can get it up.
You’re ready to start posting!
Whenever you complete a Thing, write a post reflecting your experience with the Thing you accomplished. Please clearly label each entry in your blog in with Thing number and the subject. We just need to be able to see which Thing you are doing. Read and comment on other 23 Things bloggers’ posts, too. That’s part of being part of this library learning community. And everyone, likes feedback.

Each of your posts should provide insights into what you’ve discovered and learned. Share what worked for you, what didn’t, what you’ve shared with your colleagues, any surprises, frustrations, and eureka moments. We will offer some blog prompts to get you thinking, but don’t feel limited by those—splash out and share!
You are joining many, many librarians who blog. The Bloggers Among Us is a recent survey of library bloggers. And if you need inspiration for your blogging, glance through the blogs of these Top 25 Library Bloggers.
Remember, each participant must have her/his own blog to record progress.
NOTE: It may take a up to a week for your blog to appear on the Participants' Blogs lists. We must enter the info manually. If your blog does not appear a week after you register, email with your name, blog name, and blog URL. Check the FAQs for more info.
Challenge (optional)
1. Add features from Blogger's selections on Layout and Settings pages. Add a blog roll of blogs of your fellow participants or of other interesting blogs you've found. Add photos or video. How about a poll?
2. Already have a Blogger blog? Explore other blogging software and compare and contrast features. Which ones have great features? Which one would you recommend?
3. Add third party features to your blog--visitor counts, email subscriptions and more. Feedburner and Sitemeter are two sources of additional features.
4. Be sure to blog about your experience with the other blogging software and/or third party features. Any features you think all blogs should have?


Thing 2. What is Library 2.0?

Library 2.0 is a term used to describe a new set of concepts for developing and delivering library services. The name, as you may guess, is an extension of Web 2.0 and shares many of its same philosophies and concepts including harnessing the user in both design and implementation of services, embracing constant change as a development cycle over the traditional notion of upgrades, and reworking library services to meet the users in their space, as opposed to ours (libraries.) Web 2.0 tools make it easy to create content and then share it via the Internet. Libraries can use the tools to promote programs and services, create useful content, and then communicate it to their users.

Many have argued that the notion of Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that revolve around the use of technology; it is also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting. Others within the profession have asserted that libraries have always been 2.0: collaborative, customer friendly, and welcoming. But no matter which side of the debate you fall on, just about everyone agrees that libraries of tomorrow, even five or ten years from now, will look substantially different from libraries today. 23 Things On a Stick can help you get ready to participate in the changes!

1. Watch this video. Stephen Abram kicks off 23 Things at Murdoch University Library in Australia.
2. Read this blog post by John Blyberg, a library blogger from Connecticut.
2. The latest on Library 2.0 is in Library Technology Reports, Volume 43 Issue 5. Read this article "The Ongoing Web Revolution". (The full volume can be found via ELM; click on Vol. 43, Issue 5 and go to the article.)

These articles offer more views on Web 2.0 and libraries:

Blog Prompts
Here are some ideas to blog about--but don't let these questions limit you. Share all your thoughts, ideas, and discoveries.

  • We know time is always an issue--Stephen Abram shares some ideas on where to find the time for 23 Things. Where will you find the time?
  • Why are you participating in 23 Things On a Stick? What do you hope to learn?
  • How has the Internet and the vast resource it can be affected your use of time at work and/or at home?
  • Where are you in your knowledge and use of Web 2.0 tools? How about your library?
  • What are you looking forward to in 23 Things On a Stick?
We hope you will enjoy this program. Have fun exploring and thinking about Web 2.0/Library 2.0/School Library 2.0!


Thing 3. Set Up an RSS Account & Add Feeds

So everyone participating in 23 Things on a Stick now has a blog and we told you to read your fellow learners’ blogs. Are you thinking, “What, I have to click on 100+ bookmarks to see if anyone has updated?!? Forget it; waaaay too much time.”

But what if you could visit all those blogs and more information sources in just one place and all at the same time? Would that be valuable to you? Well, you can! A lot smart people out there who like to keep up-to-date and save time have created services to make it easy to follow your favorite blogs and other information sources. It’s called RSS.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web.

In the information world, RSS has changed the way news, media, and content creators share information, and it is changing the way everyday users are consuming information. Join the revolution by setting up a RSS account.

1. Read more about RSS and/or watch this Common Craft video.
2. Set up an aggregator account using either Bloglines or Google Reader. It’s free. Follow the directions at these sites:

3. You will want to add some of your fellow participants’ blogs to your Bloglines or Google Reader account. This will help you keep up-to-date on what they have to say about the Things, their discoveries, and comments. You can add additional feeds for Web sites, news sites, podcasts, and more, too.

It is easy to add the feeds. In either account, you copy and paste the URL into the Subscribe or Add box then click the button. You can add a Bloglines button to your toolbar, too, which makes it easy to subscribe. Follow the instructions at the site.

4. Add at least three other news feeds, blogs, or Web page updates to your account. There are several ways you can locate RSS feeds:
  • When visiting your favorite websites -- look for that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation of the site. The orange square above is one type of RSS feed icon. Here are some other RSS feed icons.
  • Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations, and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.
  • Do a blog search in Google. This search limits results only to blog postings. This can lead you to bloggers talking about what you are interested in.
  • Look at this site for library blogs worldwide.
Find some library or technology, blogs, school library blogs, headlines, or other resources. Share those you find useful via a blog post.

Some interesting feeds:

Some MINITEX Blogs
Digital Reference
ELM blog
Blog About Technical Services
Reference Services

Blog Prompts
Think about these things as you blog:
  • What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your school or personal life?
  • How can teachers or media specialists libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?
  • Which tool for finding feeds was easiest to use?
  • What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?
  • Find any great sources we should all add to our feed reader?
These resources will give you more information on the hows and whys of RSS.
Have fun finding and reading blogs. But beware; it can be addicting!


Thing 4. Photosharing with Flickr

Photo-sharing Web sites have been around for quite awhile, in Internet terms. Flickr (now owned by Yahoo) took the idea of photo sharing and turned it into an online community. Flickr allows users to upload their photos and then share them with family, friends, or the world. Users can “tag” photos with descriptive words and phrases--what librarians would call keywords—to help users identify and search for photos.

In this Thing, you are asked to take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the neat things that people and other libraries (a list here, too) are creating thanks to Flickr. Here is a link to the 23 Things On a Stick Flickr account. The Library of Congress has a Flickr account--with more than 3,000 photos that you are invited to tag.

Take a look at how the Clemens and Alcuin libraries of the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University are using a Flickr feature called "add a note" to highlight books in their collections. Mouse over any of the books in the bookcase to get the details and a link to the catalog record. Very cool use of Flickr in a library. (Here is more fun at the Clemens and Alcuin libraries!)

You have two options in this Thing…

First watch the Common Craft video "Online Photosharing in Plain English." Click arrow to start the video.

Then choose

1. Take a good look around Flickr and find an interesting image that you want to blog about. You can explore Flickr photos, search the tags, view various groups, and more without a Flickr account.

2. Use any keyword(s) (baseball, cats, library cats, library signs, Minnesota library, whatever…) to find photos with those tags.When you find an interesting image or group, comment on your experience finding images, using Flickr, and anything else related to the exercise. Upload the image to your blog (be sure to credit the photographer). Don't forget to include a link to the image in the post.

--OR-- the more fun option

1. Create a Free Account in Flickr (note that Flickr is now part of Yahoo! If you have a Yahoo! account for email or MyYahoo!, log in with that.).
2. Then use a digital camera to capture a few pictures of something in your library.
3. Upload these to your new Flickr account and tag at least one of the images with 23 Things On a Stick. Be sure to mark the photo public.
4. Add one or more of your images to your blog. You can add the image in one of two ways:
  • Flickr's blogging tool (need a Flickr account to see the button) lets you click the Blog This button (right above the picture) and add any public photo on Flickr to your blog. Be sure to give credit to the photographer, if it is not your photo.
  • Blogger's photo upload feature lets you add photos from your computer or from the Web and choose the placement in the blog post. Click the little photo icon in the toolbar on the New Post page—it is in the row of tools above the post box. Follow the instructions in the pop up box.
5. Once you have the photo uploaded and tagged, create a post in your blog about your photo and Flickr experience. Will you use Flickr for the library or media center, for your personal photos, or in another way?

Spend some time exploring the site and have some Flickr photo fun.If you're interested in looking at some other photo hosting and sharing sites, check out Picasa Web Albums from Google or another service called Smugmug.

Keep in mind that when posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures to your Flickr account that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

More ways to explore:
Blog Prompts
Share your Flickr-ing thoughts:
  • How might you use Flickr in your library or media center?
  • Do you use Flickr or another photo hosting service? Which one? How does it compare to Flickr?
  • How do you feel about having your photos public (note that you can mark your Flickr photos private, too)--any concerns?

Challenge (optional)
1. Explore the new Picnik/Flickr partnership. Edit and post some of your edited photos on your blog. Note that you can use Picnik independently of Flickr--it also has a premium service that offers a lot of other editing options.
2. Be sure to blog about the pros and cons of this third party application.
3. Compare & contrast other photo sites like Picasa or Smugmug or one you use. Which has great features to recommend to the rest of us?
4. Try more of Flickr's or another site's tools to manipulate or organize photos and then tell us about it.
5. Post anything you've done/learned about photo-editing or photo sites on your blog.

Photos ad personality and interest to blogs and Web pages. Photo hosting sites like Flickr make sharing photos easy.


Thing 5. More Flickr Fun

Like many Web 2.0 sites, Flickr encourages other people to build their own online applications that use images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups that use Flickr images. The tools help you find, organize, and use photos in various ways. You can create mosaics of photos, use photos in games, and find apps that make using Flickr easier or more efficient. Look here for mashups, web apps, and Flickr tools. Webmonkey thinks these are the 10 Best Flickr mash-ups.

For this Thing, explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there. Note that many of these require the Flash plug-in.

1. Check out one or more of these and create something from Flickr photos to add to your blog:
  • Clockr uses random photos to display the time.
  • Flickr Color Pickr - lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific color.
  • Big Huge Labs offers a round-up of Flickr tools.
  • Spell with Flickr spells out your word or phrase with Flickr photos.
  • splashr lets you present your Flickr photos in different view.
  • Create puzzles from your Flickr photos.
2. Upload one or more of these mash-ups to your blog (most will give easy-to-follow instructions somewhere on the site about how to copy the code needed and where to place it on your blog.)

Blog Prompts

  • How can you use any of these tools in your library and media center? Reading programs, posters promoting library events, librarian trading cards all come to mind as possibilities.
  • What do you think of sharing photos online?
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Spell with Flickr

These tools are fun but a warning--it is very easy to spend a lot of time playing with these tools! It could become your latest hobby!


Thing 6. Online Image Generators - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Image Chef

Most of us don’t have the time or the artistic talent to create specialized graphics or logos for projects. Enter the Online Image Generator! These handy-dandy tools let you create many types of images – framed pictures, slide shows, comic-style captions, trading cards, calendars, and much more.

Why use this tool?
Create trading cards of authors, scientists, historical figures, or even concepts you’re trying to teach or promote. Media specialists can support teachers by helping students create images around astronomy, algebraic equations, historical figures (“I’ll trade you two Ben Franklins for an Eleanor Roosevelt!”). Students and staff can create trading cards of themselves to help them get to know each other. Other possibilities include creating a calendar with an image related to what you’re promoting that month, or a mosaic with multiple images related to your books, videos, or other resources.

Use the images generators in summer reading programs, book clubs, training, and more. Librarians at Carleton College are using trading cards as a way to reach their students. The possibilities are endless! As is the time you can spend playing around with these sites—beware!

1. Go to Big Huge Labs.
2. Choose Trading Card from drop down list.
2. Create a trading card and save it to your computer.
3. Create another image or two to illustrate your 23 Things On a Stick activities.
4. Upload the your trading card and images to your blog to share with others.

Big Huge Labs
Image Chef
Toon Doo

Graphics are a great way to convey information and can add some fun and creativity to your Web sites. Create customized images for your PowerPoint presentations, Web pages, and other projects. This is also an opportunity to think about copyright and licensing issues–some image generators use characters from popular TV shows (The Simpsons, South Park, etc.)–is this legal or part of the Internet free-for-all?

Blog Prompts
  • Consider how you can use these tools in your library or media center. How about a license plate with the name of your program? (Created using Image Chef.) - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


Thing 7. Web 2.0 Communication Tools

Many Web 2.0 tools can be tagged as communication tools. Blogs, Wikis, Flickr, podcasts, & videos all are ways to communicate and share information. Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are communications tools for much of the (younger) population, too. The communication tools in this Thing—email, IM, and text messaging, Google Groups, Web Conferencing—make person-to-person or group-to-group communication easier.
Many libraries have added these communication tools as part of their online reference suite to offer users more ways to reach them. The argument for IM, email, text messaging, social network presence via Facebook, et. al. is to reach users where they are in their preferred means of communication. We may like telephones or walk-in users, but users want to communicate with us in their preferred ways. Libraries one debated telephone reference, too—but that was before libraries and librarians were early adopters of new technology!
In this Thing, you will read, listen, and/or watch intros to these tools and how they work in libraries. There are some activities (the numbered items) to try associated with each one. Be sure to do each of the numbered items and then blog about your experiences.
Email has been around longer than the Internet—early inceptions date to the late 1960s using mainframe computers. Now, almost everyone has at least one email address. With more than 1.5 billion email users sending 183 million email messages a day, it would seem email has a secure role in online communication and collaboration, in spite of many new tools. Everyone needs to understand and use email. If you don’t already, consider offering, classes on email for your patrons using these free email services:
Libraries use email for many purposes: Ask a Librarian, update patrons on their holds/overdues, and for library discussion groups to name a few.
1. Email can be a productivity enhancer or a time drain. Explore the productivity aspects of your current email program (things like folders, groups, spam filters). Here are some other productivity hints.

Instant Messaging

Instant messaging (IM) is a real time communication tool that allows users to type into a chat box and send the info to one or more other IM users. It, too, can be a productivity tool or a time user. It is a popular communication among teens, as well as business people because of the instant response possible. Here is how it works.
2a. Watch this video that shows an Instant Message chat with a librarian at the University of Buffalo (Warning: music!).

There are many IM services—popular ones include AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and Yahoo! Messenger. Both require downloads to work. Google offers two. Google Talk bundles various services including file sharing if you download the software. Web-based Google Talk does not require a download. Google Chat is built into Gmail.
2b. Read about Instant Messaging and libraries in this Library Journal article.
2c. Set up an IM account with others in your building who are participating in 23 Things On a Stick. Practice IMing each other. (On your own? Contact your multitype or check your region’s participants’ blogs to find an IM partner.)

Text Messaging (SMS—Short Message Service)

Short Message Service (SMS), commonly called text messaging, lets users send short messages of up to 160 characters via cell phone or other communication device. There is a basic cost involved depending on your provider for those who send and receive text messages. With 500 billion text messages being sent per year, it seems that text messaging is permeating our culture. Are you part of the revolution?
3a. View this video demonstration of a Text a Librarian session with an academic librarian.

3b. Read this article about libraries and text messaging in Smart Libraries Newsletter.
3c. Try text messaging another 23 Things participant. See the IM note about finding a partner.

Web Conferencing
Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings or presentations over the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the Internet. This can be either a downloaded application on each of the attendees' computers or a web-based application where the attendees will simply enter a URL to enter the live meeting. These web-based applications are used either with Flash or Java technology.
A webinar is a type of web conference. A webinar can be one-way, with the speaker giving a presentatior or it can be collaborative including question and answer or discussion sessions to allow full participation between the audience and the presenter. MINITEX Webinars are an example of web conferencing.
OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is a low-cost Web conferencing service that offers public online programs including book discussions, interviews, special events, library training, writing workshops, and virtual tours of special digital library collections, as well as many library continuing education presentations. A podcast about OPAL is here.
Everyone is welcome to participate in OPAL programs. Usually there is no need to register. Nearly all OPAL programs are offered free of charge to participants.
4b. Look at the OPAL Master Schedule. Find an interesting program and join in. You don’t have to watch the whole thing if you don’t have time; watch enough to get a feel for the format.
View a MINITEX Webinar.

Blog Prompts

Communicate your thoughts on these tools in this communication tool--your blog!
  • Describe how your library uses email. Has it improved productivity?
  • Share your thoughts on online reference using some of the other Web 2.0 communication tools.
  • Are you an active user of text messaging, IM, or other communication tools?
  • Which OPAL or MINITEX Web conference (Webinar) did you attend? How was it? What do you think o this communication tool?
Challenge (optional)
1. Google Groups
Google Groups bundles several services including email, document sharing, wiki features and web creation into one service. People use Google Groups to communicate and share around a topic of mutual interest. Google has these groups of interest to librarians and those who want to know more about Google features and updates:
We have set up this 23 Things On a Stick Google Group so we can share our efforts with 23 Things On a Stick. You will receive an invitation to participate once you have registered your blog.
2. Meebo is an IM aggregator; it lets you view/chat with all of your IM accounts from one window. Nebraska Library Commission has posted a neat video showing one of their training sessions on Meebo for their staff. You can access it on at: It's about 18 minutes long but interesting if you are considering or want to look into Meebo a little closer for your library this gives you some good information about working with the program and how to set up a MeeboMe widget. If you use Meebo now or decide to try it, blog about the experience.
3. Twitter has had a lot of play in library literature. Described as “…a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”
  • Set up a Twitter account and “Tweet” with some of your co-workers or other 23 Thing participants. How can you use this in libraries?
These presentations from BIGWIG Social Software Showcase 2007 give explanations of Twitter and its expansion features:


Thing 8. Share Your Creations

Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker

A hallmark of Web 2.0 is sharing--your thoughts, ideas, plans, photos, videos, and more. Many Web 2.0 tools we have or will look at are sharing tools—Flickr, YouTube, wikis, blogs, and more all let you share images, videos, and/or information. Del.ic.ious lets you share your bookmarks and the social media sites let you share your likes and dislikes on things you’ve read online.

The tools in this Thing let you share many different kinds of creations via the Web. No need for the computer to have the right software installed to open a presentation, no attachments to open, no remembering your flash drive--you just need an account (usually) and a computer with Internet access. Handy as a backup for your presentations at conferences, your vacation photos, your book preferences, or, as you see in eFolio
Minnesota, your personal accomplishments. Web2.0=Sharing!

For this Thing, explore each of the tools listed and then:

1. Choose one of the tools listed under Slideshows, Photos, Databases, and eFolio (and create a slideshow, photo montage, or database. Add photos or information and then link it to your blog.

Create and Share Slideshows
You can use a service like these as the primary delivery method for a presentation or you can use it to share your presentation after you have delivered it. You can share a slide deck on your library Web site to highlight a program, book displays, or anything else you can think to do. Here is an example of a shared slide show Web 2.0 Tools in Your Classroom.

Each service offers different features. Explore these tools:
Share Your Photos
Flickr and other photo hosting sites are an obvious way to share photos. The sites in this Thing offer "fancier" presentations of your photos. While these are “slide shows,” too, they don’t have the narrative flow of a formal presentation. These tools work best for vacation or library program photo sharing on a blog or Web site

Picture Trail offers many different ways to organize an display your photos. Called Flicks, they can ad pizzazz to yor Web page or blog. Upload your photos to Picture Tail, arrange them into albums, choose your Flick slideshow format, and then save. Just copy the automatically-generated code and paste it into your blog where you want the Flick to appear. This is a Moving Thumbnails Flick.

Flickr badge creates a set of photos that displays horizontally or vertically. You can use your photos or everyone’s to add photo interest to your blog. (after you sign into Flicker, go to
Big Huge Lab offers many tools for using your photos to illustrate different things—billboards, name badges, motivational posters, and more. It also has a cool feature called Mosaic Maker. The mosaic a the top is an example of the result. Upload your photos (account required) and arrange them in a grid.
All of the photos in these examples are from the MInn23 Flickr account.

Remember, "free" has a price. In the case of many Web 2.0 tools, it is advertising or "special offers." So click through the ad pages, and use the tools. In PictureTrail, once you have viewed the offers, they won't (usually) appear again.

You can create and share databases of information, too. Create a book “want to read” or recommendations database and put a link on your blog or Web page.

Lazybase lets you create databases that only you can edit or allows edits from others. Here is an example of a non-editable database: Award Wining Fiction

It’s All About You! eFolio
eFolio Minnesota is "a multimedia electronic portfolio designed to help you create a living showcase of your education, career and personal achievements." All Minnesota residents, including students enrolled in Minnesota schools, educators and others can use eFolio Minnesota to reach their career and education goals. See Before You Begin to learn more about using this cutting-edge electronic portfolio tool, or go straight to Sign Up.

A registered trademark, eFolio
Minnesota is a product of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in partnership with state workforce and education organizations.
Need more or want to explore? 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story is a huge list of tools you can use to create and share online. There are tools for storytelling, scrapbooking, video, audio, remixing, cartooning, and much, much more.

Blog Prompts

  • What uses do these tools have for library or personal use?
  • Was the tool you used easy to navigate and understand?
  • Would you recommend it to others?
  • Do you use other sharing tools for photos, documents, or other creations that you would recommend?

Challenge (optional)
1. Create one of each of the sharing types—slide show, photo montage, database, eFolio and then link the results and blog about your experience.


Thing 9. Online Collaboration Tools

Many people use email and attached documents to share various versions of a project. This may work, but there are several obstacles to smooth exchange and editing. Attachments may not open or you or your collaborators may not have the same software program or the right version to open and edit a document. It is easy to lose track of which is the current version with all the changes.

Web 2.0 tools make collaborating on creating a document or other publication easier. Documents are online and available from any computer with Internet access. Edits are easy to make and save. The program saves a document’s history with all changes made and indicates who made the changes. A full set of word processing tools makes formatting simple. Click the toolbar buttons to bold, underline, indent, change font or number format, change cell background color and so on.

In this Thing, edit a famous document using these two collaboration tools. Both are free. You don’t need an account to edit these public documents. To create and share documents, you must sign up for an account.

Zoho offers a suite of productivity web applications. Zoho Writer is the word processor. It allows instant collaboration, inline commenting and chat facilities. It allows multiple users to work on a document simultaneously, you can import Microsoft Word (DOC), OpenOffice text (ODT & SXW), HTML, RTF, JPG, GIF, & PNG files. Options include sharing documents only with your colleagues/friends or you can publish them for public view.

Use Google Docs to create basic word processing documents, presentations, or spreadsheets from scratch or you can upload your existing files. Google Docs accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc. You can share documents with a select group or make the document public.

1. Look at this public document in Google Docs.
Make as many edits and changes to the documents as you wish, using the various editing tools available. Send an email to and we will invite you as a collaborator.
2. Zoho Writer lets anyone who knows the address look at the document, but you must be invited to edit it. If you want to edit this in Zoho Writer, send an email to and we will invite you.

Blog Prompts
  • Which of these tools is easier for you to use?
  • How do the features of each compare? Does one have features that would make you choose it over the other?
  • What would the Founding Fathers think?
Challenge (optional)
1. Sign up for an account in Zoho and/or Google.
2. Create and share another type of document using other Zoho tools—Sheet (spreadsheet), Show (presentation tool), Notebook, or Wiki.
3. Publish the document (Public) and post the link on your blog for others to view and/or edit.
4. Blog about the tools' ease of use, potential in the library, and other thoughts.


Thing 10. Wikis

A wiki is a collaborative Web site and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and likely the most well known of these knowledge-sharing tools. Wikis have many benefits, are easy to use, and have many applications.

Some of the benefits of wikis:

• Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
• Tracking tools allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
• Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
• Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.

Libraries all over the country have begun to wikis to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis, staff handbook wikis, and library best practices wikis. As you can will see when you view the wikis in the list below, the content of a wiki depends on the knowledge and commitment of participants.

1. Watch this Common Craft video on Wikis. It is a quick and easy intro to wikis.

2. Take a look at some library wikis and blog about your findings. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Here are some Minnesota wikis:

3. Add or edit an entry in the 23 Things On a Stick (access key for the wiki is multitype) wiki or any other wiki you choose. (Note: When you create your account and sign in to the 23 Things wiki, be sure you uncheck the box asking to receive an update every time this wiki is updated. If you don't, you will receive an email everytime anyone edits the wiki.) Or, if you don't want to "mess up" a wiki (not really possible...), practice in the Wiki Sandbox. Let us know in your blog which wiki and entry you edited.

Use these resources to learn more about wikis:
  • Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in libraries.
  • This 2007 presentation by Joyce Yukawa, MLIS Program, College of St. Catherine at Minnesota Library Association is a great resource on how libraries can use wikis as their Web presence.
  • Wiki, wiki, wiki - from the Core Competency blog of the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.
  • Wikis: A Beginner’s Look – an excellent short slide presentation that offers a short introduction and examples.
  • What is a Wiki? – Library Success wiki presentation.
Blog Prompts
  • What did you find interesting about the wiki concept?
  • What types of applications within libraries and schools might work well with a wiki?
  • Many teachers/faculty "ban" Wikipedia as a source for student research. What do you think of the practice of limiting information by format?
  • Which wiki did you edit?
Challenge (optional)
1. Want to create your own wiki? These sites provide free wiki hosting. 23 Things On a Stick Wiki uses PB Wiki ("easy as making a peanut butter sandwich").
2. Choose a topic, create the wiki, add entries, and let us know what you are doing.