UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Is Web Interoperable Being Led By Global Social Media Services?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 19 March 2012

The use of social media at conferences in the higher education sector now seems to be increasingly accepted. Many conferences, especially those with a technology focus, will now make use of Twitter with an event hashtag being adopted in order to make it easy to find relevant discussions and, particularly at larger event, perhaps even a dedicated Twitter account being used to support the event (providing administrative information, for example) or summaries of the  talks being provided by an official ‘event amplifier’.

In addition to Twitter other social media services which may be used might include Flickr, Facebook and LinkedIn, as can be seen from the list of social media used at the recent VALA 2012 conference.

I’ve an interest in the talks given at the VALA 2012 conference partly, as I have mentioned recently, because the UKOLN Director, Liz Lyon, gave a keynote talk on “The informatics transform : re-engineering libraries for the Data Decade” at the conference. But in addition when I viewed the conference tweets I noticed there was a lot of interest in the talk on “Libraries & the Post-PC era” given by Jason Griffey.

The abstract for the talk described how:

Most people on the Internet are not using what we would traditionally think of as a computer. The fastest selling non-phone personal electronics device in the world is something that just a few years ago was available only in science fiction. New wireless standards promise to give us Ethernet-like speeds, anywhere we happen to be. The rise of the mobile phone and tablet signals the move into the Post-PC era. How do libraries respond to this future? What will the next 3, 5, and 10 years look like for mobility and information?

I was interested in the presentational style which several people commented on via the Twitter event hashtag and Jason has written a post in which he described “How I Presented at VALA2012“. However  it was the content of the talk which is of particular interest to me – and, I hope, others who have an interest in views on the implications of a post-PC scholarly environment.

The conference organisers made a video recording of this talk and other plenary talks given at the conference.  In light of the emphasis given to use of social media at the conference I expected that I would be able to embed the video recording elsewhere including, ideally, on this blog.  But it seems that this is not possible, so I have had to include a screenshot of the video and, if you wish to view it you will have to leave this page.

It would also be useful to be able to embed the slides used by the plenary speakers. This is normally achieved by uploading slides to slide sharing services such as Slideshare – the service which I find most useful as slides hosted on Slideshare can be embedded in posts published on the WordPress.com platform which I use for this blog.

However it seems that a conference Slideshare account has not been used and, on 16 February when I initially wrote this post, I found only two embeddable slideshows may have been uploaded by individual speakers: Mining the treasures of Trove by Tim Sherratt and Co-design an ILMS for the Future by Zena Howard. In order to illustrate the benefits of embedding rather than linking I have embedded the Mining the treasures of Trove slides at the bottom of this post.

On 19 March 2012, however, there are now 8 slideshows hosted on Slideshare with the #vala2012 tag. These slides has been uploaded by haikugirl,  ewallis, peterneish (2 slideshows), sirexkat, wragge and zaana (2 slideshows).

It does seem that services which provide embeddable content tend to be the global social media services, with traditional institutional web sites and content management systems not seeming to provide such functionality.  Which makes me wonder: is Web interoperable being led by the global social media services?

It seems to me ironic that for example, as happened at a recent UCISA event on “Using social media to communicate“,  whilst the UCISA web site simply provides links to slides held elsewhere, the Lanyrd page for the event provides embedded slides and videos hosted on Slideshare and Vimeo, as well as providing connections for those who attended the event.

Or, to ask a question for those who provide institutional web services, how could the slides on Mining the treasures of trove shown below be embedded if they were hosted on an institutional web site rather than on a social media service such as Slideshare?

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One Response to “Is Web Interoperable Being Led By Global Social Media Services?”

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