Saturday, January 17, 2015

Web 2.0 Tools and Services P- 04. Information Communication Technology for Libraries

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

Web 2.0 Tools and Services

P- 04. Information Communication Technology for Libraries *

By :Usha Munshi,Paper Coordinator



An acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML; a building block of Web 2.0 Web sites that imbeds features into the pages. Flickr makes extensive use of AJAX.
Application Programming Interface; the means in which various platforms and databases can interact. “An API is a published specification that describes how other software programs can access the functions of an automated service.” (


A Web publishing tool that allows self-published posts, listed in reverse chronological order. Blog entries, or posts, are usually available as RSS feeds, and frequently, but do not always, allow for commenting by readers. Popular blogging tools include Blogger, Wordpress, and Typepad.
The online world of Weblogs, more commonly referred to as blogs.


Real-time interaction between two or more parties on a Web site or Web application. Chat between two parties is also known as Instant Messaging.
Commenting in blogs allows readers to type responses to the original posts and publish them to the blog. A conversation among blog authors and readers who comment potentially follows.
Outsourcing responsibility for content development or problem solving to volunteer individuals outside an organization, often by using a social platform to foster collaboration. The goal of crowdsourcing is to bring in additional resources and a fresh perspective by harnessing the enthusiasm of individuals who are passionate about a particular topic.


A social network where users maintain a profile of their personal interests, add friends and exchange messages.
Application used to aggregate and display RSS feeds. Popular feed readers include Google Reader, NewzCrawler and FeedDemon.
A popular photosharing site.
Signifies a set of keywords or tags assigned not by librarians or knowledge workers but by everyday people, tagging their own content online.


Mash Ups
Remixing and reusing content to make something new, such as a mash up of Google maps and library locations, programmed via APIs.


A pre-recorded, downloadable audio broadcast, designed to be listened to on an iPod or other MP3 player.


RSS Feed
A web standard that lets users subscribe to content from blogs, news stories, etc., through a feed reader, instead of by browsing from site to site.


Social Bookmarking
Web applications by which users can tag and publicly share lists of interesting or informative Web pages. Popular social bookmarking sites include Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon.
The process of making a Web site or portions of a Web site available for rebroadcast through a feed or on another Web site.


Assigning keywords or subject to a blog post, Flickr image, etc. Amazon and the Internet Movie Database now use tags.
The Long Tail
The idea, coined by Chris Anderson in Wired, that niche markets outweigh the biggest bestseller. Anderson writes: “The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of ‘hits’ (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers.”
A popular microblogging tool, which allows users to share updates of no more than 140 characters, also known as tweets.


Web 2.0
A term describing the generation of Web media such as blogs, social networks, etc., that emphasize self-publishing, collaboration and interactive information sharing, rather than the more traditional publishing approach of Web 1.0.
A Web page that is designed to be edited by multiple users, facilitating collaboration on page content. The most notable example of a wiki is Wikipedia.

0. Objective

This module is designed to impart knowledge on describe Web 2.0 tools and services such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, vodcast, file sharing, tagging, mashups, instant messaging, social networking, social bookmarking, etc. It also aims to introduce new approaches used for delivering information services in libraries using Web 2.0 technologies

1. Introduction

The World Wide Web (WWW) was initially designed as a visual media to publish ideas and information online to a potentially large audience. In web 1.0 environment, users could only read and learn from the websites created by individuals or institutions. It is, therefore, named as “read-only” media. With new development and advent in technologies, the “read-only” web has graduated to “read and write” web, which is also known as Web 2.0. It allows general public to interact, contribute, coordinate and collaborate in the process of delivery of web-based services and products in a collaborative fashion. Web 2.0 technologies represent revolutionary way of managing and repurposing online information and knowledge repositories in comparison with traditional web 1.0 model. The concept of Web 2.0 is being extended to several sectors that led to newer concepts like Travel 2.0, Business 2.0 and Library 2.0. The libraries, with their responsibilities of facilitating access to information resources and delivering services to their user communities, found this interactive platform most suitable and, therefore, were its early adopters. Library 2.0 is predominantly viewed as the selective application of Web 2.0 tools and techniques with emphasis on user services.

The module describes Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 applications and its use in libraries to facilitate collaborative services to the users.

2. Web 2.0: Definition

Web 2.0 is the tag attached to new services, such as social networking, wikis, instant messaging and social tagging, offered by the second generation World Wide Web (WWW) to facilitate online collaboration and sharing among users. Web 2.0 is also known as People Centric Web or Network as Platform or Social Web.

Tim O'Reilly and Dale Dougherty O’Reilly (2005), responsible for coining the term Web 2.0  define it as “applications that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better as more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an “architecture of participation”, and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences”.

Collaboration: Web 2.0 has opened up new possibilities for collaborative networked services in web based environments.

Flexibility: Web 2.0 environments are always open for changes, updates, remixing and reuse.

Architecture of participation: Web 2.0 is structured around open programming interfaces that allow widespread and greater levels of participation where users act simultaneously as readers and writers.

Interactivity: Web 2.0 also encourages significantly more interaction between users which  is vital in e-learning. Web 2.0 encourages a more human approach to interactivity on the Web, supports group interaction and fosters a greater sense of community in a potentially social environment.
The key features of Web 2.0 include:
  1. Folksonomy: free classification of information: Web 2.0 allows users to create free classification/ arrangement of information over web. For example: Social Tagging.  
  2. Rich User Experience: Web 2.0 uses Ajax(Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) to present dynamic, GUI based rich user experience to users. For example, Google Maps.
  3. User as a Contributor: In Web 2.0, user also contributes to the content by means of evaluation, review & commenting.
  4. Long tail: Web 2.0 services are long-known.
  5. User Participation: In web 2.0, users participate in content sourcing. This is also known as Crowd sourcing. For example: Wikipedia & You Tube.
  6. Basic Trust: In early web the contents are protected under Intellectual Property Rights, while in web 2.0 the contents are made available to share, reuse, redistribute and edit. For examples Wikipedia & Creative Common.
  7. Dispersion: Web 2.0 uses multiple channel include file sharing & permalinks to deliver content. The typical examples are Bit Torrent and Mashup.

3.0 Web 2.0 Applications in Library

Librarian can not only deliver user centric services but also creates collaborative and participative environment by using web 2.0 technologies that would lead to creation of new resources and built up existing ones using collective intelligence of users. The application of concepts and technologies of Web 2.0 applied to the library services and collections is named as “Library 2.0”. New genera of library services and activities can be designed or built with active participation and feedback from user community in library 2.0 environment to fulfill the needs and expectations of today’s library users. The term Library 2.0, first coined by Michael Casey in 2006 on his blog “Library Crunch”, refers to a number of social and technological changes that are having increasing impact upon libraries, its staff and their clientele, and how they could interact.  

3.1 Synchronous Communication

3.1.1        Instant Messaging (IM) and Virtual Meetings

Instant messaging, also known as IM, is a form of real-time, virtually instantaneous communication between two or more people. It allows users to share images, audio and video files and other attachments. Paltalk, Google Talk, windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger are some of the IM client software.

Libraries, using Instant Messaging, provides “real-time assistance” to their patrons. Real time audio and video conference and textual conversations can be conducted by involving hundreds of people at the same time. Libraries can also use Aview, (Amrita Virtual Interactive E-learning World) Classroom, developed by Amrita University, to provide interactive social environment for E-Learning. Software used in libraries for “live reference services” are usually much more robust than the simplistic IM applications. 

3.2 Content Delivery

3.2.1        RSS Feeds

RSS, stands for Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, is a set of XML-based web-content distribution and  republication/syndication protocols that is used to announce recent additions of content/updates to a website such as arrivals of new articles, blog entry, news, audio, video etc. It allows free flow of content between applications and websites. The technology, on one hand allows a web site (or e-publisher) to list the newest published updates (like table of contents of journals, new articles) through XML, on the other hand, it facilitates a web user to keep track of new updates on chosen website(s). Users can receive timely updates from their favorite website or they can aggregate data from many websites. RSS feed readers visit pre-defined web sites, look for updated information and fetch it automatically on to the user’s desktop. NewsGator (http://www., a web-based RSS aggregator, Feedster (, and the latest versions of Windows Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox can all process RSS.

3.2.2        Streaming Media

Streaming multimedia is sequential delivery of multimedia content over a computer network that is displayed to the end-user as it is being delivered by the provider. The streaming of video and audio media is an important application that existed before Web 1.0 and finds its application in Web 2.0 too. It refers to the method of delivering of medium.

The static, text-based tutorials are being transformed to multimedia-based interactive tutorials. Several tutorials use Flash programming, screen-cast software, or streaming audio or video, and couple the media presentation with interactive quizzing; users respond to questions and the system responds in kind. Tutorials were the first library applications to migrate into more socially rich Web 2.0.

3.2.3        Podcasting

The word “podcasting” is derived from two words, namely “broadcasting” and “iPod” (popular MP3 player from Apple Computer). Podcasting is defined as “process of capturing audio digital-media files that can be distributed over the Internet using RSS feeds for playing-back on portable media players as well as computers. Merriam Webster defines Podcast as a program made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet. It is also known as time and location independent digital file. Users can subscribe to such feeds and automatically download these files directly into an audio management program on their PCs. A podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom. Several libraries use podcasts to support library orientations programmes. Taking advantage of podcasting and other consumer technologies (e.g., PDAs, iPods and other MP3 players) as a deliver media of Library’s content and services is a great leap forward for library profession.

3.2.4        Vodcasting

The “VOD” in Vodcasting stands for “video-on-demand”. It is identical to podcasting. While podcasting is used for delivering audio files, vodcasting is used for delivering video content. Like podcast content, vodcasts content can be played either on a laptop or on personal media assistant (PMA).

3.2.5        SMS Enquiry Service

Short Message Service (SMS) is a mechanism of delivery of short messages over the mobile networks. The SMS enquiry services in a library allow patrons to use their mobile phones to SMS their inquiries to the library. The reference staff deployed to attend to such queries can respond immediately with answers or with links to more in-depth answers.

3.3 Collaborative Publishing Tools

3.3.1        Blogs

A blog (a truncation of the expression web log) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries typically displayed in reverse chronological order. (Wikipedia, 2014). It is easily updatable diaries or online journals. Blogs are considered as lightweight publishing tools. Blogs provide control to an individual or group of individuals for publishing contents or making commentary on it. Technologically, blogs are easier to use, platform-independent, and accessible online over the Internet. Broadly, blogs can be said to be online dairies, however, thousands of blogs are maintained by experts in different subject areas who are willing to share their knowledge, understanding and opinions with other people. Recently multi-author blogs have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors. The rise of Twitter and other "micro blogging" systems helps integrate multi-author blogs and single-author blogs into societal new stream.

LibraryCrunch is a blog on  Library 2.0 maintained by Michal Casey. A blog on Open Access is being maintained by Peter Suber. Blogs are easy to create using free services like LiveJournal (http://www. and Google Blogger (http:// Some services like NETCIPIA ( allow the creation of blogs with wiki support (blikis). The founder of Wikipedia is now offering Openserving (, another service featuring free tools for building community sites.

The most obvious application of blogs for libraries is to use it as a tool for promotion, publicity and for outreach services. Libraries can disseminate information to their users, make announcements for its new resources and events through its blogs. Blogs can be used to initiate debates and interaction amongst users and staff. Moreover, library staff and user can be encouraged to use Library blogs to get to know each other and interact at personal level.

3.3.2        Wikis

A wiki is a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others. In a typical wiki, text is written using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor. (Wikipedia, 2014). A wiki is a collaborative software that allows users to add content that can be edited by anybody. Ward Cunningham, developer of the first wiki software called WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as “the simplest online database that could possibly work” (Wikipedia, 2014). Wikis can essentially be equated to open web-pages, where anyone registered with it can publish on to it, add to it, amend it and change it. As in case of blogs, Wikis do not have reliability as traditional resources. Inspite of this, their value as information resource cannot be undermined.

Libraries can use wiki as a communication tool to enable social interaction among librarians and patrons. Users can share information, ask and answer questions, and librarians can do the same within a wiki. Moreover, a record of these transactions can be archived for perpetuity. Transcripts of such question-answer sessions would serve as a resource for the library to provide as reference. Furthermore, wikis (as well as blogs) will ultimately evolve into a multi-media environment, where both synchronous and asynchronous audio and video collaborations will take place. 

3.4 Collaborative Service Platforms

3.4.1        Social Networks

A social networking service is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who, share interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. It allows users to locate links with people through mutual friends or acquaintances, build profiles, and update address books. Social networks are relatively new kinds of virtual communities that delineate and build on member relationships by virtue of their being part of that community (Barsky and Purdon, 2006). Most social network services are web-based interfaces that facilitate community of users to interact with each other deploying tools such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, etc.FacebookGoogle+YouTubeLinkedInInstagramPinterestTumblr and Twitter are some of the social networking services that are very popular. There are a number of projects that aim to develop free and open source software to use for social networking services. The projects include Anahita Social Networking Engine, Diaspora, Appleseed Project, OneSocialWeb,  KuneMovim, and Friendica. These technologies are often referred to as Social engine or Social networking engine software.

Social networking services could enable librarians and patrons not only to interact, but to share and exchange resources dynamically in electronic environment. Users can create accounts with the library network service, see what other users have in common to their information needs, recommend resources to one another. Besides, libraries can also recommend resources to users through their network, based on similar profiles, demographics, previously-accessed resources, and a host of data that users provide.

3.4.2        Tagging

A tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information such as anInternet bookmark, digital image, or computer file. This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. Tags are generally chosen informally and personally by the item's creator or by its viewer, depending on the system (Wikipedia, 2014). Tags are typically used for resources such as computer files, web pages, digital images, and Internet bookmarks. The user can define and categorize information based on his or her own perception and assigned keyword to a given piece of information.

In Library 2.0, users could tag the library’s collection and thereby participate in the cataloguing process. The best thing about tagging is that everyone is allowed to categorize the information the way they want. The catalogues of Library 2.0 would enable users to follow both standardized and user tagged subjects, whichever is more convenient or makes better sense to a user. In turn, they can add tags to resources. This tagged catalogue would be an open catalogue, a customized, user centered catalogue. The University of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK, for example, has introduced Web 2.0 features into their library catalogue and options for rating the books as well as dynamic floor plans showing locations of subject areas with an aim to make the catalogue more interactive tool.

3.4.3        Social Bookmarking Services

Social bookmarking is a method of storing, organizing, searching and managing bookmarks of web sites using descriptive metadata.  In a social bookmarking system, users can save links to web pages that they want to remember and /or share with other users. These bookmarks can be made public, or saved privately or shared only with specified people or groups of people. Visitors to social bookmarking sites can search for resources by keyword (tag), person, or popularity and see the public bookmarks, tags, and classification schemes (folksonomies = ‘folk taxonomies’ made of tags) that registered users have created and saved. The authorized people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or via a search engine. Most social bookmark services encourage users to organize their bookmarks with informal tags instead of traditional browser-based system of folders, although some services feature categories / folders or a combination of folders and tags. These services also enable viewing of bookmarks associated with a chosen tag, and include information about the number of users who have bookmarked them. Some social bookmarking services also draw inferences from the relationship of tags to create clusters of tags or bookmarks. itList, Blinklist, Clip2, ClickMarks, HotLinks,, Furl, Simpy, Citeulike and Connotea, Stumbleupon, Ma.gnolia, Blue Dot, Diigo, etc. are some of the popular bookmarking services.
Libraries can make use of social bookmarking sites using RSS feeds for subject disciplines or in areas of specialization relevant to them.

3.5 Hybrid Applications, Programs and Programming Tools

3.5.1        Mashups

A mashup is a  web application that uses content from more than one source to create a single new service displayed in a single graphical interface. (Wikipedia, 2014). Mashup originally referred to the practice in pop music (notably hip-hop) of producing a new song by mixing two or more existing pieces. Content used in mashups is typically sourced from a third party via a public interface or API (web services). Other methods of sourcing content for mashups include Web feeds (e.g. RSS or Atom), and screen scraping. Many people are experimenting with mashups using Amazon, eBay, Flickr, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube and APIs, which has led to the creation of mashup editor (Wikipedia, 2014). Mashup is a hybrid of blogs, wikis, streaming media, content aggregators, instant messaging, and social networks. Mashups are applications, where two or more technologies or services are merged into a completely new, novel service. For example: WikiBios, a site where users create online biographies of one another, essentially blending blogs with social networks. Mashup in Library 2.0 environment remembers a user when they log in. It allows the user to edit OPAC data and metadata, saves the user’s tags, IM conversations with librarians, wiki entries with other users (and catalogues all of these for others to use), and the user is able to make all or part of their profile public; users can see what other users have, similar items checked-out, borrow and lend tags, and a giant user-driven catalogue is created and mashed with the traditional catalogue. There are a number of mashup platforms that can be used to create mashups, e.g. Intel Mash Maker, Google Mashup Editor, LiquidApps, Microsoft Popfly, Serena Mashup Editor, Yahoo pipes, etc.

3.5.2        Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)

Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) or AJAX, is a group of inter-related web development techniques used for creating interactive web applications. The technology facilitates web pages to interact with users by exchanging small amounts of data with the server “behind the scene” so that entire web pages do not have to be reloaded each time there is a need to fetch data from the server. This is intended to increase the web page’s interactivity, speed, functionality and usability. The term Ajax has come to represent a broad group of Web technologies that can be used to implement a Web application that communicates with a server in the background, without interfering with the current state of the page. Ajax is a cross-platform technique usable on many different operating systems, computer architectures, and web browsers as it is based on open standards such as JavaScript and the Document Object Model (DOM). There are free and open source implementations of suitable frameworks and libraries.

3.5.3        Application Programming Interface (API)

An application programming interface (API) is a source code interface provided by an operating system, library or service to support requests made by computer programs. Language-dependent APIs are available only in a particular programming language. They utilize the syntax and elements of the programming language to make the API convenient to use in this particular context. Language-independent APIs are written in a way that they can be called from several programming languages. This is a desired feature for a service style API which is not bound to a particular process or system and is available as a remote procedure call. Examples of API are Windows API, Scopus API that enables a user to select Scopus data elements into a  mashup.

3.5.4        Library Tool Bars

A toolbar is a graphical user interface consisting of a panel of buttons, icons, menus or commands that are used more often in an application. Toolbars are used in common applications such as Microsoft Word, and as add-ons for web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. 

4. Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web

The Semantic Web, also known as Web 3.0 is simplify human–computer interfaces, which attaches machine-readable metadata to web content to enable computers to ‘understand’ the actual/intended meanings of this content as they process it. It provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. The semantic web is a vision of information that can be readily interpreted by machines, so that  machines can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, combining, and acting upon information on the web.

Comparison of web 2.0 features and web 3.0

Alternate Text

5. Summary

Web 2.0 is the second generation World Wide Web (WWW) that facilitates online collaboration and participation among users. Libraries can create collaborative and participative environment by providing user-centric web 2.0 library services and tools such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, vodcast, file sharing, tagging, mashups, instant messaging, social networking, social bookmarking, etc.
Web 2.0 services could enable librarians and patrons not only to interact, but to share and exchange resources dynamically in electronic environment. Using instant messaging, libraries can provide “real-time assistance” to their patrons. Library can also provide latest published update in their user’s favorite areas using RSS Feed.  Blog is the most obvious application which can be used as a tool for promotion, publicity and for outreach services. Libraries can disseminate information to their users, make announcements for its new resources and events through its blogs. Wiki can also be used as a communication tool to enable social interaction among librarians and patrons. Using tagging services, libraries can allow their users to categorize the information the way they want by tagging the library’s collection. The SMS enquiry services in a library allow patrons to use their mobile phones to SMS their inquiries to the library. Several libraries use podcasts to support library orientations programmes. Library can merge two or more web 2.0 technologies or services into a completely new service by developing web application called mashups which allows the user to edit OPAC data and metadata, saves the user’s tags, IM conversations with librarians, wiki entries with other users etc.


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