Dipity for libraries

In my last post , I talked about libraries using Lifestreaming to aggregate all their social media/web 2.0 accounts. In particular, I talked about Friendfeed.

Friendfeed is typical of most lifestreaming services in which updates from different sources will be listed one by one in a list, one on top of another.

However a few lifestreaming services are a different breed of lifestreaming service, what Lifestreaming blog calls “time-lined based”

There are several such services, but perhaps the most mature and impressive one is Dipity. Below I show our NUS Libraries’ feeds will look like when fed into Dipity.

As the image above shows , all updates from different sources are displayed along a time line.  Images from Flickr will be shown, Videos from youtube, Twitters, blog comments etc

It is fully interactive, you can embed it in any webpage and users can zoom in, zoom out to see more details etc.

All in all, it is a lot more visually appealing then the average lifestreaming service, which shows updates one after another in a horziontal list.

Dipity also offers users an option to change from “timeline view” to a “list view” . The later will display something that  is similar  to Friendfeed and company (see below).

Another two other modes are offered, one is  “Flipbook view” (see below)

Just flip through each update, like flipping through pages of a book.

Perhaps the most interesting one is the Map view.

Map view is a bit difficult to explain. Basically in one of the blog posts one librarian reviewed a fiction book set in Italy, as a result it appears on the map in Italy, and if you click on it, it will show the corresponding post. This is a simple example of what they call geo-tagging (roughly speaking this involves tagging an item such as blog post, image etc with the geographical location associated with it).

Possibly, the images don’t do full justice to the concept, go to http://www.dipity.com/Nuslibraries/ to play with it.

You can also embed it as a widget on any webpage, blog or even Facebook.

For more cool ideas on how to use this service you can go to their blog or just go to their Dipity homepage to see how other users are creating cool timelines.

Other similar services you can try include allofme Dandelife , Lifeblob etc. Also there is Storytlr which is close enough to fit into this category.

I think time-line based lifestreaming is a very interesting way of  providing a visual record of library activities over a period of time. There are some things to iron out though, like ensuring that your blog post about Library event X, and the photos on the same event X posted to Flickr account should appear on the same day etc.

2 thoughts on “Dipity for libraries

  1. Hey Aaron, did you switch to partial feeds? Curious to know why. I recall a few blog posts a long time back which advocate full feeds, and I tend to agree. I may skim full feeds, but I usually skip partial ones ‘cos most bloggers can’t entice me to carry on beyond the first 250 (or so) characters. What’s is your reading behaviour wrt to full/partial feeds?

  2. Kenneth, yeah I switched it on a whim really. Come to think of it, almost every feed I subscribe to are full feeds. I have no problems people not coming to the site and reading from their feed reader, but I feel it’s kind of irritating to skip past super long posts that you are not interested in, and my posts tends to be long winded.

    Anyway I switched it back to full feeds. After all why risk alienating possibly the only reader of this post? 🙂

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