Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moving Days for Library Communication Channels

I've been busy this summer engineering two online moves and launching a new blog. For four and a half years, our library's reference wiki and reference staff blog have been at hosted services (PBworks, formerly PBwiki, and Blogspot, respectively). Having witnessed a number of free online services go belly up over the few years (e.g., Yahoo! Photos, Google Video, Google Notebook, Jaiku, etc.), I decided that it would be best to run these essential communication services on servers we fully control. We're nearly done moving our password-protected reference staff wiki (which is essential a policy and procedures manual, as well as a repository of inside dope) from PBworks to Confluence. This week, we officially relaunched the staff blog, Reference at Newman Library, on WordPress MU, which is locally installed and administered here on the Baruch campus by the cracker-jack team at the Schwartz Communication Institute.

The new home for the blog features a Google Custom Search Engine that searches for content on both the old and new homes for the blog. We've been using Delicious for years to tag and index our posts and will continue to do so.

Moving the wiki from PBworks proved particularly hard. Because of the lack of interoperability among many wiki platforms, there was no easy way to import the 500 pages from the PBwiki version of the wiki to the new Confluence one. Instead, a dedicated and detail-oriented student employee copied and pasted text and recreated links. The version of Confluence that we have installed here does not offer all the bells and whistles that PBworks does, but when we get the new version set up and add in a few plugins, it should be as rich an environment for the user as what we had in PBwiki.

Later this week, we'll officialy launch another new staff blog that is intended to highlight issues and news of interest to all library staff in our library. Called the Newman Library Idea Lab, this blog written by and for the folks who work here. Feel free to subscribe, though, as the content should be of interest to anyone who works in most any outpost in libraryland.


At 10:12 AM , Anonymous Matt Hodges said...

Great to hear you have migrated to Confluence! I work for Atlassian so if you have any questions or need recommendations for plugins, please let me know. Best to reach me on Twitter - @mattnhodges



At 4:02 PM , Anonymous Chad said...

Moving is a pain, even in the virtual sense. It looks like things are moving smoothly, and here's hoping that you didn't throw your back out in the process. ;)


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