Saturday March 31, 2007
Number of Calls: 2 (1 Meebo, 1 RAKIM)
Issues today: none
This is my final shift. Wow it seems that it was just yesterday that I started. It has been an education to work with the University of Winnipeg Library. Than you for the opportunity.
A highlight of the experience was the adoption of the Meebo service. As the library contemplates whether to drop RAKIM and continue only with Meebo I strongly encourage them to do so. Meebo offers so much more than RAKIM. The coversation is much more fluid in Meebo and the service is not plagued with the technical problems RAKIM experiences.
For one Meebo users can see when you are in the middle of typing and you them. This takes a little of the mystery out of the conversation (are they still there - are they getting my messages).
Often in RAKIM what you type does not seem to show up and the responses of the patrons too. There is nothing to prompt you to click on the patron's tab to see those comments. RAKIM also needs a dedicated browser for its ringer to work - tabbed browsing is a powerful tool when working with multiple patrons and sources.
Another feature in Meebo is the availability of emoticons. Sure you can use the colon bracket method :) but does every student or faculty member asking questions even know what that means. How about :/ or :p ;) ;( The ability to express emotions in a text based conversation is important.
Meebo also allows you to see multiple conversations at once. Conversations are not hidden behind tabs.
I've suggested to several students to use our Meebo service when conversations have begun to break down in the RAKIM interface. Each time students have expressed how much easier and better Meebo is. So hooray for Meebo - keep it going and get rid of the dinosaur RAKIM - it was a good start but its time to move on.
Another final suggestion - why not use a wiki for the IRG. This would allow for so more collaboration on the project and the ability to add to it on a consistent basis. Tips and tricks in online research are often changing, A guide that has the same ability is a necessity if you wish it to be a useful and dynamic resource.
Thanks again for the opportunity and experience. I have to admit I'll be glad to have my weekend back :)