SHEEN Sharing

A Project of the Scottish Employability Co-ordinators' Network

Next phase under way: a community ECN site plus a lovely resource sharing tool

SHEEN Sharing to date: many tools, little time
Since we kicked off in January this year, SHEEN Sharing has shown Scotland’s employability co-ordinators a lot of Web 2.0 stuff, possibly to the point of overwhelm at times. This phase has been necessary just to make sure folk start getting a glimpse of what’s out there; you can’t elicit decent requirements from people if they don’t know what’s possible. We’ve also been doing a lot of listening to the ECN’s priorities, and thinking hard about ways to meet them in the short time available. We’re now ready to recommend a couple of tools, only one of which the ECN will need to “learn”.

Priority One: sharing and recommending employability resources
While our plan to work with small groups of co-ordinators and other stakeholders in trialling different social media and other Web 2.0 tools is still burbling away in the background, the most important priority is the one that brought this project into being in the first place. The Employability Coordinators’ Network want a way to share, discuss and recommend good quality employability resources, and a way to make sure those resources (and discussion on their quality and use) can be made available to current and future stakeholders. We knew we didn’t have the resource for a formal, sustainable repository, so we’ve been investigating the freely available tools out there currently which make resource sharing and recommending, and community building, easy.

A one-stop shop for employability resources: Netvibes
We’ve now established that Netvibes will let us set up a project site for free, which will allow a place for the ECN and other stakeholders to come and find resources that the ECN has shared and discussed. Netvibes does this without us having to build a website; it pulls in stuff from anywhere on the Web using newsfeeds and widgets, and presents them in any structure you like. It can also have a public face (for stuff you want to push out to different stakeholders) and a private face (just for those with logins).

I can set up the Netvibes page; we don’t need ECN folks to do anything but feed back on how that’s looking.

A place for a community to share and discuss resources, and build a wider network of interested people
We’ve also found the wonderful social bookmarking site Diigo, which does a lot more than store your bookmarks. It meets most of our requirements, for both private and public group activities around sharing, discussing, recommending and commenting on resources.

I can set up Netvibes to make public the results of this resource sharing and discussion on Diigo (only those bits we want to be public of course!). This can be done in as fine-grained a way or as broad a way as possible. For instance, we can have a section on our Netvibes pages just for “anything related to employability”, and one on some narrow topic of interest, such as PDP for international post-grads. We could have a feed out of Diigo, appearing in the Netvibes page, just for our own group discussions on third-sector voluntary placements, alongside a feed listing everything being discussed around the world on Diigo by anyone on this topic, and some individual feeds from prominent blogs and websites in this domain. The possibilities are many and varied.

Both Cherie and I have been playing with Diigo’s numerous features in the past few weeks, and we’ve both used the words “falling in love” to describe our reaction to this very cool free tool. And don’t worry: as previously mentioned, if you are already using Delicious for your Web-based social bookmarking, it couldn’t be easier to use them both with no extra effort, or to swap over to Diigo.

The next ECN meeting
We’d like to use our slot at the next ECN meeting on June 1st to show you Netvibes and Diigo properly, with some prototype stuff set up so you can get a feel for them. We’ll be taking feedback and suggestions at this point.

Training on Diigo
From there, if folk are happy with the approach we are recommending, and with the support of the SHEEN Sharing Development Group, we’d like to set up some training sessions to get folk started on using Diigo to share, recommend and discuss resources. Our hope is that this wonderful site will take over from the ECN JISCmail list as the place to go when discussing and sharing resources with other employability co-ordinators. And of course, finding resources again that you’ve previously heard about or saved.

Finally, Cherie has noted to me that one of the things she finds exciting about Diigo is the way it allows you to find other resources out there that you hadn’t previously known of, and indeed to come across other networks of people with similar interests who may be of use to you in your work.

So, ECN members: see you on June 1st! And don’t forget to drop into one of our weekly Wednesday SHEEN Sharing webinars if you’d like a preview, a taster, or any other help with anything SHEEN Sharing related!

May 25, 2009 - Posted by | Bookmarking, Group Spaces Online, Resource sharing sites, SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, Social Networking | , , , , , ,

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