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Virtual Reference: Endless Possibilities (Meebo, Skype & more)

Virtual Reference: Endless Possibilities (Meebo, Skype & more). Dan Sich University of Western Ontario. Overview. Meebo, MeeboMe Skype & Unyte Issues Statistics Other options. UWaterloo Timeline. Past: LSSI Docutek (until April 2007) MSN (since March 2006) Present:

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Virtual Reference: Endless Possibilities (Meebo, Skype & more)

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  1. Virtual Reference:Endless Possibilities(Meebo, Skype & more) Dan Sich University of Western Ontario

  2. Overview • Meebo, MeeboMe • Skype & Unyte • Issues • Statistics • Other options

  3. UWaterloo Timeline Past: • LSSI • Docutek (until April 2007) • MSN (since March 2006) Present: • Meebo, MeeboMe (since January 2007) • Skype & Unyte (pilot since October 2007)

  4. Meebo • Free web service for IM • Multiple accounts, one interface • Web-based: zero installs, zero updates • MeeboMe chat boxes

  5. www.meebo.com

  6. MeeboMe chat box • Easy to customize (size, title) • Includes status indicator (wording is hard-coded) • Embed code (references .swf) is automatically generated • Limited customizability

  7. Transcripts • MeeboMe: no • Meebo: optional, but awkward recovery • Time for analysis? • Privacy concerns?

  8. Patron won’t stand still

  9. Avoiding missing messages • Firefox Meebo add-onhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5700 • Sidebar & pop-up previews, flashing tab & task bar

  10. Anonymity, offline messages • Contact info? • Time stamp? • Still there?

  11. Stats: Docutek vs. IM Started evening hours pilot, Feb 26 Ended evening hours pilot & stopped Docutek, mid-April Started Meebo MSN passes Docutek No service Aug 2005 Started MSN Number of questions

  12. % questions by account type

  13. Hab.la A MeeboMe alternative, uses embed code Can be monitored with Meebo, Pidgin, etc. Transcripts not lost between pages Uses cookies, shows patron’s URL Floating / absolute positioning Start collapsed / expanded Vanish when offline (optional) Max 5 simultaneous widgets/IPs

  14. http://static.hab.la/js/html/url_handler.html?siteid=5334-379603-10-3528&wcsid=gjvUXqmevgDbufavbPVNFOieEiaSVQxg&url=http://www.lib.uwaterloo.cahttp://static.hab.la/js/html/url_handler.html?siteid=5334-379603-10-3528&wcsid=gjvUXqmevgDbufavbPVNFOieEiaSVQxg&url=http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca

  15. Hab.la + library resources

  16. LibraryH3lp • http://libraryh3lp.blogspot.com/ • open-source • Javascript • Customizable • Chat boxes

  17. Endless Possibilities…

  18. Skype • VOIP • Faster than chat • Has chat • Very intuitive • Free • Requires install • One more login • Super-nodes

  19. Unyte • One-way screen-sharing • No co-browse • Any webpage, browser or program;no proxy issues • Requires (host-side) install • Dependent upon Skype • No patron plug-in • Free version available, but… • Functionality can vanish • Unyted, but interrupted • Web slow = Unyte slow

  20. Have you tried our Skype a Librarian service yet? When you need research help... Skype a Librarian! VOIP or chat MONDAY to FRIDAY 12 noon – 4pm Add us: uwlibchat Chat with us Call us (Voice-Over IP) Part of the Library’s Ask a Librarian service www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/asklib

  21. Publicity

  22. Skype stats: total, VOIP & Unyte Number of questions

  23. Low Skype & Unyte numbers • Skype not installed on public workstations • Do students prefer chat? • Where are the students? • Extend the trial • Staff need practice • Skype use during renovations?

  24. References & links • Stephanie J. Graves, Christina M. Desai. (2006). Instruction via chat reference: Does co-browse help? Reference Services Review, 34(3), 340. • http://www.libsuccess.org/ (see “Libraries Using MeeboMe for Embeeded Chat”) • http://solokay.blogspot.com/ (Solomon’s VoIP World) • www.meebo.com • www.meebome.com • www.pidgin.im • www.ceruleanstudios.com (Trillian) • www.hab.la (Hab.la widgets) • http://libraryh3lp.blogspot.com (LibraryH3lp widgets) • www.plugoo.com (Plugoo widgets) • www.skype.com • http://heartbeat.skype.com/ • www.unyte.net • https://extras.skype.com/1101/view (Spontania) • http://www.convenos.com/ • https://www.yugma.com/ • http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/asklib (UWaterloo’s Ask a Librarian page) • http://www.lib.uwo.ca/taylor/imresearchhelp.shtml (UWO’s Research Help via IM) • www.shushers.ca/libraridan (my blog, LibrariDan)

  25. Contact • dansich@gmail.com(including chat) • Skype: dansich (London/Waterloo) • www.shushers.ca/libraridan(see LibraryH3lp in action)

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