Simple additives: adding social functionality to your OPAC

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A quick recipe for adding social functionality to your OPAC*.

Step-by-step:

  1. Argue with your IT people/system supplier about adding a Javascript snippet to your page templates
  2. While you’re doing (1), head on over to IntenseDebate and create an account
  3. Once you’ve managed (if you manage) to convince IT people that this functionality is worth the effort, (get your IT people/system supplier to) follow the instructions on the IntenseDebate support pages based on your account details
  4. Sit back and congratulate yourself

Now, there are a few things to note:

  1. The comments are hosted by IntenseDebate
  2. The users will need to have an OpenID in order to use the system (does your system support OpenID? Why not?)
  3. There may be a few legal issues related to “who owns comments” based on where you live

Potential issues:

  1. Your IT people/system supplier is reluctant
  2. Your system does not create links between things that should be related (e.g. manifestations/editions of books)
  3. No-one comments on anything

As you can see, implementing this kind of functionality in your system is so simple that it is worth trying out, however, don’t be disheartened if this doesn’t work out for you: the engagement users have with the “web content” in your system is probably limited.

*OPAC or any webpage, this isn’t “library IT”, it’s IT.

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