I divided this presentation into two parts – the use I personally make of social media, and the bigger issues that we all need to consider. Because I’m part-time researcher at present, I use social media in that context as well.
The thing I’ve done longest – as colleagues will be aware – is our Whittaker Live performing arts blog. (Blog, Log – excuse the pun!)
But I write other blogs too. Above the green line – all my own. Below the line – some kind of shared capacity.
These are the other uses I make of social media. Jumping between Twitter identities can be a bit of a pain, but is necessary.
These are fairly average stats for Whittaker Live. It’s still surprising which blogposts attract attention. But I do tweet – and email Conservatoire groups – to bring traffic to the site. Posts about our namechange in 2011, and tracking events around Scotland to celebrate that – got a lot of hits. So, strangely, did a series of limericks about different instruments.
Annual hits dipped a bit, then took off in 2011 – as I just mentioned.
Social media works best when you integrate different platforms.
These are the issues we all need to think about. Opinions differ about whether you should have professional and private accounts, or Library and personal. I did some research into what people actually do, by asking questions on Twitter and Whittaker Live last Sunday and Monday.
And here is what I learned. There isn’t one right method. I have a Twitter feed onto Whittaker Live, and knowing that my tweets will be public helps ensure that I keep them fairly professional. (But you’ll never catch me tweeting about what I cooked for Sunday lunch!!)
I recognise that asking “what do you like about Whittaker Live? Have you any comments?” does tend to invite praise rather than brickbats. However, I was satisfied with these comments, because they do suggest that I’m achieving my aim. After all, we’ve got quite a broad constituency even in the RCS, and I can’t appeal to everyone all the time. (AGGREGATOR, ALLIGATOR? Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
I haven’t said much about Twitter interaction with borrowers, because - although they’re welcome to follow me – I deliberately follow very few of our borrowers. (I don’t want my Twitter feed filling up with a running commentary of their social lives!) What I DO do, is tweet to our corporate account or a handful of active staff members, as appropriate. However, I use Twitter very much for networking with people who share my interests, whether in a library sense or a musicological one. And I also follow venues, performers or theatrical groups, so that I get news which I can pass on.
The jungle beat of the tweet
Karen McAulayWhittaker Library,Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
What I do Bigger issuesAnd also ...Unique situation: dual existence as 60:40 librarian : researcher
I blog:- http://whittakerlive.blogspot.com (library)
I do also write other blogs in my own time:- http://TrueImaginaryFriends (own research) http://airsandgracescpd.blogspot.co.uk/ (cpd) http://www.jobs.ac.uk/blogs/music/(career blog) http://salctg.blogspot.com (shared cpd) http://www.music.arts.gla.ac.uk/bassculture/(shared AHRC research)
Twitter:- My own account @Karenmca Library account @WhittakerLib Bass Culture project account @bassyculture Academia.edu Facebook? No, just family and a few friends. LinkedIn? Again, limited use. Dislike LinkedIngroup discussions! The Conservatoire VLN, Moodle and Mahara
Diigo (social bookmarking) Bufferapp.com (scheduling tweets) Storify (for bringing together different kindsof information – really, another kind of blog) Slideshare These, together with Whittaker Live andTwitter, are the resources I depend upon.
Whittaker Live postings – promote on Twitterand email to targeted groups in RCS community Use blogspot apps for automated feeds etc Bufferapp – schedule tweets Tweetdeck – can’t download to use at work (nicebut inessential anyway)
How many accounts Professional versus private persona What attracts followers? Crowdsourced my research again
Most people differentiate in some way Mode of differentiation varies:- 2 Twitter + 2 FB accounts 1 Twitter (work + personal), 2 FB (1 dormant), ANDinput to library accounts 1 Twitter (work + personal), 1 FB (personal) I myself favour the last approach (but also have astrictly library Twitter & share research projectaccount). “conscious of how easy it is to spread oneself too thinover social media…” Beware confusing your followers!
Responses largely related to Whittaker Live:- ”personal interest” “When you visited a library or collection” “variety of topics” “the character/personality of the posts” “mix of content, from PhD links to other blogs &performing arts info” “strikes a good balance, being informative but chatty,not stuffy” “useful aggregator”One follower commends the way NationalArchives interacts with its audience. “Knowyour followers/what they want”
Blog is for library users and other performers My tweets are as much professionalnetworking as user interaction Challenge of differentpersonas Establishing a brand Making it relevant