Internet Librarian 2009
Web 2.0: The Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll of Tough Times
by Jaye A. H. Lapachet, Manager of Library Services, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass and Camille Reynolds, Director of
Research and Information Services, Nossaman LLP
In the world of Web 2.0 and libraries, there are two bottom lines. The first is that you, the librarian or information
professional, need to be where your patrons, constituents, users, colleagues, boss and management are working, playing
and hanging out. It doesn't matter if you are too busy, too lazy or don't understand it. Where they are now is Web 2.0:
Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and, increasingly, many other social media sites. You need to be there so they can see you, and
you can market your services. Your constituents are not only spending time on Web 2.0 tools, but they are adding content
to and building communities on these sites. Be there or be square.
The second bottom line is you need to be cognizant of standing out. It is the obvious thing to do in these tough economic
times. In tough times it seems the less you stand out the more your budget gets cut. However, even in good times,
librarians are generally not known for self-promotion. By being aware of new technologies and how to use them, you can
easily show another side of the capabilities of library staff. Social networking is a great opportunity to get a handle on
something everyone is interested in, many people are scared about, and show off. It is a perfect time to show that even
with constrained resources you can do something great. Also, Web 2.0 is fun! Everyone needs some fun in their job.
Using social media to extend library services can engage staff and enhance services while making the library staff look
technologically astute. Finally, and this is the secret, it can help keep staff busy when reference work or other areas are
slow and can build added value by streamlining services for when times get busier. It is a win-win for your library and your
The three main rules:
• Protect who you are
• Protect your time
• Be realistic
Start small by choosing one or two tools to try. Work them into your daily workflow and expand their functionality, or add
new tools, as your comfort level grows. Remember you have a public and private life so consider your audience when
deciding how many accounts to have, who to friend and what content to post. If privacy is a concern you may want to use
separate accounts to keep your "online selves" separate. The line for the "right" degree of separation between these is
up to you and your goals.
There are many levels of Web 2.0 technology, all the way from Facebook, which we would consider to be a full-featured
super tool, to Clipmarks which has one function, to clip materials from the web and share them in different ways. We
often think about these categories based on how much the site does and what its purpose is. The key, however, is to think
about the tasks you have and pick the right tool for the task at hand. However, don't be afraid to turn a tool into something
that will work to solve your problem even if this new use is not the way the tool was intended.
In tough times, you cannot give your staff money, you can't provide a bonus for good work and you may not be able to
take them out to lunch, but you can ask their opinion and defer to their, possibly, superior knowledge. It gives you the
opportunity to show how their knowledge and expertise is valued.
Additional examples of using social networking to be more cost-effective and efficient include things like setting up tags on
delicious that feeds to Facebook and can supplement your research toolbox by using business networking sites
(LinkedIN, Spoke etc.) to find information on people and industries previously only available on fee-based services or in
business directories at the public library or not at all. Finally, you can use LinkedIN's group discussions and question and
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answer sections to stay on top of recent articles in area's you may not have subscriptions in helping you with future
collection development and overall professional development and its free!
Keep in mind that tools change and your understanding of their usefulness changes also. Keeping that in mind, be
prepared to change tactics and/or tools midstream.
Tasks that Lend Themselves to SNS
Libraries are varied organizations which involve a wide variety of tasks to make the library run smoothly. SNS can extend
the range of traditional library services. The service ethic of libraries generally lends itself to the collaborative and
knowledge sharing nature of SN tools. Tasks which previously required staff to be at their desk can now be fully or
partially moved to Social Networking tools. Moving to SN tools can extend the range of overtasked staff. Such tools can
be used as team tools for your staff to manage library tasks in a collaborative manner. Additionally, SN tools lend
themselves very well to service and marketing tasks geared towards users/patrons. In tough economic times, with
reduced staffing, SNS tools can also inject an element of fun and learning into otherwise dreary work grind.
Common law library tasks/themes conducive to SNS tools:
• Client/issue tracking AKA Current Awareness
• Library Management
• Project Management
• Event Planning & Management
• Training Management
• Knowledge Sharing
• Professional Development
• Create Online Presence
• Presentation Preparation
• Re-feeding information to other SNS
• Many more
Client/Issue Tracking/Current Awareness
Tool Pro Con
1. Instant and wide coverage 1. Irrelevant hits and duplicates
2. Results delivered to any 2. Need to tweak search before setting up
Google Alerts email as an alert.
1. Instant potentially inside 1. Irrelevant tweets
Twitter information 2. Authenticity/Reliability of information
1. Instant potentially inside 1. Irrelevant tweets
Twitterfall information 2. Authenticity/Reliability of information
1. Uncover inside
information posted on 1. Irrelevant hits and duplicates
blogs 2. Tweak search before setting up as alert
Google Blog Search 2. Feed updated blog search to make precise
to Google reader
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Client/issue tracking/Current Awareness - C/I tracking is a two part effort. The first part is primarily concerned with
marketing the firm to clients. C/I tracking keeps attorneys up to date on client activities, such as what the press is
reporting about clients. The service also alerts attorney to issues that involve firm clients, such as who is filing suit against
a firm client. The second part is about marketing the library. Sending out client alerts keeps the library in front of the
attorneys' eyes, which is how the library develops its own clientele from among the attorneys. Each time a C/I newsletter
goes out, the Library's name and logo must be front and center.
One great thing about SNS is that the sites are available from anywhere you have an Internet connection. You don't have
to be chained to your desk to compile client/issue tracking newsletters. The Librarian can use SNS tools remotely to
accomplish the task anywhere.
Tool information for Client/Issue tracking
• Google Alerts - saved search which allow you to use Google search syntax to pull web information that you need
on an regular/ongoing basis. A librarian can and should tweak and refine the search until relevant result are
o Lots of spam in search results, so you definitely need to refine the search a few times after reviewing the
• Twitterfall is a tool which allows library staff to track tweets on industries or clients. Library staff can also monitor
conferences using the Twitterfall cascade interface (i.e. #aallci). This enables following conferences in real time
even if you can't be there. If your target has a hashtag all the better; if not Twitterfall searches the text of the tweet
o There can be lots of noise that is irrelevant
o Twitterfall also could be used to track clients or tweets about clients (i.e. apple or at&t etc.)
• Google Blog Search is a search tool for blogs and can also be saved as an alert via Google alerts and fed into
Google reader to provide seamless delivery with other RSS feeds. Challenges presented with Blog Search and
alerts similar to those with Google Alerts.
o Lots of spam in search results, so, again, you definitely need to refine the search after reviewing the
• Google Reader - use in conjunction with Google Blog Search alerts to feed blog mentions of your firm,
competitors or clients from search results into reader.
o Similar challenges to blog search and alerts; potential for irrelevant hits or too many results
o Important to take time to set up a meaningful folder structure and tagging system for organizing and
• Yahoo Finance/Yahoo Alerts - Useful for financial information on potential clients or industries, press releases,
also helpful for recent mentions of brands.
o Difficult to refine searches to be more precise
• Bing - news alerts and blog search available.
Wikis in general
We love wikis and find them to be tremendously helpful for many types of projects, including staff communications,
training, manuals and reference logs. Wikis can serve many purposes but present a simple scalable project management
solution for individuals and teams.
Wikis are a free or low cost option. They are simple to set up and provide an online workspace for individuals to
collaborate. Wikis can be as simple or complex as you want and can accommodate a wide variety of technology comfort
levels. One of the most useful and helpful features is the notification of change when a wiki has been edited. It is useful
because it communicates a change of policy or procedure without additional emails. Wikis can also be a collaborative
space for groups of colleagues outside your organization to share knowledge and tools. They are much more effective
than the traditional listserv in capturing and storing helpful information. Another great feature of wikis is they can be tested
out for free before purchasing more robust versions.
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Re-Feeding Information / Re-Purposing Content
Tool Pro Con
1. Potential changes in source sites
1. Ties together multiple SNS tools to
interface with FF (i.e. FB recent
work together including FB,
Twitter, Blogger, Flickr
1. Simply re-feeds information from
1. Another platform to learn
Tumblr one SNS tool to another
1. Puts all RSS feeds into one place
1. Another platform to learn
2. Easily ties into blogging tools
2. Learning curve to manage
Google Reader which in turn could tie into FB or
workflow of the reader
1. Easy way to re-feed web sources 1. If the clip doesn't go through you
to blogs and other platforms lose the text
Clipmarks 2. Good way to organize by tagging 2. Reliability
Re-feeding Information/Re-purposing content - allows staff to perform a task one time and feed it to a variety of
information products. SNS tools are the most powerful when they work together. Social networking doesn't work if you
don't update your site. If you don't have a plan to update, don't bother. Re-feeder sites can help with posting. They allow
you to post to the most relevant site and spread the information to other SNS. These kinds of tools save time by sending
information to multiple places upon entering to one SNS tool to make sure your work finds your patrons.
Tools information for Re-feeding/Re-purposing
FriendFeed - is a tool that can help you streamline your SNS presence by posting items to one site. FriendFeed will, then,
redirect those postings to different platforms. FF has a list of sites with which it works.
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Post a helpful website to Delicious. Your entry is, then, re-fed to Twitter,
Facebook and your blog. Resources have just been shared with multiple audiences on different platforms.
Facebook - More and more direct apps are being created. Users can apply apps to their account without using a service
like FriendFeed. Other SNS have created FB apps that allow users to update their FB page with content from outside of
Tumblr - combination of FriendFeed and Facebook, a blogging tool that can re-feed information from one SNS source to
Feed2js -is a free tool that allows you to place the content of a site such as a blog into another webpage. Feed2js
dynamically generates an RSS feed of information. When the published RSS changes, your web site will be automatically
updated, too, once the code is installed.
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Populate the litigation or library Intranet page with information from an
Clipmarks - tool which clips images and text from the web. Once registered, Clipmarks allows registered users to save,
email or blog the clips. The application creates a web-based mini-database of all the clips created. Clips can be tagged
and organized into folders. The site also allows users to follow people's clips.
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Tool Pro Con
1. Multiple people can edit
2. Excellent platform for compiling 1. Does not integrate with law firm
and sharing best practices with tools such as DMS
staff 2. Security of being on the open web,
Wikis 3. Notifications when editing has especially concern with internal
taken place procedures/ information
4. Page level security, even on some
1. Multiple people can edit 1. Privacy issues of client related
2. Easy way to compile and share research
ICyte web based research with in house 2. Does not integrate with law firm
staff and outside clients tools such as DMS
1. Good way to share resources with 1. Potential privacy issues if client
staff and patrons related links are tagged
2. Portability of bookmarks 2. When linking to articles, must be
Delicious 3. Good as a staff training tool for aware of licensing and password
standard resources issues
Library Management: Communication is a vital component to effective library management in any organization. The goal
is to create a platform that can be updated and viewed by everyone on the team to document best practices, "back office"
information (list of document numbers, contact information and troubleshooting guidance). SNS tools can help with
communication and overall management of the increasingly complex tasks performed by today's library staff. Highlighting
aspects of policies can result in more even work product. The tools discussed can be both inward facing, towards library
staff, and outward facing, towards library users.
Examples of management applications for SNS tools are:
Input: Ask staff to suggest tools to help collaboration. Remind them to take the tasks and steps involved in library tasks
into consideration (practical application). Consider both internal and SNS resources including the following:
• internal email distribution lists
• internal intranet sites
• group folders on your DMS or network
• public folders in Outlook
• creation of internal database of best practices (tools such as Inmagic DB/Textworks, Microsoft Access, etc.
• Reference tracking: NOTE: First and foremost always be sensitive to attorney client privilege, especially when
using public/web resources. You may want to remove identifying client information when using an online, free
resource. Reference tracking is a way of giving staff a starting place if a question comes up again. In an ideal
world a library's reference staff should have an internal database of previous projects a la the IT help Desk tracker
applications that are so common in those departments. They have yet to make their way ubiquitously to libraries,
but SNS tools help show a proof of concept. Librarians collaboratively add resources to such an information store,
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positively exploiting each librarian's interests and expertise.
• Re-purposing information: After tracking reference, staff can re-purpose the information by creating a pathfinder,
for example, and feed it to a variety of information products. Creating a pathfinder begins to build an information
store. From that information store, librarians can create public (e.g. non-librarian) derivative products to which
interested legal professionals can subscribe. SNS tools can also provide alerts to new guides based on
subscriber interest. For example, if your firm has a lobbying pathfinder on a wiki, those who want to be kept up to
date on lobbying can subscribe and receive an email or SMS notification when new items are added. It saves
time, reduces email traffic, and storage space on servers for attachments.
• Staff Professional Development: By reviewing and highlighting blogs, librarian newsletters, etc ("go to" resources
for staying on top of current trends in librarianship, vendors, databases, products etc), librarians can cover more
information ground. Recent and upcoming conferences and programs can be shared among library staff using
these tools as well.
Tool information for Library Management
• Wikis - is the most versatile and comprehensive tool discussed for library management tasks. Again, notification
of changes on a wiki are a way to communicate status or new policy, best practices or reference projects.
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Staff/library communication: Library staff have different levels of experience
and knowledge related to internal best practices. This inexperience can result in uneven work product and
constant "how do I do this?" questions to senior librarians. Those constant questions interrupt other staff,
senior librarians who have to repeatedly answer the same question. While many questions can be
frustrating, it is a small price to pay to cultivate an environment of "no question is stupid."
Institutional memory/best practices are a potential goldmine of information about your organization and
your patrons. This type of information adds value to your service if you have documented the nuggets.
Such information can empower your staff to deliver better service. As a result, cultivate an environment of
documenting institutional memory. If staff know the best practices for dealing with challenges, and
understand the special needs of your patrons, they can respond consistently. Sharing those documented
best practices provides examples of good judgment calls without the pain and suffering of making the
wrong decision. Procedures are also easy to clarify, update and enhance.
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION Procedure/Policy Manuals: Manuals of procedures and policies are useful for
cross training staff and quality control of work product. With staff cuts cross training is even more
important and SNS tools can help.
• iCyte - is a tool for annotating web resources and keeping track of relevant sources in an organized manner.
ICyte is a great way to start on a pathfinder, because you can create a store of web cites, which notifies
collaborators when items are added or updated. Later ICyte information can be moved to a wiki or another more
permanent format. Easy for multiple staff to update in the course of their day and doesn't require significant
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION Reference guides / Pathfinders/ How to guides: All librarians/library staff to
ultimately add to information store creating a collaborative environment even in difficult economic times.
Wikis and Delicious can also be used for this application.
• Delicious - is a web-based bookmarking and organizing tools. Using other tools, you can feed Delicious
bookmarks to Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. It can be used for most of the library management tasks discussed.
The tool makes it easy to highlight certain articles. Users must be cognizant of password and licensing access.
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Tool Pro Con
1. Multiple people can edit 1. Does not integrate with law firm
2. Privacy tools tools such as DMS
Wikis 3. Notifications when editing has 2. Security of being on the open web
1. Multiple people can edit 1. Privacy issues of client related
2. Easy way to collaborate on web research
ICyte based research with in house staff 2. Does not integrate with law firm
and outside clients tools such as DMS
1. Simple easy to use to do list
1. Unable to see what date a specific
2. Ability to share with others and
task is marked complete
mark items off the list when
TaDa Lists 2. Unable to see who marked a task
3. Good way to track progress
1. Simple easy mind mapping tool
2. Good for visually mapping a project 1. A little rigid due to its hierarchical
3. Good for brainstorming and design
process mapping 2. Printing can be tricky if with a large
BubblUS 4. BubblUS is a mind mapping/brain map
storming tool but can be adapted to 3. Drag and drop behavior takes
do systems analysis or workflow some getting used to
Project Management: Librarians manage many large and small projects for, both, their departments and parent
organizations. Project management software can be complex. Sometimes tools like MS Project are just too much software
for basic project management. Wikis, process maps and to do lists can provide librarians with the basic tools they need to
effectively manage their projects. Using these tools can be a good introduction to 2.0 technology and solve an immediate
need for you. All of the tools discussed here are available for free.
Tools information for Project Management
• Wiki -
o A wiki can have multiple users so your team can see what the next task is, who is assigned, and the next
deadline. For libraries this can be a great tool for managing internal department projects and also working
with other departments on firm projects.
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: We have used a wiki to manage our Intranet project through development,
design and launch. Several members of the library staff worked with other departments using the wiki to
facilitate communication. The wiki housed timelines, task lists and contact information for those with
assignments. The wiki also housed notes from our meetings with the outside technology consultants and
a "punchlist" of fixes that were needed. The wiki provided a single platform for managing the information,
and allowed the co-managers of the project who reside in different cities to efficiently collaborate and
keep all the tasks moving forward over a 2 year project cycle.
• TaDa Lists -TaDa is a simple to do list tool that can be shared among users. Librarians can post to do's and mark
them off when complete. The tool keeps the completed items on the list indefinitely enabling you to see progress
on completed tasks and have a complete inventory of tasks on any given project. TaDa is a good tool for using
with consultants or outside vendors with whom you are collaborating.
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o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: We used TaDa to post outstanding fixes and items that needed addressed
by our web developers on our Intranet project. Using the tool this way cut down on the email back and
forth and provided an audit trail of past fixes enabling us to identify when the developer had completed
• BubblUS: Managing projects is essentially managing the workflow of multiple individuals all working towards the
same goal. Visual "mind mapping" tools are excellent for creating functional workflows in a simple graphic way.
BubblUS is a free tool that is described as an online brainstorming tool. In our library, we found it helpful for
mapping out workflows, doing systems analysis and communicating complex task management to others using a
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: In a library setting this tool can be used to map out the workflow of our
reference staff or create a decision tree for answering complex questions. It can also be used to map out
workflows in order to develop formal policies and procedures that match the reality of how people in your
group or organization work. By building the process map first, library managers have all the information
represented graphically and can then develop complete policies and procedures, which anticipate
variables that may arise.
Tool Pro Con
1. Easy to share resources with attendees inside
1. Does not integrate with law
and outside the organization
firm tools such as DMS
2. Ability to share editing rights will co-presenters
Wikis 2. Security of being on the open
3. Notifications when editing has taken place to
keep attendees informed of additions
1. Bandwidth issues on network
1. Avoid travel costs by having online video for streaming
trainings 2. IT support maybe needed for
Video 2. Re-purpose live trainings by recording and production
posting to Intranet 3. Some software is not free
1. Another place to update
1. Get the word out on upcoming programs
2. Manage schedules of staff members conducting
Calendars 2. Lack of integration with
1. Less helpful for collaborating
1. Easy to share presentation materials
on creating presentation
2. Good marketing tool for library by posting
Slideshare 2. Potential copyright issues if
presentations to Intranet or company website
posting content widely
Training management: Librarians also act as trainers for their users. Training can include CALR office visits, library and
research orientations and skills enhancement on specific products such as cite checking or fact finding. Calendars can be
used as standalone apps, within a wiki or on a Intranet. PBWorks offers a calendar feature which can display upcoming
training dates and link to training materials posted on the same wiki.
Tools information for Training Management
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Wikis - As a training management tool, Wikis are helpful for posting resources for trainings, linking out to additional
content or even using the wiki as the presentation tool for web-based content. Wikis can also serve as a useful training
tool for internal staff by posting best practices and research "how to" checklists for commonly asked questions.
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Librarian organizations can use wikis as a training, collaboration,
knowledge sharing and networking tool
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Wikis can also focus on research librarians' professional development,
including keeping up to date on improvements to databases, and changes in the field. An internal wiki
can also provide a platform for compiling a helpful training library of materials.
Calendars - Calendars are key to training management. With an SNS calendar tool you can push out dates which then
feed to your users SNS spaces and alert them to upcoming training opportunities. This reduces email, saves time and
provides a one stop shop for users to locate appropriate training resources.
Video - Using online video services can enable you to do it yourself and reach more users in multiple locations without the
expense of travel.
• YouTube Channels might be appropriate for generic law library training videos. Understand the privacy issues
and potential licensing issues. it may be possible to limit who views your videos.
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Use other libraries training videos on YouTube, with permission, to avoid
recreating the wheel. You can also partner with other librarians, or vendors to create training videos
across organizations on commonly used platforms (Lexis, Westlaw, LinkedIn, Internet research etc.)
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Users can access past programs on their schedule.
Slideshare - is a tool that makes materials available after a conference or seminar.
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o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Can keep an archive of presentations that the firm has done to provide a
training library of past presentations. They offer a good starting point for new presentations as well.
iCyte - good for relaying information about websites to users or other staff.
Video and gaming are under-utilized in terms of training. They will become more prevalent for training, professional
development, collaboration and just in time training in companies and commercial ventures.
Tool Pro Con
1. Only one person can edit at a
1. Good for collaborating with co- time
speakers 2. Transferring data from other
Wikis 2. Notifications when edits take programs, like Word, can cause
place formatting issues
1. Multiple people can edit
2. Easy way to collaboratively
1. An additional platform to use
ICyte compile resources for
1. Ability to create a shareable 1. Not very collaborative in
Slideshare presentation preparation
1. Multiple people can edit
2. Easy way to collaborate with co- 1. Formatting tools can be a bit
Google Docs presenters outside your quirky
Presentation preparation: SNS tools make it possible for individuals to collaborate across organizations. SNS tools don't
require the expense and inconvenience of travel. They provide a single technology platform for all collaborators
regardless of technology limitations at their home organizations. Using a shared technology platform eliminates multiple
versions, saves internal server space and allows for more streamlined organization of information/documents etc. Minor
changes can be made without resending versions back and forth via email.
Tool Information for Presentation Preparation
Wikis -Wikis can be a collaborative space for co-presenters to brainstorm, draft and formulate presentations before
moving them onto more formal presentation software.
• Wikis can be used both in preparation and in delivering presentations
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Librarians can develop research guides, which can, first, be used as
presentations and, later, converted to a pathfinder for future use by attendees after the presentation .
iCyte - This tool can be helpful in collecting online resources, adding annotations and notes. Commenting soon after
reading can be used to develop presentations with collaborators. Can avoid sometimes messy URLs.
SlideShare - used mostly for providing slides to audience members; less useful for collaborative creating of presentations.
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GoogleDocs - Can be used by co-presenters to develop handouts and PowerPoint slides in a platform neutral
environmental (i.e. don't need the same software or version).
o PRACTICAL APPLICATION: This handout and corresponding slides were developed on Google docs.
Understand your users
As many of you experience on a daily basis, the generation gap, especially in the use of law library materials is a big and
ongoing challenge. Remember that while librarians are very facile at jumping between multiple technologies, platforms
and resources, our users may not be. SNS tools can help address different levels of technology understanding in your
patrons. SNS tools can empower library staff to bridge the technology gap by collecting best practices on users
preferences and delivering just in time information to users with new technology appearing seamless to the user. (i.e. they
don't know its 2.0). In conjunction these tools help librarians make service transparent to users.
How do you get started?
• More isn't necessarily better.
• Don't do everything at once.
• Talk to your friends and colleagues.
• Identify your opportunity, problem or desire.
• Identify a tool to solve or address it.
Becoming more familiar with the practical side of SNS tools can be a great project when reference is slow. It keeps staff
busy and shores up the Library backend.
Consider the function of the media and the task you are trying to accomplish. For example Twitter is a micro-blogging tool
that is great for quick information sharing. The direct message function can be used within the Library in lieu of texting
(SMS). It can also can be overwhelming if you follow prolific tweeters. Decide how you want to use Twitter: is it for
personal or professional use? If for professional use, try to keep your signal to noise ratio reasonable. Would your
professional colleagues like updates about your thoughts and your daily work? Probably. Do they want 20 updates in an
hour? Probably not. Be considerate and know who your followers are. Try to understand their interests as well. Follow
professional colleagues using a professional Twitter ID. Follow personal followers on your personal ID. They will likely
follow you back. Don't hesitate to engage in conversation or re-tweet interesting things, replying when you have thoughts.
Start by setting goals. Figure out what you are trying to accomplish, then what you are trying to accomplish with a certain
tool. Know your resources. Remember your librarian colleagues at other firms, who may be further along in adopting SNS
tools, can and will help you. Ask for help when you need it.
Review the tools; identify pros and cons. Identify a few issues to address, and look for tools. Review two or more sites
with similar functionality to identify potential solutions that will work for you. Keep the solutions simple and address each
problem individually. Twitter seemed a complete waste of time until you see an example of it being used to share
actionable knowledge that is usable in your work. The "social" part of Twitter, while interesting, doesn't have much to offer
for productivity and business. However, following certain leaders in your field can give you a large and instant network of
professionals. There won't be a tool solves every issue. It is necessary to cobble together multiple tools to accomplish a
particular goal. When you start, pick one or two tools to review so you don't get overwhelmed with a plethora of options.
Get your staff involved. Base the work on their interests or let staff choose their favorite tasks or tools. Parse out the work
of set up and maintenance.
Start small and try a personal application first to become more familiar with how the tool works. Separate personal and
professional by creating a library Yahoo, Hotmail or Google email address (good for business continuity planning as well).
Use these email addresses to tie your work related SNS tools to work. Keep your personal profiles separate by using your
personal email address.
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Set up a maintenance schedule so staff know what is expected of them and that it is part of their job, not just a "nice thing
to do". Create library passwords on SNS tools so that multiple people are able to update and check each other's work.
(may not be necessary for all SNS tools)
Demonstration projects: Setting up "demonstration" projects using free or existing tools helps lay the groundwork for
purchasing a more robust tool later. You will have gotten to know the ins and outs of the project and what is more robust
tool could add.
A Note about Tagging
Spreading the Joy of Tagging is a lifelong dream for many librarians. Tagging features of many SNS make this more user
friendly and can actually help you, and your patrons, do your job. Setting up tags on Delicious, which feed to Facebook,
gives a high profile to work product and makes sources more accessible. When you set up tags on delicious, etc, make
sure they match tags you are using in other areas of your library, e.g. LCSH, MESH, internal taxonomies, etc. Using a
consistent taxonomy makes it easier to search for and combine resources later. Folksonomies and taxonomies can play
Features Pro Con
1. Good way to connect with 1. You might be found by those
Privacy colleagues, staff and users you don't want finding you
1. Must be careful to not share
attorney/client privileged work
1. Ease of sharing
Confidentiality of Work Product product on the open web, even
1. Brings staff together on one
platform to share knowledge 1. Staff must learn a new platform
2. Allows spontaneous knowledge and update it often
Collaboration sharing among colleagues in 2. Can be distracting
1. Must change access when staff
1. Can access tools anywhere
Portability 2. Can access anywhere
-> Web 2.0 Golden Rule: Don't say or do anything in 2.0 tools that you wouldn't want your mother or your boss to see
People share information on 2.0 that they might not share otherwise. People choose the 2.0 tools that fit their needs, style
and comfort level with regard to privacy, collaboration and confidentiality, etc.
There are positive, unintended consequences of this type of sharing. Connections find you. You may connect with
professional contacts in serendipitous ways. For example, a librarian friend posts a note on Facebook about the usability
studies they are doing regarding their Intranet. Since you are about to start the same process, you ask the friend what
tools and resources s/he is using. Or a connection is made that may not have been made otherwise with a colleague that
may be in a completely different type of library. There is a balance between giving up privacy and collaborating, take
responsibility for setting your privacy settings on the various 2.0 tools to match your organization's policies, and your
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Social networking tools don't work if they are not updated. Lack of interest in updating is one indication that the tool
doesn't work as you expected or that the tool doesn't fit your workflow. Delete your page or site if you don't update it.
There are levels of updating SNS. One aspect of SN is picking the level that is right for you. At our libraries, we can't go to
each SNS and update each one, so we use FriendFeed to update most other sites. This means that we update Twitter,
FriendFeed updates FB. It makes our lives easier, however there are pitfalls. Twitter allows you to respond to people. If
you have Twitter set to update your status on FB, then your @myfriend responses will end up as your status updates.
->Bottomline: think before you connect SNS together. If you screw up, you can always disconnect, and, then, delete
strange or inappropriate comments.
One tool does not have to solve all of your problems. In order to move forward, you just need a tool that solve your
immediate problem. The simplicity of many of these tools lend themselves to changing approach and the low entry cost
(or free) makes it more feasible to change tools when needed. Tools can be adapted to solve your immediate problem
even though your solution may not be its intended purpose (i.e. BubblUS). BubblUS is a mind mapping/brain storming tool
but can be adapted to do systems analysis or workflow mapping. Don't be afraid to turn a tool into something that will work
to solve your problem even if its not the way the tool is marketed.
Alternatively, decide what social media tool you are interested in and try it out with a personal account. Test and figure it
out, then you will be more experienced and know how it will work in your library.
The Future and Where We Think Web 2.0 is Going
We would love to look into our crystal ball and say for sure what the next twist on the social media road will be. When we
started preparing this presentation, we really wanted a dashboard for all of these apps so we could zoom between them
easily and have them feed information and updates to us regularly in one convenient web place. Now there are starting to
be a few options. Facebook has added a lot of direct integration with other SNS. FriendFeed is great at re-feeding your
posts to other SNS. We took a brief look at 8hands.com and the new Yahoo homepage. Both have possibilities for the
future of managing your SNS.
By looking back, we can look forward. If you compare Facebook with previous incarnations of Yahoo's portal, you will see
a lot of similarities: chat, groups, photos, etc. Check out the Flickr set showing changes to the Yahoo homepage at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yodelanecdotal/sets/72157621766015026/ . Yahoo is moving away from some of these
things, but they were the first. Google has and continues to embrace some social networking features. The key difference
is the look and feel of the interface. We sometimes think that Facebook is moving towards more of a dashboard look and
feel, then they do something completely different. While they may not be completely successful now, they have done
some things right:
• integrating/connecting other SNS such as Twitter, Flickr
• allowed even more SNS to connect through sites such as FriendFeed
• apps such as Networked Blogs.
Creating even more of a dashboard look/feel/function for as wide a variety of SNS is critical to the future success of social
networking because of one common problem: time. People will not have time to go and check each feed on a different
site, or even a few feeds. The SNS that don't allow interoperability will be obscure and die. While repurposing information
via FriendFeed and such services works well for your information, we also want to see the ability to control streaming
about your friends more common.
Future could be: feed all information from multiple platforms into single dashboard where content's source is virtually
indistinguishable from the others. This will give users control over how they see, bundle and use SNS technology. The
interesting part will be the design and function of the dashboards and how companies create ways for people to be fed
very targeted advertising.
One phenomenon we have observed is SNS changing features and functionality. Facebook has taken away the "less of
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so and so feature" which has taken away some of the control from the user. This forces the user into an odd position:
determining whether to stop using the service because of that feature change or to change habits. We think that this will
come to a head at some point and people will protest or move to other SNS. Many people have LinkedIn, Plaxo, and
Facebook. As those, and other SNS, become more alike, minute features and functionality will become the differentiating
To that end, we think that widgets will become more prevalent. Their small size and the ability to add to almost any
application, as well as their iPhone and GooglePhone fame will intrigue and inspire programmers. We would love to be
able to like and unlike, not only a Facebook status update, but also a blog post, a Tweet and a Delicious site. Being able
to add an app into another app or SNS improves operability and makes sites easier for people to use.
There are ongoing, open questions/challenges for 2.0 technologies:
1. How to monetize?
o Twitter has struggled with this question for a long time, perhaps since inception.
o Will there be a new model for creating revenue that doesn't involve ads
o Will Facebook have a version for your office that will supersede email and other types of applications
and/or networks? How will they secure it?
2. Moving forward: what is the next big thing?
3. What effect will the lawyers have?
4. What will Microsoft and Google buy?
If you are exhausted by all of the work described above, take the easy way out:
Just do it!!!
Forget all the above recommendations and just go for it. Better to start and fail than plan and never start.
This presentation and handout is dedicated to Schelle Simcox, Librarian, Paul Hastings, San Francisco, without whom we
may not have joined the Web 2.0 Revolution.
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