Exploiting The Potential of Blogs and Social NetworksPresentation Transcript
Exploiting the Potential of Blogs and Social Networks Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath, UK [email_address] UKOLN is supported by: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/seminars/museum-heritage-show-2008/ This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) Resources bookmarked using ‘ museum-heritage-show-2008 ' tag by-nc-sa Acceptable Use Policy Recording/broadcasting of this talk, taking photographs, discussing the content using email, instant messaging, blogs, SMS, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised.
About Me • About the Talk
What’s It All About?
Overview • Example of Museum Blogs
We Should Be Doing This!
Reasons For Having a Blog • Policies & QA
Technical Infrastructure • Sharing Best Practices
Where Do Social Networks Fit In?
What are Social Networks?
Using Social Networks
UK Web Focus: a national advisory post
Long-standing Web evangelist (since Jan 1993)
Based at UKOLN, University of Bath, with remit to advise HE/FE and cultural heritage sectors
Interests include Web 2.0, standards, accessibility and overcoming institutional inertia
Blogger since November 2006
Awarded the IWR Information Professional of the Year in December 2007
Facilitated half day workshops on Using Blogs Effectively Within Your Organisation at Museum & Web 2008 and Using Blogs Effectively Within Your Library at ILI 2007 conferences
About The Talk
By the end of the talk you should:
Be aware of key blogging concepts and tool
Have learnt about ways in which blogs can be used within a library environment
Have identified potential barriers to the deployment of blogs within an institution
Have heard about and discussed strategies for overcoming barriers
Have learnt about tools and techniques for measuring a blog’s impact and success.
Have heard about and discussed best practices for developing a sustainable blogging service
Have had the opportunity to make plans for launching or enhancing your blog service
Introduction And have a set of materials & resources which you can use for in-house training purposes
Do you have a work-related blog?
Do you have a social blog?
Do you use social networks (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, …) for work-related purposes or for social purposes?
Is your organisation intending to set up a blog?
What you hope to gain from this talk?
Key Blog Concepts (1 of 5)
What Is A Blog?
A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.
Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.
Blog Concepts Wikipedia definition Note that blog software can be used for other purposes (including building conventional Web sites). We will focus on conventional understanding of a blog. See also handout
Key Blog Concepts (2 of 5)
Providing a Blog
Blogs can be provided by:
Installing software locally (open source or licensed)
Using an externally hosted service (Blogger.com and Wordpress.com are popular)
Using existing systems (e.g. a VLE, a CMS, etc.) which has blog functionality provided
Using social networking services (e.g. Facebook, MySpace) which providing blogging or similar functionality
Key Blog Concepts (3 of 5)
Blog readers can:
Visit a blog site (conventional approach)
Use an RSS reader, which can be web-based (e.g. Bloglines, Google Reader, etc.) or a desktop RSS reader (e.g. Blogbridge)
Via a blog aggregator – view posts from lots of blogs
Use a mobile device (e.g. PDA, mobile phone, etc.)
Have blog posts delivered using email
Key Blog Concepts (4 of 5)
I find blog posts (including links to my posts) using:
Google blogger web comments
Referrer links to my blog
Blog Concepts Technorati is to the blogosphere what Google is to Web space
Key Blog Concepts (5 of 5)
Since last year we now have ‘ micro-blogs ’:
Form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually < 200 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user.
These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including IM, SMS, email or the Web
Micro-blogging helps to focus on the question: is a blog a publishing or a communications tool?
Twhirl Twitter app used at MW 2008
Typically “the museum Web site” is:
marketing-driven and branded
Whereas typically, “the blog” is:
away from brand pressures
Museum Blogs Acknowledgment to Mike Ellis, Eduserv Note see MuseumBlogs.org for a directory of over 270 museum blogs, an aggregation of 90,000+ posts and a search across the blogs
Why Have A Blog?
Reasons individuals & organisations have blogs:
We want to communicate
We have something to say
Reasons museums might use blogs:
Blogs are great at the niche or long tail
Museums are great at the niche or long tail ...
There is a compelling mystique about museums:
“ why do they collect that and not this?”
“ what made them choose that exhibition?”
“ why is this particular object special?”
“ how do they make their money?”
Museums want to connect with audiences …
… and blogs allow you to communicate with your most loyal and enthusiastic visitors
Museum Blogs Acknowledgment to Mike Ellis, Eduserv
What Makes A Good Blog?
Want to be a successful blogger?
Blog with passion and because you want to!
Have a personality , a defined tone of voice
Find a niche (or at least well-defined) area of interest
Build your community: two-way engagement
Create well written, intelligent posts
Don’t just regurgitate , but find a new angle (be a thinker not a linker)
Link a lot, and read the links you link to
Museum Blogs Like all simple rules, these can be broken – but may be a useful guide for your planning Acknowledgment to Mike Ellis, Eduserv
Brooklyn Museum blog:
Engages with its audiences
Reflects museum’s mission
Part of wider use of Web 2.0 services (Flickr, …)
Examples of Museum Blogs Papers about approaches published at MW 2007 and MW 2008 conferences
fresh and new(er) – Seb Chan / Powerhouse
fresh + new(er):
A way of showcasing and “launching”
A “sounding board” for discussion
Strikes a good balance between institutional and personal
Examples of Museum Blogs http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/ Thanks to Mike Ellis
English Cut blog:
Not a museum blog!
It’s about a tailor!
It’s “behind the scenes” – all the things you wanted to know but never asked
Personal, engaging, different
Has caused considerable stir, not to mention traffic (and hence business...!)
Examples of Museum Blogs http://www.englishcut.com/ Thanks to Mike Ellis
Bowers Museum Blog
Bowers museum blog:
Showcases the “object of the week”
Gives focus to posts
...and a defined “check back in X days”
But not enough commenting or linking!
Examples of Museum Blogs http://bowersmuseum.blogspot.com/ Thanks to Mike Ellis
Thoughts on these examples:
Varieties of different approaches
Personal aspect is what makes these tick
.. finding out about the people behind the formality
Perhaps that is what people want from museums?!
Examples of Museum Blogs Do you now what to set up your own blogging service?
The Purpose Of Your Blog (1)
Why have a blog for your museum?
See suggestions made at blog workshop at Museums and the Web 2008 conference
Establishing A Blog
The Purpose Of Your Blog (2) Establishing A Blog
Reflecting Current Views
CEO at HLF argued the need to:
Demonstrate that users are “ really … engaged ” with digitised services
CEO at MLA, on a NOF-digi project:
“ How they would engage with it? ”
Establishing A Blog Blogs would appear to provide a means (a) for users to engage with digital content and (b) to demonstrate such engagement
You may need to identify & then overcome institutional barriers:
It’s a fad
It’s not our job
I’m too busy
It will bring the museum into disrepute
I feel threatened
Establishing A Blog
A blog policy covering scope, target audience, …
Processes for handling problems
Identify & address training requirements
Establishing A Blog
You’ll need to establish the technologies to be used:
In-house blog software or externally-hosted?
Dedicated blog software or functionality provided by CMS, …
Selection of the software
Establishing A Blog
How do you:
Measure the impact of your blog service?
Use metrics to identify what works & what doesn’t?
Report to funders?
See Seb Chan’s paper at MW 2008
Establishing A Blog
What can social networks such as Facebook offer?
Social Networks User groups – which may support you, or not
But note need to be aware of:
Ownership of data
Dangers of data lock-in
See Introduction to Facebook: Opportunities and Challenges For The Institution slidecast on Slideshare for further information A presence for your institution Support for museum professionals
Building a Community
Social networks provide a great opportunity to support the development of a community of practice .
Variety of options:
Blogs (comment on your peers)
The social networks can be used to facilitate formal and informal contacts with your peers as well as engaging with your user community
Support For The Community
UKOLN will continue to engage with the museum sector:
Launch of briefing documents for culture heritage sector
Possibilities of joint project work
Exploring possibilities of workshops, etc.
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Blogs are starting to be used within museums
There’s a need to clarify the purpose and establish best practises