Twitter for Libraries (and for Everyone Else) Professional Development Session University Libraries The University of Akron 14 September 2010 Developed by Shari Laster (@rhonabwy)
What can you do with 140 characters? Twitter's users (not Twitter's creators) have found countless uses for streams of 140 character messages:
What are you doing?
Where are you?
What are you reading or watching or listening to?
What's funny or provocative?
What do you want someone else to know?
What do you have to say about what everyone's saying?
The big question:
Some Twitter conventions Twitter users developed some conventions and shortcuts to make the most of 140 characters:
@: Symbol put before a Twitter username, intended to say something to a user or direct others to a specific user.
"I think that @rhonabwy is awesome." <--everyone who follows you sees this message
"@rhonabwy I think you're awesome." <--@rhonabwy sees this message in "Mentions", plus anyone following you and @rhonabwy sees this message
"@uakronlibraries Do you think @rhonabwy is awesome?"<--@uakronlibraries and @rhonabwy see this message in "Mentions", plus anyone following you and @uakronlibraries sees this message
Some Twitter conventions
RT: Retweet, reposting what someone else has said on Twitter (with their @). It's okay to add some comments before the RT, and it's okay to condense the tweet (usually to fit in the character limit).
"I agree! RT @rhonabwy Beets are awesome, and carrots are awesome. Libraries are awesome, too."
"I agree! RT @rhonabwy Libraries are awesome."
It's not okay to change what the person said, or to RT something said in a private account.
Some Twitter conventions
#: Hashtag, used to tie a conversation together for searchers. Also used for identifying information.
"Our library just launched an exciting new service today! #libraries" <--searching for 'libraries' or '#libraries' would bring up this tweet
"Who wants a new totebag? #ala10" <--use the assigned hashtag for a specific event/topic so others can follow what's happening
"I need coffee. #tired" <--just in case it wasn't obvious
Twitter tools Many services can automatically update your Twitter feed with information about what you're doing, what you're reading, where you are, what you've blogged, and so on. Other services can share your tweets with Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks. Twitter has RSS feeds built in. Many sites use Twitter to share their RSS feeds. And if you don't like Twitter's interface, you can try out one of dozens of clients.
Twitter for libraries Library accounts keep users informed on the latest news and developments: @akronlibrary @waynelibrary @statelibohio @fondrenlibrary @MSUGovInfo
Twitter for libraries Vendor accounts keep us informed: @OCLC @iii_innovative @LNAcademic @OECD @undata
Twitter for libraries We can stay updated on other topics of interest: @uakron @UAstudentgov @AkronLaw @ZippyTheRoo @ODOT_Akron
Twitter for libraries We can follow movers and shakers within our disciplines: @lisacarlucci @LISNews @carlmalamud @freegovinfo @wawoodworth And we can see some of the moving and shaking that takes place: Let's eat peanut butter.
Finding accounts to follow Some accounts are linked on a website or included in a newsletter. Easiest way to check? Use your favorite web search to find individuals or organizations by searching the name along with 'twitter'. Check out accounts when they're retweeted by others you follow. Sometimes these are sharing more information you'd like to access. When you meet someone, ask if they're on Twitter!
What do I say on Twitter?
From my feeds: A Comic Book History of Printing http://bit.ly/9XSf6M
Finishing up a busy & productive day. Will tackle gym for the first time in eight weeks. Aiming for a tiny little tackle.
Does anyone have a link to a good overview of the California state budget situation?
I just called my mobile phone with Google's new phone service and spent 25 seconds amusing myself with the echo.
Recommended lunchtime listen: RT @LISNews Libraries Must be Agents of Change http://www.lisnews.org/node/37453
More on getting started Twitter for Libraries (and Librarians). Information Today, Inc. 23 July 2010. A Guide to Twitter in Libraries. iLibrarian. 17 August 2007. Twittering Libraries. David Lee King. 9 May 2007. 10 Easy Steps for Twitter Beginners. TwiTip. 16 November 2008. 13 Twitter Tips and Tutorials. TwiTip. 18 April 2009. Twitter for Librarians. Squidoo. 2010.