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Do Librarians Dream of Electric Tweets? Making the most of blogs & microblogging


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Slides to acompany a talk delivered at the Royal Society of Chemistry, London (11/5/10) to the University Science & Technology Librarians Group (USTLG) spring meeting.

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Do Librarians Dream of Electric Tweets? Making the most of blogs & microblogging

  1. 1. Making the most of blogs & microblogging<br />12 May 2010<br />Gareth J Johnson, <br />Document Supply & Repository Manager<br />University of Leicester<br />Do Librarians Dream of ElectricTweets?<br />Image:<br />
  2. 2. Highlights Today<br />What is blogging and microblogging – and why does it matter?<br />Making the most of blogging and microblogging<br />Experiences and applications<br />The good, the bad and the ugly<br />…and please tweet away using #ustlghashtag<br />
  3. 3. Leicester University<br />Top 20 in all National tables<br />91% student satisfaction rate<br />6th Highest citations rates relative to size<br />23,000 students<br />41% Distance Learners<br />Around 1000 academic staff<br />93% submitted for RAE ’08<br />87% determined to be producing internationally significant research<br />4 Colleges<br />Moved from faculty structure this academic year<br />
  4. 4. DWL Facts<br /><ul><li>Multi-award winning
  5. 5. 1500 User spaces
  6. 6. 38km shelving
  7. 7. 1M+ volumes on shelves
  8. 8. 350 PCs + wireless network
  9. 9. 13 Group study rooms
  10. 10. Graduate Media Zoo
  11. 11. 2 IT training suites
  12. 12. Also houses Careers, Accessibility & Student Learning Depts</li></ul><br />
  13. 13. Jargon Busting<br />Post<br />To send a microblog message or upload an entry onto a blog.<br />Tweet<br />A single twitter posted message (or synonymous with post)<br />Retweet (RT)<br />To re-send another person’s message<br />Social networking<br />Interaction in the Web 2 world, generally not mediated or closed and outside Organisation 1.0 communication routes<br />Crowdsourcing<br />To solve a problem or resolve a task through offering it (out-sourcing) to the world at large for input<br />
  14. 14. What Social Networking Is & Isn’t<br /><ul><li>Isn’t
  15. 15. Static
  16. 16. One way
  17. 17. Formal (usually)
  18. 18. Private (mostly)
  19. 19. Organisation 1.0
  20. 20. Everything it’s cracked up to be</li></ul>Is<br />Dynamic<br />Interrogative<br />Social (usually)<br />Public (mostly)<br />Organisation 2.0<br />Buzzwordtastic<br />
  21. 21. Blogs vs Twitter<br />Twitter (microblogging)<br />Short<br />Instantaneous<br />Ephemeral<br />Links & text<br />1 core site, many apps<br />Blogs<br /><ul><li>Any length
  22. 22. Reflective
  23. 23. Longer lasting
  24. 24. Text, links & media
  25. 25. Many core sites, many apps</li></ul>See video references for broader examples<br />
  26. 26. What Use Are They?<br />Because they offer powerful professional tools<br />Answering queries and enquiries<br />Professional updating<br />Sharing experiences and ideas<br />Developing and maintaining professional networks<br />Why should my organisation use them?<br />Benefit to staff development<br />Staff motivation and satisfaction<br />Promotion and visibility in a new arena<br />Perceptions of engaging with new technologies &readers<br />
  27. 27. Blogs<br />
  28. 28. Blogs<br />Mature and respected technologies<br />Still powerful if less sexy<br />Useful for promotion, sharing experiences, reflective practice & crowdsourcing<br />Form a knowledge based resource over time<br />e.g conference or project reports<br />Can be an easier sell to senior management<br />Well established and almost mainstream<br />Can answer marketing or advocacy needs<br />
  29. 29. Planning for Great Blogs<br />Readership<br />Target audience & developing return visits<br />Niche or broad in scope<br />Tone<br />Authoritative or informal<br />Casual or wordy<br />Accessible or specialist<br />Eye candy<br />Look and feel of the UI and visitor experience<br />Corporate branding & design rules<br />Promotion<br />Cross promote where ever you can (A.B.M!)<br />
  30. 30. Build a Better Post<br />Message & Length<br />Clarity and purpose of each post<br />Crowdsource a challenge seeking input<br />Promote activities and build attention<br />Regularity<br />Use a themed series of posts<br />Keep them coming to keep attention<br />Rainy day posts<br />Conversation<br />Respond to comments & add value through insights<br />Develop a community of practice<br />
  31. 31. What Makes a Good Post?<br />Scholarly<br />Engaging<br />Challenging<br />Readable<br />Informative<br />Novel<br />Questioning<br />Knowledgeable<br />Reflective<br />Structured<br />Insightful<br />Any good post should meet a least three of these areas<br />
  32. 32. UoL Library Blog<br />Style & purpose<br />Informal but professional tone<br />Target audience of library and institution<br />Started quietly to gain voice<br />Went public after a month<br />Core of authors although all invited<br />External cloud based platform (WordPress)<br />High customisability<br />Low technical requirements<br />
  33. 33.
  34. 34. Twitter<br />
  35. 35. Twitter<br />Professional networks and networking<br />“Enhanced my professional networks more in 2 years than CILIP has in 15”<br />Involvement in local projects and community<br />Self-selected for engagers and enthusiasts<br />A resource for enquiry resolution<br />Friendlier & more engaged than mailing lists<br />Instantaneous feedback & crowdsourcing<br />Cross pollination of blogging & other endeavours<br />Are people talking about your service?<br />Search on #tags, monitor twitterfall or saved searches<br />How often are your messages retweeted?<br />
  36. 36. What Makes a Good Tweet<br /><ul><li>Be responsive
  37. 37. Be part of the conversation
  38. 38. Link, link, link
  39. 39. Enhances discoverability
  40. 40. Cross promotion
  41. 41. Don’t feed the trolls
  42. 42. Walk away, block, unfollow</li></ul>Be Human <br />Be prepared to share, honestly<br />Don’t simply Automate <br />OK as part of a feed<br />Keep it frequent <br />Once a day ain’t enough<br />Mix your media <br />Twitpic, YouTube, Flickr, etc<br />
  43. 43. Followers & Following<br />Initially pick from a trusted source<br />Phil Bradley maintains a list of librarians<br />Personal recommendations, conferences etc<br />Following rules of thumb<br />Those who follow you<br />Those who talk about things that interest you<br />Those who reply or retweet you<br />Individuals of particular interest<br />Don’t have to follow to make an @ reply<br />But do for Direct Messages (DM)<br />
  44. 44. Tracking the Conversation<br />Twitter Fall for live back channel<br />Twapper Keeper stores #tag threads<br />Wordle capturing the sentiment of a #tag feed<br />Tweet Deck allows multiple groupings of followers<br />Twhirl & Echofon simple but powerful email-like twitter client<br />FriendFeed and Twitter Lists<br />
  45. 45.
  46. 46. Experiences & Applications<br />
  47. 47. When Worlds Collide!!!<br />Social Networking is here<br />But it can also be here<br />
  48. 48. Concerns & Brickbats<br />Concerns over staff time<br />Compare/contrast with email implementation or the telephone!<br />Over stepping the mark<br />Concerns over splitting personal from professional<br />Be prepared for a slap down from someone somewhere sometime<br />Technology concerns<br />Getting a twitter client installed<br />Isn’t email good enough?<br />Services blocked or restricted<br />Stalkers and hidden followers<br />When openness bites you in the ass<br />
  49. 49. Convincing Management<br />Justifying it to senior management<br />“It isn’t suitable for US!”, “It’s just anther tool I have to learn”, “It might go away tomorrow”<br />Can be the hardest battle.<br />Prepare to make an business case or informal argument<br />Point to established peers or exemplars<br />Try the following arguments<br />I using it to monitor sentiment about our library! <br />I using it to to keep an eye on our competitors!<br />I using it to handle customer service/enquiries! <br />I using it to network with other librarians and academics! <br />I using it to promote our library/service! <br />I using it as a cost-neutral service marketing tool!<br />
  50. 50. Final Thoughts<br />Blogs & microblogs can fulfil different needs<br />Consider your audience(s) & evaluate your current communication channels<br />What works for us might not work for you<br />Share your experiences openly<br />Find what fits your needs and ethos<br />Be frequent, be responsive and avoid auto-responses<br /><ul><li>Better to start small and often, than big and static</li></ul>Experiment with all – don’t commit to one<br /><ul><li>Share this out across a team</li></ul>Go where your core audience is<br /><ul><li>Don’t expect them to come to where you are going</li></li></ul><li>The Leicester Web 2.0 Community<br />
  51. 51. Gareth J Johnson, DS&R Manager<br />Email: <br />Tel: extn 0116-252-2039<br />Web 2.0: llordllama<br />Web 1:<br />Questions?<br />Contacts & Questions<br />
  52. 52. References<br />5 Excuses for using Twitter at Work<br /><br />Bleeting definition<br /><br />Bradley, P. (2009) What is twitter? Twitter for librarians,<br />British Librarians on Twitter,<br />Briggs, D. (2010) Learning Pool’s Free Twitter Guide,<br />Contrasting Blogs, Twitter & Library News (video),<br />
  53. 53. References<br />Explaining Twitter Simply (video),<br />Johnson, Gareth. (2009) The unspoken rules of blogging, CILIP Gazette, 14th August 2009<br />Leicester UoL Web 2.0 Community<br /><br />Pettey & Tudor (2010) Gartner Reveals Five Social Software Predictions for 2010 and Beyond,<br />Talk slides,<br />UoL Library Blog<br /><br />