Tripping over reference -wi 2010

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Tripping over reference -wi 2010

  1. 1. Tripping Over Reference The importance of link placement (and other stuff) Bill Pardue ( [email_address] ) AskAway Best Practices, July 2010
  2. 2. Placement is promotion! <ul><li>Press releases, handouts, ads, etc. tend to create brief “spikes” in usage. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper placement assures that people will find the link to VR when and where they need it! </li></ul><ul><li>(This doesn’t mean not to do handouts, ads, etc.!) </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Elaina Norlin, “Creating a Purple Cow, VRD 2005. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Not just a “QuestionPoint thing” <ul><li>Promote multiple avenues for reference: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VOIP (If you have it! We don’t.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone & in-person </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But today, we’re talking about AskAway/QP! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Looking at the statistics <ul><li>Looked at referrer page info from QP </li></ul><ul><li>May/June 2010: 659 Sessions </li></ul><ul><li>227 sessions from “Contact Us” </li></ul><ul><li>74 from “research” pages </li></ul><ul><li>104 from Community Directory </li></ul><ul><li>201 came from catalog search/no hits pages </li></ul><ul><li>Remainder came from “other pages” </li></ul><ul><li>No single point generates majority of sessions </li></ul>
  5. 5. Placement tips <ul><li>Get your link: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As part of the basic page template </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Above the fold” (test it at 800x600) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Link to chat form: use graphic and brief text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AskAway branding essential, but make sure patron understands what it is! E.G., “Ask a Question Live Online” or “Get Live Online Help” </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Placement tips, cont’d <ul><li>Consider the qwidget instead of the chat form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A bit less functional, but much more immediate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seems to immediately drive up usage </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 2007 practices (a quick look) <ul><li>Looked at 20 libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Home page link: 19 (why not 20?) </li></ul><ul><li>Part of site “template”: 8 </li></ul><ul><li>Link via catalog: 0 </li></ul><ul><li>Placement (homepage): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low: 5 lower left; 1 lower right; 2 lower center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High: 4 upper left; 5 upper right; 2 upper center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Dead center </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Think about your vendors <ul><li>Your catalog </li></ul><ul><li>Your subscription databases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FirstSearch, Gale, Ebsco, Proquest, Wilson, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many support “branded” links, which can include VR service. Contact your vendor for details. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We’ve had relatively few sessions from these, but why not catch what you can? </li></ul>
  9. 9. FirstSearch admin module <ul><li>Interface Display > Your Library Settings > Your Library </li></ul>
  10. 10. How it shows up:
  11. 11. Gale Group admin module <ul><li>Locations/Select your location (like GRC)/Customer Links </li></ul>
  12. 12. How it shows up:
  13. 13. Do you maintain any other sites? <ul><li>E.G., Community information directories </li></ul>
  14. 14. Market it as local information <ul><li>“ Ask a question about Arlington Heights” </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t necessarily play up the librarian angle as the main point! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Links on other community sites? <ul><li>Town/village site </li></ul><ul><li>Chamber of Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Social service agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Be ready to answer questions relevant to these sites or to arrange referrals! </li></ul><ul><li>There’s a “turf” element to this. Work on partnerships! </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Downtown Business Association
  17. 17. Look for social sites/blogs! <ul><li>Not just your own blog </li></ul><ul><li>Look for other sites where people might post comments/questions—post answers and give your URL! </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://tinyurl.com/shasy </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Think of anywhere else! <ul><li>E.G., In the signature of outgoing e-mails to patrons: </li></ul>--Bill Pardue   Ask Us--We Answer! Also contact us via Live Chat or IM!: http://tinyurl.com/toqqb   ---------------------- Arlington Heights Memorial Library Information Services Dept., Reference Section 500 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights, IL  60004 847-392-0100
  19. 19. Facebook? <ul><li>May need someone with some developers’ skills </li></ul>
  20. 20. Qwidget for iPhone/iPad <ul><li>Go to any qwidget page. Click on the qwidget to open a special iPhone version </li></ul><ul><li>Click on the “+” in the iPhone and select “Add to Home Screen” (name it as you’d like) </li></ul><ul><li>Have a look at http://www.oclc.org/services/brochures/213410usf_questionpoint_qwidget.pdf </li></ul>
  21. 21. We’re after the “long tail!” <ul><li>Most of these won’t contribute large numbers </li></ul><ul><li>You’re doing this to increase referrals incrementally. </li></ul><ul><li>1 or 2 per month from multiple sources begins to add up! </li></ul>
  22. 22. Checking your referrals: Start at the My QuestionPoint page, click on View Service History
  23. 23. Checking referrals, cont’d: <ul><li>Then click Review Transcripts/Form Fields . Select month and uncheck everything but “referrer”. Select “View Excel file,” then “Submit.” </li></ul>

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