Last week I was fortunate to be in Wellington for a terrific conference called Ascilite2012: Future Challenges/Sustainable futures (it's an Australasian educational technology conference for practitioners and researchers in this field). It's an important conference and Swinburne was well represented. Especially as the University becomes a bigger player in online education with the continuing growth of SOL, OUA and our other online offerings and it was well worthwhile. One of the most interesting discussions for me was about the 5Cs of literacy: Conversation, Community, Creativity, Collaboration, Connection. Digital literacy is a topic close to the hearts of those who work in the information sector. As many of us help students to consolidate their digital literacy skills through our training workshops and online tutorials. These 5Cs also apply to the Library's approach to social media but more about that later. But there was something else also going on in Wellington. Does anyone in the audience know? Yes - the launch of Peter Jackson's the Hobbit. Wellington was officially renamed it the Middle of Middle Earth for the whole week. This is a photo I took of some of the people down near red carpet for the premier of the movie.
I went down at 6.00am to have a look at the set up and the Premier didn't start 4pm. People slept out overnight, dressed up and got into the spirit of the event. You couldn't buy a pair of elf ears any where, believe me I tried. You are probably asking yourself what does this have to do with marketing and communications! Let me tell you...
The whole city seemed to embrace the fun. The Major of Wellington, Celia Wade Brown opened our conference. And what she told us is that Wellington is a can do city. It is a city that facilitates start-ups and innovation. It's University, Victoria University is offering courses in partnership with Weta Productions a globally successful production company who are known for their innovative special effects and their creature workshops. If Hollywood and Weta can come to Wellington and do business that anyone can and should. I saw first hand how powerful that message was and got swept away with the Hobbit fever. It was an opportunity to see what is possible when a whole community mobilises and gets behind the message. Wellington was on brand! As we go into 2013 we have the opportunity to re-imagine ourselves, to reinvent Library and think about what we want the Library to be and what our users want us to be. What is the Swinburne library of the future? Marketing and communications is a big part of that getting our message out there. This year the focus of the Committee our has been using social media in particular: Twitter and our blog to connect with our community.
We've been using these networks to share stories about: Swinburne's research, student achievement, our services, education in general, things that we think will interest people - as a way of connecting with our users and engaging in the conversations going on around us.
We will definitely keep up this momentum up in 2013. Recently at one of the Social Media think-tanks chaired by Summer Goodwin the University's social media manager who is speaking this afternoon, Trevor Young who who has written extensively about using social media to grow connected brands. Mentioned that the best connected brands use teams of people to be the voice of organisation. To build trust. Each one of you is an ambassador for not only the Library and the Information Resources Group, but the whole University.
At the moment the MACC committee has two vacancies so if you would like to join us, have a look at the wiki to see in more detail the kind of work we do, or a chat with anyone on the Committee and then have a chat to your supervisor and get in touch. We are also looking for people to be on the twitter roster particularly people who work on the front line in the Service Desk teams, this will add a different perspective to our team of tweeters. We also need others to contribute stories to the blog. So come join the fellowship of MACC! Before I wind up I just want to tell you about these three sisters. I did meet some of the very hardcore fans of Lord of the Rings many of whom had travelled from America to be in Middle Earth for the Premier. These are the sisters Ring. I met them at the Museum Shop whilst queuing to be served. The retail assistant served the first two sisters, then me. Then the last sister. When she got to the counter the woman who served her said. Ah the last Ring. And she replied, " Yes and our father is Lord of the Rings". I was so glad that they agreed to pose for me.
Besides the conference and being part of the hoopla this is my favourite moment in my trip to middle earth. I also met Andy Serkis who is the actor who plays Gollum and Caesar in Rise of Planet of the Apes. We also met James Nesbitt. By taking a few risks and being in the right place at the right time. I had a moment with Hugo Weaving: I really love your work Mr Weaving (who was surrounded by his PR team. He turned around, made eye-contact and said.... Thank you. As we go into what will be a challenging year for us all. I'd like you all take a moment to celebrate another successful year:
We dealt with an estimated 235, 080 queries and over 1.2 million people came through our doors. The figure is likely to be closer to 1.5 million by the end of the year. And the number of page views for the website is through the roof (figures on our wiki ). It is pretty impressive. Next year promises to be other busy one but we are up for it... the fellowship of the Library will triumph! Just like Wellington/Middle earth and just like the Hobbits.