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This presentation was given on October 15, 2009, as part of the Louisiana State University Libraries Tech Talks Series, facilitated by Digital Technologies Librarian Rebecca Miller.

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  1. 1. Twitter in the Library:<br />Followers and Managers and Widgets--Oh My! <br />
  2. 2. Twitter: What is it?<br />“A real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices…In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates from friends.” <br />From the Twitter website:<br />Accessed 10/8/2009<br />
  3. 3. Twitter: A History<br />Launched in July 2006; began as a “daylong brainstorming session” by Odeo, a podcasting company<br />Originally used as an internal communication service by Odeo<br />Spun off into its own company in April 2007<br />The tipping point? 2007 SXSW Festival! <br />Followed by wild popularity after users like Oprah and Ashton Kutcher began tweeting<br />Library use has skyrocketed, with use of Twitter at conferences<br />Notable conference use? @ALASecrets2009<br />Library Journal article:<br />
  4. 4. Twitter: Words to Know<br />Tweet: Text-based post of up to 140 characters that a Tweeter sends via a Twitter account<br />Follow: Regularly receive another user’s Tweets<br />DM (Direct Message): A way for Tweeters to send private messages <br />Trending Topics: The current, most frequently tweeted, words, phrases, and hashtags<br />Favorites: You can save Tweets as favorites by clicking the star at the end of the Tweet (alternatively, you can delete by clicking the trash can)<br />RT (Re-tweet): Tweeting someone else’s message with @Username to attribute the tweet<br />#Hashtag: Basically, a tag!<br />URL Shortener: Tweets can only be 140 characters, so sites being referenced are often listed with a URL shortener<br />View more on the Twictionary:<br />
  5. 5. Who Uses Twitter?<br />According to a recent NY Times article, Twitter is reaching a non-traditional demographic (older people; age 35-54) for social networking sites. <br />According to the recent LSU Libraries Online Participation Survey, 80% of our STUDENTS (graduate and undergraduate) know what Twitter is, but don’t use it. A small 16% uses Twitter on some level (from following others—13%, to posting frequently—3%)<br />
  6. 6. Why do they use Twitter?<br />The “older” demographic seems attracted to Twitter for its professional development value; they like to stay updated on professional and industry news via Twitter<br />It’s easy, simple, and is suited to mobile devices and the lifestyle that usually comes with them<br />It takes very little time to simply follow someone else; in fact, 13% of LSU students who use Twitter at all use it mainly to follow others<br />It is a great marketing/outreach tool (see “staying updated on news”)<br />
  7. 7. Why do WE use Twitter?<br />It’s another point of access to the library, with VERY little upkeep<br />We reach a different group of people from what we reach with Facebook and our other outreach methods<br />It’s a great professional development tool; currently, LSULibraries follows <br />ALA groups<br />Library of Congress<br />Library Journal<br />American Libraries<br />JSTOR<br />Other LSU groups<br />Project Muse<br />EBR Public Library <br />IFLA groups<br />
  8. 8. Libraries/ians on Twitter<br />Who are they?<br />There are at least 500 libraries with Twitter accounts according to most lists<br />A good mix of public and academic<br />What are they doing?<br />The Nebraska Library Commission tweets reference questions as part of the Ask-a-Librarian service: it both generates interest in questions, and shows people that they get answers! They’re getting a following of non-librarians who are just interested.<br />University of Illinois-U-C posts updates and hints about using resources<br />Most libraries just update with marketing/outreach Tweets (which is what we are doing now)<br />Most individual librarians use it to keep up with library trends, or only at conferences<br />
  9. 9. Twitter Issues (Twissues?)<br />Spam, and even pornography<br />Constant surveillance is necessary for a site like ours<br />Server/connectivity issues<br />Reputation<br />Relative youth of the site, and doubts about its future applications/functionality<br />“Another” social networking tool!<br />
  10. 10. Applications<br />Facebook<br />Update status messages with Tweets, and Tweets with status messages<br />Screenr<br />Create easy screencasts to publish via Twitter<br />Can download the MP4, and even upload it to YouTube<br />Hootsuite<br />Manage Tweets <br />Schedule future Tweets<br />Keep statistics on users and user interactions<br />
  11. 11. Badges &Widgets<br />Twitter allows you to create badges to market Twitter accounts on your web space<br />You can simply Google this, and find the code for many unique Twitter looks<br />Twitter allows you to create widgets to place on any webpage that will exhibit recent Tweets<br />Example: LLA2010 Conference Wiki & Twitter feed<br />
  12. 12. Future Twitter Plans at LSU…<br />Ongoing Twitter Trivia Contest<br />Hosted by LSU Libraries<br />Every other day?<br />Post running tally of high scorers<br />Excellent marketing tool<br />Middleton Minute: All Your Research Questions Answers in 60 Seconds or Less! <br />Use Screenr to create screencasts<br />Promote library resources in a quick & fun away<br />Little time investment; learning curve is nothing<br />