103_0467I wanna be 2.0 Too! Web Services for Underfunded Libraries presented by Sarah Houghton-Jan (Track E101) @ #CIL2009. In these economic times we are all either smaller (downsizing) or underfunded.  So this will be my first attempt at live blogging.

10 Laws using LOLcatz

#1 Talk w/customers (email, IM, VOIP, chat widgets, video chat w/skype, aim, text messaging) no account required, point of service, always have fun with them

chat widgets at null results page – keep the frustration down by offering an option to contact a real person – where do they get the most angry – offer this – email, phone better than nothing at all

text messaging more popular than email

reference services as well as circulation notices via SMS

#2 Interact with Customers

comments on everything, respond like a human being, online book clubs with a mix of staff & customers – conversation, give you their opinions, LibraryThing

Blogs – like Highly Recommended – encourage staff participation – offer template w/tags and categories, welcome feedback/conversation from customers

equal footing – able to talk to them

#3 Be Engaged


Events Calendar with online registration


Google Maps

#3 Be Social

interact on their own term – interact w/young crowd, Club Penguin, Tee Bee Dee,

about change, communication, about sharing – keep doing that or you will lose your fans.

pointer back to your web site or resources

advertising extremely cheap – target your town, zip code whatever

$10 = 5,000 facebook flyers

#4 Use Multimedia

photographs, images, podcasts vidcasts, games – photos make it more popular – stimulates interactions – power of imagery

virtual shelf on the flickr account – notes go back to catalog

Design contest for logo of teen program – voting on it using Flickr – used comments section

Exploit image generators




freeafterrebate web site – 1 for shipping


Offer treatsies

shiny objects, new stuff, hot stuff – ask them what they want, then find them some

Staff Avatars – answer question, fav. movie, color then posted on site – can you recognize the librarian

My Account text messages “sexy”

#7 Exploit the Fee

tinypic, Google, WordPress, bravenet, onestatfree, statcounter, analytics, sites, webmaster central, gimp, polldaddy, colorblender, yousendit, webmonkey, survey mokeny, zoomerang, openphoto, dzone, imageafter, grogrammableweb, stock.xchng, zamzar

Tap into the Google wonderland

#8 Respect Customers

you never know when you’re lunch

expect the best, not the worst

treat customers with respect, regardless of age of which services they use

let them comment – go in after the fact and edit- policy no curse words but don’t over react. kids are users too

#9 Choices

how to contact you

how you communicate with them

how they find things online

what they find online (content & format)

multiple paths to same content – people think in different ways

Mashups = Choices

Library Elf

Library Look up

LibX Toolbar

Good Catalog = Choices



LibraryThing for Libraries


WorldCat Local

#10 Keep Going

try new things, pushing administrators, rejoice in failures (means you are pushing the boundaries)- we learned what they didn’t want but you will also learn what they do want by trying

we work for Admin but also our users


Who Moved My Facebook?

I must be the exception to the norm.  I have yet to be phased by any of the changes that Facebook has made to their site.  That’s not to say that I think all their changes have been needed or even warranted.  It is the one site where I seem to just go with the flow.

There are enough people, however, each time change comes that get upset when someone moves their cheese.  They create pages, groups, applications to announce their displeasure.  Is this such a bad thing?  At first I would have said yes but then I got to thinking.  What better way to get feedback from your users?!  Most web sites are lucky if someone takes the time to fill out a contact us form.  Facebook fans take full advantage of Web 2.0.  Maybe the rest of the web could take a page from Facebook and think of more ways to allow our users to express pleasure or displeasure.

I hardly see Facebook changing back (but you never know enough of an uproar might make a difference).  It will be interesting to monitor this.  I am one for change and don’t mind just going with the flow.  All I ask is just don’t expect me to comment, start a group or create an application – unless it is “I Went With the Flow – Facebook Changes Don’t Phase Me” flair.  🙂

Open Mouth, Insert Both Feet

*sigh*  I should have known it wasn’t going to be a good day.  Both dogs (Lab mix and English Springer Spaniel) slept with me last night but due to windows being opened decided to alert me every 2 hours that something was in our yard.  God knows if there really was anything out there other than our usual visitors (deer).  But my sleep circle was off to say the least.

I seem to be on a roll today.  I’ve managed to open mouth insert foot at least 3 times this morning.  Twice on the web and once in person (although that one was a setup by my boss who was laughing the whole time).  That maybe a new record.

I’ve prided myself, up until now, on keeping snarky/opinionated comments out of social networking feeds.  For several reasons – a) my feeds are subscribed to by more than just family or friends but many co-workers and fellow library people and b) the old adage still holds true … “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.  Obviously I didn’t follow directions well today.

I made the terrible mistake of commenting on something from our staff Intranet.  It was my opinion but since it wasn’t worded in the best manner it should have stayed inside my head where it would have done no harm.  Instead I vocalized to the social networking community.  I thought I was being smart by not posting it to Twitter but to FriendFeed instead.  Something told me that I should haven’t posted it but I thought “Pshaw, no one will read this on FriendFeed so I’m safe.”  FAIL!

I completely forgot that not only Twitter but FriendFeed as well feeds into my Facebook account.  Lo and behold the comment that I didn’t want known was read by the person I didn’t want to read it because they are a friend on Facebook.   How’d did I find this out?  That person graciously sent me a humorous comment on my status.  Talk about 20 shades of red.

So what did I learn?  Don’t post snarky/opinionated comments to your social networking sites?  No, I knew not to do that but instead I learned that if I don’t have anything nice to say that it belongs inside my head not out on the web.

So since I publicly made a comment I figured the best way to apologize is to also do it publicly and ironically through social networking sites.  My blog feeds into Twitter, FriendFeed and my Facebook account.  So hopefully the gracious person with a great sense of humor will read my most sincere apology and know that I learned a big lesson today.  I can’t thank them enough for not calling me out but instead using humor to diffuse what could have been a nasty situation if they had chosen that route.  They took the high road where I did not.  I am humbled by their choice and will apply it to all my future Tweets/Feeds/Posts.