CIL 2010 Where Did the Time Go?

Here I am on the last day of #CIL2010 wondering where did the time go?  I’ve managed only one other blog post other than this one, I’ve taken several photos but haven’t finished loading them on my pc let alone editing them and I haven’t even begun to upload them to Flickr or Facebook?  So what the heck have I been doing with all my time?

1.  Commuting.  Getting up at 4;30 or 5:00 so I can hopefully make it there in time for the keynote speakers takes a good chunk out of my day.  Trying to coordinate Marc train and metro schedules so I’m not stuck in VA then figuring out the best time to drive down or back to Northwest Baltimore County has convinced me that I could never work in DC/VA.  3 hours or more to get somewhere, work 8 hours there and then 3 hours back home – how do these people have lives?!

2.  Attending.  Been trying to get in as many sessions in as possible.  For some reason this year it seems like I’ve barely had a time between sessions to pack up my stuff and move to the next session let along blog.  Thankfully I’ve been able to Twitter some of the sessions (wifi has been spotty at best).  Several sessions I was able to Tweet the first speaker but then the wifi craps out so the second or more speakers only got notes taken which I haven’t had time to transfer to this blog.

3.  Networking.  One of the best parts of conferences but somewhat frowned upon by the folks who pay for it , is the networking opportunities that arise.  Be they table-con, lobby-con, exhibit-con, floor-con — all of these are important.  Having a chance to speak the same language with someone in your field, to learn new ideas, to challenge old ones or just simply make a new friend can’t be measured.  Those networks associations can blossom into speaking engagements, contacts, or resources that will help you in your job.  I even stayed late Tuesday night to participate in the T is for Training podcast.  It was a historical episode as it was the longest one we’ve recorded for 90 minutes.

So I’ve been a busy girl just haven’t had a moment to play catch up.  Problem is when I get back to work I’ll have to dive right back into Polaris training – here’s hoping I find a moment here and there to post some more or upload pics.

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Do Celebrities Belong in Your Following?

Guess #followfriday got me thinking about this.  I was looking through people I follow and who they follow.  I was focusing more on what I call “official” Twitter accounts vs. personal accounts.  I noticed that one library account had several celebrities it was following.  For some reason this didn’t sit well with me.  I can understand following authors, local celebs that perhaps have been connected to your library or your state but the likes of Miley Cyrus or Justine Timberlake seemed a bit off.

One could argue well if you carry their cd’s in your collection why wouldn’t you follow them?  And that is a logical argument I’m just not sold on it.  I feel that the people you follow (not necessarily the ones that follow you) says something about you.   No followers says one thing about you just as a large number of followers says another.  But it isn’t just about the numbers (some folks like the play the number game I prefer quality over quantity).  Not sure I like what a bunch of celebrities says about your official account.

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Who Moved My FriendFeed?

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

By now most folks who use Friendfeed know that it was acquired by Facebook yesterday.  If you visit Friendfeed today you’ll see lots of gloom and doom predictions, rats leaving the sinking ship and so on.  Ah, human nature is amazing to behold in action.  Move someone’s cheese and they just can’t handle it.

I’m not saying you have to like Facebook, I’m not saying you have to stay if you don’t feel like it but let’s wait and see if all that you are sure is going to happen, happens.  I remember when I first started at Friendfeed everyone was predicting the fall of Twitter – everyone is moving over here they won’t use Twitter.  I even blogged about this and letting the dust settle before I made any rash decisions or predictions.

I maybe one of the few at Friendfeed that love both sites and use them differently.  I don’t know what is going to happen (and neither do any of you who aren’t employeed by Facebook).  So let’s just sit back, see what happens and for once not assume the worst.  If you have to leave based on some princple then go but do it quietly please.

I guess my quote on my Momentile profile says it all – “Embrace change because it’s going to happen anyway.”   If you have been around the interwebs for any time at all you should know by now that things change, sites get bought out, new ones become the golden child and tried but true ones fade away.  It will be an interesting next couple of months to see just what happens to Friendfeed and who stays or goes.  Maybe I should have gone into psychiatry – manking and the way they thing/react is indeed very interesting to study.

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When Is Too Much, Too Much?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I am probably going to be in the minority on this one.  But how many Tweets is too many?

Does your message get diluted if you Tweet too much on Twitter or does it get diluted if you have too many followers?

How do you balance the right amount of Tweets to keep your followers engaged vs. overwhelmed?  Keep in mind I’m thinking more along the lines of an official account versus a personal account but I think it can apply to both.  Is one man’s not enough another man’s too much?

I subscribe to several Twitter accounts that are linked to libraries or businesses – some of them Tweet quite often while others rarely.  I don’t seem to have a problem with the ones that Tweet more (I quickly glance at the Tweet that pops up in Twhirl and move on – just like those Thunderbird pop ups that let me know I have a new email).  Some say you overwhelm your customers/consumers if you Tweet often.  Not sure I agree with that.  The ones that don’t Tweet much at all are doing their customers the real disservice.  Don’t taunt me, tease me into thinking I can communicate with you via Twitter and then give me nothing or very little.  Is more than 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 Tweets a day too much?  Is it really about a number?  Shouldn’t it be about content?  Shouldn’t the real measure be whether or not you are providing your customers/consumers with content of value and a way for them to reach you?

So what do you think?

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Twitter About Friendfeed So Facebook Can Flickr YouTube aka CIL2009 presentation

Now that I’ve had a chance to decompress, find my notes and get some email dealt with I thought I’d post about my presentation at CIL2009.  I had the sincere pleasure of working with not only two talented professionals but two people I now consider good friends – Michael Sauers and Bobbi Newman.   Our presentation dealt with training both staff and customers in regards to the wild, wonderful world of Web 2.0.  More portion of the trilogy dealt with training the customer.

Here are a few links I promised I’d share with people – hope these help you to educate your customers about Web 2.0.

Presentations:

My portion of the presentation

Entire presentation (including Michael and Bobbi’s slides)

My presentation for the public (customers) on Web 2.0 overview

Handouts:

Overview of Web 2.0 class

Photo/video sharing class

Music sharing class

Social Networking class

Next Best Thing To Being There

I tweeted this morning that I was working on more photos from #CIL2009 (Computers in Libraries) and #JointSpringConference (Joint Spring Conference).  I got a reply to my tweet from @webmaster_ref asking to let him know when I had uploaded them.  He appreciated seeing all the tweets that were hashtagged #CIL2009 and the photos that were going up on Flickr.

I too have felt like the only one NOT attending a conference that my peers were attending.  Their blogs, tweets, YouTube videos and Flickr photos help to feel not totally out of the loop.  Of course nothing can replace the actual benefits of attending a conference (all the ideas you are exposed to, learns you learn to do and not to do regarding presenting, networking you do and friends you make).  One friend only Twittered during the conference and even setup a separate Twitter account so his other followers weren’t bombarded with #CIL2009 stuff.

What started as just a way to for me to record my experience at a conference, I’m now seeing in a different light.  With economic times hitting libraries hard these days I think it’s almost a duty of those who do attend to inform those of us who are left behind.  So if I can’t go to Internet Librarian 2009 I hope all my tweeps, freeps, fbookers and blog friends will do their best to make me like I’m there.

Manage Your Profile Socially

103_0509Social Network Profile Management

Michael Porter, Greg Schwartz, Sarah Hougton-Jan, and Amanda Clay Powers

Another attempt at live blogging.

Each presenter is going to talk for 5 mins.

Who are you online? Identity – what I say about me – what others say about me

Digital identity mapping – not just expression, reputation, crumbs of other stuff to form digital identity

Google search your name plugged in.  You don’t own it – can’t control it but you can influence it

#1 tip own your user name – establish presence online – stick to a user name that works for you – checkusernames.com

#2 – join the conversation – the part is what you say about you need to participate don’t just sit on the sidelines

#3 other half of that is listen – what are others saying about you – search to see what people are saying about you

#4 be authentic – no persona – about connecting that online presence with the real one

Amanda is next – ask anyone who saw this about Michael Stevens and sowing his seed.

What are we doing here anyway?  Social networking isn’t new or strange people have been telling their stories for some time.  We know how to help people manage identity because we know how to manage data.

Educate people about what they are doing – help them be more secure in using their online identity.

People aren’t seeing the librarians as the experts on social networks – if only they knew!  Sounds like we need to educate them a bit. 😉  Make your profile the way you want it to be – privacy settings.

Sarah Houghton-Jan

Library Social Networks Profiles – The Good, The bad, and The Ugly

Managing your identity as the library – official page.

uniform usernames – uniform generic email – profile information on site is current

quick replies to comments

personal tone – not stuffy, be yourself “not the library”, give it some personality

keep it open to all (doesn’t matter where someone lives – let them in)

Do not do

random strange usernames

individual emails

no profile info on site or out of date

slow or no replies to users

stuffy institutional tone

select friends (shutting down opportunities)

You can either over or under manage your library’s social network profiles.  Don’t fall into either trap.  Don’t let it fall on one person like the web master – across the institution.

Facebook, other social networking sites – can be professional no personal  – can be used in all sorts of ways – use all the options

CheckUsernames.com

Open ID and ClaimID – important

Ping.fm or Hellotxt.com to update multiple networks

AtomKeep – update all social network profile info in one shot

Now Michael Porter

Webjuntion.org

Libraryman!

Webjunction a community site for librarians and library staff – not closed but not really people who aren’t library related coming in and adding profiles.

All the fields you can control who can see them.  You have more options to control who sees what about your profile.

Do’s

Make funny pics using swag or stickers

tweet about the workshop you are doing

show your personality – librarians are fun, nice and have interests outside of books

have fun with the tools – show your personality

success stories – share them on the social networking tools

Don’t

bad photos – wrong finger sticking up – make sure goofy isn’t seen the wrong way

don’t take it so far – nearly naked photos would not be a good thing

Get some conversation going – Michael invites the audience to participate

Someone wanted to know if it’s possible to have 2 identity – personal and professional.  Most of the panel agree that they blend, the lines blur and it’s just too hard to keep it up.

Be aware of what you are adding because you can be seen as a “spammer” on Facebook by sending out too many feeds/updates.  Target information – rss feeds to a particular audience – people are getting overwhelmed by too much information.

Library success wiki – tips on how to manage professional profile – it still needs to be personal otherwise it won’t be effective.

Give people a one stop place – single place they may not be as familiar with the aggregators so still show the facebook, flickr links.  Cross pollinate.

Community Partnerships – We Are All In This Together

103_0474Building Community Partnerships: 25 ideas in 40 minutes given by Kathy Dempsey, Editor of Marketing Library Services Newsletter. 2nd live blog attempt so pardon the spelling and grammatical errors.

what makes sense for public may not make sense for government, special – pick what will work for your particular library needs

don’t rely on just money alone – trade for inkind services

join local chamber of commerce, lion’s club, make contact – someone who knows you is less likely to slash your budget

partner with grocery stores – story times love it – book drops – open small branches in the grocery store – not an extra trip to go to the library – they need food

annual book sale at local mall – empty stores gave them spaces for the books

mall was happy because it brought more shoppers in

find groups that are in similar situation – other groups – historical society – what you do someone else is doing it – partner instead of compete

are you targeting support staff? assist to dean? when they need info for bosses they come to you and have some influence with those hire up – same with county commissioners – they are looking to do better work for their bosses

trade deals with small business – local flower shop in kind donations – flowers w/publicity – it is small but building a relationship with another person and business

IT experts – they are busy – want to run ideas or bounce off ideas – or maybe trade some services for personal or library’s needs – do work for you exchange research for them

college professors – even if not academic library – assign class projects that are work for the library – need a new logo – or branding campaign, – helps the teachers as well – helps them not give the same thing year after year – gives the student a real world assignment

scout troups – boy/girls – work to do for badges, build bookshelves, garden, physical tasks that could become an assignment for a group like that – takes heat off troup leader to come up with it all

form alliances with video game stores – grab teens, see what you can trade – give kids credit or coupons – for X number of books they read in Summer Reading Game, gives you more street cred, gaming club at schools – partner with the ones already in the schools – helps both you and the other gaming club to not be afraid you are working togethr ( you may have more space – meeting rooms)

trade training with other trainers – in between conferences do something more local – don’t over look your local experts – anyone who has skills that your staff or customers want – trade inkind – don’t be afraid to ask to trade services

meetings with liaisons w/government officials – get to know the staff members – gives you and in for the legislators – they will ask their aide , put a human face on the library a lot of what partnerships are about

AARP need a lot of information – go to trusted sources – become a trusted source – let local AARP to have meetings in libraries – get on their agenda to help promote yourselves, they think of other groups first – get in there and make sure they think of libraries as well

Choose your influencers – your message will get spread easier

have conversation with them – ask them first

Senior Citizen centers ask them for something in return – volunteers, to do storytimes, help other people, do inventory, writing grant applications

Getting involved w/local politics and staff members – as regular citizen join political action groups, even just the city planners, they have a lot to say about your budget – get to know you as a real person not just a building – never under estimate the power of personal relationships

offering research services to government officials – roads, new intersections – if you know what is going on in the community – offer your services for traffic accidents stats for ___ to help you write your plan

Make alliance with everyone in the community – want to join and do something that matters – don’t always have thousands of dollars but even just 10 will help, sponsor trees (like the angel trees at Christmas) – spell it out for them make it easier

birthday party – book plate – donated then story time around that story – got to feel special – for just $10 that would live in the library for the future

Reporters – they need happy stories – ESPECIALLY NOW – local reporters know you are available not just your press releases – need a quick last min. picture – senior at computer, kid happy w/book, it fills space and put some happiness into the news, offer to write columns about what is going on at the library – you can do research for them too (reporter on deadline – fact checking)

causal advisory boards – get buy ins, best way to make programs/classes instead of guessing is talk to them – never any reason to guess – ask them – don’t make it a formal advisory board – drop ins – you want us to do something for you – what is it? what are the best hours, what interests you? then let them go out into the community they (libraries) are here to serve us – feel ownership and personal relationship with you – parent story time adv. board – what time is best? what craft? do you want to be parental advisor for story time – doesn’t have to be staff time let them work with you (may know other parents and draw in others) building advocates and saving money on glue!

SOCIAL NETWORKS – David Lee King’s blog post – who should you friend and why should you friend others than just other libraries – how to friend people on Facebook – don’t just toss it out there – give them a reason to join you – have a reason to have a page

Parents – are partners – not just sit here for an hour after school – tell them what you have and what the library can be to them as a family or to their children – education

tell as many people the most basic things – what you think they already know – they have no idea

building alliances with k-12 – talk to school teachers, what are the kids working on, what are their plans for the fall- what can we do to help them? conversation – more recognition, align w/education – makes a difference. Howard County Library is considered part of the education budget because our Executive Director and CEO Valerie J. Gross firmly believes that what we do is education and just as important as what the schools do. By aligning ourselves with the schools we have a different budget and more respect in the community.

Consultants – reciprocal relationships where you work for each other – they need information

Approach people – don’t ask like your asking for a favor – we are as valuable as any business out there – start with someone you know or comfortable with – if you know someone from other events start there – role play with colleagues to get comfortable – have a starting line in mind – be the human face of the library – spoof official sponsorships everyone has an “official sponsor” these days – talk to people all the time – on trains, in lines – have some documented facts in your back pocket – use the facts that have already been gathered for you – start at the end and build backwards – what do you want the outcome to be.

Wannabee

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

EngagedPatrons.org

Events Calendar with online registration

Blogs,

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

generatorblog.blogspot.com

imagegenerator.org

imagechef.com

freeafterrebate web site – 1 for shipping

#6

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

Aquabrowser

Endeca

LibraryThing for Libraries

VuFind

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.  🙂