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Your Virtual Front Door: Defining the Use of Social Media for Archives and Libraries: Part V

November 9th, 2010 · No Comments

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Part V: Using Social Media for Outreach and PR, part ii: The Big Why

A couple of weeks ago I ended the post on advocacy with the following:

You might be asking yourself “Why should I do this?” Good question and also the point of this post: At the heart of library/archive advocacy is the active pursuit to continue to influence the community at large to the worth and purpose of the local library or archives.

In last week’s (fairly lengthy) post, I summarized the entire post with one sentence that gets to the heart of the matter:

Engage with your community.

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Category: Social Media · Virtual Front Door

Your Virtual Front Door: Defining the Use of Social Media for Archives and Libraries: Part IV

November 1st, 2010 · 3 Comments

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Part IV: Using Social Media for Outreach and PR, part i

Last week, I talked about the difference between advocacy and public relations as well as presented a good base on how to create and use social media as advocacy outlets. Since the steps to create a social media outreach/PR campaign are similar to creating an advocacy campaign, I’ll discuss more on how to use social media effectively to create, maintain and engage with your community.

Because there is so much to cover with this topic, it is divided into two parts, the first of which covers creating a brand, connecting your social networks, engaging your users, and lastly, creating meaningful content. While I give examples to illustrate my points in this week’s post, next week I’ll spend more time on the WHY you should be doing this rather than just creating the approach to doing it.
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Category: Social Media · Virtual Front Door

Your Virtual Front Door: Defining the Use of Social Media for Archives and Libraries: Part III

October 25th, 2010 · 4 Comments

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Part III: Using Social Media for Advocacy

When I began to outline this series, my goal was to make sure that each weekly topic flowed into the next so that the current week built upon the previous weeks discussions. As I spent time moving topics around so that each week would (hopefully) flow seamlessly to the next, I kept getting a nagging feeling that something was just not right. Two of my topics, advocacy and public relations/outreach, were the culprits and I finally realized why. The nagging comes in because at first blush, I tend to personally use the words advocacy and public relations pretty interchangeably and I wondered if I did that, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to believe that others might do so as well. So what is the difference between the two and why are each of them important?
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Category: Social Media · Virtual Front Door

Your Virtual Front Door: Defining the Use of Social Media for Archives and Libraries: Part II

October 20th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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Part II: Social Media Simply Explained

When we presented on social media at AMIA last year, we opined that social media could be easily explained by two statements:

  • Social networking is about connecting people with similar interests on a much larger scale.
  • AND

  • It is about conversations.

A year later, I still firmly believe that it really is that simple. As I said last week, the problem, however, is that in the last year there seems to be plethora of presentations, sites, workshops and classes (to name a few) that will push the need for social media in libraries and archives but rarely will define what social media is. One hand, this is great as it gets the word out for the need of using social media as part of a librarians or archivists daily job routine. On the other hand, the pushing of the tool without defining the tool is still causing huge resistance in using that particular tool. Why?
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Category: Social Media · Virtual Front Door

Your Virtual Front Door: Defining the Use of Social Media for Archives and Libraries: Part I

October 11th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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Part I: Introduction

A conversation I seem to have a lot these days is discussing the use and instruction of social media, specifically for archival and library institutions. One particular topic that I keep coming back to over and over again in these conversations is that there is a huge push for institutions to use social media, with this push intensified by conferences and professional organizations (to name a few outlets). These outlets heavily advertise posters, panels and classes (to name a few methods) that teach professionals the hows of social media and networking with specific illustration of the more popular social media tools without really explaining the whys.

This in and of itself is not a bad thing. Last winter, Alexis Braun Marks, Kim Schroeder and I presented at AMIA‘s yearly conference on this very subject. Our topic, “When Are New Technologies For You?” was an attempt to give a general overview of what social media is and why it should be used while illustrating a few of the big players in the social networking world. Our audience poll at the beginning of our presentation only enforced what we knew from our research: Most institutions are desperate to get on the social media bandwagon and know that they should, but they have no idea WHY they should or how to go about doing it. Then what happens is that many institutions end up doing one of two things: they join every social network under the sun and then forget about it or they just ignore the siren call of social media in the first place, artificially secure that they don’t need it in the first place.
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Category: Social Media · Virtual Front Door

Documenting the American South

June 25th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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To say those from the South are proud of their heritage is putting it mildly. Every year dozens if not hundreds of groups, towns and culture centers celebrate some aspect of Southern life from Civil War reenactments to living history villages to a wide array of festivals honoring everything from fruit and food to music and specialty local events. 1

To help commemorate the South’s (and also America’s) illustrious background and to give a voice to the Southern perspective, the University of North Carolina has put together a digital initiative of primary and secondary sources on the Internet. Since 2004, Documenting the American South has been the premier location for education and research materials on Southern life not just on the Internet, but also in the world. The fourteen thematic collections offer wide range of digital materials that includes books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs. This vibrant digital collection consists of numerous large print, photograph and rare materials collections made possible by Southern Historical Collection, the North Carolina Collection, UNC’s Rare Book Collectionand the Davis Library.
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Category: Friday Fun Site

The Power of the Retweet

June 16th, 2010 · No Comments

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I’ve discussed Twitter in a variety of capacities on AMPed but mainly within the context of using mashable technologies that include Twitter, but I have not discussed a feature of Twitter that sometimes is overlooked – retweeting.

What exactly is retweeting? Retweeting is taking a tweet that was originally sent by one person that you follow and you in turn forward it on to your own followers, usually with an added comment so that the new tweet would look something like this:

Awww RT@stephenfry Plus *eyelidflutter* Steve Jobs said “Hi, Stephen” *swoon*.

In this case I’m commenting on a tweet originally sent by @stephenfry, whom I follow and in turn, I forwarded that tweet to my followers along with my comment. Because of the format of the tweet, it is generally understood that everything before the “RT” is by me and everything after the “RT” is by the originating author. And this is accepted as the norm in Twitter communication for since time immortal (or 2006).

It is exactly like email forwarding, with the exception that you cannot selective choose who your retweet goes out to, it has to go out to all of those that follow you or none at all.
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Category: Social Media · Wednesday Widgets

Twitter hits its 10 billionth tweet: What this means for you

March 5th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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If you are following any blogs on social media, the one that should be at the top of your list is Mashable. While at times the writing is a bit sensationalistic, Mashable is great for getting news and information as it happens making it one of the definitive sources on social media and networking on the web.

Anyone old enough to remember the days when McDonald’s used to change their signs when they sold X number of burgers? Fan fare and promotions were a blazed the numbers climbed and once McDonald’s hit 99 billion burgers, it stopped counting.

Today, Mashable reported that Twitter reached 10 billion tweets. Here is how the numbers work out: Twitter begins in early 2006 and it takes nearly 2.5 years to reach the first billion tweets (fall of 2008). One year later, it quintupled the number of tweets (from one billion to five billion) in 1/3rd of the time. And six months later, Twitter doubled that figure to ten billion tweets served.

Yowza.

And unlike McDonald’s, Twitter is not going to stop counting.
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Category: Social Media

For Businesses: Feeding Your Blog Into Facebook

December 23rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

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One of the great things about Social Networking is the ability to transparently publish information across various social networks simultaneously. When I update my personal blog, without additional interaction by me, updates are sent to my Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed accounts. This is done via the magic of APIs and the widgets that utilize the existing sites API information

API is short for “Application Programming Interface,” and essentially allows third party developers to create new ways, or mashups, of the existing technology with other technologies – hence the transparency of publishing my content from my blog to other sites. One could argue that this ability is at the heart of Social Networking since personally I’d be less inclined to re-post my content repeatedly on other sites, which means more work for me and also takes out the “Gee-whiz!” factor when introduced to new mashups or widgets that will do it for me.
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Category: Social Media · Wednesday Widgets

Disqus Commenting System

December 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

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One of the things that makes social networking is the ability to comment and share whatever it is you’re reading or interacting with to others in your group, whether by email, Facebook, Twitter or social bookmarking sites. On the flip side, one of the downsides is that for nearly every site you interact with, you almost always have to create a login to participate. This is not necessarily a bad thing in that it allows you to control what information about yourself that is available to the site admins, it allows the site admins to also gauge who is using their service and it is helpful if you consistently frequent the same sites on a regular basis.

Personally though, I’m fairly lazy. (more…)

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Category: Social Media · Wednesday Widgets