Yahoo! Mail RSS Reader

This is extremely cool – RSS is now integrated into Yahoo! Mail and Alerts (from TechCrunch).

Think about that for a sec – how many of your users have a Yahoo! email account? And how many of them use web-based email services? And how many of those users might now be willing to learn about the whole RSS/Blog thing… since they already have a reader, and it most likely will make more sense to them (at least those using Yahoo! mail)?

Better yet – how many libraries teach classes on opening an email account with hotmail, yahoo mail, etc? It’s a short leap to focusing primarily on Yahoo! Mail, adding a small section on the RSS component, and “helping” class attendees subscribe to their first RSS feed (namely, your library’s feed). Suddenly, those users are learning about RSS from the library, experiencing what RSS does… while at the same time seeing all your cool programs, news, events, materials, etc (depending on what you stuff into the feed).

What do you think?

Random Thought #2

Another thought, probably originating from listening to Abram:

Our next big set of customers are kids and teens right now. I could even stretch that out a bit to include 20-somethings. Are we really marketing to them?

Right now, most public library websites have a page or so devoted to kids, and the same for teens. Then we toss in the 20-something with his dad, his older brother, and his grandma – all run-of-the-mill adults.

Look at 10 library websites, then tell me… are they marketed to young adults, kids, or teens? No (well ok – don’t look at – anything else is up for grabs, though).

And yet – we all talk about getting more teens into the library. And we should be talking about keeping them when they become parents in the next ten years.

So – maybe our websites (for starters) should be a bit more hip? Interactive? Fun? Attractive? etc….

Random Thought #1

[Update: not so random after all – I probably heard Stephen Abram say this at Internet Librarian]

As I’m starting to re-write our website plan, I’m having some random thoughts… they don’t necessarily go in the plan, but might be useful nonetheless. So I’m posting them as they come.

Random Thought #1: Go where your customers already are, and be prepared to meet them with the information they need.

The second part of that statement might be difficult – then again, if we have well-rounded librarians, we should at least be able to track down said info.

First part of the statement – where are our customers? Here’s a beginning list:

  1. in the library
  2. at home
  3. on the phone
  4. in the classroom
  5. on the web
  6. in a meeting
  7. at the mall
  8. etc

My point? Can a library patron reach your library via phone, email, chat, IM, SMS, etc?

How about this – your customers are in school… how do you meet them? Your customers are at the cafe around the corner. How do you meet them? Your customers are working in the corporate office across the street. How do you meet them? Your customers are using Flickr/LibraryThing/Furl/ yahoo/etc – How do you meet them?

Messy Desk (a videoblog post)

messydeskYes, another video (third one, actually – here are links to my first [warning: “just testing” silliness] and second [warning: big file], for those extremely interested sorts). My library recently purchased a digital camcorder and video editing software with the ultimate of recording events, area attractions, etc (that is, if we actually have TIME to do any of these cool things).

But for starters, someone has to learn the equipment! When I learn new hardware/software, I like to … well … play a little.

So – here’s an exciting video of me cleaning up my office cube. Hollywood, watch out!

(nitty-gritty details: 1:35, 8mg wmv file)

videoblog vlog