BIGWIG’s Social Software Showcase Presentation at ALA2008

I am one of the presenters/conversation starters at BIGWIG’s Social Software Showcase at ALA2008. What is the Social Software Showcase, you ask? From the website: “The general idea for the BIGWIG Showcase is to highlight up-to-date technological innovations for libraries, while giving as broad an access as possible to the content and the presenters.”

So – I’ve created a screencast. Here’s what you  do – watch/listen to my presentation, and then you have a few different options:

  • Come sit at my table during the actual Showcase, and we’ll chat! Show up on Saturday, June 28th at the ALA Annual Convention in the Marriott Anaheim Gold Key Rooms I-III from 1:30-3:30pm.
  • Comment now on this blog post (comment box found below)!
  • Comment on the version!
  • Comment on the YouTube version!

Here’s my presentation:

Description: Engaging your library’s local community is NOT an easy task. Engaging your library’s local DIGITAL community is even harder. This presentation introduces the concept of the experience economy and mashes that up with digital community participation and engagement. What’s that get you? A headache! No, wait… that’s the wrong answer. It REALLY gets you … Community Experience, aka the Conversation Economy.

So watch/listen to my presentation (if the version above is too small for you, go here for a 640X480 version)… and then come experience the conversation economy in action at my table at BIGWIG’s Social Software Showcase! Hope to see you there!

Engaging Your Community

Trivia Night September 2007Still reading and thinking about blogs – it’s the fault of Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Wb 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize, and Engage Youth, by Ben Rigby. It’s a good book – I suggest you read it!

So today, I give you two thoughts about blogging and engaging blog communities.

On page 28, Ben writes: “A handful of elite political bloggers now wield tremendous influence, but like celebrity reporters, they’re in constant demand and are therefore more difficult to contact. However, they rely on so-called B-list bloggers for story sourcing. By looking at comments and links on an elite blogger’s site, you can begin to understand the structure of his or her network. You can reach out to the less popular bloggers and become a trusted source to them. In turn, they will feed your perspective and ideas to the elite bloggers.”

Engage the A Listers

There’s two ways to look at this. First, the obvious way. Want Robert Scoble or Chris Brogan or the ReadWriteWeb dudes to notice you? Find out who they read, then engage THOSE authors. The “B list” authors are more likely to hold conversations with you. If you strike up an engaging conversation with them, and that conversation ends up in the B lister’s blog, then … you just might get noticed by the “big guys.” Of course, if you’re like me, you’re starting way down the list (maybe the “Y Listers”?), so I have a much longer road to travel (unless the bloggers I linked to actually read their ego feeds – if you do, please say hi!).

Engage Your Community

Secondly, the much more interesting way. Ben continues (on page 29): “By developing trusted relationships and treating bloggers as a core part of your outreach efforts, you can take a proactive role in shaping news that affects your organization. You’ll also be prepared to respond rapidly to negative news and to promote your achievements.”

This means engaging local bloggers, or bloggers near and dear to your organization. In libraries, this means other librarians (to bounce ideas off of) and THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. Find bloggers in your area. Subscribe. Engage. Repeat.

There ARE bloggers in your area, already saying stuff about you. You have a chance to engage those bloggers and be a little more in control of what is said – at the least by correcting bad information or providing an another viewpoint to the situation. Better yet – you have a chance to tell your story to your community. Share your good stuff. Ask how you can make it better.

But to do that, you have to engage.

The Actionable Blog

I’m reading Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Wb 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize, and Engage Youth, by Ben Rigby. Page 20 talks about Amnesty International starting a blog, and says this:

“One of Amnesty’s key objectives is to encourage offline action, which the blog achieves. On the day [the author] visited [the website], a recent post in the “Student Activism” area called for students to spend some of their summer vacation sending postcards … Amnesty’s blog both asks for participation and shows results from past involvement, a method of engagement often called “closing the feedback loop.” The loop begins when a supporter takes action and closes when the organization shows the results of that action.”

That quote, along with my continued thinking and working on implementing the GTD method of personal organization and management, made me wonder what an “actionable” blog would look like in our libraries. Yes, I think it’s a spin-off of my earlier idea of inviting participation, so I’m either still stuck in that mode or I’m still developing the idea… you decide.

Back to my actionable blog idea – I think an actionable blog would not simply announce upcoming events or new purchases at the library. It wouldn’t even simply invite readers to come to the event or check out the book.

Instead, the content of an actionable blog post would require an action. It would be active rather than passive. Our public library’s summer reading program is an example of that. We give kids a sheet to work on – they have to read so many books. It’s an actionable thing for them to do (read the books, fill out the sheet). If they do, they get a prize.

Can’t our blog posts be a little more like that, too? How would that look in a library setting? I think we would ask for an action to be done. Just like in email, when you really need soemthing to be done, you might say this in the subject heading of the email – response required…  then you might follow up in a week or so.

I guess one example would be to ask a question. We’re doing that in our posts titled “What’s in Your Top 5?” We name our top 5 movies, music, etc… and then ask our readers what are their top five? That’s actionable, because it’s asking for a response.

Can we do this in the social networking services we’re starting to use? I think so. Try it out, see what happens. Ask for some participation of your customers, and you just might be surprised.

Subscribe to my Blog via Email

I’m slow to some things, believe it or not. I am just getting to testing out Feedburner’s Subscribe by Email option on RSS feeds. What’s that mean? It means that you can now subscribe to my blog using your email account rather than using RSS feeds and feed readers, if you so desire.

Of course, I’ve subscribed to myself doing this, so we’ll see what I get once I hit the publish button on this post. Eventually, my idea is to offer this service on my library’s website. Let’s see what happens!

NASIG2008 Presentation

Preconference sessionI just gave a 4-hour preconference workshop on emerging trends and 2.0 at NASIG 2008 (the North American Serials Interest Group). It was a small crowd, but a great workshop – lots of great questions and discussion!

NASIG is a cool group – they have set up a blog for the conference, and even a NetVibes page… great use of NetVibes.

Here’s a link to a pdf of my presentation. Enjoy!