The Social Web and Libraries

I was just doing some blog reading, and that triggered some ideas that I want to do some more thinking about. And YOU get to come along for the ride!

Here’s what I was reading:

First off – I think I like the term “Social Web” better than “Web 2.0.” Why? Web 2.0 is a vague, muddied term. It mixes the social with the uber-geek-techie in ways that is sometimes confusing.

But the Social Web? To me, by the time social web components are being used, the techie part has already been accomplished. The blog is built, the coding has been done, and the framework has been tidied up. It’s all ready to go – it’s ready for people to start connecting with people.

And that’s something that libraries do well – the social. When we’re working the reference desk, answering questions… we’re doing the social. When we’re in a meeting, discussing our programs… we’re doing the social. Having a social focus is a HUGE component of what we do as libraries.

So anyway…  I read the ReadWriteWeb article (which doesn’t really deal with the Social Web in a big way – but they used the term, thus the trigger for me), and then I remembered Sarah’s post on social networking tips. Some of her points touch on the need to be real/human/transparent with our library communities, and provide tips on how to do that.

So – how are you “being social” online? How do you “do” digital community? There’s really no easy answer to that question … but a lot of people are focused on figuring it out, at least in the commercial online world! I think there are some posts there, too. What do you think? What’s the social web all about? How do you connect with patrons online? Why would you even want to do that?

Let’s discuss…

[photo by Max’s Pixs’]

Hire YourLibrarySite to build… your library website!

Ever want to build or redesign your library’s website, but don’t have the technical expertise in-house? Here’s one interesting recent development on that front:

From an email I received from Paul Berger: “I wanted to let you know about the web development services we have put together here in Eugene Oregon. was recently launched to serve public libraries with cost-effective development services that are built on Drupal open source content management. is an initiative built by CraftySpace, L.L.C., an Internet technology company focused on website and web application development services for education and professional organizations. Some time ago, the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (, an association of 33 public libraries located in the greater Los Angeles area approached us to respond to their needs for a new site. Our proposal won the contract and we developed their current site, followed by sites for several of their member libraries. We learned a lot about the needs of public libraries and how to respond to those needs using Web 2.0 thinking and technology. encompasses what we learned working with MCLS. By standardizing our technical approach and tools; and by using Drupal, we believe we can provide public libraries with powerful websites at costs that rival in-house development. We have a subscription-based solution for small libraries with a very low cost of entry. These sites can be launched in under 30 days.”

Someone reading this just might find their services useful… enjoy!

David’s Video of ALA2008

Some of you probably saw me wandering around ALA2008 with a Flip video camera… well, here’s why: ALA let me borrow one of their cameras! Daniel Kraus, the guy behind most of the videos on AL Focus (a cool blog from ALA) lent me one of their Flip cameras, and asked me to fill it with video of the conference. So I did – then mailed it back to Daniel, who miraculously edited my video mess into a pretty cool video snippet of the conference.

Check out the video (originally posted at AL Focus):

New Book this Fall: Designing the Digital Experience

I actually wrote a book! I can’t believe it… but I’m pretty psyched about it! Here’s the info for the book:

Designing the Digital Experience: How to Use Experience Design Tools and Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love
ISBN 978-0-910965-83-5/$24.95/208 pp
CyberAge Books/Information Today Inc.
Publication: October 2008 (that’s coming up soon!)

So – it’s coming out this fall, and it’s all about designing digital experiences (long-time readers will recognize that topic – it’s a common one for me, both on my blog and in my presentations). I’ll be posting more about the book as it gets closer to the release date. But for now, here’s a wordle teaser (click through to the larger version in my flickr account if interested)… a tag cloud version of the introduction to the book!

Tag Cloud of the Introduction to my book