Patrons Use Social Media Tools

Think it’s only geeky librarians like me that use social media tools like Twitter or YouTube or wikis, and your community isn’t really there yet? Think again.

Here are two examples of people in my local community (Topeka, KS), engaging with others via new-fangled social media tools (both discovered via the vanity feeds set up for my library):

Example #1: Dancing Teens, Twitter, and YouTube

This morning, I saw Chris Abraham’s tweet saying this: “These super friendly high school dancing girls are going to YouTube to get ideas for dance routines. Social Media rocks here in Topeka, Kansas!”

And his Qik video and blog post of the event (Qik video embedded below):

Yes, the girls were practicing their dance routine at Topeka’s Starbucks (I try to never be seen dancing in public… but that’s another story entirely :-)

So what do we have? One guy, passing through town … creating live video, blogging about it, and twittering about it. About two teenagers that use YouTube NOT for entertainment, but to find dance choreography ideas.

Example #2: Technology Planning in Topeka

A local newspaper columnist asked Topeka techies (using a wiki, no less) this question: “How do we make Topeka a better community by using technology? That is the question I address to you. Join me in a public discussion and offer your suggestions and let’s collaborate to make Topeka a better place.”

Yes, people in your community are already connecting and engaging with others via social media tools. Are you?


Vote for my SXSWi2009 Panels!

panel_picker_voteJust a reminder – please consider voting for my two panel proposals at for SXSWi2009. I’d LOVE to see more non-profit/library/non-monetization type presentations at this conference!

My two panels are:

  1. (vote here) Experiencing Digital Community: Conversation Economy and Non-Profits
    The conversation economy is all about experiencing real conversations in your organization’s digital space. This panel discusses online conversations in the digital spaces of non-profits. We’ll touch on: * Conversation as experience (conversation economy) * how to start conversations online * examples galore from non-profits, what works and what doesn’t.
  2. (vote here) Non-Profit Rockstars: Using Video to Share Your Message
    Video is a great way to share your organization’s message, start conversations, and move people to action. How do online videos fit into your non-profit’s digital space? This panel discusses ways to incorporate online, interactive video into your organization’s digital space.

Voting ends at 11:59 pm central time on Friday, August 29, so don’t dawdle! Thanks!

New Song & Video: Hi-fi Sci-fi Library

You HAVE to watch the amazing cool music video Michael Porter and I made!!! Here it is:

And go to Michael’s account for a larger version of the video. Want the MP3? Find it here and at

Go read Michael’s post for the nitty-gritty details (and this post for the lyrics and credits). Here are some song details…

This was a really fun song to write and record. I honestly wasn’t sure Michael’s idea would work when he first suggested it to me, but then I’m game for just about anything, so thought “let’s try it and see what happens!” And Michael’s a great friend and writing partner (we write the Public Libraries Magazine column “Internet Spotlight” together), so if everything else went down the tubes, I knew we would at least have a fun time of it. But as we started writing the lyrics, rhythms and melody lines started bouncing around in my head… and I realized this would be easy to pull off.

Other details:

  • The music is a mix of GarageBand instruments, my own guitar playing, and three samples of theremins and other whistle-like sounds.
  • And Michael Porter and I sang/rapped the thing
  • recorded and mixed in Garageband, in my basement

Samples used:

New Ways to Think about Technology and Tools, Part 2: Driving a Car

Smart CarHere’s another post on new ways to think about technology and tools (see my last post for the first one).

Here’s a photo of a Smart Car. Do you think you could drive it? Yes? Cool. How about if something broke – could you fix it… or would you need to hire a mechanic? I know I couldn’t fix it – I’m pretty much at the mercy of the auto mechanic when it comes to doing practically anything under the hood of a car.

And you know what? that’s ok. I don’t have to understand the technology to use the technology.

It’s the same way with computers and the emerging social web, too. For example, in order to blog… you don’t have to know how to build a blog. You really only need some very basic typing skills. In fact, in some of my recent presentations, I’ll ask people if they they can type a Microsoft Word document and hit save – and of course, they all say “yes, I can do that.” Then I tell them they just admitted that they have the skills needed to blog. Then it gets really quiet… :-)

Using most of this new-fangled social software is much like driving a car – you don’t have to understand the techie stuff in order to use it. You need other skillsets (like driving).

So – get out and drive!

David’s Current Speaking Schedule

As usual, I’m a bit busy this fall doing the speaking thing… and I’m really excited about it! I’m trying out a couple of new presentations and doing some first-time “fly over large bodies of water” trips – should be a blast.

Here’s where I’ll be:

September 16: Library Camp 2008 @ Allen County Public Library
I love the Library Camp concept – a bit looser, a bit messier… and a whole lot more interaction and learning. And Allen County’s a great library – it’ll be fun to talk with them! Here’s what I’m talking about there:

  • Managing the Digital Branch
  • Mashing Up Our Community

September 23-30: David goes to Spain! All three presentations focus on emerging trends:

October 18 – 23: Internet Librarian
This year should be a blast – Howard Rheingold, Danny Sullivan, and danah boyd are keynoting! Here’s what I’m doing there:

  • Oct. 18: Working in Digital Branches preconference with Rebecca Jones
  • Oct. 19: Podcasting & Videocasting Boot Camp with David Free
  • Oct 20: Designing the Digital Experience
  • Sometime in there – book signings! Stay tuned for more on that SOON

October 24-27: Hawaii Library Association’s annual conference
I’m doing a number of presentations while there, including my first pecha kucha presentation. Should be a fun time!

November (date not finalized): Techie Toybox webcast for the SirsiDynix Institute

November 18: Education Institute webcast, Designing the Digital Experience

December 9: Emerging Trends presentation for SEKLS, in Kansas

As always, stop by and say hi!