YouTube Being Naughty Today

youtube being naughtyInteresting problem I had to deal with today … Here’s the run-down:

A month or so ago, some of my library’s teen patrons participated in a Making Mini Movie Masterpieces program held at my library. Cool program!

One of our librarians just posted the videos some of the teens made to YouTube … and guess what? In the related videos section of the video page (and also on the related videos flash thing that plays at the end of an embedded YouTube video), some … let’s just say “questionable” videos appeared.

Here’s what I think happened: YouTube found “similar” videos based on keywords. And the keywords it found in our video include these words in the title and description: mini teen teens . Dump those into YouTube and you’ll unfortunately find some pretty “interesting” videos.

Naturally, we don’t really want those thumbnails appearing on our library’s website, so we are fixing it in two ways:

  1. Good idea from our Web Developer: “There is an option when creating the embed code to include or not include links to “related” video.  For this one I have gone ahead and embedded a new video without the related video thumbs at the end.”
  2. From me: Change the title of the video “Making Mini Movie Masterpieces” to something without the word “mini” (maybe just “Making Movie Masterpieces”) … and remove the “teen” and “teens” words in the description – maybe change them to “young adult.”

What an odd problem … and something you might want to be on the lookout for. ANyone else run into this type of problem, and if so – what did you do?

Attracting Friends, Part 2: Twitter

In my last post, Attracting Friends, Part 1, I discussed how to attract friends for your library social networks generally … by doing the hard work. Now on to the specific tools – how do you find and attract friends, as an organization, using Twitter? Here are some ideas:

  • use local services like TwitterLocal or TwitterMap [dead now – removed the link] to discover local twitter users, and subscribe to their feed. Say hi. Interact with them. They won’t friend you if they don’t know you’re there.
  • put a Twitter chicklet on your site. You can use a chicklet that does a specific thing, like TwitterCounter (shows the number of people following you – I have an example on my site), or a generic chicklet/graphic link that simply announces that you use twitter. Go one better, and say “follow me on Twitter” in your link/chicklet. This announces that you’re looking for followers.
  • Does your organization have accounts set up in other social networks, like Facebook, flickr, or YouTube? Mention your Twitter account on those other profile pages.
  • Do local media/businesses use twitter? Connect with them. For example, in Topeka, my twitter friends include some tv news anchors and the general manager of a local news station. Connect with them, and start talking. Others that have connected with them will notice, and maybe follow you.

What am I missing? Please share!

Update: This is part of my slowly-growing series on organization-based friending in social networks. Here’s what I have so far:

Attracting Friends, Part 1

A couple posts ago, I suggested that libraries stop friending other libraries and to focus instead on their local community. (aside – If you need/want to connect with other librarians, that’s great – make your own personal account for that).

Now, on to how? What are the different ways one can friend others in popular social networking sites, and how can you find and attract friends in each? That’s a bit more difficult, and takes a bit more work. I’ll take a couple of posts and give some pointers (and would love for you to join in and suggest your own idea,s too!).

Here are some general ideas that work for most of the new social networking tools:

  • Setting goals (have I mentioned this one enough?). You need to figure out what you want to achieve with your twitter/facebook/etc account. Do this first!
  • Focus on a target audience – it might help to focus on a target audience, rather than to focus on a generic “patron.”
  • Be human, instead of a stuffy organization. @Zappos and @Timbuk2 do this well in Twitter – when you send them a question or comment about their product, you generally get a real, live person replying, being helpful, answering questions, etc. (hmm… that sorta sounds like a reference librarian).
  • Good content rules! Make interesting posts/tweets/updates
  • Advertise/promote it! Think business cards in the library, articles in the library newsletter, etc.
  • Link to it on your website, and explain what it is and why I should care.
  • Find out where people who use these tools hang out, and go there. And post flyers, pass out cards with your social networking info on it, etc. in those establishments (I’m thinking bulletin board in a coffee shop here).
  • Teach classes on the tool. Show attendees how to set up an account, and how to follow the library. Instant followers!
  • Even better – do the same thing at a local chamber brown bag lunch or other business oriented gathering. Show them how the library can meet real needs via these tools.
  • Library programs/events? Take the first 2 minutes and push it there.
  • Colleges/high schools nearby? Put an ad in their newspapers.
  • How about a local newspaper or local magazine? Put an ad there or check into writing an article for them (better yet, a weekly tech column).

You might have noticed that most of my suggestions on getting friends for social networking tools … doesn’t involve using the tool to make friends. Instead, it’s all about YOU leaving the library and meeting your community. Getting out of the building. Actively introducing your community to these tools. Or even talking to peole inside your library that you notice use the tools.

That’s the hard part – lots of walking and talking and meeting people, physically and digitally. But it will pay off.

Next post – I’ll look at some specifics of finding friends by using the tools – Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Flickr.

Now – on to your ideas. How do you get friends with social networking tools? Have I left off anything?

photo credit

Update: This is part of my slowly-growing series on organization-based friending in social networks. Here’s what I have so far:

Excerpt of Chapter 5 up at Webjunction

my book arrivedWebJunction recently excerpted chapter 5 of my new book in this article: Designing the Digital Experience: What is Community?

Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:

Chapter 5 – What Is Community Focus?

What exactly is community focus, and how does it facilitate experiences in the digital space? To answer these questions, let’s consider what community focus means in the context of physical spaces, such as in a town hall meeting. In such meetings, people are focusing on one another: listening, sharing opinions, and discussing community needs. This type of interaction allows community members to voice opinions and concerns, providing a voice for the community. In this context, we can say community focus is an emphasis on participants’ ideas, concerns, and interactions.

The town hall meeting is just one example; people obviously hold many different types of meetings, from religious gatherings to departmental business meetings to family reunions. We tend to think meetings are important. Why is that? Because we find conversation important, and meeting together facilitates conversation.

Conversation inherently facilitates something else, too. It allows us to interact with members of our community with whom we wouldn’t normally interact or even know. This type of interaction allows us to feel as if we are participating in the “grand scheme of things.” The challenge, then, is to usher community into our digital space.

Go read the rest of the excerpt (or buy the book :-) ).

Tinkering in the Techie Toybox – my presentation

I just finished a webcast presentation for the SirsiDynix Institute titled Tinkering in the Techie Toybox: Staying on Top of Consumer Technology. As promised, here are some links mentioned in the presentation:

And a copy of my slides (SirsiDynix recorded the presentation and will be posting that, probably within the next week or so).