Pennsylvania on Foursquare

Gary Price over at ResourceShelf sent me this – State of Pennsylvania Now Participating in Foursquare; First State to “Sign-Up”

What an interesting project – the State of Pennsylvania apparently worked a deal with Foursquare to have branded Foursquare badges. So for example, if you check-in on Foursquare at one of VisitPA’s recommended Foursquare restaurants, you earn the PA Shooflyer badge.

Cool, huh? In fact, PA’s Deputy Secretary of Tourism is quoted in a PR Newswire article as saying “We would like to see every Pennsylvania  restaurant, retail store, historical site, and museum join Foursquare … ” That’s pretty amazing.

Libraries – is your library on Foursquare yet (we are)? Something to think about … especially if you’re in Pennsylvania, I guess!

ps – make sure to check out ResourceShelf – good stuff! Hey Gary, can we earn a special Foursquare badge for signing up ? :-)

Our First Completely Online Annual Report

Our first all online, interactive annual report

Annual reports – gotta do ’em, and they’re usually boring as all get out. Right? This year, we decided to be a bit creative and have some fun with ours.

OK – partly, we had to “be creative” this year – the printing budget was cut, so we couldn’t do our normal glossy, 4-color annual report. Sometimes, those types of constraints are a good thing!

So, my library’s Creative Group (marketing, programming, and the web dudes) put their collective creative heads together and came up with a really cool, interactive, all-online annual report. Take a peek!

Lots of parts and pieces came together here – some copywriting, some remixing of content created throughout the year, our director making a video in front of a green screen at WIBW, a local TV news station, and lots of heavy Flash creation (by Michael Perkins, our Digital Services Supervisor).

Even better – last night at our monthly board meeting, the board members loved it … and the local newspaper wrote an article about it, too. How often does YOUR library get an article, in the paper … about your annual report?

Good stuff (and good staff) at my library!

Facebook and Privacy – is this REALLY a big deal?

being of two mindsI’ve seen lots of posts on Facebook privacy issues the last couple of days, some taking about sharing, some about privacy, some just confused about the whole thing. Me? I’m of two minds about Facebook and privacy.

So I ask – is the privacy you [think you] have on Facebook REALLY that big of a deal?

On the one hand, of course it is. They should at least TELL you they’re going to do something before doing it. And they should let you opt in, rather than forcing you to opt out.

We are, after all, their bread and butter – no people, no Facebook.

On the other hand …. what are you trying to keep private on Facebook, when it comes down to it? Let’s take a peek at what you can share [or not] in Facebook:

First, there’s the “update me with your stuff” things, like status updates, new photos, and new videos:

  • If you want those to be private, you shouldn’t post them. Period.
  • Hello! Nothing’s private on the web. Even on Facebook.
  • If you want to share a status update with just some people, you can do that. Which is more than Twitter gives you.

Basic info, like:

  • Name: um … don’t open a Facebook account if you don’t want to share your name.
  • Gender: That’s rather apparent, isn’t it? Is it bad that you know I’m a guy?
  • Birthday: Hmm. I don’t really care. Should I?
  • Relationship Status: OK – so I have a recently divorced friend, and it was rather painful to watch his relationship status go from married to single to it’s complicated … back to single, etc. Maybe a case of sharing too much info, rather than one of privacy. So if your life’s on a rolloercoaster ride … don’t fill that one out.
  • Current city: big whoop. Google already knows this.
  • Hometown: That’s sort of important when connecting with past schoolmates.
  • Religious and Political views: I have em. So does everyone else.

Work and education:

  • Seeing that I have my resume online and brag about what my library does all the time, this obviously doesn’t bother me.

Likes and interests: stuff like music, movies, etc.

  • Oh man. You’ll find out that I like U2, Fountains of Wayne, and a weird, old-school christian alternative group (Daniel Amos Band). Will my life be ruined if you find this out? Nope. Will yours? I’m guessing not.

Contact info: So … the whole POINT with Facebook is to connect with people …

  • email: already published in many places online, including my website.
  • Mobile phone number: Not had a problem yet.
  • AIM, GTalk, etc IM: Already out there
  • Website URL: I want that shared.

Your friends list:

  • Is it bad that you know who I’ve friended? I don’t really think so. Then again, I’ll probably friend you if you ask, just for kicks.


Ok. It really doesn’t bother me that you know some or all of this stuff. At the same time, I DO know how to hide certain things – for example, most of my contact info is only available to Friends (as in people who friend me).

But – isn’t all this sorta beside the point? My basic contact info is already scattered all over the web. In fact, it was BEFORE I even had a Facebook account. My resume’s online. These days, I tweet, flickr, and Youtube you guys like crazy. So if you really want to know more about me, you can – with or without Facebook.

Want to talk about privacy? How about that credit card all of us plunk down in front of lots of 20-year old strangers every day at the mall or Walmart or a restaurant? Besides the kiddo who now has access to your credit card (not that anything’s ever happened to my credit card yet), every time you swipe, that company finds out more about you. Or how about your cell phone – your phone company knows where you are. Or Google? All those searches you just did? Yep. Google knows you.

Facebook and my taste in bands or what I said in a little text box? Not really on my radar.

How about you?

Freak Out, Geek Out, or Seek Out Presentations

The last couple of weeks, I’ve given my Freak Out, Geek Out, or Seek Out presentation a few times. On May 6, I gave the three-hour version at the “Social Media For the Social Good” event hosted by ohioNET and the Ohio Library Council.

I gave the two-hour version (embedded above) at Omaha Public Library on May 14. Both were fun times – lots of good discussion, and lots of nice people, too.

thanks ohioNET and Omaha Public Library!

Facebook & YouTube Demographics

facebook Page stats
Facebook Insights

YouTube Stats
Youtube Insights

Yesterday, I was playing with Youtube and Facebook Page insights for my library, and found something interesting. Look at the demographics of who’s visiting us in those social networks – not 25-34 year olds. Not teens. Nope.

For Youtube, it’s 45-54 year old females. Followed closely by 55-64 year old women! Facebook looks a bit more “normal” to me – 35-44 year old and 25-34 year old females.

But wow. To me, those demographics really don’t much match up with what one’s first impression of a social network’s demographics would be. Ask anyone who the average viewer of  a YouTube video is, and you’ll hear “18 year old male.” NOT “Oh, I’m sure it’s a 50 year old female!”

What’s that mean to my library? Well, depending on our goals, a couple of things:

  • Goals. Did you read that? First, you need some goals. Take 10 minutes and figure out what your library’s goals for Youtube and your Facebook Page are.
  • Are we good with that demographic? If so, then great – we got em! Now, we need to make sure we’re creating targeted content in those social networks for that demographic.
  • If we aren’t hitting our targeted demographic, maybe our content needs to change … or who we friend needs to change.

What else? Anyone finding similar results in your organization’s Facebook Page or Youtube Insights? Do tell.