Facebook from a Patron’s Perspective

A day or two ago, we invited a couple of our patrons in for a focus group session on our website. The goal was to gather insights about our current website that can be incorporated into our redesign … but in the process, one patron in particular shared some eye-opening insights into how she uses Facebook.

This patron shared that she sits in front of a computer for 8 hours a day at work, and starts her morning out by opening up Google Reader, email, and Facebook as separate tabs on her web browser, and keeps them open all day long (while she’s working).

What does she do in Facebook? A lot. She follows co-workers, friends, and family there. The keeps up with the news and other organizations she’s interested in … through her Facebook news feed.

And the library? She primarily keeps up-to-date with the library through Facebook, too. Yes – through status updates and links within those status updates to interesting things.

OK. She was just one person who works in front of a computer all day. But I’m guessing she’s not alone – in the last three months, my library’s Facebook Page has added almost 900 fans.

Implications?

  • We need to not treat our Facebook Page as an afterthought. Some of our more savvy, active patrons are using Facebook as a primary source for library news.
  • We need to develop strategy and goals around our Facebook Pages (and any other social media tool our library incorporates).
  • We need to be actively sharing and conversing. Not just broadcasting press releases, but actually holding conversations with our patrons (just like we do in our physical spaces)

Are you seeing a similar thing with your customers? Your friends? How are you talking with patrons using a Facebook Page?

Photo by Paul Walsh

Trendy Topics on Tuesday

I’m participating in the Trendy Topics online conference this Tuesday – sign up if it looks interesting! Here’s a blurb about it:

TAP Information Services is pleased to announce the sixth in a dynamic monthly series of online workshops librarians can enjoy right at their desktops on hot topics. The latest conference on “Library Websites” is scheduled for Tuesday July 13. Aaron Schmidt, from the District of Columbia Public Library is the keynote speaker. Schmidt will speak on “Improving Library Services by Recognizing That You’re a Designer.” In this talk, he will introduce attendees to the world of user experience design. His talk will contain practical tips for making library websites easier to use and how the same methods can be used for every library service.

Other speakers for this day-long conference include:

  • David Lee King on “Creating User Experiences on the Web”
  • Karen McBride on “Adding Video and Other Media to your Library Website”
  • Chad Mairn on “Creating A Mobile Library Presence”
  • Genna Buhr on “Using WordPress.com for an Easy Library Website”
  • Laura Solomon on “20 Things You can Do to Make your Library Site Better Right Now”

Register at http://www.eventbee.com/view/trendytopics/event?eid=65537

Registration for librarians for the one day conference is $40; for students $30; and for groups $100.

How a Meme Gets Started

It’s been fun today watching the #inatweet meme take off on Twitter. Which made me think it’d be fun to document it a bit – memes, trends, and interesting topics CAN originate from your organization (it’s certainly happened to my library before).

Here’s how the #inatweet meme started:

Justin Hoenke (@justinlibrarian) was talking to Joe Murphy (@libraryfuture) about Dropbox, a cool file sharing and storage service, and I chimed in too (’cause Dropbox really IS a cool tool). Justin asked Joe and I if “either of you point me in the direction of a good place to start for learning about Dropbox?” I just said “they have a video about themselves – I’d start there.”

Joe, however, tweeted this: “Dropbox in a tweet: Transfer/synch files across comps & mobile devices via web or software @JustinLibrarian @davidleeking.” And I replied back “@libraryfuture @JustinLibrarian good job! Hey, u cld start a meme – describe *** in a tweet!.” …

And of course Joe, master of all things social, actually DID it – “Let’s do it! @davidleeking Librarians- share an intro to a useful tech in a 1 Tweet blurb & use the #inatweet hashtag.” Then we both did a couple of retweets …

And now we have this:

  • #inatweet hashtag on Twitter is being used quite a bit today
  • 14 pages of tweets so far! That’s 200 tweets and counting
  • Way over 50 different services and tools … described in a tweet

Besides being pretty useful – short, to-the-point descriptions of services is always a good thing – think about this:

  • how can YOU start a hashtag meme, a local trend, or even a good discussion in your community’s favorite social media tool of choice?
  • What would you talk about?
  • could you keep it going, AND make it useful to your community?

We need to engage our communities, and something as simple as starting a conversation on a social media tool can be a way to do it. Think about it.

ps – make sure to add to the meme! Describe a service in a tweet, and add the #inatweet hashtag. It’s that simple!

Twitter bird by Marc Benton

5 Mic Tips for Presenters

I see lots of people give presentations … and hear lots of presenters with microphone problems.

I know a little bit about microphones and how to get the most out of them, so here are 5 Mic Tips for Presenters!

Have some microphone tips not listed? Add them in the comments!

5 Mic Tips for Presenters:

1. Get close to the mic! Most mic and volume problems are solved if the presenter simply moves his/her head closer to the mic.

  • Optimally, you should be about 4-6 inches from the mic, and an easy way to measure that is by using the clenched fist rule. Simply put your fist up to your mouth, and put the mic on the other side of your fist. That puts you about 4 inches or so from the mic.
  • Using a lavalier? They don’t have to be as close as a handheld-type mic, but you still need to position the lavalier to it’s pretty close to your head. Right under your neck is a great place for the lavalier mic, so for guys wearing ties, clipping the mic right underneath the knot of your tie works great. Women, same thing – wear “lavalier-friendly” clothes (so you have a place to pin the mic).

2. Speak directly into the mic (or slightly angled if your P’s and S’s are popping a lot). I see lots of speakers hold a mic down by their chest. Bad! Be bold, be brave … and talk into the mic.

3. Do a sound check before the event. Make sure to talk into the mic like you normally would during a presentation – so no embarrassed whispering. Also, use that time to get familiar with the mic. See if it has an on/off switch, a mute button, a battery light, etc.

4. Avoid feedback. That high-pitched, squeaky feedback is icky, and it’s really pretty easy to avoid, if you follow these three steps:

  • if you start hearing feedback, move closer to the mic – not farther away from it. If the mic isn’t picking up a strong signal from you, it will start picking up other noises, including your voice from the monitors… and that causes a feedback loop (ie., those terrible screechy noises that everyone hates).
  • don’t cover the mic with your hand. That’s sorta the same as cupping your ears (ie., more ambient noise = more likely to feedback).
  • Stay away from the monitors! If you like to walk while talking, and there are monitors on stands in the room … stay away from them.

5. Use the on/off or mute button. If you need to cough or say something privately, either step away from the mic or use the on/off/mute buttons. That’s what they’re for.

Hopefully, these simple tips will help you be a better presenter. Got any mic tips of your own? Share them in the comments!

cool mic pic by hiddedevries

Building the Digital Branch: An ALA TechSource Workshop with David Lee King

I’m teaching an ALA TechSource Workshop about building digital branches on August 3rd – and I hope you attend!

Here’s the blurb about the workshop:

“Every library needs a presence on the Web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to provide service and content to your patrons beyond the walls of your building. In this workshop, David Lee King will take you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will exand and enhance your library’s presence in its community.

This event will take place on Tuesday, August 3rd at 2:30pm Eastern (1:30pm Central, 11:30am Pacific).

Whether you’re looking to launch your first website, redesign your site, or expand the site you have, this workshop will provide practical guidance for every step of the process.”

Interested? You can find out a bit more on this page, and you can sign up here!