5 Tips to Video: What to Say & How to Look Good Saying It

I made some videos for WebJunction on … how to make videos! This is the second video in the series, on what to say and how to look good saying it. Michael Porter and I host the series.

Make sure to visit WebJunction’s Video Group and add to the conversation and resources there.

This video provides tips on What to Say & How to Look Good Saying It:

  1. What to say #1 – share weekly library news
  2. what to say #2 – introduce people to your library
  3. what to say #3 – talk to your community
  4. looking good #1 – polish up
  5. looking good #2 – don’t worry about it!

So go watch the video for some great entry-level tips on making videos, and make sure to comment, too – either comment on this post, or (even better) go visit the WebJunction page for this video, and start a discussion there!

Topeka’s Mobile App

Topeka has it’s first mobile library app – brought to you via the fine folks at Boopsie!

In the pic on the left, you can see the icon as it displays on my iPhone. It’s the one that’s titled “Topek….brary.” Apparently, “Topeka Library” doesn’t fit underneath the icon on an iPhone. “Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library” certainly wouldn’t fit! Oh well – not completely unheard of – I’ve seen a couple other app icon titles that do that, too.

So go ahead, download it, and play with it. There’s an iPhone, Android, and Blackberry app. Or, pretty much any phone with browser capabilities can go to tscpl.boopsie.com and you’ll either be directed to download the appropriate app or you’ll be dumped into the web version of the app.

Either way, pretty cool stuff for us!

Here’s what we’re doing with it. Check out the screenshot at the right (larger version here) – it’s the main page of the app. When creating the main functionality of the mobile app, our thinking went like this: when would someone use our mobile phone app, and what would they want to do with it?

We decided they’d be in line at the grocery store, or picking up their child from school. Or they’d be wherever, but have maybe a couple of minutes to quickly check on something. In those scenarios, how might they want to interact with the library?

Here’s what we came up with:

  • Library Catalog: search for something, put it on hold
  • My Account: see what’s due and renew it, etc
  • Ask a Librarian: ask a question – links provided for phone, text messaging, and email questions
  • Locations & Hours: links to addresses and maps for our main building, our bookmobile stops, and our book drop locations
  • Connect with us: links to our Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr accounts
  • What’s missing? We wanted to know what our patrons wanted this app to do that wasn’t there yet, so we provided an easy way for them to tell us – it’s a simple form that sends an email to me.

What do our customers want to do that we’re not yet providing?

  • paying fines from their phones
  • checking out our calendar of events
  • checking out movies from our Mediabank DVD dispenser (it’s a separate catalog)

Otherwise, everyone that we’ve heard from has liked the app – we’re getting comments like “so cool! I already think we have the best library and then u show us just another reason to love @topekalibrary.”

Not bad at all!

Answer these Questions

I recently read What do You Want People to See over on the Social Rabbit blog. Good read … and it made me think a bit.

The article discusses setting some goals for your social media sites by answering some questions – questions like this:

  • What are you using social media in your business for?
  • what impression about your business do you want to leave people with?

Not bad questions to answer at all. For example, think about your organization’s Facebook Page (assuming you have one). What are you using that for? Have any idea?

How about the second question – what impression do you want to leave people with who visit your organization’s Facebook Page? Answering this question might change the way you post status updates, or what types of pictures you add to the page, for example.

Pondering those questions made me think about our organization websites. Shouldn’t we answer those types of questions in relation to our websites too? I think so.

Take a peek at a page on your website – any page will do. Then answer these questions:

  • what should your audience be looking at while on this page?
  • where are you pointing your audience? What actions should they take here?
  • What should they do next?

Answering these questions will start you down the path of setting some goals for major sections of your website. Not a bad thing to have at all :-)

Pic by Alexander Henning Drachmann

5 Tips on Videocameras and Lighting

I made some videos for WebJunction on … how to make videos! This video is the first part of a three-part series of tips on how libraries can create videos. Michael Porter and I host the series.

Make sure to visit WebJunction’s Video Group and add to the conversation and resources there.

This first video provides 5 tips on videocameras and lighting:

  1. start with what you have (i.e., most people already have some type of videocamera).
  2. get a cheap video camera (like a Flip camera).
  3. lighting (ideas for better lighting).
  4. buy some cheap lights
  5. upgrade as needed

So go watch the video for some great entry-level tips on making video, and make sure to comment, too – either comment on this post, or (even better) go visit the WebJunction page for this video, and start a discussion there!

Check out Addict-o-matic

Want an easy way to listen in on your customers? You might check out Addict-o-matic.

Here’s a description of what they do, from their About page: “Addictomatic searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. It’s the perfect tool to keep up with the hottest topics, perform ego searches and feed your addiction for what’s up, what’s now or what other people are feeding on.”

So basically, Addict-o-matic does a similar thing to what Google Alerts, saved Twitter searches, etc do – but you can easily view it in one handy place.

How can you use Addict-o-matic? Here are some ideas:

  • search your organization’s name
  • search for your city, to see what people are talking about
  • how about a topic close to your heart? I tried “topeka books” and found some interesting results

Useful or not – what do you think?