Facebook for Libraries – an article in American Libraries

I have an article about Facebook for Libraries – in American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association (ALA). Here’s an excerpt:

“Today, I spent part of the day connecting with people. I complained about a silly election video, chatted with a college friend about a band, and put some finishing touches on plans for a conference taking place at the library.

I did all this through Facebook. These days, it seems like everyone has a Facebook account. Quite a few of my professional colleagues and most of my family have Facebook accounts. Nationally, I’m a bit ahead of the curve: Approximately 41% of the U.S. population has a personal Facebook profile, according to a 2010 study from Edison Research (PDF file). According to Wikipedia, 50% of those Facebook users actually log into their Facebook accounts every day. Total Facebook population? Globally, over 600 million of us currently use Facebook, MSNBC reported in January, and most of them interact every day with an average of 130 Facebook friends and acquaintances.

Think about that for a second. What library wouldn’t love to have a direct, free line to potentially 41% of your community’s ear? Keep in mind, these people could be connected to another 130 people in your community. That’s a lot of free communication!

So, stake a claim in this digital land and create a Facebook Page for your library. Here’s how to set up a Facebook account, and how to use it to connect with your community.”

Go read the rest of the article!

Enjoying my iPad 2!

A month or so ago, I finally succumbed and bought an iPad 2. For me, it was the combination of convenience, the camera (that my kids have used more than me, honestly), and having some of those newer apps like Garageband and iMovie.

And so far, I’m enjoying it!

The main reason I decided to get an iPad was writing. In the next year or so, I have a couple of large writing projects (working on my second book right now!), and I’m often in places where whipping out my laptop isn’t so easy to do.

For example, right now I’m on a plane (well, I was on a plane when I wrote this, anyway). I hate whipping my laptop out on a plane. I’m not terribly fond of watching my laptop screen bounce back and forth in the turbulence (which we’re having now). I’m also not fond of scrunching up in weird laptop-y angles when the dude in front of me decides he needs a nap, and thrusts his stupid seat into my lap (which he’s doing now).

But this iPad thing. It works really, really well in these types of situations. It turns on fast, there are a multitude of easy-to-use word processing apps (I’m using Plaintext right now), and no scrunching required. It works on my lap or on the tray table just fine.

I’m still getting used to typing on it. Honestly, for the most part, the virtual keyboard works great, and is easy to use. What I do miss is easy access to a couple of my favorite keys – namely, that dash ( – ) I just used. I have to hit a shift key to access it, and that interrupts my flow.

The iPad also corrects funny sometimes, and it does this silly “auto correct” thing where it decides I have finished a sentence, so it adds a period and capitalizes the next word for me … which works great, had I actually finished that sentence. I think it’s something I’m hitting, or holding down too long … I haven’t figured it out yet.

Otherwise, I’m loving it. Besides boring typing stuff, there are some really fun music creation apps that I’ll be playing with a lot. Here’s a video I made of me trying out Morphwiz (a cool synthesizer app).

And my kids wish I downloaded many many more games.

So, a question. Who has an iPad, and how/why do you use it? What are your favorite apps? For those of you. Experimenting with other tablets (see? It did that weird ending the sentence thing again…) like the Nook (which now comes with Android tablet functionality) – are you liking it? Why? I’d love to hear more!

Skyping from my Car (and other Wow moments)

Yes, that’s right. I recently participated in a conference call (for Library Renewal). Via Skype. In my car, using my iPhone.

… and yes, no texting was involved, and I used a hands-free setup, so I was as safe as anyone talking on the phone while driving …

And it worked, and I was amazed! Something that took fancy headsets, a computer, and a great Internet connection a few years ago is now easy enough that I can do it on my iPhone in my car. And a day before that, I talked to someone from Australia, to go over a webinar I’m doing soon … I’m even planning to share my slide deck via Skype.

I have to admit … stuff like that blows me away sometimes. Pandora on my iPhone would be another one of those things (streaming music on my phone – no way!) or perhaps a uStream video shared from my cell phone (live, streaming video from a cell phone that anyone in the world can watch – really? Wow!).

Maybe I’m just easily amused…

But yeah. I had a Wow moment. Are you having Wow moments these days? If so … what is it? What’s giving you a Wow moment?

I’m listening …

Marketing on Facebook

I just finished reading Best Practice Guide: Marketing on Facebook. You might find it interesting, too – the guide has some great ideas for using Facebook as a marketing campaign tool. In fact, many of the suggestions would also work for other online social tools (think Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, etc).

Here’s what you’ll find in the guide:

  • For starters, they describe what they call The Facebook Ecosystem, which includes three parts: Build, Engage, and Amplify:
    • Build – duh. Building your presence in that tool. creating a Facebook Page. Creating a Twitter account. Etc. Gotta start here.
    • Engage – use touch points, like the Facebook like button to start connecting with your fans. Also use the status update box to directly connect through conversations
    • Amplify – on Facebook, you need to be in your fans news feed. You can use Facebook ads and sponsored stories to help you do that.

After that, the Guide discusses what they call Facebook by Objective –  basically seven ways to use Facebook for your business. Each objective includes some interesting ideas on how to connect to your customers and grow your organization. The Objectives include:

  • Foster product development and innovation
  • Generate awareness
  • Drive preference and differentiation
  • Increase traffic and sales
  • Build loyalty and deepen relationships
  • Amplify recommendation and word of mouth
  • Gain insights

And guess what? With just a bit of tweaking, each of these ideas can work for libraries! So go read it, download it, etc … and share any cool ideas or library campaigns you create!

The F image … found at the ReadWrite Web

Presentation for #risg2011 – Creating Customer Experience

I just finished giving a presentation via Skype to a thankfully patient group of Australians! So … I decided to get fancy, and attempt sharing my slides via Skype. That didn’t work so well. I think the folks in Australia saw a couple of the slides, then I spent a few wild minutes trying to make it work, all the while asking “what do you see now?”

Well. The microphone worked! And here are my slides (that you mostly didn’t see if you were actually at the conference):

Thanks again, and really hoping to meet some of you who attended this conference in September!