#followalibrary Day is Oct 1

October 1st is Follow A Library Day on Twitter!

It’s an easy enough thing to participate in. The Follow a Library website suggests this: “Participating is very simple: tweet on October 1st what your favorite twittering library (or libraries) is (or are). Use in your tweet the hashtag (or keyword) #followalibrary.”

Simple stuff, right?

Why not push that idea 1-2 steps further, to get a bit more bang out of your buck? On Oct 1, do what the organizers suggest – ask your Twitter followers to tweet their favorite Twittering library, using the #followalibrary hashtag.

THEN, do three more things:

  1. Using your library’s Twitter account, actually ASK FOR FOLLOWERS. It IS Follow A Library day, and all. Make sure to use the #gfollowalibrary hashtag.
  2. Then ask your followers to retweet those posts. What’s that do? My library has 1427 followers… what if all of those followers retweeted those messages? And then shared what THEIR favorite library was with all those Twitter followers? Much better reach that way.
  3. Then ask another question using the #followalibrary hashtag – ask “Why are we your favorite library?” Those responses have the potential to be pretty valuable! Use responses as sort of a “check-in” with your library patrons, and share them with staff. Is it what you expected? Listen to what your twitter followers say about you and your library!

OK – one more thing here. You’ve just asked your community to follow your library’s Twitter account on October 1st.

What are you going to do to SUSTAIN that growth on October 2nd?

Playing with Postling

check out postling

Last post, I showed off SocialMention. This time, let’s look at Postling, at postling.com.

Postling is a nice compliment to socialmention. While socialmention scours the web for mentions of a search term, Postling gathers all the different conversations and comments about you from your various social media accounts.

I’m still experimenting with it. Right now, I have added my library’s Facebook Pages (three of them), our main Twitter account, and our Flickr account. What’s this get me? Postling shows me two things – all published posts (think tweets and Facebook status updates), and all comments left on each of those posts and photos.

So it’s one handy place to keep track of comments on social media outposts. I can take it a bit further, and add in our LinkedIn and Yelp accounts, too (though we don’t get too many comments in those places).

Then I get a daily email with all comments in one handy place (as in my email inbox). Links to the comment are included, so I can add responses if needed.

I’d love to add in our Youtube account – we get occasional comments there, too.

Interestingly, Postling captures some Facebook comments that I can’t really do anything with. It seems to go further out than just the discussion on the library’s Facebook Page – it seems to also capture some comments by “friends of friends” that I can’t see, because they aren’t my friend – but they come through in my daily Postling email. And if I can see the actual status update, I still can’t respond, unless I friend the person first. Weird.

Anyone else using Postling? If so – what do you like/dislike about it?

Check Out WeAreVisible.com

One of the first times I heard about blogs was around 10 years ago. Homeless people were coming into the library where I worked, and were using our public computers to set up blogs to share their experiences.

I thought it was sorta cool at the time – they were WAY ahead of the techie curve! Well, enter WeAreVisible.com – a creation of Invisible People. According to their press release, they have:

“… launched the WeAreVisible.com social media literacy website to help homeless people learn how to use the Internet to tell their stories, build community and connect with support services.

WeAreVisible.com’s mission is to give people dealing with poverty and homelessness the tools they need to get online and have a voice. The site teaches them how to sign up for email, open a Twitter account, join Facebook, create a blog and, in general, take advantage of the benefits of online social media. It also has the potential to become a model for virtual case management as it helps build a community among homeless people and support service providers.

WeAreVisible.com is a complement to the InvisiblePeople.tv video blog (vlog), which was launched in 2008 to make the “invisible people” in society more visible. Together, the two sites offer homeless people a unique opportunity to take part in the Internet revolution.”

Honestly, the WeAreVisible website has some great, easy-to-use tutorials on how to set up Twitter, facebook, and email accounts – no matter if you’re homeless or not. Good stuff.

Mark Horvath, head of Invisible People, is heading up this project, and is reaching out to public libraries … so check out the WeAreVisible website, and connect with them if you’re interested in finding out more.

Social Mentions with socialmention

check out socialmention.com

One social media tracking tool I’ve been using for the library lately is SocialMention, at socialmention.com.

From their about page – “Social Mention … allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.”

So how do I use it? In the search box, I did a search for topeka library – that search catches most of the variations of my library’s name (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library). Most people tend to tweet or Facebook phrases like “headed to Topeka to visit the library” or “Topeka has a great library.” Or they might mention “Topeka Public Library.”

I don’t narrow the search, though you can. If you want, you can create separate searches for blogs, microblogs, networks, bookmarks, comments, etc. And this becomes more important in the next paragraph…

… because each search has an RSS feed and/or an email alert that goes along with it. So what I do is this – I do that topeka library search, then subscribe to the email alerts.

What’s this get me? Every morning, I get an email from Social Mention with a list of mentions of the library with links to the original. I usually get tweets and Facebook status updates, some Foursquare checkins, and some blog mentions. Honestly, there’s a lot of blog spam mentions that appear as well. Also any time we’re mentioned in the media, that comes through, too.

Then I click through each link, answer any questions that appear (not too many), sometimes add a comment to a discussion, and send any interesting media mentions to our marketing manager and maybe our deputy director. I also copy/paste the more interesting mentions into a semi regular staff intranet blog post, so staff can see who’s saying what about us.

So… why am I doing this? I’m a digital branch manager – it helps me keep track of what people are saying about the library via their favorite digital spaces. It also lets me quickly see just what digital spaces people are using (Topekans definitely favor Twitter and Facebook right now).

I recommend checking out socialmention.com – there’s probably a whole lot more you can do with it!

Facebook vs Google?

Just saw this post and a couple others that commented on it – Facebook Passes Google in “Time Spent” – What Does it Mean?

What does it mean? Honestly, it could mean any number of things. But let’s take a peek at the accompanying graphic first:

Here’s what I think it might mean:

  1. Well, duh. Facebook is a social place where you connect with people you like. Google’s a search engine. Apples and oranges. ‘Nuf said.
  2. Related to #1 – Google’s main thing – their search engine – has been #1 for a long time. But the web has been morphing from primarily a place you surf and search for content to a place where you connect with people. You can see that in the graphic above – look at the mix of search engines, social places, email, etc.
  3. #2 leads to my last point – not certain the percentages are an accurate reflection of reality. Why? Well – they’re comparing Facebook – where you can do lots of stuff, like chat, watch videos, see pics of people, leave status updates, do Facebook PM emails, etc – to only Google’s search engine. But if you add up all the Google properties in this top 20 list – Google, YouTube, Gmail, and Google Maps – Google still clearly comes out on top.

Just picky this morning!