The 24th Thing

I’ve been enjoying reading Chris Brogan’s blog recently, and his post titled The Target is Not the Weapon made me think. Here are some quotes:

“In social media, the tools aren’t the same thing as reaching a goal. If you’re a marketer looking to use these tools, then make the first goal to learn how the community moves, listen to its ebbs and flows, and then make the next goal to try starting conversations.”

and

“If you’re seeking to hit a target, is the goal to use a dart or an arrow or a bullet, or is it to improve your accuracy, or is it simply to hit the bullseye? The answer is C, even though A and B are part of the equation.”

Now apply that to libraries. Say a library wants to start a blog. Is the goal to have five posts a week, to have a cool blog, to learn how to blog, or even to share what’s happening at the library? Those are all ok goals… but they’re LITTLE goals. How about these goals:

  • connect with your community in a real way
  • connect with a new, online user base
  • start real conversations with patrons
  • become an active community resource (sorta like your physical library)
  • once you’ve connected… figure out how best to meet these patron’s special needs.

Remember Helene Blowers’ Learning 2.0 / 23 Things? Maybe your 24th thing should be this: figure out what your real target is, and how these emerging tools and trends work into that equation.