Blogging Process for Topeka

Today, I met with some library staff where I work and talked about starting up another blog on my library’s website (look for a sports-related blog soon!). That reminded me that I said I’d write a post about our blogging process at tscpl.org … so here’s that post!

Our blogs are generally team-based, and are connected in some way to our collection or services:

Content Connections: For example, our Travel blog is connected to our Travel Neighborhood in the library (we have been pulling our collection out of traditional Dewey order, and are grouping them by topic – so for example, now all our travel books are grouped in one handy place, and labeled Travel). Our Art blog is connected to the art gallery in the library.

Team-Based: we generally have a team leader and 1-3 other staff who are team members. The team leader makes sure blog content matches the goals for the blog; makes sure content is actually getting posted; writes content; and can edit content as needed. Team members help write the blog posts, and do whatever else is needed for that blog.

When we create a new blog, our web team meets with the blog team (can you tell we like teams?), and we create some short-term goals and next-steps, including:

  • What’s the topic? Is it connected to the library’s collection?
  • Who’s the team leader? Who are the team members?
  • How often will you post? We have a posting schedule for our blogs. For example, the Travel blog has a new post every other Wednesday. We have a Google Calendar that serves as our content calendar.
  • During the meeting, we talk about content – mainly me talking about how every post needs to relate back to the library. Each post should focus in some way on our staff, our stuff, and our community – and it should always point back to the library.
  • They’re also reminded that photographs and videos are cool, too – as long as they relate back to the topic.
  • We ask the blog team to create a list of 25 things our customers should know about that neighborhood or collection, and use that list as ideas for the blog’s first 25 blog posts. This helps our bloggers (some of who are new at writing scheduled posts) some blog posting ideas.
  • I also ask each blog team to develop a persona or two to target with posts. We’re big on analytics and market segmentation data here, so generally we’re using a couple of target audiences that relate back to the library’s strategic plan.

That’s pretty much it. We have approximately 18 blogs on our public website right now, and are growing more as we need them.

image by Maria Reyes McDavis

I Don’t Trust the Library Journal

What’s more ironic than Michael Gorman complaining about blogs and wikis on the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s blog? How about Library Journal’s recent decision to host the Annoyed Librarian’s anonymous blog?

Yep – that’s right. The same organization that publishes the Transparent Library column is now giving voice to … an anonymous blogger.

Library Journal claims to be “the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field.” I’ll ask – do you respect a publication that allows one of their writers to be anonymous, when that anonymity has been used in the past to attack other librarians and the work they do? Who also allows and encourages other librarians to anonymously say mean, hateful things in the comments of his/her anonymous blog? To me, that’s simply juvenile and irresponsible.

And now that same juvenile, irresponsible behavior has been paid, and has been given a voice … by “the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field.” Hmm… another irony noted.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for tearing down bad ideas, pointing out inconsistencies, sharing what I think … and have no problem when people do the same with me. That’s expected. But I also think it’s important to own one’s words … and you simply can’t do that when you’re anonymous. Maybe just me – but I think if you can’t say it when your name’s attached … maybe you shouldn’t say it at all.

So when a “respected” library publication starts writing with an anonymous voice, I get concerned.

Library Journal – As a 2008 Mover and Shaker, and as one who has been published in Library Journal publications in the past, I stand behind the words I write, and I expect you to do the same.

Readers – what do you think? I’d like to know.

Celebrating My Second Blogging Anniversary with a Song

For my second blogging anniversary, I’m not going to spew y’all with boring numbers about how popular my posts are, how many people subscribe, etc. Instead, I’m going to give you some good, old-fashioned entertainment (well, maybe not old-fashioned). I’m going to give you a song. And a video. About Web 2.0. ‘Cause I’m sometimes silly that way. So – if you want to download these behemoth files, here they are:

And of course, since my singing is most likely incoherent to some, the lyrics, in all their danged glory, are included below. Enjoy!

Are You Blogging This?
2006 by David King

My picture is flickring around technorati
And I just discovered I am such a newb, I’m on YouTube

Are you blogging this?

Delicious myspace then tell me with meebo
Drop my feed into bloglines, I’m so web 2.0

Are you blogging this?

Blogger blummy skobee ditto seekum suckingfish
Auctionmapper
frappr zoomr feedwhip blish
Rollyo
seekum previewseek swicki wink
Flickr
scanr talkr cheapr soonr kitchen sink

All Ourmedia’s confusing me
Maybe I need to read a Wikipedia entryAre you blogging this?

Google froogle blogger SketchUp calculator talk
Code
news catalogs academic search
Finance
images video alerts
Mobile
SMS picasa translate search

Are you blogging this?

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