10 Trends Shaping how Content is Consumed Today – #BEA2013

Wow – the Book Expo America conference was busy and exhausting! I’m finally getting a chance to share some notes from some of the sessions I attended.

The first one comes from the final keynote at the BEA Bloggers conference (I was on the advisory board for this). Randi Zuckerberg talked – yes, Mark the Facebook guy’s sister. She has some interesting things to say about content:

10 trends shaping how content is consumed today:

1. You are more than what you write. People want to know the person behind the writing. Your passions. Show the messy, human side of your life.

2. Brands as media companies. We are all media companies. Example – Red Bull can function like an NBC, because they can post articles, journalist-style interviews, videos, etc.

3. Enhanced media. Starting to see that people will pay for what they love, even premium content online. Ed tech as example. I’ll also add Youtube’s recent threat to charge for premium content.

4. More signal, less noise. When we curate content, that’s a really useful thing for our readers. Those “what did you miss this week” lists from some blogs are a good example.

5. Images speak louder than words. Instagram, Pinterest, etc. let customers post pics. Or find your photo on Facebook, and tag it.

6. Think of yourself as an entrepreneur. She’s starting to see things like small startups within large companies. “Evangelist” jobs, etc.

7. The @ reply is the new autograph. Talking to fans makes them feel special – like when an author or “known person” replies to you via Twitter. Facebook chats, too.

8. Gameification of everything. Apply game mechanics to everything. She used the Gym Shamed app as an example – if you don’t go to the gym, it blasts out how lazy you were to all your friends. Or a scale that tweets your weight. There’s apparently a clock that donates your money to charity every time you hit snooze.

9. Video for everything. Newsrooms use Vine to show personality, or behind the scenes glimpses. Live stream from the fashion model out to an audience.

10. Etiquette and digital detox. How do I manage my professional digital reputation? How much screen time is too much for my kid? Not really tech tuff, but more modern living. Step away from the computer type stuff.

Interesting talk!

Hacking, Making, & Creating at the Library – a webinar

I gave this presentation last week at a webinar for the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council. There were a LOT of great questions afterwards. Lots of libraries are thinking about hackerspaces, makerspaces, etc … and trying to answer the “why” – as in why should we do this? What’s available? What are other libraries doing?

This presentation gave an overview of what’s happening, and also gave some tips on where to start.

Fun times!

Google Reader is Going Away – We Will Survive!

Google just announced the demise of Google Reader – a tool I use to read RSS feeds with, and am in pretty much every single day. That’s probably how many of you guys read my blog, too – darn that Google!

But never fear – Stephen Abram is here to help! He has gathered some relevant stories, blog posts, and alternatives together, so you and I don’t have to – go read his post. Looks like I’ll be checking out Feedly, NewsBlur, and The Old Reader for sure.

Here are some other ideas for subscribing to my blog and others:

  • Get a new feed reader (see above).
  • Subscribe with email – great if you don’t subscribe to too many blogs and news sites.
  • Subscribe with Twitter or Facebook. Many blogs and news sites (mine included) post a link to Twitter when a new article is posted. Sort those into a “geek library” list, then go visit it once a day or once a week. Problem solved!

Other options? Let me know in the comments. And – thank you for reading! You’re awesome!

Pic found at Silicon Valley Business Journal

Create Better Content to Create Better Engagement

I’ve been seeing quite a few posts the last few weeks talking about the horror of Facebook’s changes to their Edgerank algorithm for Pages. For example, here’s a post about Mark Cuban’s complaints about the recent changes.

In the article, a company named Pagelever disagrees with Cuban’s analysis, saying this (among other things):

Facebook has been putting posts with low or negative engagement toward the bottom of its algorithm, while allowing highly engaged posts that don’t attract negative feedback to be seen in more news feeds.

So. Simply stated, to fix this supposedly huge Facebook Page problem … just create good content. Create content that is engagement-worthy, that your followers and fans want to Like, Share, and comment on. Focus on that, and your organization’s Facebook posts will start to appear in your Fan’s newsfeeds.

Problem solved. Now go get busy.

Pic by iabuk

ALA President’s Open Letter on Ebooks and Publishers doesn’t get us very far

Maureen Sullivan, ALA president, just posted an Open Letter to America’s Publishers. Go read it, then come back and discuss.

On the one hand, it’s a fine letter, addressing all the appropriate stuff. On the other hand … I think I’m confused. Here’s why:

The letter doesn’t really seem to be addressed to America’s Publishers. Instead, it seems to be addressed to libraries and librarians. Most of the letter gives the normal “aren’t libraries awesome” stuff.

And then, in the last two paragraphs, that’s when the letter actually gets to the point. Here’s our big call to action:

“We librarians cannot stand by and do nothing while some publishers deepen the digital divide. We cannot wait passively while some publishers deny access to our cultural record. We must speak out on behalf of today’s — and tomorrow’s — readers.The library community demands meaningful change and creative solutions that serve libraries and our readers who rightfully expect the same access to e-books as they have to printed books.”

“So, which side will you be on? Will you join us in a future of liberating literature for all? Libraries stand with readers, thinkers, writers, dreamers and inventors. Books and knowledge — in all their forms — are essential. Access to them must not be denied.”

Did I miss something? Our big directive from ALA is this:

  • Librarians cannot stand by and do nothing
  • We can’t wait passively
  • We must speak out
  • Library community demands change

??? All Maureen/ALA is asking libraries to do is to … “speak out???” Nothing about the issues, nothing about results, nothing about concerted efforts…

So really – I’m glad maureen is ALA president, and I’m glad ALA is starting to do something about ebooks. But I’m not sure that simply asking libraries to randomly “speak out” about the issue is useful.

Why not something more concrete, like “everyone call Penguin on October 1 at 2pm, and ask for the same thing”? And then provide some some talking points to use during the phone call?

How about something more specific saying what ALA is doing about the issue, and giving us something to take back to our library boards?

Help me out here – what could we as libraries and librarians do that is more than just “speaking out?” Let’s create some better, more specific next steps for ALA. I think we can do better than this!