IL2009: Micro Interactions, Conversations, and Customers

My part of this session is above… I introduced the concept and talked about the variety of interactions available using social networks.

Up next was Amy Kearns and Julie Strange, talking about: Tweet What? 5 sweet ways to connect in 140 characters or less. Notes below:

Searching for tweets with a positive/negative attitude – sentiment at advanced search of

showing examples of types of tweets from libraries

Twitter can be embedded anywhere…

1. use it for reference
2. connect for customer service
3. broadcast news & events
4. solicit feedback
5. broaden professional networks
6. harness the hive

Lists overview

Tweet Like you Mean it! Twitter Strategies for Tweeps

I am one part of a 3-person preconference session at Internet Librarian 2009 that’s focused completely on Twitter! Here’s my part of the session – enjoy!

The Social Web and Libraries: Listening to your Community

Many of us work on listening to our user communities. In the library world, we listen at the reference desk and the circ desk. We hear about the library when we’re at the grocery store (and get asked questions, too :-) and at the local board meeting.

But how do you listen to your local digital community? How do you hear what your online customers are doing / saying / liking / or not liking about your library? Here are some possibilities, from the late 1990s – early 2000s. We’ll call these …

Traditional Listening Tools:

  • email: providing an email link and/or an email address on each page of the site, usually in the footer
  • An Ask Us page – can go to email, can also be the ask a librarian service point
  • a digital comment box (this was fancy back then!)

I’m calling them “traditional listening tools” because there are many more interesting ways to listen now. Check these out …

Shiny New Listening Tools:

  • Google Alerts – finds blog posts, newspaper articles, local media mentions, etc.
  • Technorati alerts – finds blog posts about you
  • Twitter searches (was Summize) – captures twitter conversations (more on Summize/twitter search in the next post)
  • Youtube alerts – do a search, then subscribe to the corresponding RSS feed.
  • Flickr alerts – subscribe to a tag related to your library
  • Subscribe to local blogs and local twitter feeds. This captures conversation in your community, by your patrons.

When you listen using both the Traditional Listening Tools and the Shiny New Listening Tools, you hear very different things. Traditional Listening Tools pick up specific conversation that is purposefully directed at you – via email. Someone has a question or comment, and sends that comment to you.

Shiny New Listening Tools help you discover actual conversations taking place. Those conversations are not necessarily directed at you – but they can certainly be about you. Listening in on Twitter, for example, might find things like this: “The comics section at the Seattle Public Library is f**king STUNNING.” (actual tweet from today). And this type of tweet is a golden opportunity to START a conversation. Let’s pretend this comment happened at the reference desk for a sec – how would you reply? Possibly with something like: “gee, thanks.” That’s a polite response… some of us would probably go one further, and say something like this: “Cool – thanks! So… WHY do you like it? How could we improve it?” This type of response continues a conversation, and pulls out useful info in the process.


Again, more on that in my next post… but you get the idea. When you’re eavesdropping on conversations, you have the opportunity to chime in – correct wrong info, add to conversations about the library, and generally help humanize your digital branch by “talking back.”

Wow David – That Sounds Time-Consuming!

Does all this listening take a long time? No – not really. The set-up (doing the searches and subscribing to the feeds) takes the longest amount of time. But once your feeds are set up, it really doesn’t take much time to quickly scan through the results, looking quickly for questions, praises, suggestions, and conversation.

Start participating with those customers using your digital branch. If you do this fully, your listening experience can be transformed from one of eavesdropping to what amounts to a shiny new service point for your library. One that’s called Community Manager in the corporate world.

Your customers are already talking – are you listening?


Participating in Digital Community, or Lots of Links to David

I’ve been doing some thinking about all the different digital communities I participate in on the web, so I thought I’d create a list of them. It’s not a short list.

Things I use the most:

Video stuff:

  • My videoblog
  • (I store all my videos at blip – they rock)
  • YouTube (sometimes I post video here too)
  • (experimenting with this – they call it “lifecasting” – but in web years I’m an oldie, so it’s really just a new, easy-to-use webcam service)

Podcasting services (mainly experiments):

  • utterz (easy-to-use mobile service – done from my cell phone)
  • talkshoe (used mainly for the LITA election podcasts – not sure what to do with it now)

Music stuff (you can find me singing and musiking in a few different places):

  • (newest stuff goes here)
  • SoundClick (first place I put music – and it’s still around!)
  • SoundClick for my 80’s college band (we so rocked)
  • PureVolume (I have 4 songs here – not really doing anything with it)

Other things I toy with:

  • Pownce (just friend people who friend me here – really nothing else since I’m good with twitter)
  • Plaxo (link to people who link to me, not much else)
  • LinkedIn (mainly link to people who link to me)
  • Skype (davidleeking on skype)
  • Second Life (Daweed Quatro in Second Life)
  • MySpace (recently been actively used with some college friends who have just “discovered the web” :-) )
  • LibraryThing (I go on LibraryThing binges once in awhile…)

Seeing this list, some of you will have different reactions. Some of you might think “Dang, David – that’s WAY TOO MANY things to sign up for!” while others of you are probably thinking “slacker – get with the program!”

Either way, I’ll say this – if you want to fully understand how the emerging web works, you have to experience it. You have to sign up, friend people (the more the merrier), and PARTICIPATE. There’s no other way to really understand what’s going on and how you might use it personally or for your organization. Reading about it won’t give you a full grasp – it’s like reading about going to a major league ballgame vs. actually going to one – two very different experiences.

Closing Question – is there anything you use frequently that’s NOT on this list? What do you like about it? Something on this list you don’t use? Why?

SXSWi2008, Day 3: Social Networking and your Brand

Coolness – they’re taking questions during the presentation using twitter – – great use of twitter!

Paul Boag, Jina Bolton, Mark Norman Francis, Steve Ganz, Steve Smith

Defining social networking
it’s something we’ve done forever – even before the web

ways to use personal brand
not just logos and letterhead
your brand is simply the promise of an experience

ways to use personal brand:
Boag – his company used his personal brand to push some stuff out, because he was already well known in the field

some brand themselves by their personal name – some have to use different names/personas to stand out from the crowd (Steve Smith talking here)

[me talking – that’s why I use my middle name – it helps differentiate me from the millions of other David Kings out there]

Then you have to be consistent – always use that name

Tips & Tricks:

Pics – use a consistent avatar/icon/thumbnail pic, too.

Commenting – can affect your brand. Some people leave rude comments… you can be polite…. this type of thing can leave good or bad impressions of you.

SOme people give up when they don’t immediately become internet famous – you have to be consistent, and keep keep it going – it’s lots of work.

Represent your self as who you are – be yourself.

Keep your attitude the same as if you were speaking to someone face to face

when it’s a personal brand, you have to watch what you do – don’t necessarily want “I’m wasted” in the same place where potential clients are watching/reading…

stuff can get taken out of context – be careful what you twitter…

twitter is used much (the linkdin guy said this)
Paul (a podcaster) says Podcasting!
Campfire, email, IMs, private chatrooms
Bolton – twitter, IM, etc are NOT social networks – they enable social networking – nice differentiation

How do we deal with all these pieces out there?
Reserving your name – dangerous to not get your name in that social space – you want to grab it up before someone else does.

Is it a detriment to get it and then not use it? Not necessarily

The Real World
How do you keep in touch? Email feels too formal. Paul uses Twitter and flickr – you can sort of follow their lives without interrupting their lives so much – and then when you meet up with them again, you have something to talk about

Paul takes business cards he gets at conferences, puts them in his contacts list, and finds a pic online to associate it with – helps him put a name and a face together

Lots of the panelists mentioned flickr as a great way to know the person, know their lives

Balance between private and public stuff
be aware
use the privacy controls if needed
bring out personality, who you are rather than specifics…
you have control of what you put out online