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

IL2008: Digital Marketing – Successful Plans and Organizations

Sarah Houghton-Jan and Aaron Schmidt presented

Outreach – connecting users with librarians – important to highlight the librarians!

Make your library website two-way.
– can people register for library cards?
– can they share their opinion?
– can they have an identity?

Make sure you rlibrary is listed correctly in all the library directories (like LibDex,, etc)

submit your RSS feeds to blog search engines (Feed Submitter is great)
– look at Robin Good’s list of where to submit your blog/feed
– RSS Specifications list of where to submit, too…

make sure you’re listed on maps (wikimapia, etc)

search engine findability: search for different variations of your library’s name, make sure you’re there.
– also buy adwords from google, hire an SEO to help

– list yourself in wifi directories (check the presentation for a list later on)

Community website presence
– list in places like, eventful, etc.

LibraryThing Local – they have a subsite called Local – book events are listed
– they have a “do you work here” link and you can take ownership of the info

presence on local websites, see who’s linking to you

Social Review Websites – yelp (you can claim your business in yelp, too)
– when someone says good stuff about you, USE IT

phone numbers – make sure you’re listed correctly (google maps, askcity, yahoo local, etc)

make a/v content findable – make sure it’s listed in blinkx, singingfish, etc

social networking sites – in ning, flickr, etc

find local blogs – blogs by city, blogdigger local, metroblogging, feedmap

… and interact with these people!

local forums and boards, too

facebook flyer ($10 or so for 5000 ads/flyers)

list your staff in expert sites (yahoo answers, ziki, yadda, etc)

push info out via email/rss
– newsletter software
– use those email addresses

wikipedia – make an entry, update an entry

text a librarian – combines sms, im, email, etc – this is cool!!!

Ignoring our Digital Community

Lately, I’ve been hearing librarians say some interesting things about incorporating emerging online trends into their already hectic work lives. They’ll say “wow, this is cool” when I give a presentation – but when implementation time arrives – when these busy people actually need to start incorporating some of these new things into their work day, here’s what I sometimes hear (warning – simulations of real stuff I hear):

“we don’t have time to write blog posts – we’re busy serving customers” or “I’m extremely busy answering real patron questions all day long, so I don’t have time left to [fill in the blank with a 2.0 tool]”

I understand what they’re saying. It’s difficult to believe this new-fangled, 2.0-ish stuff is relevant when you are sitting at a busy service desk with a line 20 people deep, or when you have waiting lists for computer use. Library 2.0 is about building community? Visit a public library branch any day to see community building in action. Attend a program, join the bookclub, participate in an adult literacy or ESL program as a volunteer tutor or learner. That’s community building. Sometimes, emerging 2.0 tools and services seem to get in the way of all this busy, real-time activity already taking place.

Ok, wait a sec. This is davidleeking dot com we’re reading, right?

Yep… I see a small problem in the stuff I just said. Most of our library communities have a quickly-growing number of library customers that are actively participating in the emerging web – they are already creating content, participating, and interacting – with each other and with the companies and products they use. They are your library’s digital community.

The problem? We don’t have anything for our library’s digital community to do! OCLC‘s recent report, Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World says this about our physical libraries: “Offline, libraries are vibrant social spaces. They are hubs of community activities and provide a venue for open exchange and dialogue” (8-5). But online? How many libraries can say they provide “vibrant social spaces,” hubs of community activity” or “a venue for open exchange and dialogue” in our digital spaces? Not too many.

Why is this? I think we’re simply not focusing on that growing digital community. Yes, we ARE focusing on customers (that’s a good thing)… but many of us are only focusing on our library’s regular in-house customers (that’s a bad thing). It’s quite possible that by focusing primarily on library customers who visit the physical library, we are ignoring our growing digital population.

Let me use my library as an example. We certainly get our fair share of traditional walk-in customers – our parking lot is ALWAYS FULL. But we also have a huge number of digital customers. Remember what we do with holds? We mail them out – you never have to physically visit our library to check out a book (cool, huh?).

Those items our customers are putting on hold come from our digital community – most likely customers who used our online library catalog from home or work. That’s just one example of living, breathing members of our digital community using our digital library. And they are a growing digital community. What else do we offer them? Thankfully in my library’s case, quite a lot currently (with more to come next year).

Let’s develop this a little further by perusing OCLC’s report a little more. OCLC provides some amazing insight into our growing digital communities:

  • “The vast majority (89%) of the 6,163 general public respondents have been using the Internet for four years or more” (page 7-1) [update – Michelle reminded me that OCLC surveyed online users… the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s research shows that 73% of the US are Internet users, for what it’s worth)
  • “The majority of the online population surveyed have moved from “digital immigrant” status to fully naturalized digital citizens. Nearly two-thirds of the general public respondents over the age of 50 have been online for seven years or more, and nearly a third have been using the Internet for more than 10 years” (page 7-1)
  • “The Web community has migrated from using the Internet to building it.” (7-1)

Did you hear that? Most A majority of our library customers have used the web for at least 4 years. And most of those customers (read the report for the stats) have grown beyond simple clicking and surfing… they are interacting, creating, and participating… at other websites.

The gist of the report is this – the web has moved on, and libraries need to catch up. “To entice users to the online library, libraries must expand their social activities, allowing users to easily share and create content and collaborate with others. They must build a high-value presence on the Web, a strong enough brand to compete…” (8-5).

First steps? Stop ignoring your library’s rapidly-growing digital community. They might not be current users of your physical library – how can you reach them? What do you have to offer them? Can you offer them something that would keep them coming back for more?

I think so.

IL2007, Day 1: Cranky? Boomers & Older Adults are Greying the Internet!

Cranky? Boomers & Older Adults are Greying the Internet!, Allen Kleiman

seniornet, thirdage, eons – examples of senior-focused social networking cites

these sites are doing something, but aren’t doing a very good job of it.

said a 46 year old isn’t a baby boomer… ??? (picky sideline thing)

most of these sites are focused on seniors or boomers with money

some sites resemble facebook with wrinkles

search engine – – developed by eons

Boomers! TV – they do a series of online / tv shows on aging issues…

senior bloggers – benefits:
– helps older adults keep their minds share
great way to meet people
easy to share life experiences, wisdom, and information through blogs
might give the blog author a bit of fame

17% of seniors have read someone else’s blog (3% have created a blog)

they are having the teens teach the older adults how to play the Wii

New Song and Video: Social Digital Global Shift

I recorded a new song and video for y’all! This song is all about social networking and how people are using the emerging social web to connect with each other, to communicate… and in my case, to sing songs to my blog readers.

When writing the song, I was thinking about facebook, twitter, MySpace, and all the social connections that are happening 24/7 – I find it extremely fascinating.

Social Digital Global Shift
by David Lee King

I haven’t seen her since high school
never thought I’d see her again
but yesterday I got a facebook request
she asked to be my friend

so I took a little time to catch up
browsed through her photobucket and blog
I watched some funny videos of her kids
and then I wrote this song

’cause it’s a social digital revolution
social digital relationship
social digital communication
it’s a social digital global shift

I have friends around the world
they’re growing globally
some of them live in Saskatchewan
while others live in D.C.