Online First Mentality for Websites

 

Today, I gave a webinar for SirsiDynix on developing an online first mentality for library website content. You might remember that I wrote about creating an online first mentality earlier this year.

Here are my slides from the webinar – enjoy!

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

Check out builtwith.com

Mark this down as a cool tool for your website-building toolkit…

Ever wondered what CMS or web server a certain website was using? Wonder no more! Simply enter the URL of that interesting site into builtwith.com and voila! – this site will tell you all that geeky stuff!

For example, look at their CMS page. For the top million websites that BuiltWith tracks, they find that 62.87% of websites use WordPress, 14.77% use DotNetNuke, 10.25% use Joomla, and 3.40% use Drupal. Then when you move to their Top 10,000 sites graph, those percentages change quite a bit.

Or look at the Top Payment Distribution Services – look at the top 10,000 sites graph. % us Paypal (duh), 35.94% use CCBill, 10.94% use Google Checkout, then Flattr, Mollie, and Amazon Payment Services are there, too. CCBill, Flattr, and Mollie? Never heard of them.

So – use it to check out your website against others, use it as a discovery tool to learn about new services. Pretty handy!

Swiss Army knife by AJC1

Upcoming Webinar – Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites

If you’re interested in building better websites, make sure to sign up for my upcoming webinar for ALA TechSource on June 8 – Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites. Just click the link to sign up!

This will be the second time I have given this webinar. If you attended the first one, never fret! There will be new content – I’m going to talk about how Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (where I work) built our current website (the redesign went live on March 1).

Here’s the blurb for the webinar:

Every library needs a presence on the web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to deliver service and content to patrons outside  your building. David Lee King will once again present this popular workshop, taking you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will expand and enhance your library’s presence in the community.

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to successfully plan and implement a redesign of your website
  • How to find out what patrons want from your website
  • How to use your website to interact with patrons
  • How to create strategic plans and goals for your website

Sign up NOW!