Libr 246 Assignment 6

For this assignment, I made a video showing people how to use Twitter.

 

http://www.screenr.com/embed/Xmts

 

and link to the video on YouTube

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Library Training Video Week 12

The video I am reviewing is a Library Training video I found on Youtube:

 

The video claims to be found footage from a from the Prima County Archives from 1985. The video is perhaps two or three years old and put thru an aging software process, the video is also not in color but in black and white.

 

The video is very tongue in cheek. The audio is not synched, the audio has been done in post production, after filming was finished. The audio is not recorded well, sometimes the audio is in stereo, sometimes it is in mono, it even drops out almost entirely during some parts of the video.

 

The video does not do any real instructing or training. Towards the end of the video the library gets held up by a masked robber. The robber wants all of the libraries books, but instead agrees to leave after being offered a library card.

 

This video seems to be nothing more than a learning exercise for children or teenagers, it does not teach of show and real library training.

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Like a moth to a flame. Week 10 & 11

Which of the online communities that you viewed in the past 2 weeks were you the most drawn to (pick 1 or 2)? Why?

 

For a paper I am working on, I had to explore some social media sites. I checked out Flickr and Tumblr and Facebook. They were all boring and stale. The one online community that really grabbed my attention and kept it was Twitter.

 

Twitter is like a great equalizer. Everyone from your annoying 10 year old brother, your creepy 55 year old uncle, Kim Kardashian, Joan Rivers, CNN, and President Obama have a twitter. If can read what everyone is tweeting and you can tweet them back. People can tweet about their religious beliefs, where you can get the best cheesesteak sandwiches, what song they are listening to right now, and to alert their family that they are going to be late to supper.

 

Just these past two weeks I have read on Twitter that Steve Jobs died, Joe Frazier died, Andy Rooney died, and Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

 

The information that twitter delivers isn’t always jaw dropping important news worthy information. To be honest, most of the stuff on twitter is pretty boring and mundane and of zero importance to most anyone. But the thing about twitter that is so addicting is that there is a constant stream of information. There are thousands or tweets every minute, and you can filter your tweets. You can customize the people you follow into lists. You can have a all news list, an all celebrity list, an all family list, and so on and so forth. Twitter is very customizable, very informative, high on content, and very very addictive.

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Libr 246 Week 9

Why do you think some systems that depend on user-generated content have failed?

 

If a system is expected to thrive, or even survive, it must be regulated and updated by experts. A system cannot be managed or maintained by beginners or even novices. There needs to be educated, informed, and compensated individuals to run and add to a system in order for it to succeed.

A system that is dependent on user generated content will most likely fail, and it will fail because of two main reasons: ignorance and laziness.

The average user fancies themselves an expert on a subject they are interested in. They want to be an expect in a subject they are excited about, but in reality, they are just beginners (novice at best). These excited beginners are posting content for the system they are stoked about, but their content is poorly written and executed. Perhaps their content is wrong, or worse yet, damaging or potentially harmful. When others read this damaging content they may use this content and in return make some terrible mistakes. Because of this, the system will have a bad reputation, and it will be avoided by its users, and fail.

 

The other reason a system with user generated content will fail is because people are lazy. The average user does not have hours and hours of free time to waste on generating content.  Many users have full time jobs, children, spouses, family, friends, hobbies, and several other more important things to do with their time. After working for 9 hours and sitting in traffic for 2 hours, making supper, feeding the kids, giving the kids baths, helping the kids with their homework, going grocery shopping, and having to return their DVDs to Redbox the average user is not going to generate content for a system. They are going to want to read a book or watch an hour of Project Runway or Dancing with the Stars.

A system needs educated and informed people to generate concise and correct content to their system. These people also need to be properly compensated for their time and knowledge, if they are properly compensated they will be more inclined to produce sufficient amounts of content and in a timely manner.

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Collaborative Filtering Online

I do a lot of things online. I shop online, I watch television shows and movies online, I get recipes online, and I listen to music online. I often go online looking for one very specific thing. I go to amazon.com to buy a “Y: The Last Man” and “Preacher: Gone to Texas” is suggested. I go to netflix.com to watch “Quantum Leap” and “Doctor Who” is suggested. I go to myrecipes.com for pumpkin pancake recipes and carrot cake pancakes are suggested. I go to turntable.fm to listen to “Summer Camp” and “Dum Dum Girls” is suggested. All of these suggestions are made possible because of collaborative filtering.

 

Collaborative filtering is a way of suggesting similar items to users based of what other users searched for when they selected the same item as you have. Meaning, User A went to amazon.com and searched for books by typing “knitting for dummies” into the search bar. Earlier User B also did a search by typing “knitting for dummies”, and User B went on to look up another book called “knitting patterns for dummies”. Earlier then that, User C did a search by typing “knitting for dummies” as well, User C also looked up a different book called “crocheting for dummies”. Amazon.com collaborative filtering software gathers this data and will assume that when someone types in the key words of “knitting for dummies”, they may also be interested in the other books on knitting patterns and crocheting as well. This is an assumption made by the collaborative filtering software to help users in locating what they are looking for, and also to help boost the sites sales, web traffic, or unique hits.

 

Published in: on October 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm  Comments (3)  
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Libr 246 – Marketing Critique

For this assignment I decided to choose one of my favorite library systems in America, the Seattle Public Library.

 

Seattle’s first library opened on April 1891. The library was merely a small reading room on the third floor of a building. Today, Seattle has over twenty seven different branches and many of them are acknowledged for their remarkable architecture.  The Seattle Central Library was even placed on the American Institute of Architects’ list of Americas’ 150 favorite structures in the United States.

 

The Seattle Public Library (SPL) website is very informative and thorough. The SPL main page has a “Search the Library” box which enables the user to search their catalog, the website, or articles.  There is a “Browse” section with hyperlinks to articles & research, digital books & media, and books & more.  A library locator drop down menu shows the districts twenty seven different library branches as well as their mobile library service.

The SPL website has a “Library News and Events” section that shows pictures with links to upcoming library events and news that their patrons may find informative. The news and events could be anything from a free lunchtime concert to a author meet and greet. There is also a very useful “Library News and Events” RSS feed link that anyone can subscribe to and instantly get all of the SPL updates sent to them directly.

The rest of the SPL website features quick links for Job Resources, Homework Help, Pay a Fine, Central Library Tours, Reserve a Computer, Blogs, Podcasts, Support Your Library, SPL Mobile Apps, Sign up for Library Card, and Ask a Librarian 24/7. All of these links show just how committed SPL is to serving the public and their patrons to the best of their ability.

SPL is making a great attempt at marketing themselves online. SPL has quite an impressive online presence. There is the Seattle Public Library main page website, as well as their Facebook and Twitter accounts. With Facebook and Twitter, SPL can directly update their patrons of any events or information regarding the library.

On the SPL website there is a link to Ask a Librarian that will direct patrons to a site that gives them information as to how they can contact a librarian at any time.  This is done via chat instant message, telephone, email, text message, or in person at any of the SPL branches.

SPL increases their online presence substantially with their two completely separate and different blogs. One of the blogs is called “Push to Talk”, and it concentrates on child and teen themes. The other blog is called “Shelf Talk” and its directly mostly towards adults.  Amazingly enough, SPL also has a very impressive podcast in which they interview authors and musicians or people in the library, literary, and entertainment industry.  The podcast has been around since 2006 and you can subscribe to the podcast from iTunes or directly from the SPL website via their RSS feed.

Seattle Public Library also has a mobile phone app. The app can be downloaded to all major smart phones which gives the user the ability to access their personal library account, locate the nearest branch with the assistance of GPS, and search and browse the entire SPL catalog.

 

 

The marketing efforts of the Seattle Public Library are most impressive.  SPL has determined who their core marketing demographic is and have taken the necessary steps to target that demographic. With twenty seven different branches and a very diverse patron clientele, most of the markets are covered. The younger patrons have a blog dedicated to them. The technologically savvy patrons have a mobile app to play with and podcasts to listen to on their iPods. The SPL has several non English language materials in their collection for their non English reading patrons. And for those that are not comfortable with computers, all of the twenty seven libraries have helpful librarians that are available to assist patrons in person or over the telephone.

Where SPL falls short in the marketing efforts is on their very detailed and prolific website. The website is so informative and so comprehensive that it may be difficult for a patron to find exactly what they need. The website is inundated with so many links, search boxes, graphics, and drop down menus that it may intimate those that are not accustomed to modern websites; thus possibly alienating an entire demographic of potential users.

 

The brand of SPL is closely connected to their mission statement, “The Seattle Public Library brings people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.”  SPL’s massive online presence and marketing has built a strong and consistent brand for them.  The SPL system is known for how well they service their community. Their Central Branch is recognized around the globe for its amazing architecture.  They were even awarded an American Institute of Architecture Honor Award for Architecture in 2005, but advertising can only get a brand so far.

SPL’s brand is not based on its pretty looks. All of their twenty seven branches work diligently to serve their patrons to the best of their ability, custom service is key. In 1998, with the passing of the “Libraries for All” bond measure, four new libraries in communities without library services were created. The replacement, expansion, or renovation of 22 existing libraries and the creation of the award winning Central Branch library were also created. All of this cemented the SPL branding efforts of customer service and providing services for the local community.

 

What the SPL may need is a social media marketing consultant. I do not know if they have one currently, but if they do not, I would gladly take the job if it was offered to me.  The first thing I would do is to make certain there was an actual human being monitoring all of our social media. Our Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and podcasts would all be monitored, maintained, and filtered by a properly trained person.

The social media would be monitored and checked for any questions, comments, and complaints. All issues would be reviewed, considered and replied to in a timely manner.

All of our online presence would be maintained and updated on a regular basis. Any dead links, bad image files, and out dated or miss information would be attended to and fixed or deleted. All information provided online would be as up to date as possible.

Our social media would be filtered and screened for any spam and unauthorized advertising as well as any advertising or promotion of events that do not coincide with our brand and mission statement.

 

Seattle Public Library is a large and expansive system. Not only is it large in physical size, but also large in online presence. With a comprehensive website, online blogs, podcasts, mobile apps for smart phones, and both a Twitter and Facebook account, the size is overwhelming. But the size of a library is meaningless if that library does not have a strong brand and effective marketing efforts. The Seattle Public Library system is not only strong in size, but they are also strong in their brand, and with this powerful and effective combination SPL will continue to thrive and grow both in the physical world and online.

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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Library 246 – Weekly Reflections Week 7

In preparation for my new upcoming writing assignment, I observed and studied several library websites.

 

I was specifically looking for libraries that had a strong online presence. Besides the industry standard website, I was looking for a library that also had a library blog, a twitter account, a Facebook account, possibly a Tumblr and anything else I could find. The more the merrier. Man did I have a lot of trouble finding this.

 

There are several libraries with a strong online presence, the only problem is that it is difficult to find it. I had to dig around several library website to find their library blog. I had to click-through “About Us” links, then go through a “What’s New” link, then finally a “Our Blog” click just to check out their blog. I had to click-through at least four different links to find a libraries twitter. Sometimes I couldn’t even find a libraries twitter or Facebook. I had to do a separate Google search to find a libraries Facebook or twitter page.

 

It all seems very futile. If a library is trying to make themselves available to their patrons and have an online presence, why is it so difficult to find their presence online? If I go visit an entertainment website or a company website, the first things I will see on their main homepage is a link to a RSS feed, a link to their twitter (sometimes even a real-time twitter feed), and a link to their Facebook account. If all libraries made their additional online presence visibly known on their main page, I guarantee that their online followers and their brand would grow exponentially.

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 10:25 am  Comments (1)  
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Reach out and stalk someone

Imagine it is Sunday afternoon. You and your family are all together at the dinner table. The nice dishes and silverware are out, you decided to open up that fancy$40 bottle of wine, and for once you are not eating dinner while in your pajamas.

You just cut into that lovely roasted chicken and the phone rings. Your favorite Aunt Edna is in the hospital, so you worry about who exactly is calling. You put down your knife and walk over to the living room and pick up the phone. The lady on the other end of the phone asks you, “…just how satisfied are you with your long distance provider.” Of course you immediately hang up, silently say a curse word of two, and make a mental note to never use that particular phone services as long as you live.

This is the type of response some people get when they are being solicited to. Having someone contacting you, without your permission, is annoying. It is creepy and borderline harassment. If someone is interested in an establishments hours of operation, two-for-one deals,  guest speakers, or grand opening specials they will seek out that information.

If a college library was reaching out to students in online spaces this would break the rules of privacy and fraternization. The online world is a very personal and emotional space for students. Students post personal thoughts and information online. The last person a student would want to invade that space is a librarian (well, second to their parents).

Breaking into that personal space would turn off a student to patronize their college library. A student might feel that if a library is going reach out and invade their personal online space then that same library couldn’t be respective of their online privacy as well.

Published in: on October 5, 2011 at 11:33 am  Comments (2)  
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Library 246 – Weekly Reflections Week 5

Inhalers, nebulizers, cortisone steroids, coughing up blood…this is what my week has consisted of. Whomever said that “whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” is an idiot.

Laying on a hospital bed has given me the unexpected free time to play with my smartphone. I have been monitoring  my new twitter account and my followers as well as reading the blogs I subscribed to the other week. Here are my random thoughts:

Twitter

Mashable  sure like to tweet, alot.

Librarianmer  tweets about her job and her life. Trying to manage work and being a mother to a young baby is tough.

Oisoyboy tweets some interesting information regarding technology, and dim sum.

PinkLibrarian42 thinks that Shel Silverstein looks kind of scary for a children’s author. I concur.

Published in: on September 29, 2011 at 10:09 am  Comments (1)  
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Libr 246 – Weekly Reflections

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the sickest student of them all? Well, I think it was me. Being ill is never fun. Especially when it is 89 degrees outside and you are stuck inside with a summer cold.

Being in bed gave me the opportunity to work on my homework. This week’s homework took a lot of my time and made me do things that were new to me and out of my comfort area.

The first thing I had to do was to create a google reader account. Google reader allowed me to follow website RSS feed. When I added a sites RSS feed to my google reader it would assemble and store all of the posts in the RSS feed I added to my google reader account. It was a little difficult to manage, it took my about 45 minutes to figure out how to create a new folder  in my google reader account, but after I figured everything out I realized how convenient it was.

For the assignment I had to add some library blogs and librarian blogs. Some blogs were very cold and sterile. Some blogs were surprisingly warm and attention stealing. Some blogs were a complete waste of time. A librarians blog consisted of mostly links to other sites contents, and this librarian ever had the audacity to have a tip jar on her site. The tip jar would allow you to leave the author some money, via pay pal or some other electronic payment method. I was actually offended by it. Why are we so tip crazy in this country? If the author of the blog wants people to pay her for her writing, she should look for a literary agent.

Now that the assignment is over, I will delete most of the accounts, but I have a feeling I will also keep some of the accounts even after I am done with this class.

Published in: on September 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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