Well…darn it. Don’t tell anyone
I often tell libraries that, if they don’t have the resources to do both well, they shouldn’t do both. Look at your stats and demographics and figure out where your patrons are more often: Facebook or Twitter? Chances are, FB will be the more likely keeper, especially in small communities. Libraries, too often, try to do everything for everybody, and fail to please anyone. Focus on one social network where you can succeed.
Michael–I think you’re correct, that it’s one or the other. Budgets don’t often allow for both forward and backwards development. Backwards development costs the library–but a patron upgrading his/her browser does not. There will always be the hangers-on with IE7 and with nearly every other older version browser. Your anecdote about the libraries that have high (30%) IE7 traffic are exceptions and, if the library is willing and able to accommodate that, that’s great.
(This comment is from JD Thomas –for some reason, the spam filter wasn’t playing nice today!)
Sites like Web Resizer are great for occasional use, but for anyone who needs to do this on a regular basis should check out GIMP and especially the built in “Save for Web” feature that helps you easily save out web ready images quickly and easily.
Because GIMP does not cost anything a library or individual can afford it even if pro-tools like Photoshop are out of reach.
If you’re a library, it’s surely a case of “better off safe than sorry.” I wouldn’t recommend using it if you can’t get permission. I suppose you could give attribution to the site from which it came as a last-ditch scenario if the image is only for personal use (and that’s not any kind of legal guarantee). But, a library is a public institution and responsible for public monies; definitely better to avoid an issue whenever possible.
Need an invite?
Agreed, Christian. I think the main reason I like “app” is exactly that–it’s user friendly and people actually know what it is. I think having people recognize it is essential. I’m not glued to “apps” so much as I am to the idea of being customer friendly. I’m not sure I agree with Don about it only being limited to phone downloads…there are all kinds of digital things now being embedded in other digital things. Facebook apps are examples of this…they’re full-fledged applications embedded in what is essentially a website. Seems to me that one could call databases “apps you don’t have to download!”
Another site that a friend brought to my attention:
As far as I know, there has been NO marketing whatsoever (which may explain why no one in the two sessions I presented had even heard of it). I’m pretty sure it’s all been word of mouth. I know some teens who use Skype, but I’m not sure if they have heard of it, either (I will definitely ask the next time I see them). It would be interesting to see the usage rates across different demographics and if teens are outpacing other groups or not.
Your best bet is to check the websites of your local papers/tv stations for links to their Twitter accounts. As for national outlets, I can recommend the NY Times (http://twitter.com/nytimes) or CNN (http://twitter.com/cnn). But most major news outlets have a Twitter account now, so it may just be a matter of checking around their websites to find the link.
Janet, you are correct; these types of accounts are a blemish on all social networks. It should be noted that many of these are automated and are spambots; in many cases, these are not real people. Twitter, in particular, has these in great numbers and they should be blocked. Facebook is much less susceptible to this kind of thing, fortunately.
Both good points, Don and Twitterfan; obviously, there are more than 5 ways for a library to fail at Twitter!
Thanks, Mark, typo fixed! I just posted the “upgrade” Eric did as well.
Yes, there are ways to follow a hashtag. Tweetdeck is my favorite app for that; it allows you to follow not only your regular Twitter “stuff” (people you follow, replies, mentions, direct messages) but to also add columns for multiple searches to track. Re: noise to signal–I think that is a matter of personal tolerance. I generally don’t follow more than one or two at a time myself, simply because I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But, on the other hand, when it comes to how many RSS feeds I subscribe to, I keep up with over 150 of them. IMHO it’s just where I prioritize; I find most of the data I get via RSS to be worth more to me than following lots of hashtags.
I haven’t done it myself, but I recommend checking with your director about how s/he wants to handle it. I’d definitely use a generic web address (e.g. “webmaster@…) so that any messages in the future don’t bounce, even if you aren’t in that position any more.
That is correct…sort of I have Zone Alarm at home and experience that myself. It’s a setting on ZA…you have to add TinyURL to the exclusion list. If you google “zone alarm tinyurl” you will see this is a common issue with Zone Alarm, rather than TinyURL being a spyware site.
Oh, and you can still put links to tags in your del.icio.us account that correspond to your library’s databases, so the effect is the same.
I can see why you might see it that way. But, for me, del.icio.us is all about the additional functionality that wouldn’t probably be available otherwise. If I like the kinds of things you bookmark on del.icio.us, I can subscribe to the RSS feed for it and get new additions automatically. Having del.icio.us buttons in my browser is a godsend, and if I find a link on your library’s web site, there’s no way to easily add it to my collection. And the social element is not to be underestimated. I am sure that many people, like myself, enjoy browsing through and seeing how many other people have bookmarked a site and what comments they’ve made on it.
I honestly don’t remember where I first heard the term “siloing” before, but I don’t think I invented it. At any rate, it seems to fit the bill. Congrats on your new Twitter account (I’m going to go follow you as soon as I’m done writing this) and on helping your library to join the mainstream Internet community! I am curious how you came across my blog–I’m so pleased to find out that it has interest to librarians outside of Ohio!
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(Today’s post is almost more of a question than anything
The fact that social media has pretty much gone over
It’s true: I have a yen for weird little apps