Tag Archives: twitter

Lift, Is Facebook Killing Reading?, and Library 2025

Just three interesting notes from the web:

An article about Lift, the newest project from the creators of Twitter – read the article on Read, Write, Web.

And from England – a study that kids are getting more exposure to the written word from the pages of Facebook rather than the pages of books.  I have to say that as an adult a good chunk of the time I may have previously spent reading books is now spent consuming web-based media.  Is this the end of reading or an inevitable cultural shift? Well, you read the article and be the judge.

Last up – chapters being accepted now for a book entitled Library 2025.  Find out more on Facebook.  (Gah!  It’s killing the time you could be spending reading!)

You’re killing me with Twitter

I love Twitter.  I really do.  I use it constantly and am almost always connected to it.  But it drives me crazy sometimes.  So here are my tips for using Twitter effectively at work and in your personal life.  Most of this is wisdom that’s already out there.  Don’t get pissy if you don’t like the rules – they are mere observations and suggestions – take them as you will. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.  (Oh, yes, I did just say that…)

Add people as friends so you can DM
If you manage your library’s Twitter account, make sure you friend your Tweeple when they friend you.  When you’re both all good and friendly, then they can Direct Message you.  And that means they can ask you questions without the whole world listening in.  And that works for us – we’re librarians, people need to ask us things. 

I just saw a great series of tweets in which a person tweeted a particular company saying “Will you please friend me so that I can DM you?  I’ve got a question.”  Really fantastic of them to ask!  And even better that the company did it!

If you can’t abbreviate well, don’t  do it all
Okay, maybe I’m old.  I haven’t taken the Pew Millennial Quiz yet, so maybe it’s a generational thing and I dont’ get it.  But there’s such a thing as too much abbreviation.  What more can I say?  If you need to abbreviate to the point of omitting all vowels and multi-syllables, then maybe your message needs a different outlet.

If you tweet more than three times a day, it better be awesome
Here’s the thing.  I follow a particular library that tweets, oh, 12 times a day?  The thing about that is that I don’t allow the tweets from that organization to make my phone go “ding”.  (That sounded dirty, eh?) I have a lot of tweets that do make my phone go ding – people who don’t tweet often but tweet with relevance.  Plus, I don’t need my phone dinging all the time (oh, this is just getting worse and worse…get your minds out of the gutter!)  So, basically, if you tweet to much, you’re annoying and you will be banned from the list of relevant tweeple that I want making my phone go “ding”.

If you can’t fit it in two tweets, then twitter isn’t your forum
I think that’s concise enough isn’t it?  Dude, you get 140 characters.  If you need more than that, you have a ton of other options.  You can always blog and then send the link via Twitter.  A good time to use two tweets?  Comedic timing.  Granted, I’m not that funny, but y’know – tweet one is the set up…a few seconds later, the punch line in tweet two.  @thepioneerwoman is really good at that.

Don’t just output – retweet, comment, respond
People say this again and again.  Why don’t others listen?  You are boring boring boring if you’re only talking about you.  Twitter is a conversation.  And you are a library professional.  Twitter provides great information – we have to move that info like a drug dealer!  Pass it on!  Share it!  Comment on it!  A great retweet from @tac_niso says it best: “RT @learnpublishing Twitter is like a dinner party – If all you talk about is yourself no one will want to talk to you @electriclit #toccon”

I’m such a freaking hypocrite!
I tell you not to share so much, then I tell you to share share share everything.  Here’s the thing.  We’re all smarty pants people here – you’re going to get a lot of word puke, but if you’re good at determining what’s actually not smelly grossness and is real content, then you’re doing good!  Kind of like when you get a reference question and you sort out the best materials for a patron and don’t just walk them to an entire section of the library.

Be mindful of what you tweet from conferences and meetings – we need some context.
You’re at a conference?  Listening to a great speaker?  That’s wonderful!  Oh they’re funny and saying brilliant things?  GREAT!  Here’s the thing…1) if you tweet too much, you’re breaking the three times a day rule and 2) often, the tweets are out of context for the rest of us.  To be fair, there are some people who tweet meetings and conferences very well, and to you, I say thank you.  It allows those of us not in attendance to learn. 

Use more than one platform to track your account –  Twitter, Hootsuite, Ubertwitter, Echofon…  I use both the regular Twitter page and Hootsuite to track my Twitter account.  Like anything else, different tools provide different perspectives and options – you can get a fresh look at what’s going on and maybe see things you’ve missed.  I love being able to search for key words using Hootsuite. 

Set up searches for you and your organization – Make sure you’re setting up searches for you and your organization name.  Hootsuite will display the search results (as will other similar sites) and you can track conversations occurring about you and your org.

After 24 hours it might not be worth responding  I have mixed feelings about this.  If someone tweets your library a question then you should respond even if you got it overnight.  But in terms of negative publicity, sometimes it might be best to let it just blow over.  If a grumpy 20-something tweets “The library stinks” and you don’t see it for 24 hours, you might just want to let it pass.  It’s not worth stirring the pot, so to speak.  However, if you feel you caught it as it happened or it is truly blasphemous, then you may want to direct message the person or politely respond publicly.

See how the Air Force assesses with social media issues here.

When you rant, rant with care.
It’s my job at work to approach those who tweet about my company.  If they rant, I quickly follow up.  It’s shocking how many people are surprised that we follow up on tweets – HELLLLLLO, it’s a public forum folks.  If you tweet something negative OR positive it will be seen and companies (and people) don’t like being dissed in public.  I’ve been known to see a negative tweet, help the person out, and then request that they re-tweet something positive.  Why yes, that does take balls. 

Link everything  If you blog or put something cool out on Facebook, then link to it via Twitter.  Use Twitter as your speakers and amp – your blog as your microphone.

Have people initial  If mulitple folks on your library staff are using the Twitter account, then have them use a two letter inital at the end.  It helps you keep track of who is tweeting what, and builds personality into the Twitter experience.

Speaking of personality If you are tweeting for your library, you might not want to have multiple people tweeting.  Develop and voice and style and stick with it.  Is your Twitter account purely informational?  Funny?  Educational?  People will begin to have a specific expectation of your account so find the voice that fits you and stick with it.  Remember your audience when making the decision as well – what’s funny to you and I may not be funny to Joe Patron.  Don’t piss off the tax payers. 

Don’t be so sensitive.
I recently watched a popular member of the Twitterverse launch an attack against another member of the Twitterverse when the person sent out a link on a sensitive topic.  Person A (the attacker) didn’t feel that Person B (the attacked) didn’t provide enough context for the article and felt that it was a negative and horrible thing to be tweeting.  Turns out Person B was horrified by the content of the article and wanted people to be informed.  Before slamming someone, maybe DM them and say “hey, what did you mean by that” or politely ask publicly what is up.  Hundreds of people ended up slamming person B, following in the footsteps of Person A.  Person B was quite upset and genuinely shocked – and I stopped following Person A.  (Did you catch all that A, B, A, B???)

So, there you go.  Glad I got that off my chest.  Hope I didn’t offend any of you.  If I did, please see my last point.

I’m interested in hearing your Twitter pet peeves.

100+ Authors Who Use Twitter

Check out this great list of authors – both teen and adult – using Twitter:

http://mashable.com/2009/05/08/twitter-authors/

Definitely worth checking out!

Tweet Your Research Guides?

I’m wondering if any university or public librarians are creating topic specific twitter feeds for their library users?  So those interested in biology who want to get interesting articles or know when their research guide gets an update receive a Tweet?

Essentially, topic specific Twitter feeds versus Library News Twitter feeds.

If anyone out there is doing that, I’d be interested in knowing.

Twitter is the new Google

That is, according to this new article I found via Delicious -

http://www.winningtheweb.com/twitter-future-search-google.php

One more reason librarians need to be on Twitter. 

These two quotes caught my eye:

 “Not only is it a way to connect and interact with others, but it also represent a huge pool of information based on everyday human life that’s ready to be mined to extract real value.” 

“With millions of new web pages springing up every day on the Internet, who has the time or attention span to read through it all? We need filters, and that’s what Twitter provides in 140 characters or less. “

So here’s a question – will there be a day soon in which librarians are not only teaching people how to search Google and Yahoo more effectively, but also are teaching folks how to Tweet more effectively?  What would such a session look like?

The article also makes additional (and repeated) mention of how Twitter allows people to search from human experience and people they trust.  This is good if you’re looking for a restaurant – bad for more factual stuff.  I’d like to say I don’t see a future in which people pick up their phones to get information about, say, the War of 1812, but we’re on the cusp of that and I don’t want to be pulling my foot from my mouth in 20 years (or 10 or 5 years).  Anyone know what the APA or MLA citation for a Tweet looks like?

Plus, I can’t help but wonder if it has any future effect on ChaCha which is on a roll in the text message answers department.

28 Days of Library Advocacy and Tweeting Service

Hi All..

Check out 28 Days of Advocacy on the YALSA blog – http://yalsa.ala.org/blog/

And in other news, we’ve begun using Twitter to provide customer service at work.  People are either going to get majorly freaked out, or really dig it.  Not sure which yet.  I guess the rationale for me is that Twitter is micro-blogging.  And it would bum me out if someone said that my company was failing them on a regular blog, so my bosses and I are just as bummed if they mention their unhappy in a microblog!  (Whether is 1000 characters or 140, saying something isn’t working well is a powerful message)

As for the whole Michigan and HAL thing…here’s the info on that from the Michigan Library Association: http://www.mla.lib.mi.us/

Think before you tweet…

I’ve been using Twitter a bit more lately.  Even though I’ve been an advocate of the service for quite some time**, I did not leap over the learning curve quite as well as my friends did and was reluctant to send my personal life out to the world.  Plus, let’s face it, I’m a librarian who works from home…what am I going to tweet?  “Sun is out and chihuahua is sitting in my lap as I make today’s phone calls”?  You’d all be thrilled, I’m certain.

So I was pondering Twitter etiquette recently.  I follow one particular organization on Twitter that tweets so often, I had to cut them off and start only following them online.  I follow most of my friends solely via the Twitter website, so it wasn’t a huge deal.  But when one considers that the organization is a group specializing in women in technology, I would have thought they would have known better.

I found this great article about Twitter etiquette.  And I like this one even better.

A couple things I’d like to add:
~ If you’re going to do an @ response, then make it humorous to everyone.  Craft the type of Tweet that is humorous or interesting even if it might be out of context to the other readers.
~ If you are a professional with a Twitter account, for the love of all things sacred, don’t start tweeting about your personal life.  I don’t follow someone’s professional tweets to hear that they are going grocery shopping.  Unless you are a grocery shopping consultant, save it. 

And if you’ve never seen it, check out TwitterVision…I could watch it all day.  It’s great.  It really shows where the world’s digital divide exists…virtually no tweets from Africa, parts of Asia, and the former Eastern bloc.

**I’ve helped a couple public libraries get set up on Twitter.  They send Tweets to patrons and it really comes in handy.  Program reminders, emergency closures, changes in the NYT best sellers list…it’s great.  When I worked for private schools, I recommended getting all the high school students and parents signed up for Twitter.  Snow day?  No problem…one tweet and everyone knows.  Then they can all go back to bed.  Zzzzz.

Do u txt p8rns?

I’ve always been a fan of Twitter being used in libraries and have gotten a couple of my public library pals into using the tool to keep patrons informed.  Here’s an article recently posted by Startup Nation that provides some interesting statistics on text messaging and marketing.

Twitter Me, Baby…

Okay, so twitter. I think it has potential. I really do. But for the life of me, I don’t know what. It’s sort of like when you are in the modernist section of the art museum and you have to step back to look at the big-ass pieces of art that don’t look like much. You know, you have your hand on your face and you’re head is kind of tilted and you just don’t know what to make of the thing in front of you. But other people around you seem to get it. And once they tell you (more than once) about it, you get it. Sort of. Or you fake it well.

Yeah, twitter is like that.

The more I use twitter, the more I like it.  It’s the learning curve that’s such a pain.  I am trying to get my public library pals to create tweets that announce when the top selling book on the NYT Bestseller list changes.  Or for reminders for programs to those who signed up.  It will take a bit of tweaking of twitter to get that just right, I think.

And I love this popular mashup – http://twittervision.com/