Saturday, January 10, 2009

more on twitter (there's no escaping it!)


It seems that everyone is starting the new year off by talking about Twitter, and not just here at ACLA! There have been posts on at least 3 library-based blogs that I read about twitter since the start of the year. At the moment I'm currently trying to learn the inner-workings of twitter for another project related to Summer Reading, so it's a great time to be reading and thinking about the ways twitter can be used to the benefit of libraries everywhere!

I know that everyone is pretty overwhelmed with all the new web 2.0 technology buzzwords that keep popping up, but Twitter really is here to stay, and I hope I can convince at least one or two people to make a New Year's Resolution to start using Twitter for your library.

So what makes Twitter so great? In my opinion, the absolute best thing about Twitter is that it interacts and embeds with other sites/networks/programs so easily. For example, when I update my Twitter account, it also automatically updates my "status" on facebook, so even my friends that don't use or follow me on Twitter get the message. Most of the time I do this updating right in my browser window, without actually going to Twitter's site. I can even update it by text message from my cell phone, which is just a regular old cell phone and not a "smart" phone with internet access. You can embed a feed of your "tweets" into your library homepage or blog, lending a great personal touch and current information with very little time commitment.

Another great thing about Twitter that I think is often overlooked: Twitter Searching. You can use Twitter Search to find out what people are saying about a variety of topics, but it can also be a great way to see what people are (or aren't) saying about your library. Go ahead, search for yourselves. Are people saying positive things? Negative? Nothing at all (which is perhaps the worst thing)? A good strategy is to search for yourself on a regular basis, and take a bit of time to respond to anyone who "tweets" about your library...this is an easy and great way to manage your reputation online.

I hope this has piqued everybody's interest in Twitter a bit more...and I hope to see some new Libraries show up on my followers list!

(image from http://talkitup.typepad.com)

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