Tag Archives: blogging

Web 2.OhMyGod to Web 2.OhNo

Douglas Campbell and Chelsea Hughes

Chelsea Hughes and Douglas Campbell
Nautical theme using the Web 2.0 Map.

MySpace – went to tell musicians “Give us your CDs, it’s the law.” Message was clear but didn’t actively engage; then left and had no exit strategy.

Blogs – started up a couple. Also name “The Collections blog that never happened” – because would be too time consuming for staff to do necessary research. Other blogs (Library Tech and Create Readers have been successful and they’re sticking around.

Flickr – Rights was an issue to start with but now joined Flickr Commons. Staying but passively – adding stuff but not joining discussion and groups.
Learned how to take risks, created relationships. But didn’t have resources to really nurture their pressence – like blogs it’s not really anyone’s job.

2008 Web Harvest
Timeline: anger because of bandwidth. NatLib explained so people were happier. What went well – they were already in the social spaces so were alerted to anger quickly and could respond quickly.

Twitter – worked well because could apply past lessons. Identified as opportunity to promote collections. Tea-break tweets only – no system outages, media releases. Try to be at desk for 30 minutes after tweets go out in case of replies so can stay engaged. Don’t measure success by number of followers but by clicks on bit.ly links and conversations. Low effort so definitely staying. Much went well; so far nothing’s gone badly!

Have tested waters in wikipedia, slideshare, delicious, youtube, but so far haven’t found a good fit at them. These places don’t meet their criteria of having something to offer, someone to tell it too, and a way to sustain it.

Lessons learnt:
Engage, set goals, know your audience, know your limits, know yourself, be social, own it, choose your platform wisely, make it personal, take risks but be smart about it, be casual but not too casual.

Handout folded in shape of boat with chocolate ‘gold coin’ folded inside. Contents will be on Library Tech.

Q: Still doing Flickr Commons?
A: Yes, still adding things, just not more involved.

Q: Are you capturing NZ Tweets through NDHA?
A: No. Not sure how to identify NZ twitterers. Only covers .nz and “known offsite distributors”.

Q: How do you sell Flickr etc to bosses?
A: Get a longer leash to trial it; point to success examples; show them the benefits. Get a three-month pilot agreed.

Q: Re “just do it” – but it’s about the library’s reputation too.
A: If you’re just doing it then use a personal account but also be smart about it.

Being online is just another way of living your life – a staff member could make just as bad a reputation for you at the pub.

Implementing Web 2.0

Paul Hayton

Metrics are important – available on flickr, wordpress, facebok, youtube, witter. Wikipedia doesn’t.

Launch dates all refer to Dunedin Public Library’s accounts.

consider using a secret email address; it negates most IT/Council security uploading hassles. Subject heading becomes title and body is description.
Flash-based tools may break so use the basic uploader
Pro account gives features that are worth it.
Link Flickr to blog, facebook, etc – facilitates crossposting.

Started having news and reviews blogs. In Feb 08 merged to a single blog at wordpress.
Use Google Analytics. Hosting on own servers makes it easy to put code in.
Suggests posting every 1-3 days. Every day is too much, every week not enough.
Include youtube clips, flickr banner and links to other services down the side.

If doing more than one thing then reuse your content! Eg description on images / blog description of event. Push people through to different services by linking blogpost, photo, through to youtube video etc.

Post a little content often rather than a lot infrequently.
Link to other online spaces proactively
Review content using metrics to discover what really is popular content (eg topical links to Swayze-related collection)
Use categories, not tags to standardise search when running a blog with multiple contributors – forces authority control.

Wikipedia article – launched April 08. Anecdotally well-received but hard to read statistics. Have had one instance of vandalism – corrected by wiki community within 24 hours. When Paul started adding stuff he had people telling him he couldn’t put up library-copyrighted stuff.
Establish an account
Declare who you are
Start small, build content as time permits
Add images and links to other online spaces
Reference where you can
Seek other pages with related content and edit to include a link back to your own page

Launched May 08; now 111 videos, average of 40-60 viewers per day.
Invest in a tripod
Recording at 320×240 at 8 frames per second is fine and reduces both file size and upload time
YouTube has a 10min limit
Don’t pan and zoom.
Be consistent in categories and tags

Launched December 2008 – wanted to establish a profile and generate viral promotion; engage in dialogue with fans and deliver targeted promotional info to fans
Address is horrible – get a badge. (Me: if you have 100+ fans you can get a custom address)
Metrics interesting – fans are 64% female which reflects library membership. Highest fans are at 25-34%
Good conversation going.
Have a response plan for if customers engage.
Establish a page, not a group.
Post links to other online spaces
Use the events feature and selectively send invites to fans
If you have a Twitter account, consider linking your status updates to it.
Import blog, flickr content etc to your page.

Launched Feb 09
Can get statistics from various analytic sites eg tweetstats.com
Predominantly events stuff.
Use web stats services to analyse account
Use the power of the + in http://bit.ly/1894XD+ to get stats on how often it’s been viewed.
Firefox – install Power Twitter add-on.
“The more you give the more you get” – the more you tweet the more followers you get – but it’s more about quality vs quantity.

– Strategy – be clear about why and where you’re playing, but you don’t need a full strategy before you dive in. No analysis paralysis!
– Staff/time – better to do one thing well than several things poorly. Look for something you like and do that.
– Learn by doing. Forgiveness vs permission, action vs policy.
– Proactively network with like minds.
– Spend time each week being a ‘naive enquirer’ to learn more.

Q: Release permission for filming booktalks, audiences?
A: Get permission for authors, performers. Camera is generally not on audience – only incidental and not very identifiable. Anecdotally – email from someone in a video who wanted a copy to send it around

Q: Problems with Wikipedia’s rule against editing your own page?
A: No issues.

Q: YouTube filming at low resolution – shouldn’t we film at high resolution for posterity and just upload a low-res version?
A: Yes, valid point – could be something we could do better at. But currently dealing with practical issues

Annoyed Librarians

The last time I noticed much general discussion of the Annoyed Librarian was at the time of the “I am not the Annoyed Librarian” meme, which seemed a nice light-hearted bit of fun. So much of the vehement disapproval of Library Journal giving the AL a column has taken me by surprise. This may be because I’m the kind of person who sails blithely over all sorts of social undercurrents; in fact I’m reminded of an old high school friend asking me a few years after the fact, “Remember when [two girls among our friends] were found kissing behind the bikeshed?” And… no, I seem to have entirely missed what sounds like it must have been the biggest bit of gossip of the entire school year.

Leaving aside the “What did I miss?” factor, though, I haven’t yet seen any reason to convince me that the column is a bad thing.

Among the AL’s fans, there seems to be some concern that they’ve “sold out”, or at least compromised their voice. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. I’ve also heard some concern about whether they can sustain a regular column, as opposed to a blog post whenever the mood takes them; but again I don’t think there’s any reason to think they can’t.

Those who aren’t fans seem to be primarily of the view that Library Journal has only done it for the expected boost in traffic, and that the journal shouldn’t be a place for negative and unconstructive rants by an anonymous author.

Only for the traffic? I rather suspect so, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. Like it or not, the AL has a lot of fans; why shouldn’t Library Journal make a place for them in the hopes that they’ll stay to view some of the other columns? (Just for fun, substitute “gaming” for “the AL”, “libraries” for “Library Journal”, and “books” for “some of the other columns”.)

Should the journal be a place for negative etc columns? I think it shouldn’t be a place that publishes only such columns, but I don’t think it should be a place that publishes only “Rah rah, we’re doing great, guys!” columns either.

And are the AL’s posts in fact only unconstructive? Well… yes and no. The AL is a devil’s advocate: they take their arguments, in my view, to unsupportable extremes. But they do make valid points among the wilder ones. Much as I love library 2.0 and its potential, not all that potential is always purely beneficial or even practical, and if we’re going to build something new we have to be open to hearing that. Just because the AL doesn’t provide a constructive solution doesn’t mean that they haven’t pointed out a valid problem that needs a solution.

Finally: anonymous? No. Pseudonymous, yes. The difference is that when the AL signs their name, we know it’s the same person who signed as the AL last week; whereas when someone writes anonymously, it might or might not be the same person who wrote all the other comments on the thread. This means that the AL does have a reputation to gain or lose, and can be held accountable as the Annoyed Librarian for what they say.

If the AL made personal attacks on individuals, that’d be different — but I haven’t seen that happen and haven’t heard of it happening either. Until/unless it does, I can’t think of any reason why Library Journal shouldn’t give them a column.

[Random disclaimers/disclosures: a) I don’t often read the AL these days – not my thing and not enough time – but I’ve never hated it. b) I have my own pseudonym in other parts of the ‘net (discoverable with minor effort and/or lateral thinking), and I can tell you that my reputation under that pseudonym is every bit as important to me as my reputation under my birth name.]

Non-English blog roundup #5 (French)

Still catching up, so pulling together a bunch of French content this time:

Bernard Rentier writes “A university which wants to be on the cutting edge of information as a communication tool cannot be unfamiliar with these new practices. It must even use them, not to “reform” them, even less to control them, these two objectives not being acceptable, but if it’s a tool frequently used by many students, the Institution must be able to adopt this new concept and make itself a usage of it that is “sympathetic” and perceived as positive by everyone.

Risu suggests an easy method of increasing your library’s visibility: enter it into Google Business Center with contact details, website, description, photos and videos, opening hours etc. “The whole thing takes 5 minutes and it’s free.”

Thomas on Vagabondages talks about “Lottobook”, a game where every participant pledges to send a book to the winner. The winner is drawn and receives n-1 books, while a runner-up receives 1 book (from the winner) as a consolation prize and so even the winner doesn’t know they’ve won until all the books arrive in the mail.

A meme being passed on via Marlene’s Corner: “to give you the contents of my day as a 2.0 librarian on Monday”.

In Bibliobsession:

On DLog, Dominique writes about The two branches of the library:

Let’s not confuse

  • the physical item;
  • a particular edition of which the physical item is a clone among clones;
  • the work, which is immaterial


I draw from this a new conception of conservation: no longer only for the future or for researchers, but also for the public, here and now.”

And a new report has been published, Report on the digital book (pdf) by Bruno Patino, 30 June 2008. Very roughly, from the executive summary:

The entrance into the digital age seems to be happening later for the book than for other cultural industries. However, many publishing sectors such as professional, practice or reference books are already largely digitised. This development, so far, has challenged neither the commercial model, nor relations with authors, nor the customs of readers. But what would happen if digitisation were to accelerate, even to take over? Such a hypothesis, even if it cannot be predicted with certainty, still merits that the key players in the sector prepare for it, bearing in mind the very important effects that it could lead to on the precarious equilibrium of the book industry.

A particular vigilance should especially be brought to a possible new competition between the rights holders (authors and publishers), whose remuneration of their creations should be preserved and increased, and the access and network holders, who don’t necessarily have any interest in increasing the intellectual property rights.

In this context, two elements are essential: intellectual property must remain the cornerstone of publishing, and publishers must retain a central role in determining price.

The committee therefore recommends a series of measures organised into four actions:

  1. Promote an attractive legal offer. [eg look at interoperability of digital content – formats as much as DRM; interoperability of existing metadata; pursue the policy of supporting digital books[
  2. Defend intellectual property. [don’t modify intellectual property law, which can accomodate digitisation; open inter-professional discussions about the rights of authors]
  3. Put in place provisions allowing rights holders to have a central role in determining prices.
  4. Conduct an active policy with respect to community institutions. [Establish a bureau to promote intellectual property-related policy; request a lower TVA tax for digital cultural content.]

Discussion in various venues has ensued and seems likely to continue apace….

5 thoughts on blog statistics

I haven’t yet worried about stats for this blog, but for our (academic) library blog I keep a fairly close eye on what websites/websearches our readers are coming from and what they’re doing once they get here.

My favourite tool for blog statistics is StatCounter.com – it gives you huge detail on the latest 500 hits for free, and it’s invisible. A few random things I’ve discovered as a result:

  1. A google search for the name of our blog, or for the name of our library plus the word ‘blog’, brings us up at the top of the results – and people are finding us that way.
  2. A really effective way to get hits is to post information on the blog on how to research the first assignment of the first year of university for a class of 700 students, and get the lecturer to put the link up on Blackboard for them. We were getting well over 100 hits a day while that assignment ran – in the high two-digit figures of distinct visitors – about 10 times as many people as usual. And a month after the assignment was due, we’re still getting people coming from that link.
  3. Another good way to get hits is to give a tutorial, then post a summary of the tutorial afterwards, and send the link out to them. Okay, if all this did was get hits it’d be worthless – might as well just send them the summary directly – but some of the people do browse around some of the other categories, and may even return another day…
  4. Our statistics are slowly growing. We usually get 10+ hits a day now, even though I’ve weeded out as many library staff as I can identify as staff, when it used to be less than 10 a day even including staff. Sometimes it’s even 10+ people a day….
  5. The stats showed that someone had put a perfectly reasonable search term into the blog search box. I looked to see what results they’d have got and discovered it was just a dead end “0 results” results page, which didn’t seem very helpful, especially since I knew there was bound to be information about the topic somewhere on the main library website. So I wrote a hopeful email to our wonderful IT people, who wonderfully obliged me with this modification (note the “library website” link automatically brings up results for whatever search the user tried on the blog. AskLive is our virtual reference, now running on a Meebo chatroom).