Sunday, 18 December 2011

Receiving Negative Feedback can be a Real Stumbling Block for Libraries

I was at a webinar recently about social media and Libraries. I got to listen to the host’s views (@duncanjcde, Director, Networking & Resource Sharing at the Colorado State Library) and observe people from various libraries across North America and their reactions. Libraries’ use of social media is a topic dear to my heart because I truly feel Libraries hardly scratch the surface when it comes to their use of social-media and a large part of that has to do with, what I have seen with many Libraries, is their fear of technology and their stanch traditions.

I have been observing recently how many libraries, including the library I work at, seem to want to treat social media as a separate entity and not part and parcel as an extension of their work. Right now I see many libraries using social media as another advertising avenue and the conversation between libraries and patrons go in mostly one direction.

One example site the presenter talked about was a forum style outlet for parents with questions about diapers and so much more. Forums can be a great venue for communication between companies and their customers. The down sides are forums tend to go far beyond the scope of a particular’s business expertise and it can be a place to find a lot of negative views from unsatisfied customers.

I cannot see going beyond original forum’s scope as an issue for libraries as libraries embody endless topics and authorities. I do see the fear of *any* negative voices publicly seen by other patrons, staff, board members, and municipal governments as the ultimate reason holding many libraries back from really utilizing social media outlets. Companies standing above the rest in these days of social media are those who immediately stand up and take ownership to negative feedback they receive and handle it. “Handling it” could be as simple as saying “Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we will be looking into it as soon as possible, we’ll be touch.” There is no secret in “handling” negative feedback, it is just acknowledging it right away and providing prompt feedback. I do see this as many libraries’ stumbling block in really getting knee deep in using social media.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Two Important Things to Consider When Creating a Social Identity

I was at a seminar/workshop recently about technology and public libraries and one thing that really hit home for me with all the social media stuff I already do is ‘Branding’: being consistent with your username so they become as identifiable as your website(s).

One of the first things I did when I got home was checked the availability of my username (@juanitahydabrek) at several social networking site at http://namechk.com. All the ones “taken” were ones that I have taken myself so I know @juanitahydabrek is indeed unique to me.

The other part was projecting your ‘Brand’. Think of your username as your own personal brand. According to namesck.com, my username was still very much available at many social media websites. So now I am going ‘hog wild’ creating @juanitahydabrek accounts with websites I hadn’t already made an account with.
This all isn’t new information to me and most likely not to you either. However, one thing I did notice especially with my PrettyInPinkDogs fun blog, my username was simply too long for some social media websites and therefore I was not adhering to the rule of thumb of being consistent. Some websites I have @prettyinpinkdogs and others I have @prettypinkdogs, this is an known issue for me and one I noted nameschk.com address for people who might be trying to start from square one right.

The two most important things I walked away with a deepened appreciation and a more determined resolution with respect to social networking was (1) be consistent, and (2) protect your username.

I am sure this has been said from most everyone like a broken record but it is always worth mentioning again and again: be careful what you say. In many ways this tip should really be #1.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Here I am...

My first blog, well for me specifically anyway. I have some mixed feelings about having my own blog because I participate with so many other blogs that this may almost seem like ‘just another blog. I am hoping to post things about ‘what’s happening’ with me, and some computer related articles written in plain easy, no computer jargon language. So… we’ll see how this evolves.