Want a free drink ticket to the MLA’12 Tweet up? Well all you have to do is be a MLA member and complete this Twitter tutorial. If you aren’t going to MLA’12 you still can take the tutorial (just no drink ticket) so you can interact and exchange ideas with people at the meeting through Twitter.
(From MLA Focus)
“MLA members can hit a home run with Twitter by taking part in an online tutorial about the microblogging service Twitter. Join the Twitter tutorial April 13–22 to learn more about Twitter, get tips from experts, and be ready to tweet about MLA ’12. Members who successfully complete the tutorial will receive a free drink ticket for the annual tweet-up, 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Monday, May 21. Members who will not attend the annual meeting can share ideas and exchange information through Twitter.”Share on Facebook
As 2011 comes to a close, it makes sense to start highlighting 2012 events. One major event in 2012 is the Annual Meeting in Seattle. The NPC has been hard at work trying to make it a great meeting. In the upcomming months there will be more and more updates about the meeting and you if you want to be in loop of what is going on then you will want to check out the Official MLA ’12 Blog and use #mlanet12 as the meeting’s hashtag on Twitter.
So go to http://npc.mlanet.org/mla12/ and bookmark it or add it to your RSS feed reader because there will be some posts in the near future on our speakers, the Opening Reception (aka Opening Day), and the call for bloggers and much more. Once we have selected our bloggers, things will really take off with posts about the meeting.
Do you have a question about logistics, programming, or anything else about the meeting? Want to pick some of the NPC people’s brains? Or do you just want to chat in general about the meeting? Try posting on Twitter. Use the hashtag #mlanet12 and type away, we will see it an respond. Not only are the two NPC co-chairs on Twitter but so are many other NPC and LAC members. Are you new to Twitter? That is ok. We plan on having another online MLA Twitter tutorial available for people. It is still a little early and it isn’t quite ready to go live, but if you want to join in on the #mlanet12 discussion and just want a little refresher check out A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.
Keep in touch!
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I will be giving a quick 20 minute presentation on social media next week. I pretty much have the bulk of the presentation together it is just a matter of editing the slides and fine tuning. However, I thought it might be interesting to see what librarians and medical professionals think about social media and what issues are important…or is social media even important to at all.
I do think social media is important, if not important it is definitely prevalent. According to Nielsen’s just released social media report, “nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visit social networks and blogs.” Social media isn’t just a teenager thing or something college kids do. The biggest users of social media are 25-44 year olds (hmmm in medical libraries that would be your doctors, nurses, physical therapists…not your students). While the 25-44 year olds are definitely using social media, the biggest growth is from Internet users over the age of 55 through the mobile Internet.
Since it is apparent that social media is being used and it is here to stay for a while, what are the biggest issues you face personally and professionally?
Do you worry about a lack fo privacy? As more and more companies are going on Facebook and Twitter what is your thought about following them? Do you follow them? Why or why not?
What is your library or institution doing on Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare? Yes if you want your library or institution to participate in social networking they have to have a presence, but simply occupying a space is not social. How is your library or institution engaging its users? How do you measure engagement? Do the increase of bots on Twitter and inactive Facebook followers concern you?
Is there something else that I am omitting about social media that is important and should be mentioned? Comment and tell me about it.Share on Facebook
Brian Solis wrote an interesting post, “The End of Social Media 1.0,” describing a shift in the social media landscape to value added social media. He says people are still embracing social networks but competition for their eyes and their loyalty is stiff because users are no longer willy nilly hitting the like button, re-tweeting and following like they once did. They have become discerning social media consumers, interested only in companies that have value to them.
While I kind of dislike the whole 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 way of labeling of things other than specific software updates, Brian brings up a good point. Even though he is speaking specifically about businesses and social media, the same should be said about libraries and social media. Simply having a presence on Facebook or Twitter isn’t going to cut it. So what if you have 800 fans…big deal. How active are your fans on your page? How active are you at engaging your fans? Technically I am a fan of CVS Pharmacy but that was just so I could enter to win a contest. I really don’t care about CVS, I just haven’t taken the time to “un-fan” them. I don’t read their posts, I don’t interact with them on their wall, and quite frankly I completely forgot I was a fan until I was doing some Facebook house cleaning. How many of your library fans are like that? How many of your library Facebook fans are still students or employees?
In light of the recent study “What Students Don’t Know,” few students even think of the library or the librarian in general, so you gotta do more than just have a Facebook presence to win their attention. What are you doing on library’s Facebook page or Twitter to be of value to current and potential fans? Brian says, “Businesses must first realize that there’s more to social media than just managing an active presence, driven by an active editorial calendar. Listening is key and within each conversation lies a clue to earn relevance and ultimately establish leadership.” Now change the word businesses for the word libraries or library businesses.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a chicken and egg thing going on here. You kind of have to first have fans to listen to them. Normally I would say that librarians are pretty good listeners. But if a tree falls in the woods does anyone hear it? The “What Students Don’t Know” study clearly worries me and makes me wonder if we are good listeners but crummy overall communicators.
If your library has a Facebook presence as a way to connect to users, simply having a bunch of fans does not show how good you are at communicating through social media. What you do with those fans on Facebook, the conversations, interactions, and changes you make to your products or services is a better indicator of your social media presence. How many libraries have established a relationship with their fans? What has your library done differently as a result of Facebook communication?
I was listening to the radio the other day and the DJs were talking about who has more followers on Twitter. At first they were comparing their numbers to each other, then they started comparing themselves to outside personalities. You have 100,000 followers, big deal. How many are actively following you and re-tweeting? How many still use their Twitter accounts and tweet at least once a month? Recently there was a big broohaha over Newt Gingrich’s Twitter followers. People claimed that he had staffers buy the Twitter followers in order to boost his numbers. Mashable conducted a Twitter analysis of Gingrich’s account along with several other politicians and discovered many of his followers (and followers of other politicians) were due to being on Twitter’s Suggested User List. Many of the followers are either spambots or people who signed up but never did anything. According to Mashable 14% of Gingrich’s followers have posted within the last month. Various reports from 2009 say that most people quit Twitter after one month, leaving lots of inactive Twitter accounts. (Remember when everybody had to start a blog and all of the dead blogs littering the Internet?) These accounts are still subscribed and “following” people, they just aren’t active. Twitter is all about communication and reaching out to people, yet the number of followers you have cannot be used as an indicator of success.
Social media is about communicating with our users. Having lots of fans and followers does not mean your library or company is successful at social networking. Communication is a two way street. If your wall is dead, your fans aren’t interested and they aren’t getting your message. If your wall is dead, you are my CVS Pharmacy to your Facebook fans, something they “liked” but really don’t care about anymore.
Indifference may not wreck a man’s life at any one turn, but it will destroy him with a kind of dry-rot in the long run.
You can have lots of fans and followers but that is just having a social media presence. While participation requires presence, presence does not require participation. There are too many libraries and library vendors present on Facebook and Twitter and trumpeting their “success,” in social media. There are very few that are participating and engaging their fans and followers which is the true mark of success.Share on Facebook
My husband fowarded me this interesting graphic.
Image Source: Spina Bifida Info.com
Some of my thoughts on the graphic:
63% of doctors are using mobile devices that aren’t connected to their practice! 79% prefer the iPad and 75% have purchased an Apple device. Another 38% plan to purchase an iPad in the coming year. Finally with 86% of physicians wanting to use their mobile devices to EMRs, hospital IT departments Needto get on the ball and deal with iPads and iPhones in their institutions. Clearly they make think it is a personal device, but the graphic clearly shows that doctors think it is more than a personal device, are using it in their medical practice.
All of that information also means that librairans and library vendors need to make sure their electronic resources are accessible on the iPad. That means no Flash. It also might mean other formatting issues like reduce the need to scroll. It is a lot easier to scroll with a mouse than to flick scroll with your fingers. Even if publishers/vendors adhere to the no Flash rule, there are still ways to build interactivity into the material and have high resolution pictures, videos, sounds, etc. I know a doctor who used his iPad to access a video on WebMD to show at the patient’s bedside what their surgical procedure would be. Give electronic resources dimension, but make sure it can be accessible on the dominant platform, which appears to be the iPad (if this graphic is correct).
Interesting that despite the growth and popularity of the Android phone in the consumer market, it seems their tablet is much less popular because only 9% of physicians would want an Android model. Like I said interesting the difference between the phone and tablet market.
Librarians interested in medical apps should take note of the four relatively inexpensive (if you don’t count the camera attachment) medical apps that doctors are using on their devices.
Finally, I find it very interesting that with all the press that Sermo and other closed social networking sites have gotten that “physicians prefer open forums over physician only online communities.” So it looks like closed sites are not the answer. Perhaps something like Google+ which allows people to share in an open forum but also selectively restrict things to specific people/circles might become more popular among medical professionals.
One statistic I find suspect is the one stating 2/3 of the doctors are using social media for professional purposes. What social media and how? I find it hard to believe that 2/3 of the doctors are on FB (Sermo, LinkedIn, etc.) for professional purposes. If it means that 2/3 of the doctors are using some form of social media for professional purposes such as reading blogs and wikis, then I totally can see that statistic. I would like to see how that question was worded because if it asked them what of the following things have you done professionally and it listed read a blog, read a wiki page, use FB professionally, tweet a conference, tweet professionally, etc. I can totally seeing that kind of question skewing things. They may be using it professionally, i.e. reading a blog post, but they may not be participating for professional reasons i.e. tweeting a conference.
I hope you find the graphic as interesting as I do. Thanks Mike for passing it along to me.Share on Facebook
I am on Google+ and I am not sure if I like it. I am sporadically kicking the tires, testing it out.
Here are some reasons I like it:
- I like having everything Google together. Iam not sure if I like how it brings up another window when I click the links to my email, calendar, docs, etc. on the Google bar, but I am not sure what work better.
- I like the idea of Hangout, but I can only use it at home because it requires me to install a Google plugin and I don’t have a microphone or camera on my work computer. I can see it being used for web conferencing and other professional things. I tried Hangout one weekend but nobody in my Circles were hanging out so I really couldn’t test it. I think I would Hangout more if I could do it on my phone. I would also like to know if I could Hangout with people outside of my circle. For example, I would like to attend topical Hangouts but I may not want to add those people to my circles.
- Setting up your circles is much more intuitive and easier than setting up friend lists in Facebook. It is really easy to do, you can click multiple people, drag and drop and easily create new circles. The Facebook friends lists were always something sort of hidden.
- Posts, it automatically and easily asks you who (which circles) you want your wall posts to be seen by. In Facebook you have to play around with the post defaults and friend lists and remember to hit the arrow to change things when you don’t want a wall post to be seen by your default group.
Some of the things I don’t like:
- Not enough people. Yeah all of my geek friends are on it, but nobody else. One family member is on it but he is always playing with cutting edge stuff. So in order to share things online with family and friends, I still have to go onto Facebook since the majority of my non-geek friends are not on G+. I don’t like going to different places to share information (one reason I am rarely on LinkedIn), so I don’t see myself using it until/unless more of my regular friends join.
- +1 button is confusing, until you know it is just Google’s version of Like. After that it is just as boring as the Like button. I would have liked it if you could hit the +1 button and then comment on the item or person’s comment.
- Blog integration? Since you are reading this you already know I write a blog. A few sentences of the post and its link go up on my Krafty Librarian FB page (not my personal FB site) directing people (primarily librarians) to my latest blog post. If I can’t integrate blog feeds into my G+ wall then it is pointless for me to use G+. However, it is still too early to tell if this will be possible in the future. I am sure there are WordPress geeks working all types of widgets for G+.
- Twitter integration? Every wall post (including blog posts) on my Krafty Librarian FB page is then sent out via Twitter. This increases the abilty to share information. Again without this ability G+ is not worth it. I am told you can integrate Twitter and G+ if you use Google’s Chrome browser. Yeah, I don’t use Chrome at all. I really hope Google doesn’t limit innovation specifically to Chrome because that will kill G+.
- RSS feeds. I still need to got to at least two sites to stay on top and share information. I grab all of my feeds using Netvibes. Netvibes allows me to follow ANYTHING that has an RSS feed. That means I can follow Twitter feeds, blog posts, news feeds, flickr, search feeds (web and database), etc. Basically Netvibes is my one stop shop for finding information. It is my morning newspaper. I can also share things on Twitter, FB, and email through Netvibes. However, to get the whole picture I really have to jump back and forth between Netvibes and FB or Twitter. If G+ could somehow incorporate RSS feeds so I don’t have to bounce between sites, that would be a huge help. I know Google Reader is accessible from the top tool bar when I am logged in and I when I went into it, I tried to share a story. It looked like it worked but nothing showed up on G+ so I have no idea if I shared that story and if so where. Perhaps I something is wrong with my settings.
As I said, I am still playing around with G+ bit by bit. In the mean time I thought I would share two other people’s opinions on G+. John Halamka likes G+ better than Facebook, he finds FB’s interface to be cumbersome. Daniel Hooker shares a funny cartoon about G+ and FB and also describes his surprise at re-sharing through G+ and how you might want to disable re-shares.
They are saying G+ is the Twitter or Facebook killer. But right now it is all about people. While G+ has grown quite quickly, the people still aren’t there yet. If you don’t get a critical mass of people, then FB is going to remain the place to be. In the mean time, I am continuing to play with G+ and will write more as I learn more. If you have any ideas about it or if I am missing something or doing something wrong please comment or leave a post on G+ or FB.Share on Facebook
What we do online is normal to us, when we are online. Take our online activities, sayings, and behavior and move that to every day non-online life and all of a sudden showing your marital status to people and following them becomes very weird very fast.
So if you want a good laugh this Friday check out ENO’s viral YouTube video intended to promote Nico Muhly’s opera Two Boys. The viral video makes fun of how what we do on Facebook and Twitter and is quite funny. (It also has nothing to do with the very dark opera it is trying to promote.)
If you can’t access YouTube you might try and watch it at the Two Boys Opera website just click on “Can I Be Your Friend” and enjoy. The other link the trailer for the opera which looks interesting, but it is very dark and not what I would classify as Friday Fun.
If you enjoy ENO’s viral video then you will also like this oldie but goodie video, Facebook in Reality.Share on Facebook
Eric Rumsey recently RT’d on Twitter “11 Must Know Tips and Tricks for Twitter.” I have been on Twitter for a while and I learned a lot of things from this article. Some of the things on the article are more organizations interested in the impact of their tweets and metrics of those who follow or unfollow (good if you are running a library account). There were a few other tips that are good for individual Twitterers like:
- Advance Search on TweetDeck (right up librarian searchy mentalities)
- Tweetcaster for Android users
- Share Flickr photos on Twitter using Fick to Twitt
- Find trending topics
- Find deals/coupons on Twitter
- Browse your Twitter friends
This list, plus the fact that MLA is only a week away, gave me the idea to come up with a few “must know” Twitter tips for MLA people.
Check your Settings!!
The most common questions I get from people are: “Why aren’t my tweets showing up in the hashtag stream?” “Why didn’t you see my tweet?” The reason is most likely because you checked the privacy box, which makes your tweets only viewable to people who follow you. The privacy box is a great way to keep your tweets private, but if you keep it checked you aren’t going to be able to effectively participate in the #mlanet11 discussions because we won’t be able to see your tweets!
Consider a third party Twitter application
Twitter page itself can be a little limited, in fact most of the things that we all know and associate with Twitter like #hashtags and @’s (replying to somebody like @krafty), were created and adopted by users, not Twitter. I feel Twitter has been slow to exploit these helpful symbols and functions and their “new and improved” site still does a poor job of dealing with them. TweetDeck and HootSuite do a MUCH better job. TweetDeck and HootSuite at first blush look intimidating with its multiple column format. But once you get used to it, it is extremely useful and easy to follow. You can set a column just to be following tweets with the #mlanet11 hashtag. TweetDeck is an app that is installed on a computer or your smartphone. Hootsuite is hosted on the web, making installation on the computer unnecessary. Hootsuite does have an iPhone app as well. I primarily use TweetDeck but I also have a Hootsuite account so I can check tweets (without going to the crummy Twitter site) on computers other than my own.
Take a look here to see some of my columns on TweetDeck and how I can monitor All Friends, Mentions (people who @ or RT me), and #mlanet11.
Know and use the hashtags
Your tweets won’t get picked up and seen as easily (thus limiting your conversation) if you forget to use the hashtags. The hastag for the conference is #mlanet11. Others you might be interested in are: #mlattt (MLA Tech Trends program) and #medlibs (tweets of interest to medical librarians).
*If anybody has any other hashtags that are used a lot in the medical library world or for this conference, please list them in the comments.
It may get a little tiring to constantly remember to use the hashtag, this is where a third party Twitter app may come in handy. I know in TweetDeck if you click on the # symbol just below the text box, you can select and use a recent hashtag for your tweet instead of typing it out each time. This is also possible on TweetDeck’s iPhone app. Now you have to have used the hashtag a few times for it to get in the list but once you do, it is there and it is a lot easier to tap or click on it rather than typing it out each time.
Observe and experiment EARLY
If you haven’t signed up with Twitter but plan to tweet at the conference, or at least lurk on Twitter and view the conference tweets, then start early. It isn’t hard to tweet, but you will find you get more comfortable participating by watching and responding to people before the conference starts. Use this week to find your twitter legs. It takes some practice getting used to sending messages in under 140 characters (including the hashtag). If you use this time to practice reading and sending out some tweets you will feel a little more comfortable about participating during the conference. Don’t worry if you make mistakes, many librarians on the Twittersphere are more than willing to help you out and get you in the tweeting scheme of things in no time.
I can’t tell you how you will use Twitter. Only through observation and experimentation will you begin to understand how it can fit in your life. It is an evolutionary communication process (see the picture below). I don’t mean to say that Twitter is the next step up on the communicating evolutionary train. I mean to communicate effectively within Twitter, it is a process that you evolve within. For example you will find it hard to state things in less than 140 characters (everybody does at first) and you might send multiple tweets to get your point across. Eventually you will learn and your tweets will evolve to where you are able to communicate a lot of things in 140 characters.
This is probably the most important tip. Use the conference as a perfect opportunity to try out a new tool in a fun way. Remember for those of you who took the MLA Twitter Tutorial, you get a free drink ticket for the TweetUp. That is what I call fun.Share on Facebook
The MLA’11 folks have big plans for Twitter this year. At Annual Conference Twitter will be used to help create discussion, to connect with colleagues, and to facilitate in-person meetings. MLA’s “Rethink Conversations” process will offer display monitors that are strategically placed around the convention center so that attendees can watch and respond to live conversations. The committee is even hosting three specific ReThink Conversations Sunday-Tuesday 10:00-10:30am (following the Presidential Address, Doe Lecture, and MLA ’12 Invitation).
Tweets can be made using a mobile device, laptop, or a computer in the Internet Café. In order to get to know your fellow Twitteres (since Twitter usernames do not always reveal the identity of tweet authors) there will be a “Tweetup” event on Tuesday, May 17th, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. At a Tweetup, you can meet other MLA Twitteres in person.
New to Twitter? Not a problem. A special Twitter Tutorial has been created to help get you started. Attendees (Twitter newbies or old pros) who complete the MLA-sponsored Twitter tutorialby April 29th will receive a free drink ticket at the Tweetup. Even if you are not new to Twitter, complete the tutorial and get a free drink!
You must complete the tutorial by the end of April 29th.
The tutorial is pretty straight forward. But if you have questions you can email the MLA Twitter Tutorial folks (listed in orange square on the first page of the tutorial). You can also follow me at krafty and direct message me if you have questions.
DON’T FORGET! If you want to participate in MLA’s twitter conversations:
- Make sure you uncheck the “protect my tweets” box or else your tweets will not be seen by others tweeting at MLA.
- Use the #mlanet11 hashtag so everbody can follow the tweets better
I find Twitter’s site clunky for tweeting a lot. If you think it is too you might try TweetDeck on your laptop or smartphone to help manage the conversations. TweetDeck is a third party application that you can install on your laptop or smartphone. I like it a lot. If you know you will be bouncing around on computers (using the Internet Cafe) to tweet, you might consider using Hootsuite. It is a web based application that doesn’t need to be installed and structured similarly to TweetDeck.Share on Facebook
According the article “Scientists & Social Media” in Lab Manager Magazine, a survey 200 lab managers revealed that most of these scientists didn’t use social media for work. Yet they are some of the exact types of people who should.
“Laboratories are at the forefront of research and analysis. But when it comes to communication, they are followers rather than leaders and can be very slow to adopt innovations.”
The article states the three most popular reasons for not using social networking resources are:
- Blurred boundaries between private and business life
- Loss of productivity
- Fear that confidential information will be leaked
It seems as if the scientists are thinking more that the tool (social networking sites) are the problem not the behavior of the person using the tool. A person can blur their personal boundaries, waste time, and leak key secrets all without using a social networking resource because people use phones, email, and talk all the time. Lab Manager Magazine further explains this idea by saying, “Let us remember that these issues have little or nothing to do with the resources; they have to do with the people who use them. The opinions expressed by an individual can reflect badly on the organization but this risk is not confined to Twitter or Facebook; it applies equally to e-mail correspondence, phone calls, conversations at social events, and so forth. To paraphrase, it is not the gun that kills, but the person who pulls the trigger. We must step into the social media world and embrace the opportunities, but we must also manage the risks.”
For example, the famous or infamous social networking site WikiLeaks known for exposing various government secrets gets its information from submissions, not from people logging on and using the wiki. So that confidential information while displayed on the social sharing site of a wiki was most likely submitted by email.
With all the misgivings some scientists have over social media, it is inevitable that they will use it (or whatever it evolves into) in the future. If you have some doubters in your institutions, check out the article’s list of reasons for using social media in the lab.
As I have said many times when I speak on the subject of social media, the phone was once a new technology not everybody had one and they didn’t understand why you needed to have one. It was an expensive luxury. I wonder how those people would think about society’s need for cell phones. Email was once a new technology and doctors and scientists struggled over communicating appropriately through it. It is so ingrained in our society that our phones now get email. To quote the Borg, “Resistance if futile.” Society and communication methods evolve, and it looks like this is just another way it is evolving.Share on Facebook