Medlibs Tweet Chat: Social Media

Last week the #medlibs chat focused on disaster planning and @NLM_DIMRC (NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center) participated in the discussion.  Disaster planning seemed to fall into 2 primary types, personal and professional.  You need a personal disaster plan so that you and your family are safe.  Once you are safe then you can deal with your professional disaster plan.  In this case since it was the #medlibs chat most of the professional disaster plan stuff dealt with medical library disaster plans.  The #medlibs chat transcripts can be found online. 

This Thursday the #medlibs chat will be on social media.

Website? Check. Facebook page? Maybe… is it your library’s or your public relations department’s? What  about Twitter? Are you using Twitter solely for your personal professional development (and fun)? As an automatic electronic news channel? Engaging with your users via their hashtag chats?

Come to the Thursday, November 15, 2012 #medlibs chat at 6pm Pacific/9 Eastern as we explore together how things are evolving for medical librarians and libraries in social media, including these chats! 

Never participated in a Twitter hashtag chat before? Check out this overview and come on in, we’re a supportive community.

Believe it or not I use Twitter to communicate with medical librarians now more than I use the listserv MEDLIB-L.  I get quicker responses from librarians AND library vendors.  If I posted something on MEDLIB-L about a database flaw, it would often be several days before I heard from the vendor’s rep.  However, when I tweet about it I get a response within a day (usually within a few hours).  When the government was about to shut down I had a patron ask mewhat would happened to PubMed if the government shut down.  I sent the question out to MEDLIB-L as well as Twitter.  I got a response within an hour from somebody working at NLM via Twitter.

So if you are interested in discussing social media within libraries, join us tomorrow on Twitter.

Facebook Is It Worth Our Time?

Multiple friends posted this article, “Studay Raises Doubts About Effectiveness of Facebook as Outreach Tool for Academic Libraries” ironically on their Facebook accounts. 

The study, in the current issue of D-Lib Magazine, by Michalis Gerolimos, examined 3,513 posts on the Facebook pages of 20 U.S. academic libraries.  He found that the vast majority of the Facebook posts (91%) did not generate any comments from fans and those posts that did, the comments were primarily from library personnel not faculty or students.

If you look at the Facebook page fan information outside of libraries you will see that the numbers might not be what librarians hope for. According to Sysomos only 23% of Facebook pages has more than 1,000 fans and the average page has 9.5 pieces of fan generated content (photos and video).   These numbers are regular Facebook pages which include celebrities, companies, public figures, and (yes) libraries and educational sites.  So the vast majority of Facebook pages out there have less than 1,000 fans.  That figure seems to fall in line with Gerolimos’ findings.  Only two of the twenty libraries he looked at had more than 1,000 fans. 

Yet most library Facebook pages have very few fan generate content.  Surprisingly most of the content on the walls (including “likes” and comments) were from library staff.  It appears that most libraries are well off the mark for user fan generated content and the content library staff post is either not engaging or irrelevant, such as Fondren Library’s page that posted a close up of a librarian walking to work.

This illustrates my point that I made on my friend’s Facebook page on this article, ” Too many librarians believe just slapping a FB page up will automatically lead to engagement. Successful businesses have entire marketing departments who are trained from birth to engage the customer. We have no such departments.”  Obviously, if we think a picture of a librarian walking is engaging the fans.  Even if we are good at engaging people, or we all of a sudden find some social media marketing wunderkind willing to work on engagement, there is a good chance that people still might not be interested.

While people may chat with each other at the library, its Facebook page is not an online water cooler where users trade ideas, discussions, or simply ask questions.  “Gerolimos found that users were not interested in sharing personal data via the library Facebook pages.” 

In his article Gerolimos cites two papers stating users are more interested in personal communication and interaction rather than educational endeavors.

Pempek et al. (2009) identified the same mentality regarding its use in academia. They found that communicating with friends was the most popular reason to use Facebook and finding help with schoolwork was among the least. In addition, a survey conducted by Valenzuela et al. (2009) recorded that 51.5% of its users do not read or post on groups as part of their daily activities, and 64.3% rarely visit the profiles of groups they have joined. Selwyn (2009) found that only 4% of a total of 68,169 students’ personal wall postings he analyzed were related to education.”

Only 4% of students wrote posts related to education.  Well that doesn’t bode well for the library Facebook pages.  What is even more distressing for all who have Facebook pages is “78% of people who “like” brands on Facebook like fewer than 10 brands.” (SEO Inc.)  So, competition is a bit rough to be among the 10 liked pages, but it is even more difficult when you learn that some social media pundits believe that more than 80% of fans do NOT return to the fan pages once they have clicked “like.”  YIKES!  Most people are getting their news and interacting from their own newsfeeds. 

This brings up a whole other can of worms.  Facebook does interesting things with their news feeds.  With news feeds, timing is everything.  People in general don’t like to scroll, so you need to know when your users are most likely to login to their Facebook accounts to see your news feed.  Additionally, Facebook treats scheduled posts differently than ones that are unscheduled.  Facebook wants things to be timely, it considers scheduled posts from sites like HootSuite to be less timely therefore less relevant and your post then gets squooshed together with other items in the news feed. 

The good news is that you don’t have post something every freaking day on Facebook to get good engagement.  According to Sysmos, the average wall post (by administrators) is every 15.7 days, and for pages with more than a million fans one wall post is created every 16.1 days. 

 “Unlike on Twitter, where popularity is correlated with how many times you Tweet, Facebook fan pages tend to be updated only once every 16 days.  And that’s really the big difference between Facebook fans and Twitter followers. On Twitter, you follow someone because you want to hear what they have to say. On Facebook, you fan them just to show your support of affinity.” (TechCrunch)

Librarians have been traditionally talking about the fact they have a Facebook page and how many fans they have, as if by mere fact that somebody slapped up a page they are automatically engaging their users. But really is Facebook really where we should be if we are looking to engage our users?  Given the small number of fans, the poor response rate, and our inability to post something interesting or relevant to our users, perhaps there other things we need to consider focusing on.  We need to be in the business of engaging our users, not building a site where people just fan us to show their support.

What Is Important in Social Media?

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.

The End of Social Media 1.0?

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.
-Bliss Carman

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.

Doctor’s Going Digital

My husband fowarded me this interesting graphic.

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
The Doctor's Tech Toolbox  | Infographic |
Image Source: Spina Bifida


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.

More on G+

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.

Friday Fun: Facebook and Twitter IRL

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.

Scientists Don’t Use Social Media

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:

  1. Blurred boundaries between private and business life
  2. Loss of productivity
  3. 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.

Writing for the Social Network

A long time ago, in a galazy far, far away I graduated with a degree in English from Saint Louis University. My senior year I took a class on the history of the English language.  This class still stands out in my mind, for two reasons. The first reason was my floppy disk crashed and I lost the electronic version of my thesis for the class.  Thankfully, I printed an unedited version out prior to the disk going belly up.  It was several versions older but it saved me loads of time and stress than recreating the entire thing.  The second reason I remember the class so well was actual course content.  I can remember being completely interested in the evolution of the English language from Old, Middle, Modern English and how exploration, immigration, and population shifts have created completely different English languages. 

Yet just like the evolution of the English language, writing is evolving too.  David Lee King writes in his post, “Librarians were trained to Write the Wrong Way,” that he learned to write academic papers and other “highly useful stuff…like how to graph out a sentence to discover proper sentence structure.”  I learned the same things.  When I am with my friends and family, my diction, accent, word choice, etc. is different than when I am at work or speaking professionally.  Whether it is on paper as Scott describes, a computer, or a cell phone,  the medium by which we communicate dictates our writing style. 

We still must learn to write formal academic type of papers and articles with proper structure and citations.  But we also must learn how to write for other areas, such as the online world.  We used to call it writing for the web.  But now days there are different styles of writing for the web that are considered the gold standard for that medium.  What works on a web site, will not always work on a blog, Facebook, and Twitter. 

David calls it writing like he speaks.  He says conversational, social writing is the type of writing we want on the web, especially on blogs and social media spaces. Yet if you have been trained to write formally as David has, you may find it difficult to adjust your writing style based on the medium.  Even he says, “I work hard at writing like I speak.” 

I create websites (not as much as I used to) and writing for a regular website (not a blog or any socially type of site) has evolved with main pages having one or two word listings or clusters of words and pictures as the norm.  On internal pages where more information is shared sentences are short and to the point within one or two equally short paragaphs.   The wording, sentance structure, and lay out are different than what you would see in a blog.

In a blog, most people are coming to read and possibly share or discuss your thoughts.  Therefore the writing is longer than a traditional website and the style is almost as if you can hear the writer having a conversation with you.  The style is different but it is still professional. The Unofficial Apple Weblog, is a professional site  where writers converse (often passionately) with readers through the blog and comments.  Some of the posts are more straight forward while others use the speaking style

Facebook is the king of conversational writing. There is a word limit on posts.  So conversational writing on Facebook is not as long as a blog post, but it well exceeds the 140 character limit of Twitter.  Again even the most professional of sites adjust their writing styles for Facebook.  The Cleveland Clinic’s Facebook posts are written in a far different style than the pages on their website, press releases, and certainly articles authored by their physicians.  The Cleveland Clinic uses their Facebook page to reach out and engage the community in health and medicine and their Facebook writing style reflects that.

Where Facebook is the king of conversational writing, Twitter is the king of the one liners.  Writing for Twitter is vastly different than anything else (with the possible exception of texting).  Anybody who doesn’t think it is hard to squeeze interesting and valuable information into 140 characters or less, has not tweeted for long. It is hard and takes a lot of practice.  Not only is the character limit a requirement, there are definite social norms by which you converse.  Not adhering to these norms can cause your tweet to go on unnoticed (best case scenario) or get you in a whole lot of trouble. 

Good writing, either formal papers or online posts, takes practice.  Being observant, continually reading and writing,  helps develop and sharpen your skills, especially in the online world.  Writing is a living breathing communication method and it changes with time and technology.  I am sure in 1440 people discussed quality and style as the printing press changed the way things were written.

MLA 2011: Early Registration Deadline, Hilton Rooms, and Following Online

Don’t forget the deadline to take advantage of the Early Registration discount for the annual meeting ends after April 13th.  On April 14th the price goes up considerably, so take advantage of the opportunity and register now. 

If you have already registered and you are planning on attending you better get a room fast.  The Hilton is comepletely out of rooms, leaving the Hyatt as your hotel option

If you are going there a lot of online resources to help connect you with others:

Now if you are bit like me and look this list and think, wow those are a lot of places to find out about MLA. I don’t have time to look at every site.  Never Fear, use a feed reader (that is why I included the feeds for these sites) to group all of these things together.  That way you go to one place to see updates from all of these sites. 

I use Netvibes to gather feeds, take a look at my screenshot.  On the left hand side I created a tab for Annual Meeting Info, underneath are all of the feeds I subscribe to for the meeting.  In the main frame, all of the feeds are displayed for me to read.  Take a look at the icons underneath More than 2 days ago, you will notice they are different.  That shows you where the feed is coming from.  As you can see there are multiple icons meaning that my multiple feeds are all in the main frame available to read.  Easy peasy.

If I want to share my feeds I simply hover my mouse over thet title and a curved arrow, clock, and double arrow are displayed. (On the screenshot look at the Nicollet Mall article, listed third below More than 2 days ago.)  The curved arrow allows you to share that “article” via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.

So not only are you able to read about what is going on but you can participate and continue the discussion by commenting on events.

Hurry up register, get your hotel room, and set up your feeds.  If you can’t make to Minneapolis this year we will miss you.  I highly recommend you registering for the e-conference (only $100 if you register before May 16th) and follow events via the feeds.