What an overwhelming day! I was asked to be an official twitter moderator at the conference, so led on one of the sessions and acted as backup for another – and, inevitably, tweeted heavily throughout!
The conference lasts three days but I could unfortunately only make it to today because of work commitments. The full programme is here. I attended:
Morning Session: Google+
Speaker: Phil Bradley, Internet Consultant, UK
Speaker: Brit Stakston, Author and Social Media Strategist, JMW, Sweden
Afternoon Session: Social Media Strategies
Speaker: Imogen Levy, Online Editor, Westminster Abbey, UK
Speaker: Tony Lockett, Head of Web Communication, DG for Regional Policy, European Commission, Belgium
- We need to go to where our users/audience want to be and take our content to them (and it’s not that much of an effort to do so using a few different platforms);
- We need to be brave and take risks with social media and communicating with our users online;
- It can be very worthwhile to set something up and then ask for permission and forgiveness later! (Heck, if Westminster Abbey and the EU are going to take this kind of risk, then surely libraries can too);
- It might be worth spending less time being concerned about a ‘brand image’ and more worthwhile focus limited energy and resources on being useful for our users;
- Social media is a legitimate and effective method of communicating with users and getting them engaged in learning/discussion/debate/collaboration
- We need to make sure that our social media presences are interactive – more than just something used to pump out information and updates
- It’s a good thing for social media accounts to have personality and be fun;
- This of course needs to be balanced with whatever requirements are placed on the organisation;
- Responsive Design is the way to go to save a bunch of time and effort rewriting code for different devices;
- If you’re doing something new and exciting, be prepared for regular tweaks;
- If you’re doing something new and exciting, don’t muck it up too badly when you launch because you risk losing users;
- Librarians/Information Professionals have the opportunity to position ourselves as experts in the field of information retrieval, fact-checking and democratisation of information. We need to make ourselves useful, sell ourselves and gain recognition for this.
And the final thing to take home from the day was the reaffirmation that librarians are awesome, knowledgeable and keen to learn how they can improve their services. I have the pleasure of working with some particularly fantastic ones – huge congratulations to my Voices colleague Ian Anstice for winning the IWR Information Professional of the Year Award for his work on Public Libraries News. It’s great to see people who work so hard to protect library services being recognised for the work they do, and Ian certainly puts in the hours!