Posts tagged ‘online communities’

What I Learned One Weekend — thanks to Twitter!


More and more often it seems that Twitter is becoming my de facto “source of all good bits“. Having all but abandoned my bloated RSS reader a few months ago, I find now that Twitter is filling that desire to keep up with what is going on in the world of libraries, technology and beyond.

I know that many still question the validity of Twitter and others have written it off as simply a place where people share what they had for breakfast. I, however, find it a place where I can get quick links to topics that interest me and keep me current. More than 90% of those I follow are librarians or techies and I purposely keep my following list to a limited number so that noise ratio is never too high for a quick scan to cherry pick the good stuff from the stream. When I have time, I join in on the conversation and that is fulfilling too.

This past weekend I spent quite a bit of time inside due taking care of a sick child. I decided to do a little experiment and make a list of all the really cool and/or educational bits that I encountered over the weekend from Twitter.

Here is a baker’s dozen list of the top links from Saturday and Sunday — provided with minimal commentary, in no particular order:

How I Find the Very Best of the Web : Very useful tips for keeping current, several of which I plan to put in to practice!

Twitter for Libraries
: As someone who has given similar workshops and who also maintains the Twitter account for MPOW, I found this list to extremely valuable.

Why Teresa is so proud to be a Romance Writer
: I am not a genre reader in general and romance fiction is not something that I have ever read at all. This thoughtful article brough a tear to my eye and made me appreciate the value of this often maligned genre. In fact, I think I might try reading a romance or two thanks to this article.

Who is Copying and Pasting Your CC Content? Discover More with Tynt’s Tracer Tool
: The title says it all in this case.

Getting Boys to Read
: I actually read about a dozen articles from this site over the weekend. This is a topic near and dear to my heart as my 5 year old son begins his reading journey. So far he is loving reading and doing well, I just want to make sure we stay on track and the articles on site will do just that.

Teen Podcast: Episode 7
: I am loving the new video format of these podcasts from Justin the Librarian at Cape May County Library. The three questions format works well too and the 5 minute length is perfect. Well done!

Want! The Orb, a bluetooth headset that turns into a ring
: I love gadgets and jewelry. Nuff said.

The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years: Interesting reading for the gadget lover — and brought back lots of nostaglic memories of gadgets gone by.

Talking Points on Library Use
: This was not something new to me having used it in the past, but it did remind of several good statistics that can be used when talking about the importance of public libraries (especially crucial at this juncture for many libraries and many states).

100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About
: The world of technology continues to change at a rapid pace and this article from Wired drives that point home. I really do believe that it will not be long until most children will not even know how to use a road map or atlas and/or use a print encyclopedia given the current usage that these two items get in our reference collection.

Giving up my iPod for a Walkman : A teen boy experiments with using a first generation Walkman. I had a device just like the one he is pictured carrying (which means I am revealing just how old I really am…yikes).

Screenjelly : I have experimented with ScreenToaster as a free online service for screencasting, now it looks like the toast will be getting competition from some jelly. I plan to test this out soon.

Amazon, Zappos and Libraries
: In this brief blog post the point is eloquently made that for libraries … ” the future isn’t in content, really…it’s in service.” I could not agree more.

Basically, this is just a random sampling of what types of things I discover and learn on Twitter on any given day. I would love it if others shared a “good bit” or even two that they discovered recently thanks to Twitter (or FriendFeed or Facebook or any other social networking site).

I would like to thank those that I follow for providing me with such good links and food for thought on a daily basis. My learning is enriched every day by my “tweeps” — feel free to give a shout-out in the comments and lay claim to the link from your orginal tweet if I posted it above.

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July 29, 2009 at 11:11 am 4 comments

Blogs that Attract Comments: Are You in the Active ‘1%’ ? Do You Want to Be?

The 1:9:90 rule:
“In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.”
—Jakob Nielsen, web usability guru and principal, Nielsen Norman Group

What does this mean for you? It means that most of your audience is reading, not commenting—and that’s normal. Many of those readers think about commenting, but something stops them. Help them conquer that fear. Strive to write content that is more than just relevant. Dare to be unique, to stir the pot sometimes, to write in a way that resonates.

The information above is only a very small part taken from a very engaging and interesting, and I think, on-target article by Lindy Dreyer and Madie Grant, entitled “Why Doesn’t Anyone Comment on Your Blog?” in the Associations Now Sept. 2008 publication. Many tips on writing style and basic content for blogs, all encouraging blog comments, are provided, with information on the types of blog posts and styles of blogs adapted from an excellent SlideShare presentation from Rohit Bhargava and Jesse Thomas also worth viewing: “25 Basic Styles of Blogging: And When to Use Each One.” Apparently, Bhargava put this up on SlideShare some time ago, since it has “55810 views 35 comments 606 favorites 334 embeds,” but I found it very pertinent still.

Back to the Association Now article–the authors provide 5 strategies to draw in blog readers and commenters, and various tips for what to do and what not to do to keep them coming back, including possibly changing “subscribe” with “get updates” and “trackback” with “blogs that link to this post,” among others.

Whether you are new to blogging or not, do take the time to read this article and its recommended links, not to mention the article’s comments and the bibliography provided at the SocialFish post (along with the SlideShare presentation mentioned above, found again at the bottom of the bibliography).

Although written to and for associations and organizations to help get the conversations going on their blogs, the advice and tips provided here are extremely pertinent for individuals as well. I am always attempting to give practical advice on blogging, but this is one of the best articles on attracting readers and commenters that I have read this year. I especially liked their detailed information about the five qualities common to many blogs with a vocal audience (i.e., strategies). I hope you enjoy learning from this, as well, and that you share it with other bloggers.

-Robert Lackie

Technorati Tags: blogging tips, blog comments, online communities, social media, Library Garden

September 16, 2008 at 9:09 am 16 comments


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