Archives for posts with tag: twitter

So, you and your library are not on Twitter. Big deal, right? Professional sporting events, political debates, award shows and cable news are pre-hashtagged, but what does it mean for you? If you’re feeling left out, and want to get into Twitter, I’m going to propose a two and half pronged attack:

The Institutional Account

The odds that you’re already producing the stuff you need to populate an institutional Twitter account are high: new LibGuides, new acquisitions, changes to your regular hours, programs, Ask A Lib services, etc. Twitter is just a free way to publicize what you already do. Before you sign up, consider:

  • Setting some policies about who will tweet, how often, and in what style to give your account consistency, and legitimacy
  • Setting a few more policies about how and when to respond to retweets, favorites, and mentions, favorable and unfavorable
  • How to incorporate your Twitter background page, icon and shortened links into the greater branding of your institution (if you’re not a stand alone kind of place, i.e. law schools that are part of larger universities)
  • Will this be fun for you? If no one on staff is going to enjoy tweeting, the product won’t show your best side. Twitter is a great way to humanize an institution, show that it’s made of individual voices that make one–but if you’re not feeling it, your Twitter voice will show it.

The Personal Professional Account

Networking, attending conferences, attending conferences that you’re not even in the same time zone as: let Twitter solve it for you! If you’ve ever felt like you’re missing out on what’s going on in the library world, or like your professional development budget is $5, Twitter can be a great way to get out there, without getting out there. In my own life, I call it “using the Internet to trick people into thinking I’m important.” And I have to say, reader, you’re here, aren’t you? For your personal professional account:

  • Consider making the icon an actual picture of you, or at least cartoon you. This is your brand!
  • Keep your tweets related to your professional life. This is your chance to promote your work, your institution, your ideas, but not your cat, or your dinner, or your shoes. Ok, a little bit of that from time to time is nice to show you’re not a library robot, but keep it pro.
  • Use your personal professional account to follow the hashtags of conferences you’re not at (because who can afford them all), but also conferences you are at. It makes the entire experience richer.
  • A little shameless self promotion won’t hurt you. Did you write a new Lib Guide for your library? Get it out there! It’s good for you, it’s good for your institution, and it’s good for someone who maybe wouldn’t have found the information without Twitter.
  • Above all, don’t make your Twitter feed a moment by moment account of your day, because it’s boring. Take this advice from Garance and ask yourself whether your tweet is relevant before you post it.

The Solely Personal Account

It can be a little fragmenting, I suppose, but so many things in life are more fun with Twitter. Find your friends at baseball games, follow food trucks, rave (or rant with caution) about new restaurants, share pictures of your animals. Don’t forget:

  • Be careful about turning locations on–I hear there are bad people on the interwebz.
  • If you’re taking a picture of, say, a playbook in your lap, be sure you’re wearing pants (I’m looking at you Chris Cooley, former Redskin).
  • Don’t forget your #natitude

#natitude by Meg & the rest of Natstown

If you’ve skimmed all this and still don’t think Twitter is for you, don’t forget that you can read people’s open pages without actually joining. Let’s do this again for Facebook a little later on!


“Where have you been” is one of those loaded questions that can mean, “Where have you been, I have been waiting for you for hours,” or “Where have you been all my life?” The reasons you aren’t there can be just as varied. This week, we’re going to talk about getting back into the swing of things, professionally, when you’ve been out of the loop. We’ll talk about getting involved in social media, getting involved in a professional association, starting a new program at your library, and we might even discuss my two week hiatus from Lulu.

A sullen faced, “Where have you been, I’M STARVING” Neko, by Meg

I’m getting more involved with my workplace’s social media presence (Twitter, Facebook and one potential video–if videos can be social?), and I must say that I’m distressed.

Basically, you would not believe what people are willing to say to a government entity in a public forum.

obvi the greatest new yorker cartoon of the internet age, all credit due

I suspect the following is going to sound a little “hey kid get off my lawn,” but I don’t care. Please, enjoy this short guide to interacting with your government in such a way that won’t get you on a watch list, or make social media unpleasant for those around you, you know, socializing.

  1. The only people who can represent your feelings to government are your elected representatives. You can look them up here. You should not expect a profanity laden @ message on Twitter to some unrelated agency to make it to the halls of power.
  2. However, we unrelated agencies are still part of the government. Are you very very very angry with government, and hoping to kick the bums out with a profanity laden @ message on Twitter? Guess what? We totally own this public Twitter page, and now all of your very very very angry friends will be able to see that YOU interacted with the GOVERNMENT. For shame.
  3. Were you hoping to sway us towards your political persuasion? Pro tip: THOMAS isn’t a real person. Well, not anymore.
  4. Are you offering to cook an elaborate gourmet lunch for THOMAS, and then whisk him away to Paris on an evening flight? THOMAS is very real. In fact, I am THOMAS, and I have my passport ready. On y va!
  5. Most of all, social media is supposed to be conversational without turning into a conversation. Be respectful of the forum. If you have a lot to say, send an email, Ask A Lib, write a letter. If it’s super personal, same. 140 characters can do a lot, but they can’t do it all–don’t force it.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency does a much better job of this than I do. Check out their Get to Know an Internet Commenter column by Kevin Collier for more of what I mean. If you’re really brave, read the comments section of a national political story at the Washington Post. If you’re suicidal, try one on the Redskins, or parenting.

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