Thursday, August 23, 2007

Clue me in

Last year, everyone in my household watched Feasting on Asphalt with Alton Brown on the Food Network. Although we learned about the show before it aired, we had not heard that he had been soliciting input from his viewers. Even though we watch his normal show, we had missed that. This year, we totally missed the first episode of Feasting on Asphalt 2 because nothing had popped up to tell us about it. Thankfully, two friends clued us in.

We live in a world now where we expect to be clued in about things that we want to know about. We can subscribe to feeds that will deliver the latest news to our email, cell phone, Twitter account, Internet start-page, or wherever. We can get updates delivered on specific TV shows or sporting events. Bands, comedians and other entertainers will even email us their schedules so we'll be sure to catch them if they come to the area.

When something doesn't clue us in (like Feasting on Asphalt) then we get miffed. If we only had known...!

How are you cluing in your users about the things that are occurring with your digitization program? Are you posting information on the web site or are you being more proactive, perhaps getting people to sign-up for email updates? Are you blogging or even micro-blogging about what going on? Or are you keeping your users in the dark? If you are treating your users like mushrooms (keeping them in the dark and feeding them manure), then don't be alarmed if they get a bit miffed when you surprise them with a change that they should have known about all along.

Go ahead...find ways to clue your users in. Informed users can lead to happy users...and happy users can be very supportive when we need them to be.

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