Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#JSC2013: Steven Bell - cutting through the noise: academic librarians need to capture [and be] the signal

When you communicate with your community members, you need to be authentic.  They need to be able to trust you and vice versa.

Signal-to-noise ratio - top level signal with minimal noise.  The vast amount of information that comes to us is mostly noise.  If there is so much noise, how can we get people's attention.

Make it a conversation & Make it about them - Steven talked about the two throughout his presentation.

"19 most annoying people on Facebook." - similar article at 

The role of a poet is to be the antennae of society.

Formal methods - 
- surveys - the problem  becomes survey fatigue.  At Temple, there is an office that approves all surveys and when they are done.
- focus groups - people may tell you what they think you wants hear
- advisory boards - Temple's library uses three advisory boards

Informal / nontraditional methods -
Carpet time - walking around and engaging in conversations
Observation - participating design studies.  CLIR has training on this.
Social media monitoring - respond so that your placing information out there too.  

Be aware of "social spankings" and how you respond.  Your response could come back to haunt you.
Also recognize when people are venting versus giving pointed feedback.

Be the beacon - create a strong signal
- know your community members
- deliver something unique
- give tips. Empower users.
- be a trusted advisor. It takes time and energy to become a trusted person.
- look for other signals

How do we actually make it a conversation?
- You need to be creative and look for opportunities that will get people engaged.  An interesting example is @charmin and #tweetfromtheseat
- Temple library has created a social media group (social media journalists) to create content.  To help, they have created social media guidelines for the social media journalists and training.  It is a strategic organized approach.

Why authenticity matters...we trust people who are in our communities. We serve by establishing trust with those around us.  We trust people with similar value systems.  You need to act in line with your beliefs.

Steven recommended the video from TED entitled "Start with why" .

Next steps:
- assess your antennae/ beacon status
- study how conversations are created
- consider a social media group
- focus on "them"
- talk about how the library can lead

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