Wednesday, April 13, 2011
2. Identify methods of moderating online communities
3. Determine best practices for building online community
4. Identify the challenges involved in building an online community.
5. Identify technologies that can be used for building online communities
6. Know what to consider before choosing a specific technology for your community
Right off the bat, I love Webjunction. It fits my interests and needs from the library. It is an easy to manage online community. The discussions are well categorized and useful. I'm promoting a wiki at my library for library assistants and I'd rather have one that looked like this. I've been looking at the amount of time needed to make an online community and it's way beyond my time load but gosh, if we could do it, this would be the one.
As for the wishes, if I could do something this big, I'd first ask myself the excellent questions from the Online Community Builder's Checklist about how and why I want an online community and how it should be managed. I'd use something like Drupal to design the program. It seemed to have an easy to use platform - I suppose I should say relatively easy to use platform considering I have no idea how to put it together.
I don't think of myself as an especially patient person, so I'm not sure I'd have the patience to grow a community, which is why I'd start a community within my 300 or so library staff - sort of a captive audience. I think it might still be difficult to start, so I'd have a few friends help to seed the discussions, giving people a chance to see what interactions look like. While anonymity may cause issues in other communities I don't think that it would be a problem in such a closed group. I would encourage moderators as I think they could be of real service in keeping questions clear and focused. I'd also work on encouraging people new to the practice to give them a feeling of closeness. There are introverts and extroverts in online communities and given that I'm an introvert I can appreciate the need to lurk for a while before jumping into conversations. I'm probably over enthusiastic in my belief that the community would grow itself because of all of the exciting information they could share. It could be that we would share all that there was to share and once done, we wouldn't have anything else to say. Or it could be that we would keep sharing because learning and sharing library lore is exciting and fun to do.
This mind you is only a wish list. I'm still overwhelmed at the amount of work it would take to put it together. But imagine the possibilities!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The body of writing presented this week was about the two and the influence on information systems. Both styles had their detractors and admirers but both had a conclusion that seemed to democratize information systems. In using these systems we change our way of accessing information, not exactly dumping taxonomies, but adding to them folksonomies. We take a basic system of information and open it up to the public, inviting them, through one method or the other to take a shot at some area of classification - dreaming up new ideas to fit into a structured system, adding new words to classify art. The ethos of classification remains inherent in the structure but we're no longer working exactly from the top down.
Within the wisdom of crowds, there is still very much a hierachical system. Some small group stores all of the information individuals send in and calibrates it in order to come up with new information. People don't get to talk to each other because they might influence each other. With the collective intelligence of crowds, people do talk to each other, at least in a controlled way. I like to think of it as a graduate group writing a paper. Ideas are introduced and commented on and built on.
Which brings me to Franklin and Eleanor. Now this will be a stretch but I really liked the book. In terms of a taxonomy, they were it. They knew what the country needed from the raw data and they created and sold the programs downwards. Now democratically there may have been more crowd wisdom in terms of the collection of data- people did send their representatives to Washington and their representatives did represent their needs. And in terms of the collected intelligence of crowds, there was discussion of the information and it was changed accordingly although not necessarily in reasoned response. Of course about here is where I need to end the political comparison I'm wandering in deeper and deeper muck about what I don't know. But the ideas of democratizing classification has all sorts of fascinating nooks and crannies to it. Does classifiying information i.e. tagging according to popular wisdom create a loss of possibly unique information? I was concerned when reading of the professor's grad students tagging works for studies. Would students be encouraged to pursue esoteric writing for their writings when they could go for the simple easy, well recommended works? Why change controlled vocabularies when they have worked so well? Steve.museum is doing some interesting things with combining controlled vocabularies and folksonomies, is it a good idea to follow them?
I want to follow these questions later in another blog but in the meantime, I really want to finish this book.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I had a lot of difficulty looking for things with Delicious for sometime and as a result, didn't want to use it. But the experience of looking for Elizabeth Taylor made me realize that it was more motivation than lack of knowledge keeping me from utilizing Delicious software. While I had been tagging articles through the semester, I had no real sense of how to make the function mine. Once I started working in the software, chasing curious bits of information, I was able to start making connections to the controls.
Just some notes from what I learned:
Of the three items I chose for assignment five, the one most often picked was the social bookmarking definition from wikipedia. I'm a bit embarrassed to mention it as my choice but it is a good all around description of social bookmarking and 1406 taggers agreed with me. What was interesting was that other than wikipedia, the tags used weren't the tags I used. They make sense in the context but I wouldn't have thought to choose them from the article.Social bookmarking had 512 tags. Bookmarking had 402 tags and social had 349 tags. I would normally add the three together because of the similarity in tags but I wasn't sure of the taxonomy issues there. Granted this is folksonomy but did social cover social bookmarking? Would socialbookmarking cover marking?
For the last segment of tags,I liked the animated piece that someone from the class choose on You Tube and chose it for my own, "The surprising truth about what motivates us", an animated video that speaks to motivation in learning and making new technologies in the workplace. I got excited about finding more items like that in a search, but the tags led me nowhere. I think this would be a good example of learning to use several programs together as You Tube generally tags videos.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In a curious twist to the question this week "Describe the impact you think organizational culture has on knowledge-sharing." I wonder the opposite, what influence does knowledge sharing have on organization culture?
Organizational culture can allow blogs, tags, integrated social platforms, shared video to abound. Organizations sharing knowledge, supporting staff training and creativity, and allowing presence beyond the office, help to create tech savvy employees according to Mackay in "Invest in Collaborative Tools, Get More than Double Return, Study Says." So organizational culture needs to be a nurturing environment for social media.
Social media is itself a communication environment. It creates connection,it is communication with other people, and communication thrives in an open structured environment. So in this environment, skills with social media would grow, right? My thought is that there is a chance of getting overwhelmed with all the good stuff. This class is a good example. I love social media. Truly love it. I've had fun this week trying out new toys. Fully half of them will remain on my browser, free license expired but I know I'll keep a bunch of them. I'll keep Skype to see friends far away. I'm trying to develop a wiki project at work for the organization. I've fallen in love with Google Wave. And I'm still working on Meebo. However I figured out that I'm learning something like thirteen new applications a week, which works out to nearly two a day. My learning curve is a sharp line upwards, not so much in learning new works, but in applying them to my daily bread, my library work. (And for that matter, some of my schoolwork.) I wouldn't stop it for the world, like I said it's a lot of fun, but if learning the tools come at a quick rate in an already fast environment, it might make it difficult to integrate. Then we have staff overload, ideas spinning out of control or abandoned, and poor staff morale. So the trick is to decide how and when to introduce all of these new toys, finding the right venue for them, and giving a lot of extra time to play.
Take the wiki for an example. Suarez, author of the article "When wikis won't work, ten questions to ask before full adoption" enumerates the five first questions that must be addressed before even attempting a wiki:
1.Is a wiki the best technology for what I am seeking to accomplish?
2. Is my community cohesive and focused enough to be able to work together?
3. Am I asking my community to create a universal truth based on tangible facts?
4. Is my community going to be able to agree on these facts?
5. Is my community both knowledgeable and interested about the subject of the wiki?
The next five questions deal with the structure of the organization and how they might be impacted by the wiki:
1. Does my team / community have got the necessary resources to support and facilitate the participation on the wiki?
2. Is the team / community capable of maintaining the wiki with a robust enough infrastructure?
3. Do team / community members trust each other good enough to be able to update content on top of each other's content without risking the quality of the knowledge shared?
4. Will the team / community provide the necessary education and training materials on how to effectively make use of the wiki for that specific purpose?
5. And, finally, the killer question: can the team / community perform that task at hand with the same quality and participation using other tools than a wiki? If so, why don't you would use whichever of those tools? (Suarez, 2007)
Social media in it's ever evolving state is here to stay and what will be fun is seeing how organizational culture and social media intertwine in their symbiotic way. Will it cause organizations to loosen tightly organized structure or the opposite, create a loose dissonant mess of functioning culture?
Mackie, S. (2009). "Invest in Collaborative Tools, Get More than Double Return, Study Says."
Suarez, L. (2007). “When Wikis Won't Work: 10 questions to ask before full adoption.”
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Why? It has a clear purpose: to transmit interesting information to help with research. It's informal in manner but brings in solid information and good links. It is appealing and easy to interact with. All that being said, it's no longer updated. So possibly it doesn't win for longevity. But for spirit, it is WIKI ish!
Now for wikis that still exist, we can go to: Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki. It has instructions for use, a description of wikis in general and a concise description of best practices in libraries. You have a clear outline and outcome expected, you're invited to join in, and consensus rather than dissention is encouraged. There is an enormous list of areas to post in and they are all well defined and they support success in library endeavors. By wiki standards according to Maishi Nachani in "Planning and sustaining wiki based collaboration based projects", it is a true success. Granted Nachani was talking about internal wikis, but the Best Practices Wiki is a sort of a self sustaining wiki in that it makes all library folk a part of the community.It asks and answers the questions posed by Nachani:
What is the need for the project?
What will the wiki address?
Will everyone be able to use the wiki?
Who are the members?
Will they require training?
What's the budget?
With each entry, a decision can be made to develop the subject.
Granted it is a bit of a geeky information wiki. And granted it looks at times like a group of tags a la delicious. But the job of this wiki is to continue to produce best practices information and that it does brilliantly.
Friday, March 11, 2011
The library I chose, Sacramento Public Library has been battling these images for some time. The library is well known in the county, with 28 branches and new branches opening or being revamped frequently. It has been a part of Sacramento for 154 years, even gathering funds for a new building in 1911. In addition I chose the Sacramento library because it is in my hometown, I’m familiar with it and have been influenced by its many iterations.
The problems facing the library in terms of public relations are that the library is not well known to people other than patrons. There are several reasons for this that I will address through the blog. The starting problem, oddly enough is that the buildings for the library, often beautifully designed are placed to blend in the local ambiance. There are signs of course but even they blend into the surroundings. The library has a wonderful logo, designed about a year ago which they also use on their website. Eye catching and interesting, the logo is kept on cards, on the bookmobile and book trucks so that they are a visible presence. However that kind of good public relations would be helpful in identifying the individual libraries as well.
The library has been developing a brand online with a presence on Facebook, twitter, and a blog although the blog was discontinued last year. However unless you knew what you’re looking for you won’t find it. I used several tools looking for the Sacramento library. Social mention and blogsearch took me to delicious.om where a search for Sacramento public library shows Sacramento public libraries bookmarks. Sever articles were there about the libraries service and they were easy to use and interesting. I went to Twitter as well and looked for Sacramento public library and variations on the theme. I mention that because with saclibr I was frequently sent to a San Antoine library of the same name. Blogpulse offered me a couple of tidbits on the library, although I generally got more information on the county than the public library. I also did a you tube search for Sacramento public library which gave me the greatest success in hits. I was able to find more about the library and their presence in other social media and some entertaining videos as well. The shaky egg song was a particular favorite.
The library has been making inroads in social media. They did have a blog, see splcen.blogspot.com although they have since closed it and moved to twitter and Facebook. The blog was entertaining although a bit dreary in color and the format wasn’t enticing. The blog was in Spanish and English which. The content however was good. Several authors wrote the site and led into different books or collections. My favorite was a mild mannered rant against the practice of spending huge amounts of money on funerals. It was entertaining, listing all sorts of things to do instead of funerals and included a video from Michael Jackson’s funeral, complete with Jenifer Hudson singing. It was a great lead in to books about funerals. There were only fourteen followers for the site although almost five hundred posts. I was sorry to see it discontinued, as it was readable and interesting although it was probably wise of the library to go to twitter and Facebook. I think I’d make a suggestion here that the blog be related to twitter and Facebook in order to gain a more rounded option.
The twitter account http://twitter.com/saclib_Central was active with 357 followers and over a thousand tweets. It looked like the library was responding to questions immediately. Must add here that the library addresses mostly the Central library population and there are 27 other branches, some with social media accounts. However the Central library is the most populated. It has become what twitter is, a question and answer service. The library also has a Facebook presence http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/saclibra which is another source of information. The site doesn’t look particularly well used and could have gained by having the relationship to the blog. There was a connection to Flicker though, which provided photos of Sacramento’s past.
The library has a number of items to offer its members. There is fregal, a service that downloads music for free. There are also free downloadable eBooks and audio books and videos. In a smart marketing move, many of the libraries have invited Barnes and Noble to go on site to demonstrate downloading free eBooks to their popular nooks. The library also has a very attractive phone app which connects users to the library and individual accounts, you tube videos, links to Facebook and twitter, book and media searching, a library locater, lists of new items and library events and a very cool text a librarian feature. In the mail library there is what is known as a premiere entertainment spot in Sacramento, The Tuskopolas Galleria. The galleria was recently chosen as the top pick for wedding venues locally. The library also has the Sacramento Room, which is a deposit for historical documents and ephemera of Sacramento. It is connected to The Sacramento State library and shares an online presence for historical photos but I have yet to see a link from the library other than on it’s website.
So essentially what would I do as an informal social media consultant? I’d encourage the library to go in the direction it is going with social media. They have a presence on Facebook, Flicker, and Twitter. I’d return the blog and keep a connection there as the blog draws in a slightly different audience. I would keep contact with newspapers and magazine, as the library has in order to publish articles about library events. I would also find a way to make the library physically well known too.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Librarians among other librarians can have this very cool look. They’re funny, insidious, interesting and just very very cool. We don’t know it yet, but there you are – look at the myspace example Birmingham Public Libraries, or Ann Arbor District Library and you’ll find cool all over the place. And check out blogs or tweets by The Librarian in Black , Ann Arbor District Library AXIS Blog, the shiftedlibrarian.com, and information wants to be free @ meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/. If we build our presence online it shows how cool, sexy, funny we can be and it’s real attractive. The problem is no one else will come. Let’s face it, no one cares. We have our image as the place to get books and look for information, but no one seems to get that we are these cool information professionals in this cool professional place. Oh granted there will be a few, hooked in by catalogs (which are I must say generally boring. Come on, you know it. A great web page stands out for one reason: it shines against the dullness of the background.) Now I don’t blame the us for that. Show me a brick building with a few thousand books and I’ll wax nostalgic with the best of them. But we’re trading on nostalgia here and that’s not always a good thing..
So how would we mix our two images? There is that brick building and then there are those ultra cool things that we can do: information games, twittering up hot meetings, dragging apart books with the public, providing free access to music and books and even cooler, arguing fiercely about our rights to privacy in this homeland world. Which is funny in sort of a disparate way.
So yes we need to build our image on facebook. But we need to find a way to make the mountain come to Mohamed. We can certainly start with the inhouse fans, although in my public branch, a great many of them are afraid of the new, techy, and quirky. But if we got this image thing going, maybe we’d get them to see that they’d be at the forefront of the new movement – you know, the I was doing the library thing before it became cool. Granted there are cool things to be other than cool.Did I really just say that? Well there are. But we need to build our online presence and the first thing we need to show is our ultra cool presence and then send out cookie crumbs to bring in the cookies. More on this later. I have to go bake some cookies...
In the meantime
Monday, February 28, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I'm learning the RSS system. I get the idea but I sort of think I've had it without knowing it. I've gotten daily emails for years from word a day writer Anu Garg which is either a daily post or an RSS feed of Anu only.
And I've got to say, I love the idea of RSS feeds. I've been encouraged by various sites to use them for years now and am excited about finally learning them. However this is a cautionary blog tale I'm telling.
The sad story that connects this weeks subject and my post together:
It all started with the computer. I got a new one late last year. Wait, this is a good story: My old computer broke down. The.Day.After.The.Semester.Ended. I had a feeling that the gods who tell people stuff were telling me to start changing soon because as a part of my organizational disability, I never saved anything. I just let it sit there on my computer waiting for computer death.
I like organization, something that anyone who knows me will never believe as I throw massive amounts of papers and books around because I can't figure out how to organize them. I have had, to my count three daily planners, not because my life is that busy, but because I get confused on how to transfer things. So I'm in this fascinating new world of blogs, RSS feeds and tweets and guess who has no idea where to put them or what they should look like? Yep, that's the girl - sitting on the couch, holding her notebook computer, looking bewildered. I really really like this stuff but I don't know how to control my control of it.
I swore I would change. I would become all knowing, I would save everything and it would be organized. I got a calendar on my computer and connected it to Goggle calendar and put every little assignment in for two classes. I was proud. Also happy because I figured out that I could move the little items around on the calendar so that what I needed to do on Tuesday I could now do on Wednesday.
I made notes and wrote things down and developed a google reader of my own. And that's when the world started crashing down. I love reading the blogs on Google reader but I now have 19 of them. The site looks messy, slightly confusing, slightly overwhelming and oddly shifting to the left of the page. I found out that I might be tagging or bookmarking what I'm supposed to bookmark or tag on delicious so I need to go back and wade through it. And now RSS feeds. They are wonderful. I love the thought of someone else looking for what I might want to see. The problem is, yet again, we're getting very messy. I've looked at Topikality which beats the pants of of GoogleAlerts in neatness and advanced searching, so I'm feeling soothed by a site that looks organized. But how to make all of this into a page that I want to read?
I believe, honestly that there is a way to move all of this onto one page, neat, nice and organized. However what I've learned so far this week is that I don't know how to do it.
Monday, February 14, 2011
I’ve realized that I’m beginning to define blogs by my choices. The differences run to the extreme in the five blogs we chose for the aggregators.
1. In the Library With the Lead Pipe
This is a well written post regarding the issues facing part time librarians as and potential part time librarians (read new librarians).. I like the blogs but they do seem like medium length nicely researched articles rather than blogs . The very nice thing about them is that they allow immediate feedback which works as a sort of an editorial process. I read a couple of other posts and came back with the same opinion. While the topics are interesting, this feels more like a process of an online magazine.
2. Librarian's Commute
The blog is likable right away because of his writing which is interesting and his posts which are short. He tells stories and talks about solid subjects. This is an easy sort of blog to read. It’s like the previous blog in that it uses a literary focus to talk about the world.
3. The Distant Librarian
PLAYTIME!!! I looked at more that half of the gadgets he talked about and wanted to play with most of the others. These posts are interesting in themselves, short, quick, funny and they suggest something fun to do. This may have nothing to do with thinking about the world but boy is it fun!
4. Librarian by Day This blog seemed disjointed; while there was a lot of good information I had trouble following it. I didn’t like the twitter effect that started a thought out of nowhere. It wasn’t fun and while there were interesting ideas in there, they weren’t easy to follow. The blog style seems to bridge a generation gap from writing about the world to twittering in it.
5. David Lee King I seriously had no idea there was such a thing as a promoter for libraries. He has a lot of enthusiasm and great ideas for presentations. I kept reading some of the posts because they were fun - especially about the videos. . It’s like the distant librarian in that it comes up with new playful things to do.. And it’s an enchanting idea for a libraryblog-ways to mesmerize the public .
I was thinking about which of the five I would keep in the reader after the class finished. I would keep David Lee King to learn how to do the next do dad in promotional gadgetry. I’d probably want to keep an eye out for the distant librarian just to see the next interesting gadgets. I like the leisurely pace of in the library with a lead pipe and librarians commute. There is a readability built into them that resonates with my generations years of newspaper articles. At the same time I love the immediacy of blogs such as the Librarian in Black and Tame the Web Office.
And on to other blogs:
AIDS Librarian: This is a beautifully organized blog. The blog looks a great deal like a web site and it’s updated on a regular basis with commentary provided by the organization. I particularly like the range of books and stories the site shares.
Eleventh Stack: This is just a great read of a blog. It’s a list of good reads, gentle commentaries about life. Written by a group of employees from the Carnegie Library of Pittsberg, the blog is a frequently updated ode to good writing.
The Librarian In Black She’s someone one I might want to read every day. She’s interesting. She’s sort of subversive in a field that isn't seen as subversive even though we so often are. She reads and talks about library life and and life as a librarian. Her posts are not too long. There are better writers but she is a library writer and I like that. Can I tell from these what makes a successful blog? Or at least a well read one?
What I see through the successful blogs are orginal, resourceful writing. Clear interesting ideas that drive the blog help to activate the readers interest. I think that’s another thing as well. A blog should have an involvement with the reader to be successful. That may be why some of the blogs I looked at didn’t resonate. They had content, they were current, but there was no connection. Finally design counts. If a blog is difficult to read and no one has to read it, they won’t.
Friday, February 11, 2011
This is as close as I can get to my imaginary mentor, one of the bloggers in class who talked about being volunteered for the the library twittering process because, well, he was there and how it ended up ending. That's as far as I'll go with that, read his blog for more - funny and interesting at http://dangeralphie.tumblr.com/.
Now where was I? Oh yes. We meaning me and my library which for purposes of this blog will be unnamed got very excited about putting together a wiki. It was to be our VERY OWN WIKI and we had all sorts of ideas and rules for it. We were thrilled. We all learned how to post to it, we all learned how to ask to post to it - in those early days back in 2006 or so, we knew so little... any way, you get the gist. So the wiki got four posts, three reads and that was it. I still have a connection to it and I still feel so sorry for it and until today I could not figure out why it didn't work. The reason? The story? There was none. No, really, that was the problem. We were all very excited about having this new technology but didn't know what to use it for. We needed to say something! Library Revolution
293 views Original Link: http://www.mpdailyfix.com/2007/09/storytelling_the_key_to_making.html
So, make a blog, make a wiki but make it talk about something and keep it in line with what its purpose is. Don't let the little sucker get away from you.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Blogs are the perfect way to communicate in the world. They're bigger than facebook, more intrepid than email, and meant to be focused on specific arguments. Oh they feel so right! In the conversational world, they're the part of the conversation that is not at a cocktail party. This discussion is over coffee after a quiet dinner or at a coffee bar with a couple of acquaintances on a Sunday morning. Or hey, here, one the boards- musing together and working out issues or a thought to its logical end.
How do I think blogging will contribute to my learning in this class? How can it not? Blogs are like forums only more easy going. Blogs are where you develop a voice - it's bigger than the forum where you need to state things academically, smaller than a paper where you have to use so many words in exactly so much space and just right for taking that thought to it's next connected step.
My library director has a great blog. She's a pragmatic kind of writer, gets to the point, gets things done, and gets out of there. I like her blogs. There's another blogger in the system who works with all of the gadgets and she's a good blogger too - interesting and connected to the world. That's another good blogging habit I like - connecting others to interesting blogs. Some of my favorite bloggers so far though are in the class. They are people just like me, commenting on their lives and experiences in library school and libraries - putting theory to action so to speak. And their voices are interesting. There are no people there to get in the way of the message - it's just message, curious, thoughtful, funny, sturdy and interesting. I can hardly wait to learn more.
I've got all of the recommended bloggers set up on my google reader and I'll spend the week reading them.
Be honest, can you imagine a week getting to do exactly what you want to do? And getting credit for it?
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
1. What are your thoughts on personal branding as someone who may soon be looking for a professional position in libraries? (Tags = blogpostwk2, blogp
I’m sitting here in my overly warm house with a cold and meditating on what it would be like to pursue a job in the virtual world with only my reputation to precede me. And not really my reputation, but one I’ve made up by signing up for groups and blogs and twitters that have to do with issues connected to the places I want to work for. So what I'd really be doing is creating a person, based of course on some realities, but maybe many more activities than I have. Sorry, cough medicine causes alliteration. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t connect to these places anyway but I’m an introvert. I like being part of the faceless crowd. In fact the minute I visualize myself at an interview, I view that horrible moment when I notice I’ve got a spot or a stain or a green thing on my tooth and everybody in the room is aware of it… Whoa, went off into a nightmare there. For more on this see a video referred by a teacher last semester where the interviewee has a large greasy spot on his shirt.
Where was I? Oh yes, destroying my chances for a job.
I’ve worked in several fields as a certified introvert and had few if any noticeable problems. I’ve always been considered a team player, worked hard, seldom complained, and when I was frustrated with a job, quit and found work somewhere else. And these were not simple jobs – I worked as a counselor for years and in the library for the last four years as well as a painter. So when it comes to polishing up a resume, I do have job skills and a few connections I’ve made from groups that I joined under the cover of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
I believe in personal branding. I just wouldn’t think of it in many of the jobs prior to this degree because I don't believe anyone would look me up. But in a business that works in the world of information, that stuff is important. It’s important to make a personal statement much as it is to wear a blouse without stains. Only I have a natural, obstinate need to stay away from all groups and branding and to believe that no one is looking at me. Now how to go about it in a business that requires information at a public level?
But I like the flip side to this. I love connecting to blogs. I mean, really love it. I love reading the writing style of others, the short takes on the world, and I love responding to it and making my own space. So if I were to use connecting to others through blogging and maybe twitter, I could create that space for me that interacts with others on my own time rather than real time and it would be more about me than the girl who worries about the stain that isn’t there. I could use the new tools as a slightly more polished version of me, the one that interviewers should see in the room anyway. Thumbs up for personal branding. Perhaps the tool was designed by an introvert?
I bought a Toyota Corolla at the perfect time didn’t I?I got it last week and this week I thought I'd get to do a short public relations blog on Toyota, finding time to praise my car, Toyota in general and me for buying my car. Jeez. I was excited when the first thing I saw was that Toyota had a huge presence online. I typed Toyota Corolla on Google and got over a page of hits right away. The first site I tried in blogs about Toyota had me at a car search in 3 seconds flat. It wasn’t a blog, it was a sales pitch. A little deeper perhaps. I typed in Toyota Corolla on You Tube and sank.
Toyota on you tube: a whole lot of noise. Toyota is connected a horrible acceleration problem. Toyota recalled 8 million vehicles. I followed the line. Video of a horrible accident, photos of car crashes, harangues by angry owners. This was a public nightmare, a personal fear and yet a perfect subject for a blog about corporate presence online.
Toyota came from a place of great public relations and in their recent downfall and semi upswing became a poster child for public relations dos and don’ts. Toyota made good cars and had a great reputation. Sometimes things go wrong though and in a world where things go wrong and 6 billion people noticed, Toyota nearly blew it. The problem was an issue with unexpected acceleration in several of Toyota’s models. No one seemed to know why it was happening. Toyota initially blamed it on driver failure, and kept their response to the accidents very quiet in the years prior to 2009. However in 2009 there were crashes and camera phones and bad news went viral during an especially bad crash of an off duty police officer and his family. The next four or five months were chaotic for Toyota. There was an announcement that claimed no responsibility or very little and then another announcement which thought it might be some small problem with floor mats. The responses seemed typical of what any company might do- partition the blame until the nightmare gets resolved and Toyota was going to seem awkward and inapropriate no matter what they did.They were lambasted in Congressional hearings, scoffed at in the news and on you tube, and twitter. These people were losing serious ground publicly and financially. The company and their news environment were just too big and too fast.
I like to think of Feb 5, 2010 as Toyota’s turn around moment. There was an apology from the American president of Toyota on Feb 1 but it was so much more satisfying to have Mr. Toyota (yes, that is his name), the president of Toyota, apologize to everyone and especially all of his customers for all of the suffering he and his company had caused them and he wanted to let them know that he wanted to build their trust back in him and it was on you tube.
From that moment, Toyota has been publishing all owners twits requesting help and its responses positive and negative Toyota uses you tube to explain how the accelerator works, what may have gone wrong with it. Toyota post phone numbers and website addresses for questions,which is, if not being transparent, at least gives the impression of trying to be transparent. They keep blogs open and talk about what goes on with Toyota, although there is more of a sales pitch to the few I’ve glanced at.
One of Toyota’s genius movements has been to blanket youtube with very funny commercials, wry, self disparaging and interesting. It appeals to people who might buy Toyota: middle class individuals who understood they might be skewed. An especially funny you tube set of commercials used James Lipton playing to type
So, how well did Toyota do in changing their corporate imagine in a year’s time? Prior to yesterday, I looked around you tube, and goggle, typing in Toyota, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Corolla acceleration and got two negative hits out of seven. Pretty impressive results. Last night the results of the NASA study requested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that initially held Toyota responsible for the accidents based on beliefs that the acceleration was electronically involved were announced. According to NHTSA, there was no electronic involvement; Toyota had paid its dues in recalling cars, fixing the minor problems and paying fines. As far as they were concerned Toyota was off the hook.
Now comes an interesting lesson in corporate imagining. Last night and today had nothing but good news and validation for Toyota yet you tube is filled with bad publicity. The car crashes are back, and the angry owners as well. Unfortunately this is the fill in information connected to the news.
Toyota, so far has kept a pretty low profile, considering their insistence that it wasn’t anything electronic in the first place.They have proved they can handle the media so far. They know how to work with transparency, they know how to take responsibility, and they know how to work with humor and they really know how to work the boards in Google, Twitter, and You Tube. I’m curious as to what their next move will be in the stirred up hornets nest.
As for me, I still like my car but I'm going to do a lot more research. And I am going to ask about that accelerator pedal.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
First, in terms of information, doesn't this sound more like a large get together to you? I remember them from my youth. Everyone got together, shared information, changed ideas as the information was processed and then reprocessed it.The only difference I see in those terms is that it seems like a longer get together. It may be different in the library and perhaps be driven by technology as suggested. I think though that it's an overwrought word. We are a service driven organization, always have been according to the ALA. Articles like Casey and Savastinuks' Service for the next-generation library suggest that we have to go out and find our patrons and bring our services to them are we really doing anything different than we have been? We're still serving the public, albeit with a less authoritative attitude.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I'm officially down the rabbit hole as I hit this new world of blogs, readers, rss, and wikis and delicious. I'm going to publish what I think of this new world of social media which is a very good term for saying I'm writing what I think I'm learning. So far I've learned that I still know nothing about delicious, which means I'm going to be wrestling with it for a while. I know it has something to do with tags and finding things but that's it. I want to say I know nothing about nothing but as it turns out I do. I have an iphone into which I can dictate texts, an apple computer onto which I can add things to a calendar that get magically transposed to my school calendar. As soon as evernote lets me sign on again, I'll be putting all sorts of work from school into it. I wanted onenote but it's not yet available on apple except through the iphone app and I refuse to type that much into the iphone. I also use facebook a lot and consider the other social media obsolete - so obsolete that I can't remember what it's called.
I also have four cats which seems out of sync with what I'm writing until you notice that my writing turns into a series of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxs. Two of the four love the computer, one stands on the keyboard kneading the letters and the other claws at the keys furiously. Last week she removed the ., the ?, and nearly demolished the ". Cat protection habits are important: yet another thing I've learned.
So the obvious things I want to learn are how to operate within this virtual world successfully. I like it here. Dodads abound and the language is different than on facebook and twitter. On those two a whole new language and thinking style seem to be forming, a style of interacting I've never seen before. I'm more comfortable with the language style on the sites we're discussing tonight. Even with the gadgetry, the system works in language I understand. I want to be able to multitask here. I want to create a document, plan a video and make it part of a wiki with a group and then work on it with them. I want to see how to present my information in this new place.
I just noticed the label section for the blog so now I'm going to post on that and see what happens.