TL Ponderings


Marketing Strategy

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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After reading Brown and Bernoff & Li the following steps have been adapted to suit the primary setting I currently work in. The aim is to set up a library web page that has links to a blog and the school’s wikis (from assignment 1), the catalogue and other online resources useful to my users.

  1. Be clear about what your intention is for setting up a social media/networking/collaborative/communication space. Talk to members of your staff to make a collaborative decision. Decide on goals and audience.
  2. Know your users – target market – then segment your approach. There are different requirements for students (infants and primary), teachers, leadership team, parents and the wider community.
  3. Define what and how much activity on the site is needed to determine whether you are succeeding (schools are all about accountability!).
  4. Get the boss onside. For that matter, get everyone onside (isn’t that what marketing is all about – appeal to their needs and then provide a solution).
  5. Allocate a specific amount of time each day/week to the social venture (it can become all-consuming – ‘know it all’ third stage of Jeff Utecht’s Stages of PLN Adoption to the detriment of other necessary/worthwhile strategies conversely, inactivity makes for a boring, useless site).
  6. Market your site. Use the newsletter, class time, homework activities, staff meetings, staff room conversations, email leading to RSS, posters, pamphlets, post its, twitter – any method at your disposal. If they don’t know about it, they won’t use it or benefit from it.
  7. Evaluate the site at regular intervals, this is not confused with up-dating, adding, responding, communicating, collaborating, creating but rather stepping back with clear guidelines, looking at the site statistics and possibly improving.
  8. Finally, the new catch cry for my own personal learning journey – have fun, enjoy, grow!

Why is marketing so important? In today’s climate where budgets are tight and the illusion that all the answers are on the Internet, it is vitally important to reach out to the user, show them the value-added content and services a library can provide for them and invite them to participate, communication and collaborate in the ongoing development of the library. More online activity results in evidence of the information professionals success and worth to the organisation.

Brown, AL. (2009). Developing an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy, in Salt Lake City Social Media Examiner (30 July)

Bernoff, J. & Li, C. (2010) Groundswell excerpt,http://www.forrester.com/groundswell/assets/groundswell_excerpt.pdf

Criteria for Library Web Site Design

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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The readings suggested for this activity give a comprehensive look at factors that influence website design by examining best practice libraries, children’s websites, online library identity and web 2.0 architecture. After scanning several library sites that may be of interest to my students, the audience, I decided to examine Parramatta City Council Library  which is not too far from my school. The page has a clean, fresh feel to it and is easily identifiable with the council home page through the use of a brand. There are several different options to search for resources prominent across the top which utilises a tabbed federated search box, with the body of the page dedicated to library news, promotion, and upcoming events keeping the site current and the content relevant. Navigation around the site is straight forward although you need to know the site map to link back to the library home page. The e-Resources page has a very clear guide to use and provides links to many ‘reliable’ online databases, no silo here. There are several ways to contact the librarian; through live support (leaving a phone message not really asynchronous communication), email and of course in person. Customer feedback seems important with an invitation to comment on your experience, positive or negative through paper form and online through contact us. The library has several Web 2.0 tools which enhance communication and engagement element that foster social networking, there is also a mobile element through Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and You tube and the library runs a separate blog to foster collaboration and possibly folksonomy in tagging. The style of the blog page ‘Parra Reads’  changes markedly from the main page making it more inviting through colour and a book shelf design.

Overall this library page fairs well with regards to the many criteria presented in the readings. Its pages don’t really have a high visual appeal nor do they particularly invite you into the physical library itself. It does not provide information
literacy tutorials, (possibly utilising podcasts) or how to’s or services available, nor does the site discriminate for different users for example children, or the many cultures residing in the area, the links catering for different languages are not that obvious.

Governor, J., Hinchcliffe, D, & Nickull, D. (2009). Web 2.0 architectures (1st ed.). Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media. [ebook] Available http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/9780596514433

Lazaris, L. (2009). Designing websites for kids: Trends and best practices, Smashing Magazine, (27 November). Retrieved from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/27/designing-websites-for-kids-trends-and-best-practices/

Mathews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essentials for any library site. Library Journal, (15 February). Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6634712.html?industryid=47126

McBurnie, J. (2007). Your online identity: Key to marketing and being found. FUMSI, (October). Retrieved from http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/share/2510

Second Life

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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Although many gen x’s and baby boomers have embraced Virtual Worlds and gaming, the statistics show that 11 – 15 year olds (.com gen) are the biggest participants (Jo Kay, 2010. Exploring the Metaverse; Kids, Tweens and Teens), these are my students and where my students are heading. The article by Dede, Immersive interfaces for engagement and learning (2009) identifies three ways virtual engagement can enhance educational opportunities; multiple perspectives; situated learning; and transfer, studies showing that students are performing better on tests within this environment then in standardised testing. Being a primary school TL, I think that the use of SL in primary education is a long way off. The use of Virtual Worlds in education will require an attitudinal shift in the user. Currently the vast majority of these tools are being used for fun, to  communicate socially, for escapism. I’m sure that there is unconscious learning taking place – better use of technology, netiquette, online collaboration, self-examination and reflection, multi-tasking. But the learning curve, commitment and  time needed to make any real time online Virtual World an effective educational tool, coupled with the need for further research into its benefits in the classroom will make this avenue a distant project for my students.

I viewed my time in Second Life as an opportunity to explore something different, I discovered that it wasn’t as hard as I had imagined and realised that I was able to transfer knowledge into the mechanics of this experience, making the using of it seem more common sense. Although I do think that I already have trouble keeping up with my friends in the real world so on a personal note wouldn’t have time for new friends in a virtual world. Moreover, the ability to be anyone you want online makes me sceptical about who you meet, they may not necessarily be who they say they are, a fact that I will be expressing regularly to my own teen and tween children.

References

Dede, C. (2009). Immersive interfaces for engagement and learning, Science, 323(5910), 66-69. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/cgi/reprint/sci;323/5910/66.pdf