Overview •Introduction to Blogs •Finding and Reading Blogs •Creating A Blog for Your Library
What Is A Blog? •A web site containing: –Brief informational posts arranged in reverse chronological order –Timestamp for each post –Archives of previously posted content
Why Should You Care About Blogs? •Helps you stay informed about subjects you care about •Get current, unfiltered news & information •Unlike listservs, won’t clog up your email •No spam!
Why Should You Care About Blogs? •“We librarians, as information experts, do our patrons a disservice if we fail to make an effort at tapping into some of the information that may only be found in the blogosphere.” –From “Mining Information Gold in the Blogosphere,” AALL Spectrum, November 2004
Reading Blogs •As a Web page –Requires reader to visit multiple sites daily to check for updates •With a News Reader – Better! –All updates are automatically delivered to one central location when you subscribe to a RSS feed, listserv, etc.
News Readers •What Is a News Reader? –A piece of software or Web application that pulls together RSS feeds from multiple sources into one place making it easy to browse newly posted information from blogs, alert services, and other Web sites
News Readers •News Readers are also known as: –News aggregators –RSS aggregators –RSS readers –RSS stands for: •Rich Site Summary -OR- •Really Simple Syndication
News Readers •RSS allows you to receive notification of current content without having to visit the web site of interest to determine if it has been updated. –Look for button to get URL for the blog’s RSS feed –Then subscribe to it from your news reader
News Readers •“Anyone who needs to monitor current news on a regular basis will need to understand and use RSS in some form going forward”
News Reader: Bloglines •Bloglines is a FREE online service that helps you subscribe to and manage lots of web information, such as news feeds, weblogs and audio. •Bloglines tracks the information you're interested in, retrieves new stuff as it happens, and organizes everything for you on your own personal web news page. –From: Bloglines FAQ http://www.bloglines.com/help/faq
Subscribing to Bloglines •Go to http://www.bloglines.com/http://www.bloglines.com/ •Only requires an email address & password
Creating A Library Blog •Why Create a Blog for Your Library? –To communicate with your users –To communicate with library staff
Public Blogs for User Communication •Library & Topical News •Announce New Services •Recent Acquisitions List •Book/Movie/Web Site Recommendations •Book Discussions •Local Events Calendar •Recommended Research Sources
Internal Blogs for Staff Communication •Announcements for Staff •Knowledge Management –Frequently asked reference questions –Password archive •Project Management –Forum for collaboration –Progress reports
Benefits of Library Blogs •Easy – no HTML knowledge required •Inexpensive •May be seen as innovative •Attracts younger users •Allow user feedback through comments •Can be career booster for bloggers
Drawbacks of Library Blogs •Requires staff time commitment –Training –Set-up –Posting •May need to educate people about blogs –Users –Staff
Steps For Creating A Library Blog •Consider purpose & audience •Choose blog software •Develop blogging policies •Create a template for the blog •Consider staffing issues •Post content •Market the blog
Consider Purpose & Audience •Determine type of content you wish to share –Library & Topical News –Announce New Services –Recent Acquisitions List –Book/Movie/Web Site Recommendations –Book Discussions –Local Events Calendar –Recommended Research Sources –Other??
Consider Purpose & Audience •Decide upon a target audience –General community users –Young adults –Parents of small children –Book club members –Genealogists –Students / faculty –Employees –Other specialized user groups
Develop Blogging Policies •Think about blogging policies for your library –To ensure that blog reflects well on your library –To offer guidance to bloggers on what is and is not appropriate
Create a Template for the Blog •Consider features to include –Archives –Blogroll –RSS & Subscription Options •Choose color scheme and style •Test in multiple browsers
Consider Staffing Issues •Decide who will post to the blog –May be one person or team •Train staff on blog software
Post Content •Develop a consistent style for postings •Use “your own voice” whenever possible •Check for spelling and grammatical errors •Post often
Market Your Blog •Announce in library newsletter •Email users directly •Share by word of mouth •Create bookmarks, business cards, etc. •Include URL on library publications •Seek links from other Web sites & blogs •List with search engines and blog directories •Issue a press release to local news