Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Social Networks, part 2

Coincidentally or not, Tasha Saecker in Sites & Soundbytes recently posted a link to a great article from the Readership Institute, "Build a network, not a destination."

Although the article is focussed on newspaper websites, it speaks strongly to my sense of issues we're addressing in developing our library site and electronic services. More to the point, it speaks to why we should be paying attention to social networks.

Points raised include:
  • Link out -- a lot
  • Link, especially, to blogs
  • Link IN -- to related content of your own
  • Open up the archives
  • Use Web technologies intelligently
  • Cultivate conversations about your content
  • Distribute your content widely
  • Partner with the portals
  • Build your own social networks
  • Encourage use of ranking/rating sites
  • Build shortcuts across the Web
Tasha annotates this with some notes for library application. The reader's digest version of her summary:
  • Link, link, link
  • Cultivate conversations
  • Build shortcuts to information
Both the orginal article and Tasha's take on it speak strongly to the importance of networks, social networks and how we implement library websites.

We've seen for years the concern that everybody wants to be THE portal. We can't be all things to all people, so the question becomes: how do we translate our service offerings into a valuable node in our users' network?

1 comment:

Beth said...

Interesting post, Terry. I think one piece of the puzzle is using RSS when developing our sites and resources. If we can syndicate our content, we can push it to our users, rather than relying on them to come to us, thereby saving the time of the user. Convenience is all important these days, no? Of course, our content still has to be of value to them... :)