Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why Small is better in Social Media

Last April I did a presentation for Gangplank Tucson on social media. It was my first attempt to teach what I've been thinking about -- in public, at least, about what is and isn't universally "best practices" on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Job help? A restaurant? An adult literacy organization? Recently, I've begun to think beyond a library model for social media to the kinds of things I think would be useful for a wider range of accounts. The Gangplank presentation was my first stab.

Here it is: Small is Better.

I should acknowledge several people and books who were influential. One was Gary Vaynerchuck's book The Thank You Economy, and the presentation he gave at SxSW Interactive on the same topic. One of the messages I got was how well "high touch" contact does online, and that businesses should consider returning to an approach that is closer to the relationships our grandparents had with their neighborhood shopkeepers. I think of this as "Mayberry" Facebook, but don't think I mean false folksiness or one more programmed 'persona' to learn. What I do mean is real listening, information with relevancy, joking around occaisionally, and heartfelt thank yous.

Another big influence is a talk library futurist Stephen Abram gave at the 2011 Arizona Library Association conference where he made the point that in a world where so many jobs are being automated, that we should do a better job of celebrating our staff and giving them voice.

But most of all, I am constantly inspired by the kinds of interaction that occur on book-centric fandom sites like Mugglenet and the Leaky Cauldron. I love the playfulness, the creativity, the humor, and the I'm-not-ashamed-to-love-books-ness of it. From them I have begun to notice changes in what is considered news, and the fresh cycles it has once it is freed from the structure necessary for traditional news media.

Anyway, consider this a taste of my workshop tomorrow where I will be teaching social media the same way I teach library staff. Hope to see you!

Where: 4th floor Boardroom
When: Friday, July 6th from 3-4:45pm

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