Final Thoughts

I came to this class at the beginning of the term knowing a lot about social media, and a fair amount about emerging technologies, but I wasn’t sure how they would be effectively used. I’ve seen many organizations (including my own employer) attempt to use tools like Facebook and Twitter, and either fail or at best have middling success. There have also been some great successes, but those have generally been marketing campaigns. Despite this, I wanted to be convinced that it could be done, and I think that by the end of this class I have been.

What I’ve really learned is that it isn’t about the tools themselves, but it is about the people behind them. These are social tools, so the motivation of those using them should be to create relationships and conversations. When they are used to simply blast information at people, that’s when they fail. So our job as librarians is to have a goal when we set out implementing new technologies. We need to ask questions like:

  1. Who do we want to reach?
  2. Why are we reaching out to them?
  3. What do we want to communicate to them?
  4. How do we engage them in meaningful conversation?
What struck me in the end, is these questions represent the same things that make Facebook so valuable between family and friends. In our personal lives, we have an audience that is important to us. We want to share moments and thoughts with these people, and so we reach out with comments, photos, updates, etc. In the end, if used effectively, we could potentially create really great relationships with our communities.
Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed this class and getting to know everyone. I’ll miss having the blog next term. Have a great holiday everyone!