Monday, 25 July 2011

Not just one way communication

Question came up as what do you do when the Manager or CEO decides that you are not to use web 2.0 technology to engage the community but that the only point of engagement is to be the official website.  The website is a good tool for disseminating the information the community needs but doesn't allow for community engagement as  you are only pushing the information that you say the community needs, not listening to the community tell you what it needs.  Any response to email request takes at least a few days to go through the right channels before you even get a response and the structure is very rigid.

This goes against what most libraries want to do - they want to reach the audience where it is found currently, whether that be via blog, Twitter, Facebook or as currently is the case Google+.  You want to interact and be able to provide the user with the information they may want in a timely and relevant manner.  You want the potential user of the library to feel a part of the community and be able to contribute whether with a book review or with a comment that is answered in a timely manner. 

Showing the Manager or CEO that the website is not the only form of communication that is available and that you can achieve much more by having multiple access points to your information is important.  Explaining the checks in place to ensure the accuracy of the information and the moderation of comments should be explained as should the benefits of using the blog or other web 2.0 technology.  Question remains whether you can change someone's mind about the use of a technology in the organisation or does it become an issue better left as is.


Vesna Cosic, ALIA Sydney Treasurer

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