David Lee King coined the term “metasocial” to describe the types of social interactions available. Despite the seeming proliferation of activities done by users, there really are only a few general types of interactions:
- Status updates–you can type in anything like marketing questions, retweets, hyperlinks, multimedia thru links and have real connections to your customers.
- Long posts–blogs, Facebook notes, wikis, etc. These are like a short article such as what’s happening in the library, interesting events.
- Comments–a primary way to interact online–direct connections. Used for adding bits to a story.
- Visual–photos and videos. These are a way to extend an event to lots more attendees.
- Live streaming videos of what’s going on. Capture moments at they happen and share them.
- Friending and subscribing–becoming a fan of something to get special content and alerts.
- Checking in–location-based material on Foursquare, Yelp, etc. Share where you go and visit.
- Informal quick things–poking, digg it, ratings, liking, etc.
What should you be doing in social media?
- Stop! Make some strategy and create some goals. What content will you put there? Who is going to do the work? What happens if it gets busy? What if somebody responds?
- Listen to see what people are saying about you and interact. See how they say it. Figure out the lay of the land in each network. Listen by setting up Google Alerts.
- Let people friend you and friend them back. Focus on people living in your service area. Follow your customers first.
- Start conversations–provide status updates. Invite responses by asking for them. “What do you think?” “Who is your favorite author?” etc. Answer questions.
- Treat your mayor! Find ways to involve people.
Customers love social media. They’re waiting for someone to start a conversation. That person is you!
Sarah Houghton-Jan and Nate Hill described how they used social media to create local history walking tours in San Jose. Lots of material is in the library but people don’t know about it because it’s locked away in cabinets. The walking tour system is a play on augmented reality a device with GPS, a camera, and an accelerometer. It presents data connected to spaces–a digital view of a physical world connected with objects in a physical world.
The local history tours in San Jose are a mobile web application based on the Layar reality browser. The project was funded by a grant from the California State Library. It was modeled after similar campus tours done at North Carolina State University (the Wolf Walk) and Oregon State.
Users navigate to a stop on the tour, check out a photo, read more, then get directions to next stop. They are also able to leave a comment. Google gives the walking directions to the next stop based on the current position, or a map.
Challenges included configuring a server; testing difficulties; firewall and security concerns; and getting samples of devices for testing.