Awareness of Social Media was a frequent topic of both in-person lectures and online discussions during the Fall 2012 session of LIS 750. Most talk related to social media centered around two concepts: Social Searching and Competitive Intelligence.
Social Searching is the concept of using tools freely available online in order to examine the online presence of a individual or organization. Some of these tools include Bing’s social search tool, SocialMention, and Kurrently.
Competitive Intelligence is a related topic that centers around the ethical collection of publicly available data for a given entity. For example: How has (whatever company) been so successful with their Twitter campaign?
Moving forward, I’ll be interested to learn more about not just examining and evaluating data from social media, but also participating in the development of social media environments for specific situations. An example question to be answered: What’s the best way to use social media in a public library- not to promote library services, but to encourage learning and engagement among teenage patrons?
The answer to this hypothetical question is almost certainly not simply to shoehorn more teen-oriented content into the library’s general Twitter feed. It seems unlikely that teens would look to that outlet for content specific to them. Social media-based educational environments like Edmodo could be considered, working as a collaboration between community education professionals and library staff.
Another consideration to include in attempting to answer the posed hypothetical: should mobility be a consideration in whatever platform is utilized? Teens, perhaps more than any other segment, have certainly embraced the mobile web. Will the social media platform introduced be easily accessible for mobile devices?
This example problem (and the questions that arise stemming from it) is the type of examination I’m most interested in pursuing in the future, now that Information Storage and Retrieval (LIS 750) has provided a solid foundation.