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Managing Online Identity

October 25, 2010

Talking about how to present a consistent voice and identity across multiple platforms online.

Keep it Consistent!: Creating & Maintaining an Online Identity
by Jennifer Koerber, Boston Public Library
We have parts of ourselves all over the web: Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, blogs, YouTube, etc. How can we remind our patrons that they are still dealing with our library?
Need to have consistent visual presentation:

Same language

  • Use the same name everywhere
  • Claim your name so you have it when you want it
  • Create a short list of related names
  • Pick something identifiable and easy to remember
  • Don’t be cute
  • Create generic email adn chat usernames: functional usernames that forward to staff
  • Stay true to your writing voice; create style guides if you have a team of writers
  • Users will create their own tags: get used to it 🙂
  • Give them your tags and they’ll use them

Visual display

  • Use same color scheme
  • Think about your fonts
  • Create lovely banners that can brand your site
  • Get a logo and use it

Managing Today’s e-Library
SuHui Ho from University of California, San Diego

Talking a lot about social media and today we are talking about specifically about managing and staffing today’s e-library.

There has been an evolution from physical to virtual services both in the library world and in other areas (ex. buying books, renting movies, etc.). Collections are also now virtual–journal databases, LibGuides, screencasting, outreach online via social media.

“The web has fundamentally changed the way the library conducts its business.”
e-library mirrors the brick and mortar library in services and content: need to think about more than the library’s website. We need to think about the online presence in social networks, mobile websites, geolocation apps, etc.

We need to think about content life cycle management. Time to talk with your archivist and records manager–we’ve been discussing these issues for years.

Staffing model for e-library: not a one size fits all solution. Need to assign staff to maintain the e-library; we cannot rely on one webmaster. Unless we write in these tasks into the job descriptions, we will not be effective at maintaining our e-libraries. Don’t just rely on staff enthusiasm.

Virtual Customer Support
by Colleen Brazil, Sno-Isle Libraries

Example using the OverDrive product to create a customer support system (database backend). Had a lot of support requests when the libraries started to use Overdrive–patrons needed help in figuring out OverDrive.

“Don’t throw your customers to the DRM wolves.” Need to give your customers support–don’t give into the chaos.

Solution: created a form for customers to use when they have an issue/problem and streamline the help service. First wanted the complaints to go directly to OverDrive–bad idea. Instead, the library deals with the issues.
Created more than a form: funneled requests to one channel, rules of engagement for staff, set up communication process, and got the Director’s support. This maintains personal contact with customers and use expertise from OverDrive. Resolve problems in about 24 hours.

Summary
Be consistent! A little bit of planning will save a lot of time and trouble later on. So think about how you want to present your library/organization/self and create an online identity (via language and design) that presents that image. (If you like design, the Before & After Design blog, magazine and books are fabulous for learning more about designing well)

Be aware and proactive about managing the e-library! We can’t just create something and ignore it.

Be fabulous at virtual customer support! Our users expect online services to work properly. When they don’t, it should be easy for them to find out how to get h>   Extremely Important N/A ( )Performance:     Ext

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