David Lee King

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social media | emerging trends | libraries
Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

Moderating Conference Sessions

Tue, 2015-11-17 09:30

Have you ever helped organize a conference? There are quite a few jobs that need to get done, including handing out badges, creating the program, promoting the event, speaking … and moderating conference sessions.

I’ve been asked to moderate sessions at a number of conferences over the last couple of years. It’s fun, and sometimes a bit challenging! If you’ve never done it before, or wondered what’s needed to be a moderator … don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!

Here are some tips on moderating at conferences and events:

  • Email speakers in advance. Ask your speakers to double-check their bios or supply one. Tell them to email you with questions if they have any.
  • Get there early. You’ll want to make sure the room is ready, the mics are on, and the projector is working.
  • Set the mood for the day. At the start of the first session, tell attendees what’s going on in your room for the day, especially if you are moderating a whole track of sessions based on a theme (i.e., a web developer’s track). That helps people know what to expect for the day. There might also be some last minute changes that you need to share.
  • Introduce yourself to the sound dude. Most event centers and hotels have staff who set up and run the audio for each session. Sometimes they hang out in the room the whole time; more often than not, they are busily running to each room, making sure everyone’s ok. That person can make or break the event. So introduce yourself as the moderator and find out how to contact them if you need anything.
  • Know how to use the mic. Know how to turn it on, how to attach it if it’s a lavalier mic, etc. Check out my article on good mic technique for some more tips.
  • Test the equipment. Make sure the speaker is comfortable with the tech they are using. If they are switching between slides and a video, make sure they practice that. Test the audio levels of the video. Remind people how to advance slides. Yes, that sounds silly … but when an inexperienced speaker is standing in front of 200 people, they can get flustered pretty easily and forget those simple things.
  • Paraphrase the bio. Especially if it’s long. No one really wants to hear you read 600 words about the speaker. Give just enough to introduce the speaker, then get to the talk.
  • Time the sessions. At a busy conference with lots of sessions, you have to keep a tight schedule. I set two alarms on my iPhone – one goes off when there’s 5 minutes left, and one when time’s up.
  • Multiple speakers need equal time. If there are two or more speakers during a session, make sure to give them equal amounts of time to speak. tell each presenter how much time they have, and then stick to it. It’s never fun to have your 15-minute presentation turned into a rushed 6-minute mess (been there, done that).
  • If it’s a panel discussion, include everyone. When moderating a panel, make sure everyone on the panel has a chance to speak. If someone’s not talking, it’s your job to draw them into the conversation. On the other hand, if someone is talking too much, it’s your job to give other panelists a chance to speak. An easy way to do that is to say something like “Thanks for that idea. What do the other panelists think?” And turn to someone else to give them a chance to speak.
  • Repeat the question. During the Q & A time at the end, make sure to either repeat the question that was asked, or have the speaker do it. If the room is large, some people won’t hear the question, and sometimes the session is being recorded. It also helps make sure you get the question right.
  • Move people along. This goes with timing the sessions. You might need to cut off a long-winded speaker, or end the Q & A, to move people along to the next session. Sometime during the Q & A, I usually walk to to the podium and stand by the speaker. I’ll help find people with questions. When it’s about time to end the session, I’ll say something like “we have time for one more question.” After that question is answered, I’ll make sure to thank the speaker, and tell people what’s coming next (i.e., lunch break, next session in 15 minutes, etc).

If you have never done any moderating … what are you waiting for? Try it out and see if you like it!

Pic by r00s

Categories: Library News

My Presentations from Internet Librarian 2015

Mon, 2015-11-02 09:30

I just got back from a whirlwind 4 days of Internet Librarian 2015. As usual, it was a really useful conference for me – lots of solid tips, learning, and networking with cool techie librarians.

Here are the slide deck versions of my presentations:

Tech Trends for Libraries in 2016

Aligning Digital & Print Content: Editorial Content Calendars

Analytics for Social Media

Writing for the Web

I also lead a panel discussion on Innovation in Libraries. It went really well … but no slides for that one.

Categories: Library News

Easy as a Light Switch

Tue, 2015-10-27 09:30

Make your website as easy to use as a light switch.

What do I mean by that? When you enter a dark room and reach for the light switch, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about electricity, or the electrician? Are you thinking about the construction workers, or the technology involved? How about the functionality of the light switch?

My guess is probably not. Light switches are so simple to use that you simply flip on the switch, turn the light on, and go on about your business, not thinking about the technology or the functionality behind the light switch. The light switch is so simple to use that you don’t have to think about it.

That’s how easy your website needs to be.

Want to read the rest of the article? Go here… Thanks!

Really cool light switch drawing by John LeMasney

Categories: Library News

What I’m Talking about at Internet Librarian 2015

Fri, 2015-10-23 09:30

Next week, I’ll be in Monterey, CA at Internet Librarian. It’s a cool conference in a fun city. Here’s what I’ll be talking about while there:

  • Sunday –  Tech Trends for Libraries in 2016 (pre-conference session)
  • Monday – Aligning Digital & Print Content: Editorial Content Calendars (with my library’s Marketing Director, so I’ll be on my best behavior)
  • Monday – Social Media Analytics & Management
  • Tuesday: Writing for the Web
  • Wednesday: Innovation in Libraries (a panel)
  • Wednesday – also moderating a track

If you’re attending, make sure to say hi! If you’re not attending, you can follow the tweets using #InternetLibrarian.

Categories: Library News

8 Easy Ways to Humanize your Digital Branch

Thu, 2015-10-22 09:30

At my library, we like to say “It’s not about the stuff, it’s about the people.” Sure, we have a lot of cool books, videos and services, but our staff are awesome and they help make the library what it is. They help give the library a human face.

How do you present that “human face” of the library online? Here are eight ways to humanize your digital branch:

  1. Pictures
  2. Conversational Writing
  3. Videos
  4. Being Available
  5. Responding Fast
  6. Cut Extra Words
  7. Reach Out
  8. Tell the Customer’s Story

Read the rest of the article at Emerald Group Publishing. I also wrote a whole book on this topic!

Image by Marjan Lazarevski

Categories: Library News

Be Visual Online

Thu, 2015-10-15 10:30

The first Web browser I used was Lynx, which was a text-only browser. And that was ok, because way back then, the Web was pretty much text-based, too.

My, how the times have changed!

Today’s Web is full of colours, movement, images, and videos. Today’s Web is visual. Social media has helped make the visual Web what it is today (have you looked at your Facebook feed lately?).

Visual is definitely here to stay. How can you make your website more visual than it is now? Here are some tips on adding visual elements to your website.

Want to read the rest of the article? You can find it at Emerald Group Publishing. There are some good tips in the article!

Categories: Library News

Write for your Website Visitors

Tue, 2015-10-13 09:30

I recently read Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works, by Ginny Redish. It’s a good book full of great ideas on how to improve your web writing.

Here are a couple of ideas that really stood out to me:

1. Give people only what they need. (pg 126-127). Write from your site visitor’s perspective. “Do they really care about the entire history of your project? Probably not.” “Do they want to hear how much you welcome them before you show them what you have to offer at what price? Probably not.”

Really good point, and most library websites are guilty of that! If it isn’t important to your customers, cut the extraneous content, put it at the bottom of the page, or include it as a link to a separate page with all the gory details.

2. Focus on the essential message. A similar idea (on page 132) talks about how to cut down to essential messages. Redish includes 6 points. Point #3 is awesome – “focus on your site visitors and what they want to know.” “Cut out words that talk about you or your organization – unless your site visitors want or need that information.”

Great, simple pointers on how to improve that web writing … yet so hard to do. Read the book for more tips and pointers on writing for the web.

Categories: Library News

Easy Analytics for Instagram

Thu, 2015-10-08 10:30

I recently discovered a cool tool for tracking Instagram analytics. It’s called StatShot.

Signing up for StatShot is easy – just connect your Instagram account to it, and you’re done. It’s a freemium tool based on the number of Instgram followers you have. It’s free for up to 5000 followers. After that, it’s $5 a month for up to 10,000 followers, etc. If only we had that problem!

What does StatShot do? Here’s what they say: “StatShot was created with one goal in mind: to deliver simple and clear Instagram stats to individuals and brands who want to better understand their audience growth.”

They do this by sending regular emails with your Instagram stats. You can choose to get daily, weekly, or monthly emails. I set up the library and my personal Instagram accounts with daily emails.

What’s that get me? Every morning, I receive these stats:

  • Followers
  • Potential Reach
  • Engagement
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Following
  • Media Posted
  • Track #hashtag’s usage

Each of those stats provides yesterday’s numbers, compares it to the day before, and then shows an up/down percentage for each statistic.

It’s pretty basic, but then again, it’s simple and it’s free (until we hit 5000 followers).

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Categories: Library News

Why Do you Love Your Library? – Advocacy Video

Tue, 2015-09-22 09:30

My library’s Foundation held a fun after-hours event, and I helped by making a video. I asked people to answer a simple question: I love my library because [fill in the blank.]. Then I had them share their answers in front of a camera.

That simple question was answered in some really fun ways. Watch the video to hear why people in Topeka love their library!

Categories: Library News

Treehouse just asked our customers for Money

Mon, 2015-09-14 18:19

My library has a subscription to Treehouse, which is a cool service that provides coding and app development tutorials. Cool stuff, and our customers really like the service.

Here’s what I don’t like. They recently changed the way we are charged. They were operating on an annual flat-rate site license subscription, which is normal and makes sense.

They have moved to a weird “tiered seat model” for pricing. That means that we pay per “seat” or user, and have to buy so many seats per year. OK … it’s cheaper, so that’s a good thing.

It’s also a very manual process for us, which is not a good thing. We have to basically set up user accounts manually. Here’s how one library has set this up. Sorta clunky, I think – and not the library’s fault, but the vendor’s.

I get it. They’re a newish company, and the library market is new to them, too. They still trying to figure out pricing models that work for them and for their customers. I’m not sure what libraries they worked with to come up with this pricing model … I can’t imagine anyone would say “yeah, that sounds workable.” Because it really isn’t a good option for libraries.

But even better – Treehouse just emailed our current customers with library Treehouse accounts (even though we have already emailed our customers, letting them know about the changes). Here’s what Treehouse’s email said:

“We’re writing to let you know that Topeka & Shawnee County Library is no longer providing your Treehouse subscription. Although a membership through Topeka & Shawnee County Library is no longer possible, we would be delighted to have you continue your membership with Treehouse directly.”

“In the next 24 hours we will move your membership to a two week free trial for our Basic plan. All of your learning achievements will be saved. At the end of this period, you may provide payment information to either continue with your Basic subscription, or upgrade to Pro.”

You see the problem, right?

  1. It’s not accurate. A membership is definitely still possible – they just have to contact the library.
  2. They asked for money. Treehouse just told our library customers that their only option to continue is to buy a pro account. Again – not accurate, and not cool.
  3. They got our name wrong. We’re Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. Minor quibble, I know. But still…

So yeah – it looks to me like Treehouse just lied to my library’s customers, and asked them for money, too.

Not cool, Treehouse. You build amazing products – surely you can do a better job when you email my library’s customers!

Categories: Library News

3 Simple Steps to Make your Ebooks Rock – new article for Emerald Group Publishing

Thu, 2015-09-10 09:01

I have a new article up at Emerald Group Publishing that talks about three simple ways to improve your library’s ebook marketing efforts.

In the article, I talk about buying enough ebooks to meet demand (most libraries don’t do this), provide some ideas for promoting them, and making sure staff know how to use the various ebook apps out there.

Give it a read, then share innovative ways your library gets the word out about ebooks!


Categories: Library News

712 Innovations and the Library

Tue, 2015-09-08 09:30

My library has a really cool partnership with 712 Innovations, and I wanted to share.

712 Innovations is a combined makerspace and coworking space in Topeka, KS. The idea for this space came out of two separate groups of entrepreneurs in Topeka. One group wanted to create a coworking space, and another group was really interested in creating a makerspace.

The two groups realized they’d have more of a chance if they merged, and … ta-da! 712 Innovations was formed … with the help of a bunch of local organizations, including the library, a local university, the city, and a couple of non-profits, among others to help work out organizational and start-up funding issues.

712 Innovations is pretty unique, since it’s a combined makerspace and coworking space. The goal is this:

  • Creatives in makerspaces have really cool ideas about the stuff they’re making, but have no idea about how to start a business or market what they make.
  • Creatives in coworking spaces might not know how to make stuff, but they know how to market and create businesses.
  • What if someone brought the two sides together in one shared space?
  • If the goal is met, there will be new Topeka-based businesses springing out of 712 Innovations.

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library is a sponsor of 712 Innovations. Here’s what we’re doing:

  • We helped plan the space.
  • Gina Millsap, our Library’s CEO, is on the board of directors for 712 Innovations.
  • We have an embedded librarian working in the space about 12 hours a week. We hope to act as a business librarian for people using the space – answer questions, help with research, maybe eventually help write business plans!
  • Daypasses – our customers can check out a 712 Innovations daypass at the library.


Pretty exciting stuff happening in Topeka, KS!

Categories: Library News

Newest Pew Report on Social Media for 2015

Thu, 2015-09-03 09:30

Pew Research Center recently posted their newest report on social media – Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015. Like most Pew reports, it’s focused on American adults, aged 18 and older.

It’s an interesting report on the “face” of social media and mobile messaging for 2015. Go read it! Here are some highlights and observations from the report:

General Internet and smartphone use:

  • 85% of American adults are internet users
  • 67% are smartphone users

Me: Think about your customers. Does your website work great on a smartphone? Because most of your customers have one at this point. So what’s holding you up?

Mobile Messaging:

  • 36% of smartphone owners report using messaging apps like WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage
  • 49% of smartphone owners age 18-29 use these types of apps.

Me: Messaging used to be easy. It was email, web-based chat, and texting. Now, it’s still all those … plus Facebook Messaging, Twitter, LinkedIn messaging (just overhauled their messaging service), and apps like WhatsApp or Kik. 

How are you asking customers to interact with you? Do you need to change anything? Definitely something to look into.

Social Media Growth:

  • Facebook – 62% of adults use it
    • 70% log on daily
    • 43% log on several times a day
  • Pinterest – 26% of adults use it (more women than men)
  • Instagram – 24% of adults use it.
    • Really popular with non-whites and young adults, slightly more women than men
    • 59% of Instagram users are not he platform daily!
    • 35% visit several times a day (guilty!)
  • LinkIn – 22% of American adults
  • Twitter – 20% of American adults.
    • More urban than rural, more popular with younger adults.

Me: Facebook is still HUGE. People are logging on several times a day. Do you have new content there for them? Focused on your library (in an interesting, fun way)? How about Instagram? Who’s on “Instagram duty” at your library?

Again – really good report. Read it, digest it, share it with your colleagues. And give some thought to how your library needs to adapt as your customers adapt.

Photo of a phone by Nicola


Categories: Library News

Failure Leads to Success

Thu, 2015-08-27 09:30

Here’s a photo I took a few days ago (bigger photo here). I wanted to play with my new olloclip lens.

Olloclip makes really cool lenses that clip on to an iPhone. Mine includes two macro lenses, a wide angle lens, and a fisheye lens. You can buy one here, if you’re interested (they’re pretty cheap).

Anyway, this photo. I took the photo, then realized something looked … funny. I thought there was a smudge on the lens, so I turned the phone around to look at it … and discovered that I had left the lens cap on.

So this is a fisheye lens photo … looking through my olloclip lens cover. Big fail!

And that’s ok. In fact, if you look through my older videos and photos (and website designs, and articles, and project plans, and music projects, etc), you will find lots of experimentation. Some improvements, some trials-and-errors, and yes – some fails.

That’s how I learn – that’s how I improve. I need time to play with a new tool. To figure it out, to make it work, to read about it and try what I just learned.

For me anyway, failure eventually = success. Because every failure leads me a little closer to where I hope to be.

Experimentation is a great way to learn social media, too. For example, if someone doesn’t have a Twitter account, doesn’t understand it, and wants to learn, I’ll suggest these steps:

  1. Set up a Twitter account.
  2. Follow 50-100 people. These can be friends, colleagues, or people you share a common interest with (i.e., hobbies, career track, etc).
  3. Hang out on Twitter for 10 minutes each day. Read the posts, add your thoughts. Share your own posts, focused on your interests.
  4. Do this for a month.

At the end of the month, I’ll guarantee the person will have a better understanding of Twitter. They might not like it, but they will “get it.”

Hence my photo experiment with the olloclip lens (and lens cap). Experiment, fail, experiment some more, and improve.

How about you? How do you learn and improve?

Categories: Library News

6 Steps for Social Media Success – an article for LIANZA

Tue, 2015-08-25 09:30

I just wrote a blog post for the Library and Information Association of New Zealand (LIANZA). You know, because LIANZA is awesome and all.

In the article, I discuss 6 steps for social media success. Here are my 6 steps:

  1. Listen to the chatter
  2. Respond when it makes sense
  3. Friend your community
  4. Be visual
  5. Be speedy
  6. Consistency is a must

Go here to read the whole article – let me know what you think!

Categories: Library News

Instagram Hacks that will Drive Sales … I mean Checkouts

Thu, 2015-08-20 09:30

I recently saw an article on tips for using Instagram to Drive Sales. A lot of the tips are actually pretty relevant to libraries. Let’s look through the tips, and see if anything’s useful for us!

1. Create Call to Actions. Definitely useful – a call to action certainly doesn’t have to be limited to sales! Instagram gives you one actual website link, and it’s found in your profile. Point to things other than your main page sometimes.

Then, in the description box of your image post, ask people to click the link in your profile to … register for the program, check out the book, etc.

2. Increase Exposure by Placing Call to Actions as a Location Extension. This one seems to have limited usefulness to me. Not even sure I really understand it…

3. Add Line Breaks to Your Instagram Captions. This is a way to get your profile to stand out more than other profiles, mainly because the text in your captions looks different. Again, limited usefulness here, since mostly people are scrolling through a bunch of images. But still – every little bit helps.

4. Get More Instagram Followers. Nothing wrong here! We need more followers. The author’s ideas are fine. But we have a built-in audience, so … just ask for them! Use Facebook and Twitter, share a photo, and ask people to Like your Instagram feed. Put up hashtag signs in the building. Mention your account at the beginning of events.

5. Why your “Thanks for following” Test Just Won’t Cut it Anymore. This one seems a bit excessive to me. Direct video messages thanking people for following you? Really? I’d unfriend you. What do you guys think about this one?

6. Add Line Breaks to Your Bio. Another way to get your profile to stand out.

7. Track Your Call to Actions with bit.ly. This is a cool idea. Then again, since Instagram gives you only one link, you can also find conversions simply by using Google Analytics. Check to see if anything came from Instagram. The bit.ly idea will give you an accurate count of clicks, so it’s definitely useful.

8. Talk your Target’s Talk. I definitely agree here. The translation for us is to not use marketing-speak or jargon. Figure out what customers you want to target with your Instagram account, and then use the language they use.

David’s #9. What’s missing in this list? The actual content! Work to make your content compelling enough that it leads your customers to the library, the website, a new service. Visually show off the awesomeness that is the library.

What’s missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts – share them in the comments! And … I’m on Instagram – friend me!

Categories: Library News