A few months ago, I joined Twitter. I had never had any interest in it before, thinking that I didn’t need another place to read people’s status updates since I already had Facebook, and Facebook seems a lot more versatile. After using Twitter for a while, my opinion really has not changed. I follow a few friends on Twitter, but mostly I use it as a source of news by following various publishers, librarians, library bloggers, and library-related organizations. In this sense, it is a quick way to keep track of what is going on in the worlds of libraries and publishing. Honestly, though, I find that I don’t care about 90% of what is on there. Sometimes I will see a tweet about a book that sounds interesting or a contest to enter, but sometimes it just feels like a lot of noise and, even worse, spam. I will keep using it, but I wonder how I could use it more effectively.
A lot of library Twitter pages seem very one-way and seem to consist mostly of status updates. These sites seems superflous if the library has a Facebook account. As I learned while researching Assignment 1, these types of Twitter feeds don’t encourage user interaction. The New York Public Library actually does a good job of replying to tweets from patrons as well as posting interesting links and other tidbits such as “Reference Book of the Day”. I like the idea from kellydallen’s blog about linking current events to the library, such as Tweeting about a Lance Armstrong book during the Tour de France. This is an easy way to promote the collection and remind people of overlooked items. Providing a direct link to the catalogue just makes it that much easier for someone to request the item. I didn’t know about the Twitter Search feature, which enables you to find out if someone nearby tweeted about, say, a library. Could be useful to reach out to new people who may not already be following the library.
Since I already use Twitter, I decided to try TweetDeck. I have noticed that sometimes people’s tweets are via TweetDeck, but I never knew what that meant. To start off, I added just my Twitter account. I really like that there is a column for Mentions. This makes it easy to see tweets directed at you, which can get lost amidst all of the constant chatter on Twitter. I also like that when a new Tweet is posted, it shows up right away. I have Old Twitter, and you get the “1 new tweet” message and then have to click the link to see what it is. I also find it a lot easier to post photos and videos (I don’t really know how to do this in Twitter and haven’t bothered to learn because I don’t see the need).
After playing around with Twitter, I added Facebook to TweetDeck. I can see how it is convenient to post a Facebook and Twitter update simultaneously. It saves time for libraries that use both. Another cool thing about TweetDeck is that you can add columns from Facebook, such as status updates and wall posts, and you can create groups to filter it so that only certain people appear. Maybe I will try this so I can filter out some of the people I don’t talk to as much. Overall, TweetDeck seems useful for managing multiple social media accounts at once, though the interface will still take some getting used to for me.