Social Media: For Ourselves and For Our Customers

A recent post entitled IWMW 2012: The Feedback summarised the feedback we had received for the recent IWMW 2012 event. In addition to this summary more detailed information was sent to the individual speakers and workshop facilitators on their talks and workshop sessions. Such feedback can be valuable in either showing the value of the contribution made at the event or providing suggestions on how the talk could be improved in repeated in future.

We published the feedback two weeks after the event as it is important that such information is available while the event is fresh in people’s memories. But, of course, there can be other ways of getting feedback. At the UCISA User Support Services Conference which took place a few day’s ago at the impressive Crewe Hall Hotel I was pleased to receive feedback on Twitter on the talk I gave on “Social Media: For Ourselves and For Our Customers” which have been summarised on Storify. The feedback included:

  • Excellent presentation, you gave me a lot of new ideas for how I can communicate with my staff and customers. Thanks!
  • Brilliant presentation from @briankelly – good to have a push to tweet a bit more!
  • Brilliant talk from @briankelly – typically informative, insightful, and full of #lolz…
  • Also really enjoyed @briankelly talk about social media. Engaging. Had a chuckle. And I think he likes a real ale so is in my good books

together with an example of an action taken as a result of the talk:

  • Inspired to send my first tweet

Beyond the tweets, a post entitled What a difference a day makes published on the Musings from the frontline blog described how

Today we sat and listened to people who had not only aspired to do things differently and better but, most importantly, had achieved it.

and went on to conclude:

So, thank you @heloukee@maffrigby@briankelly and #ussc12 for the inspiration. You have provided the relationship counselling that I needed and me and conferences are now blissfully happy together again (for now anyway…

It’s About Links; It’s About Connectedness!

The topic of my talk was the importance of social networks to facilitate more effective collaborative working by making use of the existing social networking infrastructure. Although this is a subject I have spoken about previously, as described recently in a post on It’s About Links; It’s About Connectedness! I was fortunate to see Cameron Neylon’s opening plenary talk at the Open Repositories 2012 conference. As described in the live blog of the closing session for the conference given by Peter Burnhill:

we need to think about connectivity, as flagged by Cameron. And these places ie Twitter and Facebook… We don’t own them but we need to be I them, to make sure that citations come back to us from here.

The importance of use of such social media services to provide links to papers hosted in open repositories was also highlighted by Peter Burnhill in his observation that:

And there was talk of citation… LinkedIn, etc. is all about linking back to research to data

It was pleasing to see that the ideas described in a paper by myself and Jenny Delasalle which asked “Can LinkedIn and Enhance Access to Open Repositories?” had been highlighted in the conference conclusions. But these particular ideas were just a simple example of the bigger picture provide by Cameron Neylon on the importance of networks which, on a global scale, can enable researchers to address difficult research topics which cannot be achieved by the single researcher or research group.

The Video For Connecting, For Sharing

Cameron’s talk, which is available on YouTube and embedded below, makes the point about the importance of connectivity (the social web) and ease-of-use (the lack of ‘friction’ needed to embed social web tools in workflow practices) very eloquently and is well worth viewing (and I’d like to give my thanks to the OR 12 organisers for publishing this video recording so quickly – and also for making it available on YouTube so it can be embedded in this blog).

It would, however, be a mistake to regard social networks as being purely a tool for scientific researchers – just as some people mistakenly feel that social networks are just for young people or for purely ‘social’ purposes a confusion caused by the different meanings of the term ‘social’. As I described in my talk, for which a video recording is also available, social networks can also be valuable for those working in support services – and institutions should gain benefits in use of social networking services across teaching and learning, research, marketing and support areas if they are regarded as valuable tools rather than treated with suspicion as is current the case in some areas.

Another important point made by Cameron is the importance of openness for both facilitating connections and minimising the friction caused by licensing barriers. The videos of Cameron’s talk and my talk provide another example of the ways in which connections can be made and knowledge and ideas shared by facilitating access to videos of talks at conferences. As I have described in previous talks on amplified events, such approaches can help the ideas shared at conferences escape the constraints of space and time. Many thanks to the OR 2012 and UCISA conference organisers for providing the live videos streams (escaping the constraints of space) and providing rapid access with little access barriers to the recordings of the talks (escaping the constraints of time).  Long may this continue – and if you are considering organising an amplified event the recent “Event Amplification Report” may be of interest.


Twitter conversation via Topsy: [View]