CIL Notes: Evaluating, Recommending, and Justifying Web 2.0 Tools

Is social media becoming more traditional, or is traditional media becoming more social?

–Marydee Ojala

This was a hugely popular session, and I can completely understand why. A common thread in my conversations with colleagues (not to mention just about every post I’ve written at this conference) concerns the adolescence of web 2.0. We know what these tools are, how to set them up, find people, and so on. But how do we put them all together? How do we know when they’re working? Alternately, how do we know when something isn’t working, and needs to be abandoned?

We’re jumping up the taxonomy of learning, from knowledge to synthesis. Here are the suggestions for staying on track during the process, as presented by ONLINE editor Marydee Ojala. As we move up the chain, it’s important to make sure you’ve done your homework, so as to anticipate objections and present material in the manner that is best suited to each stakeholder. This has the ancillary effect of making your own understanding of each technology/project all the stronger.

Insert standard-issue “notes-after-the-jump” line here.

Examples: blogs, wikis, flickr, hunch, RSS, mashups, cloud computing, social bookmarks, youtube

Implications for research: Publications adding additional digital content; addition of comments – all of these things don’t show up on archives. Are these legitimate documents? How do we track/collect/cite/preserve them?

Multiplicity of paths to information as things get mashed up and placed in multiple venues

Social Media for Research:


Looking for company/product/people names

“Is social media becoming more traditional, or is traditional media becoming more social?”

Does your mgmt appreciate the value of social?

Can’t lump all “social” materials together – each one has a specific purpose and audience

Using social tools and hitting structural walls – IT, supervisors, admin, etc.

– who do you have to ask?

– research or marketing

– Is there money involved?

Blurred line between personal and professional

Common sense: would you add proprietary information to LibraryThing?

Appropriateness: Would you SuperPoke your boss?

Is it OK to use the data you’re mashing up?

Evaluation: Keep it in perspective

Peer pressure


Why add the social tools?

– customer expectations

– Marketing

– Product promotion

– Knowledge sharing

– Learning from others

– Reputation management

– Back channels


– Getting outside the comfort zone

– Not just a library decision

– Opportunity to join a larger conversation

– Position library as information experts

quick response, identify/correct areas of improvement

Put info pros at center of decision-making process

Enterprise social search tools – making internal stuff more social

– Yammer, Traction Software (collaborative internal websites), SharePoint

What problem does it solve?

“Technology is out there to solve a problem. TEchnology should not be out there looking for a problem to solve.”

What’s out there that will solve my problem? Will it survive? Tech support available

Must anticipate objections (too much time, invasion of privacy, security risks, it’s a fad, Sarbanes-Oxley, trustworthiness)

– These objections aren’t trivial. It’s easy to just dismiss people as “not getting it”

– Have to justify the need by addressing the concern. This makes the original concept that much stronger.

– yes-and, not yes-but (should you be giving them that ground to begin with?)

Who are the stakeholders (IT, sales/marketing staff, HR, strategic planning people, management) How involved are they? How does their support or non-support appear to the rest of the staff?

Make the business case – present the information in the manner that best speaks their language

Deliver proposal : PowerPoint? Exec summary? Narrative? Stats? Triangle graphs?

Be specific about the benefits.

Internal materials – best buy’s Blueshirt Nation, CIA’s Intellipedia

Management buy-in: not guaranteed. Do you need approval or can you do without?

Have tangible measures for success, too.

  • Christie

    Wow–looks like lots of exciting ideas floating around! How to prioritize into new objectives that are due on Monday?

exploring the intersection of libraries, technology, and community

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