Have you ever found yourself inside the library echo chamber? I think we all have. You’ve got something great to share or say about libraries and you put it out there…and it’s only talked about by librarians and libraries. Some great presentations and pieces have been written about the echo chamber (some of my faves are from Ned Potter, Sally Pewhairangi, and Steven V. Kaszynski). These have got me thinking…how can we avoid the echo chamber? My thought is this…expand the conversation and try, try, try your best to include those outside of the library world. But how can we do this? Here’s one way that I’ve found to be quite effective over the past few weeks.
I’ve fallen in love with a new service called Branch. What is Branch? It’s a new site that allows you to take ideas, tweets, and more and expand on them with anyone. Wanna talk beyond the 140 characters of Twitter or not get involved in a messy comment thread? Take it to Branch and have a conversation.
That’s exactly what I did when I started reading a series of posts on Read Write Web by Richard Macmanus titled Social Books. I saw that the posts had an audience. The article that caught my eye was this piece on GoodReads. Specifically, I noticed that 183 people have shared/liked it on Facebook and a whopping 583 shares on Twitter. I also noticed a lack of librarians in on the conversation. I wanted to see if I could expand the conversation and get some library perspective into the mix. So I took it to Branch:
As of the time of the writing of this post, the Branch conversation has led to some cool things that have expanded the conversation. Richard Macmanus, the author of the Social Book series Read Write Web joined the discussion on Branch and shortly thereafter wrote a post entitled The Social Library: How Public Libraries are Using Social Media which explores such topics as libraries using social media to connect with community, social catalog enhancements from LibraryThing, Candide 2.0. I know that numbers are not everything, but there’s been a lot of sharing of the piece going on. Look at the sharing stats below:
What strikes me most are the number Facebook and Twitter shares. To me, that’s a lot of people who have checked out the article…and then shared it. Who knows how many people have actually read the article, but it’s likely that there’s even more.
And this is where I get most excited about this piece: think about how there are people out there today who are not involved in libraries reading about libraries, what libraries do, and how libraries improve community. That’s the cool part about expanding the conversation.