LJ, Nov 15, 2004
Let’s look at a simple ROI:
400 questions divided by 7 months is an average of 57 questions per month for virtually no huge cost — just the staff time whatever the cost may be. For this type of outreach and what might be called “good buzz” (ala Jenny), that’s priceless!
After working at a branch yesterday for a Sunday shift I stopped to get gas at the grocery store/gas station/Starbucks complex up north of town. As I was pumping the petrol, my phone signaled I had a text:
“I see you getting gas…”
It was like a movie! I suddenly felt like the whole world was watching me and I hadn’t known.
“Who is this?” I replied.
(Here’s where every stalker thriller I’ve ever seen played out in my head..)
Turns out, it was my colleague Maire from SJCPL who does our Web Development. She was getting coffee and thought she’d text me to say hi…
Will the next big wave of video chat for online collaboration result in folks like me paying more attention to their dress when connected? Here I am after a long soak, in my robe and chatting with Bob and Jude who were still at work at IUSB!
“Frequent IM users, on the other hand, tended to use IM more as a tool for collaboration, with discussions covering a broad range of topics via many fast-paced interactions—each with many short turns in the conversation, much threading, and a predisposition towards multitasking. ”
Oh yeah! Aaron and I have planned a number of things…and Steven and I have set up some collaborative stuff as well.
CJ never ceases to amaze me with the quality of his posts. Take a look at this about IM and the great articles he links to.
Aaron and I are writing and article AND presenting at Internet Librarian — so yeaterday we met for almost an hour via iChat on our Macs! Face to face and with audio…nice!
Rock ON Aaron… 100 IM questions to his PL’s screename.
He writes: “For no cost not only have we become more available, but I’ve helped patrons that otherwise wouldn’t have been helped. I’ve done more Young Adult Readers’ Advisory in the past 2 months than I have in the previous 2 years. YAs have sent me messages asking about the library’s hours, and prizes for summer reading program. I bet that these things aren’t a big enough deal for them to make a telephone call, but shooting me a quick message is more convenient. Perhaps this is grandiose, but I can’t help but thinking that I’m breathing some life into libraries for these kids.”
Go ahead…be grandiose…this is darn cool!
“At no cost” … nice…not $20,000 not $10,000… at no cost — or just the cost of the cool cards he made up”, he has added a valuable service to his PL.
The more I read (Abram and Luther in LJ this month!), the more I ponder, and the more I IM with colleagues and SJCPL staff, I realize we need to get serious about this form of communication.
I saw this recently in a library and it made me sad:
I totally understand restricting open chat rooms…but not IM. Just sayin!
I have received over 500 spam messages this weekend. So I turned off the old address here… mstephens (at) tametheweb.com!
mstephens7 (at sign) tametheweb (dot) com
mstephens7 (at sign) mac (dot) com still works as well!
Jenny points to this…while Aaron and Chris are blogging about it as well.
Here’s what I’ve gathered in the year or so I’ve been connected:
IM with colleagues works! I have planned conference presentations with some good library folks, cried on a dear colleague’s virtual shoulder when things seemed opretty dark, discussed my upcoming dive back into academia with numerous IM library pals, scheduled training and meetings with my SJCPL colleagues — all VIA IM!
IM is great for a quick shout out — better than e-mail really… “Hey did you see Jenny’s post about THIS?” will always get me clicking to see what cool thing is coming up next.
Libraries can use IM as a means of virtual reference. Small investment..big results. There are libraries that do this! Aaron is! I’m changing the article I’m working on to highlight this stuff instead of Virtual reference — which, according too many good folks, is DEAD or should be!
And in general, it’s darn cool too be connected this way and hear from friends and family from all over the US in this “in the moment” way.
I do agree libraries and businesses will have to develop an IM policy to insure consistency of communication and some protocols. Note, I said libraries will have too… because I believe libraries should take this new HOT thing VERY seriously!