“Why I Love ALA Connect” – ALA Launches Virtual Community Space

I am very excited for the launch of ALAConnect on Monday. The ALA Web Advisory Committee (WAC) has been playing in the virtual community for sometime. I’ve tweaked my profile a bit and need to a bit more before the big launch, but I am so knocked out by all the hard wotk the folks at ALA have put into this clearinghouse/community. Recently, Lauren Pressley took a good look and had this to say:

Here are a few things worth noting:

  • When you first log in, use the same information you use to log into the ALA site. You can change this to another login and password once you’re in. (I didn’t realize this at first, so I created an account. After realizing the benefits of the original one, I had to get help deleting the one I created. Thanks, Jenny!)
  • Your account will already know some things about you: the sections, committees, etc, you’re involved with through ALA, your email address, job title, etc. Pretty much, if ALA knows it, it can populate your profile with the information.
  • You can friend people, just like on Facebook.
  • You can pull in your blog posts, delicious bookmarks, and flickr photos. They show up in the left hand sidebar.
  • Your committees, etc, have space where they can work. You can pull in similar information there, too. For example, I was able to pull in the DILG blog to their page.
  • If you are familiar with social networks or wyswyg wiki editors, you’re ready to go.

I think this movement represents a very positive shift within the association. It’s honestly the first time I felt I could point at something and say, “there, that’s a benefit I’m getting from ALA.” (I feel I get value from my ALA colleagues and from participating in committees, but this is something that’s ALA specific rather than something that could happen on its own or in other venues.) If all goes well, this could be a case of our association showing other organizations how to make use of online communication/information technologies to support the work of their organization. Way to go Jenny (and all the Connect team members)!

I echo Lauren’s shout out to Jenny Levine and everyone at ALA! I’ll see you all next week – at ALA Connect!

Disclaimer: I am chair of WAC. 🙂