Slide 2 - Midwest Archives Conference

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Nov 5, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Slide 1

Today, I’m going to talk with you about how the use of Facebook
in conjunction with blogs was a low
-
resource way for our SAA Student
Chapter to continue
our yearly
outreach
campaign
when our resources

were dramatically cut
. We all

know wh
at blogs

are; Internet

users have
had
access
to
them
since the late 1990s.
Social networking has evolved
from hackers playing on BBS Billboards to Facebook, which also

probably does not

need

an
introduction. Web 2.0 tools


the digital
social media tools
that
mo
st of us use every day

are
reshaping the
communications landscape
.
By combining Facebook, b
logging, and
hopefully beginning next October
,
other Web 2.0 social media tools

as
well
, our SAA student chapter can follow

the lead of the National
Archives’ soci
al
media
strategy at an extremely local level with more
typical resources.



Slide 2



The National Archives

social media campaign
is forging the

way
for archivists

who envision

building
digital
communities around their
institutions using
web 2.0 tools
.

NARA’s

working definition of


social
media


and

W
eb 2.0


states that
these

are
, “
umbrella terms used to
define the various activities integrating web technology, social
interaction, and content creation.





Just a
few years ago,
Web 2.0

was

thought to h
ave made

traditional
blogs obsolet
e
. The National Archives social media
strategy,
show
s

that
this
is anything but true
.


Slide 3

NARA’s desire to be a social media exemplar

has taken the lead in
demonstrating
what
archives can contribute
to building
digital
information and knowledge.
NARA published their
Social Media Strategy

in early December of 2010

where it writes
, “social media tools have the
potential to transform [their] agency and the way [they] serve [their]
customers.” NARA describes social
media as being “about community and
conversations.”

The strategy works in conjunction with their public
facing “History Happens Here” campaign, a research
-
based program
that guides their online presence and their attempts to strengthen
online communities dedicated to archives. NARA
writes,

The web
landsca
pe is evolving so rapidly that if we neglect to address these issues
and recommendations, we risk losing truly valuable materials…We should
be proactive in working together to understand these complexities and
develop solutions.” And they have laid some e
xtensive groundwork.



Slide 4

It is true that for
well
-
established institutions,

Web
2.0
apps

like
Facebook and Twitter, offer
tremendous
opportunity for exposure that
blogs alone cannot match.
But
, blogs remain the online sp
ace best
suited for more leng
thi
ly development of content

regarding collections
and the institution
s they are housed within
.
B
logs have continued to
survive, even thrive, because
they have a deep semantic web
interconnection to
Web 2.0 social media tools. Each tool offers
complimentary affordances for outreach and exposure rather than
serving as victor and vanquished in the digital technology race.

Slide
5

In all honesty, when we began using Facebook in 2010

for the
Archives Mo
nth Blog
, it was
because we didn’t know what else to do
.
T
he blog, which

in 2008 and 2009 was a

seminar project for an entire
class, was eliminated from the curriculum. Because the blog was the
best sample of social media work for many of the
students, w
ho were
also SAA student chapter members
, the chapter volunteered to manage
the blog

an
d continue to generate American
Archives Month
-
related
content
. We had to do this

with a fraction of the people resources.

We felt we had no choice but to turn to soc
ial medi
a. NARA shows

us

how an
archives can use web
pages, blogs, and social media
together.
All three are
fused into a cohesive communications strategy where
web
pages host
blogs
; blogs

deliver the
content.
; social networking apps are
used to
target interested communities
and promote the
web page and
blogs
.

Because of the potentially wide audience and range of visual,
auditory, and textual representation, blogs and social media
applications can be great tools to increase the general public’s
a
wareness of archives and archival repositories.

Slide 6


As mentioned previously in Sloan’s
presentation the

student chapter
vis
i
ted
s
mall repositories around the state of Wisconsin
for American
Archives Month. We were looking for
postcards of value
;
ma
tching the
state’s Archives Month th
eme,
which in 2010 was
“Postcard Wisconsin.”
Student chapter member
s

wrote blog posts about their visits and
incorporated photos of the materials they found and the repositories
themselves.

Slide 7

In October of
2010, the student c
hapter

secretary
, Danielle Taylor

and
myself
undertook the administrative role of running the blog for the entire
mon
th, entering blog posts made by

student chapter members, and socially
networking the blog via our personal/professional
Facebook accounts.

We
posted links to the blog on our Facebook walls each time a new post was
created.


Let’s talk about traffic. Before we do, I’d like to warn you that our
numbers are squishy. One lesson we learned a little too late was to
make sure w
e were gathering all of the web analytic data. From
the
beginning of October 2010 to March 2011, the blog has had 4,802 page
views, 2,958 unique visitors, 245 returning visitors, and 167 Facebook
referrals.

Most of the Facebook referrals occurred in Octo
ber while the
blog was active.

Slide 8

Our all volunteer status did affect
the overall usage
of our blog
because the student chapter was
able to only provide 60% of the amount of
content
as in
the
previous years.
With 60
% of the content from previous
years
, we only received 60% of our 2008 and 2009 traffic.


Slide 9

Facebook provided us with 5.6% of our traffic during this time. This
may seem like a small fraction of our traffic but only a few of us were
regularly posting links. In the previous years, the

blog had more than a
dozen people doing outreach.

What
we can’t show you with the
low
-
budget (as in free) analytics
that we
collected
is that
Facebook
has shown a lot of promise in helping
us
compensate for
the student chapter’s
loss of content generated
through the seminar
.

If more student chapter members are using their
personal/professional social media accounts, on a regular basis
throughout the month the blog is in s
ession, a much wider audience
could be

reached instantly.


Slide 10


The next logic
al step for the outreach campaign is to develop an
“outreach team” to use Twitter in conjunction with Facebook to push
updates and links.

L
ike NARA,
and an increasing number of
repositories, we will begin
cross
-
promoting
the blog via Twitter,
which
we bel
ieve will contribute not only to traffic, but also engagement.

Slide 11

U
sing
blogs, Facebook, and Twitter
in conjunction with
each other
to cross
-
promote important activities and information, archives could
reach a wider audience than using any of these

tools alone for several
reasons. First, motivated users are likely to seek out the archives on
their
own
social media accounts and will incorporate the institution’s
identity
into their

own personal networks. Second, users are more
likely to follow a Facebook or Twitter account than they are to initially
visit a blog. Finally, providing links in Facebook and Twitter allows
other users to easily share the content with their own personal

networks. This ability to propagate into other personal networks is how
interesting content is shared so quickly.
These affordances create the
possibility for archives and archivists to be more visible to a general
audience, and to be more engaged with
the specialized audience that
most values the institution.

As we continue to revise our social media strategy, we are
increasingly thinking about the role that
mobile technology plays in
the use
of
social media
. Even

well
-
established technologies like

television are
integrating with
social media
, by letting companies link their public
relations, marketing, and advertising to television content
.


Slide 12

The rapid development of personal communications technology,
particularly the smartphone,
has been

a primary contributor to the
explosion of social media
. In fact, most smartphone users use the
Internet
-
ready features of their phone to access social media. In the
latest NASDAQ statistics as of January 2011, 4 billion mobile phones are
in every day us
e, 1.08 billion are smartphones and 91% of mobile
Internet access is to social network on sites like YouTube, Facebook and
Twitter.
Over a third of Facebook’s 600 million plus user accounts use
Facebook Mobile and fifty percent of Twitter’s 165 million acc
ounts use
Twitter Mobile.
The likelihood of young adults having their own mobile
devices continues to increase with statistics as high as 85% of young
adults owning a mobile phone.

These statistics
show us
that social media is increasingly
important in the overall digital communications activities of the wired
public, and that an increasing number of these activities are happening
on mobile technology.
International marketing information is being created
an
d ingested by corporations, and they are insisting that the “Mobile
Market” is on the rise and predicted to take over desktop Internet usage by
2014. Creating and cultivating Facebook and Twitter accounts and using
them in conjunction with blogs, such as
WordPress can only help usage and
outreach.


We believe that social
media
is worth continuing, even
de
veloping

our investment in
,

because access to the Internet
will
continue to evolve
,
as will the
online communities
that are now part
of
most Americans eve
ry day lives.


Slide 13


Blogs can be effective outreach tools for archives if they include
substantial information regarding their holdings and use web 2.0
applications to create and nurture the community around the repository.
Engaging social media is
one way a
rchivists
can
look to governmental,
corporate, and cultural trends to make better informed decisions about
institutional vision and values.
Moving archival work online is of great
importance

and o
utreach through the Internet is a valuable endeavor

on a
personal level and for our profession.


Slide 15

This

is “
The Web 2.0 Conversation Prism”
designed by
Brian Solis
,
which is a taxonomy of Web 2.0 applications, many of which might serve
archives if used appropriately.


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