Sudden Thoughts And Second Thoughts

Sign of the Times

Here’s an interesting new blog started by the Chronicle, “Campus Cuts“. Too depressing maybe? On the other hand, when posts to this blog grow few and far between that will be a good sign. If you do need some cheering up stay away from the Chronicle and just stick with this.

Something is Just Wrong About This

I know it’s great to do marketing for libraries and to toot your horn and all that stuff. But is there such a thing as an inappropriate gesture? When I saw this press release from Capella University it just sort of rubbed me the wrong way. I think it’s great that the librarians there created a useful tutorial and decided to share it with others by submitting it to ACRL’s PRIMO repository of learning objects by and for librarians (and anyone else who can find a good use for them). But then issuing a press release that makes it sound like your library just won the equivalent of an Oscar or a gold medal at the Olympics – that just seems, well, not right. Sorry, but I can’t quite picture any non-profit higher education institution putting out a press release like this. Maybe you think they should. You could ask, “Why don’t more higher education institutions value their libraries and the work of their librarians the way that Capella does?” That’s a good question- unless you regard Capella’s press release as making a mountain out of a molehill for the sole purpose of getting any sort of attention from anyone. I applaud those who have their learning object accepted for addition to PRIMO, but is it an amazing feat worthy of an institutional press release? I don’t think so but maybe I’m just cynical. Here’s the odd thing though. If Capella is so proud of the online tutorial and their library – why doesn’t their press release link to either of them – or PRIMO. All the links are to – you guessed it – Capella University.

It Pays To Be Social Before Your Presentation

It used to be that you would just get to your presentation, set things up, give the talk, share some handouts, get done and then move on to the next thing. That won’t do anymore, especially if you want to get the audience to care about your topic – before you even talk about it.

The way to go now is to make your presentation “more social” according to a post over at Mashable. There are five things you can do to achieve this higher state of social connectedness. Consider discussing your presentation and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter in advance of the talk; invite your friends to comment on and critique your presentation. Be sure to give those tweeting in your audience sound bites that they can tweet easily. And you certainly keep it going after the talk by tapping into your network and delivering more content about your talk. I did question this particular piece of advice though:

Make sure you can see comments on the backchannel as they come in. While that can make for some complicated multi-tasking –- delivering a presentation, inviting interactive polls, and monitoring real-time backchannel comments at once –- it’s crucial for presenters to see what’s being said about them.

Perhaps you are a great multitasker, but for myself, I don’t think I could manage concentrating on my presentation plus what’s being said on social networks. And what if, like me, much of your presentation is getting away from the lectern and just talking. Are you supposed to run back to your computer to keep checking the backchannel? Seems rather awkward.

I have sensed that an indicator of a successful presentation these days is the number of librarians who become your Twitter follower within 48 hours of your presentation. I suppose that the way to gain even more followers is to be social before, after and during the program.