Here’s what I’m getting out of my research. Boiling everything down, it seems like people use Twitter because a) they are looking for a shared community of interest to learn from and communicate with, b) they are trying to develop a reputation in a specific community (part of the reason I write this blog) or, c) they are “information gatherers” – the person who just loves to share and collect miscellaneous tidbits of information.
If you look at that in the context of a public library, where does that lead you? I’m beginning to think the way libraries might use Twitter effectively would be to develop “niche Twitters” instead of a generalized library Twitter. Library Twitters tend to be brief burst of information about events at a specific library. Unless I happen to live in that community, I don’t usually care.
However, if I followed a Twitter that is based on a specific area of interest, I’ll follow that Twitter even if I don’t live in that community. So, how about a Twitter from your local library that focus on local history lit? Or a genealogy Twitter from your library? Or a Twitter about Maine mystery writers? Or a Brunswick community Twitter provided by your library? Seems like those might be more valuable to someone who uses Twitter to build a personal online community.
When I started a Curtis Library Twitter I found that almost everyone who followed me was another library. I guess we were all trying to figure out how to use Twitter in a powerful way for our libraries. I’m thinkin’ we missed the boat the first time around. This might be the new path and it seems a little counter-intuitive to me as a marketer – talk about the subject first and THEN the library. We will see how this works.