A Rundown of the Planning Phase of the Library Currents blog

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Many new writers think of a great blog idea, and there are a number of free blogging sites that make creating a blog as easy as thinking of one, just as long as you know how to point and click with your mouse! But many blog ideas only go so far … once the blog has been conjured out of thin air, it dissipates, only to linger like a ghost online… an image of yesterday’s creativity.

For this reason, planning a blog is an important piece of the process. When a plan is put into motion, goals are created and derived from a mission that you set for your blog. What is the reason why you are creating it? Who is is written for? How do you plan to market it and get it in front of the right people? A plan involves researching not only the technologies and Web 2.0 tools that will be implemented in your blog, but also what the needs of your community are.

The Hyperlinked Library course that I took emphasizes planning, and provides a blueprint for creating a social media plan for the integration of Web 2.0 into any library service. (The Hyperlinked Library can now be taken by LIS Professionals in an MOOC course online). Creating a blog for librarians is a service as well, and can be well-paired to a social media plan to enhance its future potential and success.

The Planning Phase of the Library Currents Blog Project will include:

  • Analyzing the types of websites that discuss how libraries use social media to meet the needs of patrons. Websites may include blogs, directories, and/or publications.
  • Reviewing the literature to see how libraries use social media to fulfill missions and goals.
  • Researching the social media policies of libraries and LIS blogs.
  • A social media plan describing the following information:           
o   Purpose & Objective
1.  A justification for the purpose for this project
o   Background of Libraries and Social Media
1.  Analysis of websites serving social media resources and content to the LIS community
o   Resources
1.  An overview of pertinent literature
o   Mission & Social Media Policy
1.  A mission statement for the blog
2.  An outline of the social media policy
o   Action Steps and 5-Year Timeline
1.  A statement of the immediate 2-month action steps to implement Library Currents
2.  An overview of the goals for Library Currents and the 5 year timeline for the blog’s development, including important milestones
o   Promotion, Marketing & Conversations
1.  The social media architecture of Library Currents, detailing connections to popular social media services such as Facebook and Twitter
o   Evaluation
1.  Tools used to evaluate blog’s usage and feedback

So why a social media plan, and not a “blog plan” or “website plan?” Although the main architecture of Library Currents will be a website/blog, developing a social media plan addresses all the connections between a website and social media. In other words, a website plan would focus on an island in an ocean of websites called the Internet: a social media plan focuses on the conversation. This huge difference is what The Hyperlinked Library calls us to understand, that it is not just about a website or tech tool, but about people sharing ideas in a forum that just happens to be digital.

The above social media plan outline is a sketch and may include other important areas of consideration. I hope you enjoy the process of discovery that planning and research will uncover for Library Currents, or for your own creative Web 2.0 ideas!

Was this post helpful? Is there anything you could add or questions you might have? Please provide a comment below!

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Mickel is an MLIS and the creator of Library Currents. His inspiration for the blog was the SJSU course "The Hyperlinked Library" taught by Dr. Michael Stephens, a course that is also a worldwide MOOC. If you wish to contact him, feel free to write to Mickel Paris at librarycurrents1@aol.com.

2 Comments

  1. michael

    September 9, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This is well conceived. I wonder if you might add something called an action brief statement to this?

    I added this to the planning assignment in 287:

    Ideas in the form of action briefs can create a starting point for a new service or plan. John Bellina and Tasso Stathopulos from the Denver marketing firm Ricochet Ideas helped create the Anythink brand for Rangeview Library System. They helped transform services such as the Anythink summer reading program through disruptive innovation by starting with a simple statement about turning summer reading “on its ear.” An action brief is a framing statement used in planning that includes who we want to convince about a service or product, how we will do it and what the service will be that makes the change. Create an action brief of your own as part of this process. To create an action brief fill in the blanks: Convince {a certain group} that by {utilizing the new or improved service or technology, etc} they will {discover a new or cool thing about the library or service} which will {create the outcome you are aiming for} because {this is what the library is about}.

    Ponder. Great work!

    • Library Currents (Mickel Paris)

      September 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      The action brief is a powerful statement! I will give some thought to it for inclusion in the social media plan. It is like a marketing plan wrapped up in a simple statement! I also like it since it places the mission, product, audience and result within one context.

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