UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

My Trusted Social Librarian

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 16 February 2012

I’ve mentioned recently how I use the Smartr app on  my iPod Touch to view the content of links which have been tweeted.  I have set up a number of Twitter lists, such as my JISC list, which enables me to view the content of links posted from such official accounts but I tend to prefer the serendipity of reading content posted by people I follow generally on Twitter or particular groupings, such as attendee at events.

I tend to download new content in Smartr in the morning while I am waiting for the bus (using a neighbour’s WiFi which I can legitimately access using BTFON). This then provides me with timely content to read on the bus travelling to work.

This morning I noticed that several of the interesting links which were being posted had been tweeted by @aarontay. This may be because Aaron works at the National Library of Singapore so that when I am getting up it is the middle of the afternoon for Aaron. He is therefore more likely to be using Twitter to share resources of interest while colleagues in the UK will be describing what we had for breakfast! However this is only partly the case – I also find that Aaron’s Musings about Librarianship blog is valuable reading.

In light of Aaron’s proven track record in creating useful content and sharing links to content provided by others it occurred to me that it might be useful to create a Twitter list containing just Aaron’s Twitter account so that I would be able to easily see the content of links which Aaron has shared and read then, even when I am offline.

As can be seen from the accompanying image I am now able to view the content using Smartr. It occurred to me that this is an example of how a trusted librarian contact can provide a ‘frictionless’ presence in social media. Tony Hirst wrote about this recently in a post entitled Invisible Library Support – Now You Can’t Afford Not to be Social? which followed up on ideas previously described in a post which asked Could Librarians Be Influential Friends?

In his post Tony wondered:

whether it made sense for librarians and other folk involved with providing support relating to resource discovery and recommendation to start a) creating social network profiles and encouraging their patrons to friend them, and b) start recommending resources using those profiles in order to start influencing the ordering/ranking of results in patrons’ search results based on those personal recommendations“.

Coincidentally earlier today I was looking for blog posts about the VALA 2012 conference which UKOLN Director Liz Lyon had spoken at recently. As illustrated my Google search provided a link which Aaron had recently shared on Friendfeed. My trusted librarian contact is helping me to find resources which may be of interest to me on Google as well as Twitter.

Last year Aaron richly deserved to win a Library Mover and Shaker award. Although I’ve never met Aaron we have spoken on Skype and had discussions on Twitter and via our blogs. I’m pleased that recent technological developments are now enabling me to gain value form the resources which Aaron is ‘frictionlessly’ sharing on services such as Twitter and Friendfeed. Who are the other librarians I should also follow in order to ensure that I can keep up to date with new developments, I wonder? Or to put it another way, I have found one intelligent agent who searches the web and finds content of interest to me. I’d like another one please!

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5 Responses to “My Trusted Social Librarian”

  1. Hi Brian.

    Thanks for the blog post, very flattering. Your sharing show up in my google search too of course. As for the time zone thing, I actually read Twitter on the way to work as well in the morning then a second time in the evening but I use http://bufferapp.com/ to automatically spread out my tweets, seems to increase the visibility of my tweets/retweets as opposed to doing them at one go.

    A couple of users/students follow my personal Twitter account (communication and new media/social media types), I am not sure how often or useful the links i share appear in their sharing.

    “Who are the other librarians I should also follow in order to ensure that I can keep up to date with new developments, I wonder?”

    It’s hard to say, depends on which new developments you are interested in? There are librarians I follow who are well informed and share about uses of QRcodes/Augmented reality, others are more on the technical side of things familiar with hacking of library systems like Summon , and yet others who post and share interesting bits on Information literacy trends. Toying with the idea of a blog post on this based on studying who I tend to retweet.

  2. [...] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } ukwebfocus.wordpress.com – Today, 9:54 [...]

  3. [...] talk then goes on to suggest, as explaining in a post on My Trusted Social Librarian, that in addition to encouraging researchers to use such service, librarians may also help to [...]

  4. [...] had encountered which provided this functionality.  A year later, in February 2012 a post entitled My Trusted Social Librarian explained how an app such as Smartr helps me find useful content from trusted people I  follow on [...]

  5. [...] valuable links to resources on hois Twitter account. Back in February 2012 in a post entitled My Trusted Social Librarian I described how I had set up a Twitter list containing just @aarontay. I used this list with the [...]

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