Friday, May 19, 2006

IM Panel Talk

We R Online 3
Originally uploaded by dwfree1967.
Yesterday I was at Macon State College in Macon, GA to participate in a panel discussion on IM reference at GUGM 2006. For those of you not in GA and keeping score GUGM is a hybrid of the Georgia Voyager users group meeting and an academic library conference.

I was lucky to be on the panel with a couple of very knowledgeable and cool librarians, Sarah Steiner and Elizabeth White. We got a lot of questions from the audience and had a great discussion about using IM to reach your users where they live online.

A few things from the session:

1. Sarah created business cards at GA State to promote their IM service. Cards have their buddy name and are handed out in LI sessions and all over campus. This is a great idea! So great in fact that I'm gonna steal it. Hint hint.

2. Another cool promotion idea - Elizabeth talked about UNC making "Hello, My Buddy Name Is..." stickers to promote their service. She said that she saw them around campus on notebooks, bags etc. Good advertising! There's a pic in Elizabeth's presentation on our website if you want to take a look.

3. An audience member asked us if we were using webcams in our chat reference. My immediate thought was that would take away the "what do you look like and what are you wearing" questions! But he really meant that we could use a cam to show webpages, kind of like non-interactive co-browsing. Interesting idea. Anyone doing something along those lines?

As I mentioned up there somewhere, we made a website for the session with PPTs that we didn't actually use, a bibliography on IM reference and a bunch of links. Take a look if you'd like!

Great session! Looking forward to repeating it in October at our big state library meeting. Got to meet and have lunch with Brian Mathews too so all in all a very good meeting.


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