Monday, December 14, 2009

bringing it all together

A lot of educators are trying to create an online presence, but it can seem overwhelming.  How many started and then abandoned blogs are there in the world?  How many forgotten Twitter accounts?  It's outrageously difficult to stay on top of all of the various ways one can interact with their students and school community.

As a librarian I feel it is my duty to stay connected with the school community.  The library is a hub of information, and I should do my best to make this hub as accessible as possible.  However, I do not want to constantly update a bajillion things. 

Currently, I am working on a:

1. blog
2. Youtube channel
3. Podcast
4. Library site
5. Twitter account

Now, this may seem overwhelming.  That's because it kind of is.  However, there are ways to turn these different services into a single online ecosystem where each service feeds off of the others--in a good way. 

I'll start with Twitter.  I never directly update my Twitter feed.  It is simply a way to announce updates to any of the other services.  I simply add rss feeds to the twitter account, and each time something gets updated, a tweet gets sent out. 

Next there is the blog.  The blog is a place where I make announcements and maybe post about books and other fun ideas for the students.  Not only does it automatically tweet each time it is updated, but I embedded my blog into the library page so that a full-text rss feed is displayed.  It actually looks like a normal blog, and not an RSS widget. 

Finally, I have my youtube channel, which is really quite magical.  each time I post a new video it is automatically added as a video file to my podcast as well.  On top of that, and RSS feed with the video embedded is connected to my blog, so that each time I post a video on youtube, it shows up on youtube, my podcast, and my blog.  On top of that it is tweeted so that people following me are alerted to the newest activity. 

With this setup, all I ever update is my Youtube channel and my blog.  Everything is connected, so that my patrons can follow what is happening at the library in whatever way they find most enjoyable. 

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