Friday, August 29, 2008

Who's on twitter? Are you?

Last week Lorcan pointed to an interesting article [Even Gen X is aTwitter] with data about who’s using twitter. In addition to 57% being from California (really?) and 63% being male “…the age demographics of Twitterers show a dramatic shift. When the site became popular in early 2007, the majority of its visitors were 18-to-24-year-olds. Today the site's largest age demographic is 35-to-44-year-olds.”

David Lee King recently posted on his blog about how many patrons are already using twitter and other social media tools. “Yes, people in your community are already connecting and engaging with others via social media tools,” says David, “Are you?”

Over the last several weeks at WebJunction we received a number of support requests about user inability to view some of our videos about the new platform (here's an example with others linked here). In exploring the reasons why, we realized that some of our users in libraries still work in libraries that block access to youtube, and the like. Reasons cited include bandwidth for networks that are already stretched. What should we say about our own Internet use and access to our IT admins? Our security and privacy colleagues? Our funding councils and governments?

Very simply, we must continue to articulate our need for access to both social media and social tools in terms of relevance to our patrons and our community. Without our knowledge of and participation in the social spheres where our patrons engage with each other, where new content is published and knowledge emerges, we can't stay relevant. And without relevance, we won't be around.

Update: let me just add that I don't care about twitter in particular. It's just a tool and one of many examples of things we should be exploring.


K.G. Schneider said...

Awww, but Chrystie, Twitter cares about you ;)

Nice post. I worry that our budget climate will widen that divide once more.

Amanda French said...

Lots of workplaces block Twitter and social networks too. Which isn't to say that libraries should; in fact, it's a big reason why they shouldn't.