Welcome! This is a blog I created to document my research on social media use in archives and special collections. I’ve dabbled in blogging before, but the first post on a new blog is always a little nerve-wracking. Mostly because I want to sound witty and interesting and all I want in the world is a page view or two. I think that’s true of most people – isn’t that why lots of us use social media? To put ourselves out there and meet with old friends and new online friends?
Social media is an interesting beast, and I’m always fascinated by how people act and interact in these (relatively new) communities. Many libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions have now joined social media platforms, which is a great way to reach out to users and interact with them in new ways. Since there hasn’t been much of a precedent for our organizations using this kind of technology, the results have admittedly been varied.
Many information professionals are now working towards establishing guidelines and best practices, and that’s where this project comes in. I’ve seen some really good tips and guides out there for information professionals (mostly for libraries). There are some archives- and special collections-specific information, but much of it is exactly the same as the advice for libraries. I plan to study how archives and special collections use social media, and how they can use and promote their collections and services to the greatest advantage on these platforms.
In order to do this, I’ve sent out a survey to several different listservs asking about how archives and special collections currently use social media. I will compile that information and share the results here. I have amassed a long list of books and articles on social media and marketing (both specific to the information professional world and outside of our profession), and plan to review many of these items. I will use all of this information to come up with a set of guidelines and best practices for archives and special collections using social media.
I look forward to my research, and I hope that what I find will be of use to others. For now, though, I’ll be happy with a page view or two.