Tweeting for Public Figures & Public Servants

January 13, 2009

I’ve been watching a celeb adopt Twitter as a way to chat with fans. LeVar Burton — known variously as Kunte Kinte (Roots), Geordi (Star Trek The Next Generation), and host of Reading Rainbow — began twittering just after Christmas and quickly built up a huge following. I popped in as follower #8000 a few days ago and he’s over 10,500 now. Not bad for only three weeks online!

"Speak Up" is the new "Shhh.."He seems to be enjoying it, too. It makes sense: It’s an easy, efficient way to share thoughts, appearances, interact, and show that he’s a real person. (Not that there was any doubt.) He may influence others. A recent tweet from him said that “a long conversation today with Brent Spiner [Star Trek’s Data]… began with ‘Tell me about Twitter.'”

It’s great to see public figures trying out social web tools. Musicians (or their agents) have been involved for quite a while. Some athletes have taken spins, too. I’d love to see many more public figures AND public servants (including community leaders and librarians) jumping in. Staff should get involved. Several collaborating staff members, in fact, could share the tweeting duties on an “official” Twitter account. Come on, people! Share the news, the concerns, and the daily routine. Build relationships. Be there. Be available.

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Quick Housekeeping Note

January 13, 2009

I haven’t blogged for a few months.  Why not?  Red OfficeMy library has been going through growing pains and reorganizations for the last year or more.  Despite several successes, some of the social web tools I’ve advocated these last several years have been very slow to get management’s approval (or priority) amid all the other changes.  Regrettably, that has forced my focus on other things.

I’ve been keeping up with my nonfiction book blog, though, and hope to post here regularly again once we resume using social tools in creative ways.  If that takes too long, I’ll broaden LibraryStream’s focus.  It’s a big world out there … and the library must be in it.