Two days ago I received a pleasant surprise: IFLA’s Professional Committee (PC) has started its own blog site.
Picture: informal gathering of Finnish library activists (2010)
In Helsinki many people expressed an active interest in strengthening the flow of information and communication back and forth among us all. Anna Maria Tammaro proposed a working group to encourage dialogue about communication issues during the next few weeks.
The new IFLADIAL group has just posted an opening statement (English, Spanish) on the web and invites participation through different channels. The discussion will be linked through the use of a shared hashtag (#ifladial). We plan a proposal for the next PC meeting, in December.
Ann Okerson, who chairs the Professional Committee, and Joanne Yeomans (IFLA HQ) emphasize that ProfSpeak is a work in progress.
We’re testing the format (we had to start somewhere!) and welcome suggestions as we go forward.
For now, please join the conversation by using the Reply function on this blog. All postings are moderated, and we expect to process incoming entries daily. We want to share information and particularly to hear from you!
This, to my mind, is a very good start, and I am happy to respond to the invitation. The first suggestion har to do with effectiveness. ProfSpeak should be more visible:
- At the moment, the new blog, which uses a locally hosted WordPress platform, is not visible on IFLA’s own list of featured blogs.
- Thus, new ProfSpeak posts are not visible under Recent posts.
The second suggestion has to do with transparency and fact-finding. Since IFLA uses the WordPress platform, it is very easy to monitor the web traffic, and to share this information with the world. Therefore I suggest
- to publish traffic statistics for ProfSpeak
- to do the same (as the default option) for the other blogs hosted by IFLA
This will help everybody understand what our users are doing – or not doing – on the IFLA web site.
The third suggestion has to do with the form and frequency of blogging. Library blogs exist in a competitive universe. Web readers expect blogs to be relatively informal, on the one hand, and frequently updated, on the other. So I suggest
- tell us how often we can expect new items: daily, weekly, monthly?
- keep an informal tone
Infrequent posts – without a personal touch – will not engage readers. A rapid scan of the existing IFLA blogs will confirm that.
ProfSpeak (Professionally Speaking) has been set up by IFLA’s Professional Committee. It is a moderated site, available to all IFLA’s officers and members, for discussion of IFLA’s professional programmes and related matters. This includes the activities of the professional units (sections, special interest groups and strategic activities), the IFLA publishing programme, and the Congress professional programme. ProfSpeak aims to further multi-way communications, as well as to be a vehicle for timely information sharing. Our goal is to post communications the same day as they are submitted.
To contribute to the blog please use the reply function after an entry.