Social Media Development Plan for GSLIS Communications and Advancement

Graduate School of Library and Information Science—Public and Media Relations, Communications, and Alumni Departments
Genifer Snipes LIS590 Strategic Information Management Date: 12/15/2010 Version: 2.0

To assess the current usage of social media technology by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science departments of Public Relations, Communications, and Alumni and Advancement with the goal of increasing these tool's effectiveness and efficiency through technological changes, education, and policy development. 1|Page

Contents
Section 1: Project Plan and Overview .......................................................................................................... 4 1.1 Project Plan ................................................................................................................................... 4

Project Contact: .................................................................................................................................... 4 1.2 – Project Objectives and Research Approach ..................................................................................... 4 Project Objectives ................................................................................................................................. 4 Research Approach ............................................................................................................................... 5 Section 2: Organization Overview ................................................................................................................ 5 2.1 – Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) .......................................................... 5 GSLIS Goals ............................................................................................................................................ 5 2.2 – Communications and Public Relations Department Profile............................................................. 6 2.3 – Advancement and Alumni Department Profile................................................................................ 6 Section 3: Goal for Social Media Usage at GSLIS ......................................................................................... 7 3.1 – Increase awareness and interaction between GSLIS and the community....................................... 7 3.2 – Why Social Media? ........................................................................................................................... 8 3.3 – Overview of current environment ................................................................................................. 10 Section 4: General Recommendations........................................................................................................ 10 Develop a GSLIS Social Media Policy ....................................................................................................... 10 Address Branding Issues ......................................................................................................................... 11 Increase interconnectivity of accounts ................................................................................................... 12 Adopt a social media client(s) ................................................................................................................. 12 Section 5: Social Media Portfolio Analysis ................................................................................................. 14 5.1 – Twitter ............................................................................................................................................ 14 Personality and Demographics ........................................................................................................... 14 GSLIS Twitter Usage profile................................................................................................................. 15 Desired Outcome of Use ..................................................................................................................... 16 Analysis and Recommendations ......................................................................................................... 16 5.2 – Facebook ........................................................................................................................................ 19 Personality and Demographics ........................................................................................................... 20 GSLIS Facebook Usage Profile ............................................................................................................. 20 Desired Outcome of Use ..................................................................................................................... 21 Analysis and Recommendations ......................................................................................................... 22 2|Page

5.3 – Flickr ............................................................................................................................................... 23 Personality and Demographics ........................................................................................................... 24 GSLIS Flickr Usage Profile .................................................................................................................... 24 Desired Outcome of Use ..................................................................................................................... 24 Analysis and Recommendations ......................................................................................................... 25 5.4 – LinkedIn .......................................................................................................................................... 26 Personality and Demographics ........................................................................................................... 26 GSLIS LinkedIn Usage Profile ............................................................................................................... 27 Analysis and Recommendations ......................................................................................................... 27 Section 6: Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 28

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Section 1: Project Plan and Overview
1.1 – Project Plan
Organization: Graduate School of Library and Information Science—Public and Media Relations, Communications, and Alumni Departments Project Time-frame: August 25, 2010 – December 21, 2010 Project Contact: Genifer Snipes This project has been developed by Genifer Snipes as part of her Strategic Information Management class. Ms. Snipes is a first year master’s degree candidate at the Graduate School of Information Science at UIUC. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Genifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in History at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Her background is in technical services for educational institutions and veterinary medical administrative support. Her studies at GSLIS include online research, social media, knowledge management, and information and communication systems. Phone Number: (360) 509-8379 Email: gsnipes2@illinois.edu Twitter: @GeniferAnne

1.2 – Project Objectives and Research Approach
Project Objectives This project’s primary purpose is to analyze the social media tools and practices in use at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science’s Communication, Public Relations, Alumni, and Advancement departments for their current effectiveness and efficiency. Secondary goals will be to: 1. examine employee concerns regarding how social media will affect their job expectations 2. identify current policies and attitudes related to social media usage within the GSLIS departments 3. identify privacy and internal security challenges posed by various social media tools 4. recommend methods of managing social media communication within GSLIS

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Research Approach 1. Examine GSLIS website and all major social media outlets to create a comprehensive profile of

social media currently in use including ownership, history, and current policy toward each tool.
2. Interview departmental staff for information regarding social media usage, ownership of accounts, goals, and concerns regarding privacy 3. Survey current social media, technology, and business publications for current thinking on social media in business communications and the workplace 4. Identify and describe critical dependencies of social media usage such as legal or ethical

restrictions as well as privacy and information security concerns.
5. Based on findings, offer recommendations regarding ways to maximize effectiveness of current

social media tools in the concerned departments while protecting the privacy of all concerned
parties—both within GSLIS and external entities

Section 2: Organization Overview
2.1 – Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS)
According to the GSLIS website: The University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) is recognized as a premier institution, consistently named the top LIS school in the nation. GSLIS has earned its reputation by creating pioneering and innovative educational opportunities, including the oldest extant LIS doctoral program in the country (1948), our award-winning online education program, LEEP (1996), and an advanced degree in digital libraries (2005). Today, GSLIS is a charter member of the iSchools Project, a community of schools interested in the relationship between information, technology, and people and committed to increasing the visibility of the field of library and information science. Founded in 1893, GSLIS helped establish and develop the methods used in the field of LIS. Today we continue this tradition by translating the core principles of library science—information organization, access, use, and preservation—to meet the needs of our information society. This natural integration of library science and information science allows for opportunities to enhance and strengthen learning, teaching, and research: at GSLIS, we understand that fluency with current technologies is important to all information professionals, from librarians, archivists, and museum curators to information architects, Web developers, and data managers. (School Overview)

GSLIS Goals
The stated mission of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science is to provide:

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Graduate education for leaders in research and practice in the fields of library and information science Groundbreaking research to advance preservation of and access to information in both traditional and digital libraries and in the many settings outside of libraries where large amounts of critical information are collected; Useful service to librarians and other information service providers, as well as to the citizens of Illinois. (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 2006)

2.2 – Communications and Public Relations Department Profile
The GSLIS Communications and Public Relations department (referred to as Communications for brevity) serve as the School's strategic communications and marketing unit. Its activities center around advancing the mission of the School through print and electronic media and the GSLIS website. In addition to preparing promotional materials and newsletters for GSLIS, the office produces two highquality publications, Library Trends and The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. The Communications and Public Relations department, which manages GSLIS’s current social media portfolio, is staffed by Cindy Ashwill, Kim Schmidt, and two ten-hour graduate assistants. During an interview with Ms. Ashwill and Ms. Schmidt, they indicated that their current structure for disseminating information via social media is that any GSLIS entity—faculty, Alumni, student group, etc.—can submit information and Ms. Schmidt will push it out to the community via Twitter, and if requested, Facebook. (Ashwill, 2010; Schmidt, 2010)

2.3 – Advancement and Alumni Department Profile
The Office of Advancement and Alumni, headed by Diana Stroud, the Assistant Dean of Advancement and Alumni Relations, serves the needs of GSLIS alumni, students, faculty, and friends by enabling GSLIS to maintain its tradition of academic excellence through partnerships with alumni that maintain and establish scholarships, fellowships, endowed chairs, professorships, faculty research, centers, and building spaces. In addition to fundraising responsibilities, the Office of Advancement also seeks to

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support the educational and career goals of GSLIS alumni by facilitating continuing education classes, regional alumni groups, and networking programs across the country and around the globe. (Office of Advancement) Currently, Advancement is not responsible for any of the GSLIS social media platforms. Rather, they feed information to the Communications department for dissemination (Stroud, 2010)

Section 3: Goal for Social Media Usage at GSLIS
3.1 – Increase awareness and interaction between GSLIS and the community
One of the most frequently hoped-for outcomes of increasing GSLIS’s social media presence mentioned during project interviews is to increase interaction within the GSLIS community and expand that community. In this endeavor, GSLIS is not alone—current studies indicate that this is the primary motivation for social media presence among all U.S. companies. (eMarketer, 2010) In the process of creating this greater community, it is hoped that GSLIS will be able to position itself as a premier voice for the library and information science community on social media. (Ashwill, 2010; Stroud, 2010) Specific goals articulated included: disseminate GSLIS and LIS news keep alums updated with what their school and classmates are doing profile alum accomplishments Make alum-fueled outreach towards GSLIS more common and easier Provide connections between GSLIS alumni and current students to facilitate job placement and networking opportunities draw LEEP students into the GSLIS community Link GSLIS to other UIUC departments, and the greater University of Illinois, and state of Illinois communities provide commentary on current events relating to the LIS field, such as Twitter, censorship, or digital libraries Encourage greater interaction between Advancement and current students so that their educational and career goals can be better supported 7|Page

Recruit new students into LIS program Provide greater support for employment-seeking among GSLIS alums

3.2 – Why Social Media?
Social media has evolved into the ubiquitous method of communication for today’s society which means engaging in social media communication is a necessity for any organization that values namerecognition, community building, or technological innovation. Their network reach is unprecedented in communications history—Twitter alone has over one hundred million users with another three hundred thousand signing up every day, while Facebook touts five hundred million active users, which, in terms of population, makes it the third largest country in the world. (Huffington Post, 2010; Qualman, 2009) As such, engaging in the social media community allows both individuals and organizations to communicate on a regular basis across a wider spectrum than is possible using traditional communication methods such as email or telephone communication. Further, there is significant evidence that social media will displace some current communication tools in the near future. For example, a representative of technology research firm Gartner Inc., has predicted that by 2014, 20 percent of domestic employees will use social networks rather than e-mail as their main business communications hub. (Green, 2010; Kurtz, 2009) As such, the benefits and necessity of GSLIS's engagement in the online social community are evident. As an educational entity seeking to recruit promising new students, GSLIS must be active on social media if it intends to reach current undergraduates and young adults in the workforce since 83 percent of college students use Facebook and 21 percent use LinkedIn for communication. (eROI, 2010) Of course, countless variations of these statistics have been published in recent years; however, what is less commonly understood is the popularity of social media across demographics other than college-age students. In 2009, the fastest growing user groups on Facebook were the 35-54 and 55+ age ranges, which grew by 321% and 923% respectively. (Corbett, 2009) This means that social media will also be an

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excellent tool for Advancement to reach out to our older alums and draw them into conversation with the school and current students. It will also aid in GSLIS’s goal of positioning its alums in influential positions in the LIS industry since 80% of American employers now report that they have adopted the business-only social network LinkedIn as their primary recruitment tool. (Qualman, 2009) This is not to say that engaging in social media communication is without its pitfalls. As indicated by recent news headlines (Privacy Disaster At Twitter: Direct Messages Exposed—TechCrunch, 2008; Facebook's New Messaging Plan Worries Some Privacy Advocates—Investor’s Business Daily, 2010; As Social Media Sites Mature, New Privacy Concerns Emerge—Information Management, 2010), information privacy continues to be a primary concern among individuals and organizations engaging in social communication. Businesses and educational entities are especially conflicted in their attitudes toward social communication simply because there it so little legal or trade precedent in how to deal with platforms like Facebook which allow users—intentionally or unintentionally—to expose the most intimate details of their personal lives. In this rapidly changing environment of platform privacy policy changes, legal challenges, and marketing experimentation, social media policies are often developed in the wake of lawsuits, public relations disasters, or protests and tend towards over-restrictiveness as a form of organizational self-protection. (Arrington, 2008; Howell, 2010; Trembly, 2010) Other concerns cited regarding plans to expand GSLIS’s social media outreach campaign are of an internal nature. The two departments addressed in this analysis are comprised of four full-time staff and three to four part-time workers, all of whom are dedicated to other responsibility. (Schmidt, 2010) There is no current staff or funding available for a dedicated social media manager or program, which means any expansion of outreach must be done in addition to employee’s primary duties and without access to paid social management tools.

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3.3 – Overview of current environment
GSLIS currently supports at least one account on four of the top social media platforms. These platforms are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Flickr. The accounts on these four platforms represent the absolute minimum presence necessary for GSLIS to present an adequate social media presence in the digital community. Activity levels within each platform vary based on ownership of the account within GLSIS, staff understanding of each platform’s purpose, and security or privacy concerns attached to particular platforms. All official social media activity is initiated from the Communications Department The main social media platform is Twitter, with Facebook in second place. The Flickr account is currently unpublicized and the LinkedIn group is completely unsupported within GSLIS. Activity across the active platforms is dominated by top-down re-broadcasting of GSLIS news headlines developed for the main webpage and RSS feed.

Section 4: General Recommendations
Effort has been made to develop recommendations that may be implemented over time and do not require a significant time commitment from GSLIS staff members to enact. It is expected that all of the recommendations made in this report could be carried out within the next six to twelve months to give GSLIS a significantly more robust portfolio of social media channels and a growing voice in the digital LIS community. In the following sections of this project, methods of improving GSLIS social media usage in general will be offered, followed by a platform-by-platform analysis of the social media accounts currently used or owned by the Graduate School and specific recommendations as to ways each of these accounts could be better utilized.

Develop a GSLIS Social Media Policy
Currently, GSLIS does not have a social media policy underlying its activities, however, as trends in both higher education and the business world indicate, methods of guiding and controlling the social message created by professional entities must be developed. Whatever policy is developed should be reflective 10 | P a g e

of the University’s public relations policies, and integrated into GSLIS’s Strategic Plan and communications policies so that social outreach can grow along with the organization. This will require collaboration between all communications-related departments (e.g. Career Services, Public Relations, front desk, etc.), IT, University legal, and upper administration to develop. (eMarketer, 2010) That said, research conducted during this project has determined that the GSLIS social media outlets will need significant modification to come into compliance with University branding policy as will be outlined below.

Address Branding Issues
Although the University of Illinois does not have a specific social media policy, the Public Affairs office has developed a series of social media Best Practices, most of which are echoed in this paper. However, there are several compliance issues that must be addressed in relation to the branding section. (University of Illinois Public Affairs) 1. “Do not use UIUC in the name of your feed or account or in your content” (University of Illinois Public Affairs) a. Although the Campus Administrative Policy (updated Feb 25, 2010) does not appear to specifically prohibit this abbreviation, the University Style Guide interprets it as such. (Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs, 2010) (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) b. “UIUC” appears in every social media account owned by GSLIS. Whether this restriction is serious enough that the University might consider forcing non-compliant accounts to close must be determined in collaboration with Public Affairs—there is little point in expanding the community of accounts that will be forced to close in the future. c. Some account names or URL’s may be modifiable, others may not. This should be examined to allow pre-emptive changes. d. Descriptions across all accounts should be modified to comply with University policy 11 | P a g e

2. “Don’t create logos to represent campus units - refer to your unit with text and use the Illinois logo.” (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) a. Currently, GSLIS uses customized departmental logos or other images across all four social media platforms. This must be adjusted to comply with policy and to create uniformity across accounts. 3. Account descriptions should be standardized so that visitors will automatically make connections between the different platforms they visit.

Increase interconnectivity of accounts
 From GSLIS website o Main page has small, dedicated icon links to Twitter and Facebook in lower left-hand corner  Size of icons should be increased and re-located to top half of page for increased visibility  o Add LinkedIn and RSS feed subscription icons

Home » About GSLIS » Contact Information has no links to social media  All accounts should be visible here with a short description of each account’s purpose in GSLIS’s communication plan (i.e. “Join our professional network on LinkedIn”)

o  

Add Facebook “like,” LinkedIn “share,” and Twitter “re-tweet” buttons to news items

Promote GSLIS social media accounts in the footer of official GSLIS broadcast emails Ensure URL’s are cross-posted between social media platforms

Adopt a social media client(s)
A social media client is a third-party application designed to streamline and customize a user’s interactions with social media. Most of these tools were originally designed to deal with the high volume of tweets received by power Twitterers and have since evolved to allow users to manage other 12 | P a g e

popular social media accounts in addition to Twitter. Since the purpose of this project is to increase GSLIS’s social media footprint, it is reasonable to expect that there will be an increased time commitment required; however, adopting a social media client will help keep this commitment under control. The two leading clients that fit the needs this project has identified are: 1. Hootsuite (http://hootsuite.com/) 2. Tweetdeck (http://www.tweetdeck.com/) Requirements for consideration: 1. Free  Since one of the goals of this project was to develop ways to maximize social media utilization while minimizing financial outlays, the only clients considered for recommendation were those with robust free versions. Although this means there will be advertising integrated into the platform, the lack of price will be an adequate trade-off. 2. Universal functionality  The client must work with all conversation-based social platforms currently in use. (Flickr, being a media sharing platform, is not included) (Bale, 2010) 3. Hardware interoperability including mobile  Due to the wide variety of hardware or operating systems through which staff might be interacting with the client, priority was given to platforms with the widest range of access. (Sridhar, Top 5 Best Twitter Apps For iPhone, 2010) 4. Expandable to accommodate multiple accounts on a single platform 5. Allow scheduling of posts (avoids no-post evenings and weekends) (Sridhar, 4 Best Twitter Tools For Scheduling Your Tweets, 2010) 6. Ability to track activity related to GSLIS on social media a. Twitter mentions, #gslisui hashtag appearances, new followers, etc. b. Save searches for LIS-related keywords. (Israel, 2009) c. Allows monitoring for replies and conversation occurring across accounts

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Section 5: Social Media Portfolio Analysis
5.1 – Twitter
Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows users or “tweeps” to publish 140 character posts or “Twitterer” containing text or web links to the Twitter stream. These tweets then become part of a borderless stream of conversation for other users to search for or stumble across. This searchable conversation stream allows users to locate people or organizations with shared interests whom they can then “follow” to receive updates about their thoughts and activities. In many cases, once you have followed a Twitter user, they will follow back. In addition to following a Twitter user’s Tweets, you can also “re-tweet” their content, which is something like a newspaper re-publishing AP or Reuter’s content through their own publication and is considered an appropriate method of sharing especially pertinent or interesting tweets, reply to tweets, or send private Direct Messages to specific users. (Shepherd, 2009; Twitter 101; Twitter Glossary) Twitter has suffered privacy breaches in the past; however, these have usually been the responsibility of third-party applications. (Arrington, 2008) The privacy policy itself is, as Twitter COO Dick Costolo once stated, “very simple: You can have a protected account, or not. If not, everything is public.” (Schonfeld, 2010) This basic formula, paired with the straightforward user-interface (UI) and stated goal of public conversation has remained unchanged since Twitter went public, which has allowed the platform to avoid the privacy complexities and controversies that have dogged Facebook. Personality and Demographics Twitter is sometimes dismissed as a place for self-involved egotists to post details of their personal lives like “Shall go shower and eat my brunch then remove my nail polish plus cut finger nails.” (Siaqinyi, 2010) However, it is rapidly becoming one of the foremost marketing tools on the web. (Hernandez, 2010) In part, this is because, although Twitter’s stated purpose is to inform the community what you are doing at any given moment, organizations using Twitter as a networking and outreach tool have

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discovered the value of asking and answering the questions: “What are you thinking about?” or “What is interesting to you?” as a method of fostering conversation. (Shepherd, 2009) It is also designed to be a tool for free-form conversation, or Social Listening, in which Twitterers can monitor keyword usage in the Twitter stream to locate conversations related to their interests, into which they can contribute useful information, in the process boosting their own social reputation. (Israel, 2009, p. 50) Although Twitter has a significantly smaller user group than Facebook, it is one of the quickest growing of all platforms. In 2008, it was estimated that Twitter added users at a rate of 1,000 percent. (Shepherd, 2009) In the United States, this means that roughly six percent of American adults are also Twitter users. Interestingly, the demographics of Twitterers have proven to be as diverse as the conversations on it. Twitterers as a population are young, urban, or suburban, adults with at least some college education. Further, over two-thirds of Twitterers belong to a racial minority. (Smith, 2010) GSLIS Twitter Usage profile Currently GSLIS has one active Twitter account. @GSLIS: UIUC GSLIS o Manager: Kim Schmidt o o o o Created: 4 Dec, 2008 Followers: 634 Following: 238 URL: http://twitter.com/#!/gslis

@Twitter Search Results o o GSLIS: appears #1 on People search Frequency of tweets ensures GSLIS stays visible in Tweet searches

Current Status o @GSLIS is currently used as a broadcast channel to disseminate headlines and events posted on the GSLIS webpage along with some unique content. o Avg. frequency of Tweets: 25 per month (TweetStats)

@GSLISAdvancemnt: GSLIS UIUC Alumni This account is currently unsupported and therefore has no usage policy or activity 15 | P a g e

o o o o o

Manager: Patty Grove Created: 12 Jun, 2009 Followers: 107 Following: 17 URL: http://twitter.com/#!/GSLISadvancemnt

@Twitter Search Results o GSLIS: @GSLISadvancemnt appears #6 on People search

#gslisui Hashtag o Hashtag was developed by Communications department to co-locate student conversations related to GSLIS within the Twitter stream. o Having a unique hashtag works well since #gslisui is a unique label that would not develop randomly in relation to a different topic. o Twitter widget on GSLIS homepage displays most recent #gslisui tweets so that chatter can be viewed without going to Twitter webpage. Desired Outcome of Use Foster interaction within the GSLIS community, across the external LIS community and to the public at large. increase external value of @GSLIS feed by encouraging networking and dissemination of LIS news to @GSLIS followers. (Ashwill, 2010; Schmidt, 2010; Stroud, 2010)

Analysis and Recommendations
Currently, Twitter usage within GSLIS is limited to one account and two or three individuals contributing to the account during their work hours. @GSLIS account As stated by Communications, activity is limited to broadcasting of predominately internal news and two-way conversation is virtually non-existent. As such, @GSLIS is restricted from becoming an influential voice for LIS on Twitter since it is not seen as a source of responses. Further, activity on @GSLIS is limited to working hours, which will lower the account’s visibility during non-peak hours. That said, the number of Tweets is sufficient to maintain prominence in search results and the content of Tweets published via @GSLIS is of consistently high quality. 16 | P a g e

Increase visibility of Twitter account from main GSLS website a. Change location and increase size of Twitter button on GSLIS main page (currently tiny icon in lower left-hand corner of page and only on front page) b. Add Follow button to the GSLIS Contact page. c. Add dedicated Retweet button to newsroom items in addition to current multi-tool Add To Any button

Keep @GSLIS feed updated with the activities of influential LIS Twitterers. a. Use Twitter lists to create a curated list of LIS tweeters so their posts can be reviewed without sorting through all tweets in the stream and valuable tweets can then be retweeted.

Develop Following policy a. There is ongoing debate in the social media community over whether a business entity is obligated, based on traditional Twitter netiquette, to follow everyone who follows them or if, by being selective as to who they follow, they raise the value of their Twitter presence by offering unique insights and connections. (eMarketer, 2010; Joel, 2010) Because part of GSLIS’ goal in utilizing social media is to position itself as an LIS influencer, it would be best to adopt a policy of selective following to ensure that the content being pushed to our followers is only of the highest quality. Selective following will increase the quality of content on GSLIS’s Twitter feed and limit the volume of information for GSLIS staff to review. b. Recommendations for following and listing:  GSLIS students (look at @uiucundergrad, the Twitter account for the Undergraduate Library, which maintains a public list of UIUC alums and students for an example)      GSLIS alumni GSLIS faculty & staff GSLIS student organizations Select UIUC accounts (Computer Science, Career Services, Business School, etc.) GSLIS-affiliated companies 17 | P a g e

   

LIS organizations (AACR, ALA, ASIS&T, etc.) Influential individuals in LIS field Advancement Donors

Make use of Twitter Lists a. Twitter allows users to sort the accounts it follows into lists, which can be public or private, and display only the tweets of those accounts. The use of lists would allow GSLIS and those viewing the account to differentiate between industry, affiliate, event, or student Twitter users. Public lists would allow GSLIS affiliates and alum to find each other, which would be especially useful for new students looking to set up their on-campus twitter contacts. Further, these curated lists would guide Twitterers to the sources GSLIS recognizes as valuable or authoritative, allowing the school to shape the conversation. b. It is recommended that private lists be utilized to allow Advancement to co-locate followers whose identities might qualify as "trade secrets,” namely corporate affiliates and donors, without publicizing their significance.

@GSLISadvancmnt  Determine whether a dedicated Twitter account fills a specific role in departmental goals and whether staff has time available to commit to Twitter usage. o As is, media can be delegated to the main @GSLIS feed for dissemination. If the current model acceptable to all parties, and the Advancement department does not foresee increasing their interactions on this channel in the future, it is recommended that the @GSLSAdvancement account be closed to decrease confusion in search return and distract from the main @GSLIS account. There are third-party tools that allow multiple users to Tweet from a single account, which means eliminating @GSLISadvancemnt will not preclude Advancement staff from engaging in social media on their department’s behalf—it will merely concentrate interactions through one channel. 18 | P a g e

If account will be retained, edit description to clarify target audience and type of information that will be tweeted about.

#gslisui Hashtag Q: #gslisui conversation content that appears through website widget is not monitored for content. Is there a way to censor those tweets if, in the future, objectionable content appears? (Ashwill, 2010; Schmidt, 2010)

A: No. It is possible to block users from following or messaging an @Twitter account but hashtags are user-driven and therefore, content cannot be controlled.

Push #gslisui hashtag usage a. Move Twitter widget higher on the GSLIS homepage to increase visibility of feed. b. Use hashtag in all @GSLIS tweets c. Retweet tweets using #gslisui

5.2 – Facebook
Of all current social media platforms, Facebook is the largest and most influential, and the most controversial. (Sutter, 2010) Facebook’s U.S. user base grew from 42 million to 103 million in 2009—a 145% growth rate; however, the global population of Facebook is even more impressive. (Corbett, iStrategy Labs, 2010) With over 500 million active users, if it were a country, Facebook would rank as the third largest in the world—an unprecedented accomplishment in the digital age. (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010)It is used by an international population of all ages for professional and personal interaction as well as community building through public Pages and Groups that provide users a central location to meet and talk or post about shared interests. In 2007, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the purpose of Facebook: Our whole theory is that people have real connections in the world. People communicate most naturally and effectively with their friends and the people around them. What we figured is that if we could model what those connections were, [we could] provide that information to a set of applications through which people want to share information, photos or videos or events. But that only works if those relationships are real. That's a really big difference between Facebook

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and a lot of other sites. We're not thinking about ourselves as a community — we're not trying to build a community — we're not trying to make new connections. (Locke, 2007) At its inception, Facebook was designed as a private community within which college students could socialize. Over time, the network was opened to more user groups until it became accessible to anyone with an account. As Facebook has become more open, personal users have been faced with the issue of ‘friending” those they know only through professional channels, resulting in a loss of privacy and workhome separation many individuals are uncomfortable with. (Smith C. , 2010) Further, Facebook has been dogged by a long list of privacy breaches, the most recent of which was the selling of personal information to advertising companies by third-party developers. (Beaumont, 2010) Personality and Demographics Many Facebook users joined the platform because it offered a fast and streamline way to communicate with friends and family and to other individuals who share common interests in Facebook communities. With an integrated chat client, photo albums, blogging (Notes) functionality, event planning features, and the ability to customize personal profiles to match the user’s personality, Facebook is often seen as an extension of the user’s real-world life. The demographics of Facebook users generally reflects that that found on other social tools—age distribution is weighted toward the 18-34 demographic; however, the 35+ demographic represents more 40 percent of the entire user base with the 55+ group growing by 922.7 percent in 2009. (Corbett, iStrategy Labs, 2010; Kiser, 2010; Corbett, 2009) Users are usually Caucasian or African-American, female and likely to have minor children. (Quantcast, 2010) GSLIS Facebook Usage Profile There is an active GSLIS Facebook group; however, the landscape is complicated by the existence of a Community page and an unofficial user-created fan group. GSLIS UIUC Alumni and Friends ▪ Admin: Patty Grove ▪ ▪ Created: June 23, 2009 Members: 387 20 | P a g e

▪ ▪

Type: Group: Common Interest—Activities URL: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=92452367841

Searches ▪ Facebook customizes Search for each user so results are unreliable

Similar Accounts ◦ Facebook Community Page ▪ http://www.facebook.com/pages/UIUC-Graduate-School-of-Library-and-InformationScience/108514842507093?sk=info ▪ Community pages are automatically generated by Facebook with information pulled from Wikipedia and provide a central hub for questions and searches related to the subject ◦ UIUC GSLIS Group ▪ ▪
o

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=93459412144 owned by Scott Migaldi (relationship to GSLIS, if any, is unknown)

Current Status ◦ ◦ Main content publishers are Kim Schmidt and Patty Grove Content published to Wall is predominately top-down communication with same information as posted on Twitter (including content not posted to main GSLIS webpage) ▪ ◦

Facebook posts have added content to take advantage of longer post lengths

Event feature has been used in the past Links back to GSLIS webpage but not other social media

Desired Outcome of Use Foster interaction within the GSLIS community, across the external LIS community and to the public at large. Create hub for conversation and interaction around GSLIS

Protect personal privacy of staff
During interviews, conversations about increased Facebook activity led to expressions of concern on the part of staff members regarding how to control their privacy and maintain work-personal boundaries without alienating professional contacts. (Ashwill, 2010; Schmidt, 2010; Stroud, 2010)

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Analysis and Recommendations Currently, the GSLIS Facebook group is used as a broadcast tool, echoing the main webpage and Twitter feed. The schedule of posts is well-balanced with enough posts to remain visible but not spam follower’s Walls. There are a decent number of followers and the group Wall, Events, Photos, and Information sections are populated, if slightly outdated. The group is not connected to any related GSLIS or LIS organizations on Facebook (Favorites), reducing our ability to guide members to the information channels GSLIS deems reliable or valuable. Further, the unofficial GSLIS pages create confusion in determining which GSLIS account is the official outlet. 1) Claim Community Page from Facebook 2) Attempt to gain ownership of unofficial UIUC GSLIS Group a) This page is not active but the visual relationship and Info section are close enough that this could be considered name-squatting. b) Investigate Facebook’s policy for name-squatting and determine if this account is eligible for reclamation 3) Switch from Group to Page a) Pages are accessible to individuals without Facebook accounts b) Allows GSLIS to favorite pages of other University and LIS organizations c) Provides a way for people to engage in FB without having to "friend" people d) Staff members posting on Pages post as the page rather than as their personal Facbook account, preserving separation of work and private life e) Allows use of third-party applications and visual customization 4) Change page title a) GSLIS UIUC Alumni and Friends is vague and doesn't say what the page is about. Is it only intended for people outside of, or no longer at GSLIS, or are we trying to reach all our connections? b) Current title in violation of University policy 5) Link to other social media accounts on Info page 6) Develop privacy tutorial for GSLIS users

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a) Ensure staff members understand curating or contributing to a Facebook page does not require "friending" and does not give co-members access to personal profiles. b) Explain or provide links to tutorials on securing private Facebook information if the user is blending personal and professional contacts. (Sutton, 2010) c) Emphasize that staff members are not obligated to accept friend requests from professional contacts if they do not wish to. (Ray, 2010) d) Suggest LinkedIn accounts as alternative where professional contacts could be re-directed from Facebook friend requests 7) Address restrictions on @illinois.edu email usage on Facebook a) According to GSLIS staff, current University policy is that the use of work email accounts on Facebook is prohibited. However, this requires staff members to use their personal accounts to curate the official GSLIS Facebook group. i) Determine whether this renders private Facebook accounts subject to University Ethics scrutiny b) Ensure GSLIS staff is aware of Facebook “one account, one user” policy in the Terms of Service which bans the creation of multiple accounts by a single user in case any staff are in breach of these restrictions (King, 2010)

5.3 – Flickr
Flickr is one of the most popular social photo and video-sharing sites online with over 3 billion images hosted as of 2009. Flickr allows users to create accounts and link their uploaded media into communities using social and geotagging of images based on individuals, events, location, or interests captured in the images. Like Twitter tweets, these images, once publicized, enter the Flickr “photostream” where they can be viewed by the rest of the There are other community–building tools like Connections (Flickr’s version of “friends”), photo contests, threaded commenting, and easy dissemination to other social platforms like Facebook. Although Flickr allows users to create private photo sets, the community is built around public sharing and Creative Commons permissions for image use. Because Flickr is a relatively small platform, privacy policy has not been heavily investigated or tested like that of Facebook or other tools.

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Personality and Demographics Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Flickr does not appear to have a clear personality. Its social aspects were a coincidental effect of Flickr’s goal of helping “people make their photos available to the people who matter to them.” (Flickr) Although membership statistics are not publicly available, there are an average 16.1 million monthly visitors to Flickr and over five billion images hosted on the service. (Sheppard, 2010) Within the Flickr community, a majority of users are teenagers and young adults with a slight tilt toward male users and a significant majority of Asian and Hispanic users. (Quantcast, 2010) GSLIS Flickr Usage Profile Created by Public Relations as a private location for storing and reviewing professional photos GSLIS and Alumni UIUC o Admin: chadly (real identity unknown) o o o o o Created: apx. 6 years ago Members: 55 Number of Images: 74 URL: http://www.flickr.com/groups/gslis Searches   #2 in results for gslis Similar Accounts: GSLIS Doctoral Research Queens College Library and Information Science Student Association Simmons College  Current Status largely unpopulated space with few users account is unpublicized on GSLIS outlets Desired Outcome of Use Develop GSLIS Flickr presence into a hub where GLSIS connections can centralize images of events and activities (e.g. South St. Louis Community Informatics program, alumni meetings at ALA National, LEEP weekend, poster images) Create function where pictures from Flickr photostream are posted on GSLIS homepage feature image block 24 | P a g e

geo-tagging of LEEP students, adjunct faculty, events, meetups, etc. Develop special features such as a faculty yearbook series showing faculty members over time Publicize GSLIS final projects (archives, preservation, bookbinding) Analysis and Recommendations After talking with Communications, there are significant privacy and disclosure issues that must be addressed before Flickr should become an official GSLIS media outlet.1 As such, it is recommended that the promotion of Flickr as a social outlet be deferred until validating legal and administrative opinions are obtained from the appropriate University departments or other parties. Concerns include: How to accommodate privacy laws like FERPA and HIPAA What permissions are required for posting images? Under what circumstances can images of children be published? o o Center for Children’s Books, Children’s Literature Festival, East St. Louis volunteers How will parents be alerted to publication and given control over minor’s likeness?

If users are unaware of privacy customization options, how do we make them aware of ability to restrict tagging and geolocation by other community members? (i.e. being tagged in someone else’s image from a conference) If external entities post to the Flickr group, is GSLIS liable for privacy breaches or content? Once these major concerns are addressed, recommendations to fulfill other GSLIS goals can be addressed. Add Admins and Moderators with profiles that indicate official relationship to GSLIS Populate Flickr stream o o Official images Encourage students to post poster images, standalone charts, or graphs that educate on LIS concerns (FRBR hierarchy diagram, timeline of GSLIS history, etc.) (Zarella, 2009) o Encourage Faculty to integrate images into classes and post these images to photostream
1

Disclaimer: Researcher has no legal background or experience and cannot make assertions as to the validity or necessity of these recommendations. All recommendations are based on personal awareness of internet privacy concerns and those concerns voiced in interview with Cindy Ashwill and Kimberly Schmidt. Appropriate legal and administrative opinion should be obtained before any decisions are made.

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Adapt Twitter #gslisui hashtag to act as GSLIS-specific tag within Flickr photostream o Apply tag to all images posted by GSLIS

Rename group and standardize profile image to match other accounts and platforms Add Flickr button on GSLIS homepage, contact page, and Admissions section. Link to Facebook group

5.4 – LinkedIn
LinkedIn has positioned itself as the primary social media tool for professionals. Like Facebook, LinkedIn was designed to allow individuals to build personal networks and engage in online communities surrounding their interests. However, unlike Facebook, LinkedIn networks revolve around co-workers, business contacts, and potential clients or employers while the communities relate to professional organizations, businesses, and alumni organizations. Networks are built among known contacts to the extent that making a connection require the user to explain how they are connected to the person they seek to connect with. If the person receiving the connection request rejects the request, the requestor is penalized by having their connection ability limited. The more individuals who participate in LinkedIn, the more frequently their host organization’s name appears in searches, creating greater visibility for both the organization and its members. As a strictly professional platform, LinkedIn is considered the ‘safe’ network for individuals to stay connected with co-workers, supervisors, and other professional contacts without informing potential employers about what they were doing Saturday night or exposing their obsession with lousy martial arts films to the entire department. Personality and Demographics As a professional network, LinkedIn has an understandably formal personality with emphasis being placed on presenting individuals, organizations, or items as business assets for hiring, outreach, or adoption. It is considered one of the mandatory employment tools for professionals from new college graduates to Fortune 500 executives. As a jobseeking and recruitment tool, LinkedIn is unparalleled, with more than 80% of American employers using LinkedIn as their primary recruitment tool. (Qualman,

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2009). Echoing the adult professional orientation of the platform, domestic LinkedIn users are overwhelmingly middle-aged Caucasians without children who make over $60,000 a year and have at least a bachelor’s degree. There is also a slight gender imbalance trending toward male users. (Quantcast, 2010) GSLIS LinkedIn Usage Profile This platform is currently orphaned and the status of ownership is unclear. GSLIS Communications staff was unaware of this account's existence until they were given an inventory of GSLIS social media accounts during the development of this project. As such, there is no usage information or staff goals to report. However, the fact that GSLIS affiliates continue to connect with a clearly inactive, and unadvertised, group suggests that reviving this channel and turning it into an active and effective outlet would not be difficult. UIUC GSLIS Students and Alumni o Owner: Sara Q Thompson (ex-GA, no longer at GSLIS)  Rae Ann Montague listed as a group manager; however, her control of administrative rights is unknown. o o o o Type: Alumni Group Created: Aug 16, 2008 Members: 421 URL: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=andgid=675727

Search Results o o o Appears 2 of 6 for GSLIS after Simmons GSLIS Alumni Appears 8 of 10 for library and information science Appears 3 of 6 for graduate school library and information science

Analysis and Recommendations A key goal of GSLIS is maintaining its reputation in the LIS field and supporting faculty and alumni network throughout their professional careers. (Stroud, 2010) As such, a GSLIS presence on LinkedIn is a virtual requirement for leveraging our network of alumni and affiliates to the benefit of the college. 27 | P a g e

LinkedIn also provides GSLIS staff members with a reliable alternative to interacting with professional contacts via their personal Facebook accounts. Further, due to LinkedIn's growing centrality to the job market, it is critical that GSLIS student be able to solicit recommendations and contacts from their GSLIS sources via LinkedIn. o o Reclaim ownership of group and designate manager(s) Determine whether group is only intended for GSLIS students and alums or whether it will be marketed to all GSLIS affiliates (donors, faculty, etc.) and adjust description accordingly. o Encourage GSLIS faculty and staff to join LinkedIn as networking tool and to support student jobseeking activities o Educate faculty and staff on correct procedures for responding to LinkedIn Recommendation requests from students and alum   o What recommending someone entails What to write

Add links from GSLIS webpage  Account is linked only through Home » Careers » Students and Alumni » Jobs » AlumniStudent Connect. Even there, the only mention is a plain-text hotlink.  LinkedIn icon should be added to front page, contacts, and career page at a minimum

o o

Create link from Career Services Moodle page Begin posting conversation starters in discussion forum and respond to activity on forums  Encourage other GSLIS members to respond to activity

Section 6: Conclusion
Throughout this project, an effort was made to combine the articulated wishes of the Communications and Advancement offices regarding the outcome of social media engagement and the written goals of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science with the researcher’s knowledge of the potential value offered by social media activity. This led to a research focus on strengthening the foundations of the GSLIS social media program over providing specific recommendations regarding the content of social media activities. Based on this focus, privacy, account structure, promotion, networking, and branding turned out to be the primary areas addressed. The activity occurring through 28 | P a g e

the various social channels was found to suffer from lack of two-way conversation, which is easily addressed by small shifts in messaging. The structural elements of GSLIS social media however, will require strategic planning and some level of redesigning to maximize their utility. Social media must be integrated into every aspect of GSLIS’s communications, public relations, and outreach policies and activities to reach its true potential. If this integration occurs, it will facilitate GSLIS’s goal of greater interaction on campus and around the world

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