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Engaging Social Media? A Case Study of University Library Community Building Practices on Twitter from Norway.

Hilde Drivenes Johannessen
Birgitte Kleivset
University of Agder, Norway

This paper presents results from a case study of community building practices on Twitter in eight Norwegian University Libraries, using a combination of a qualitative and a quantitative approach. The analysis aims to highlight how academic libraries tweet content that may build a community with two-way communication and engagement with researchers and students. Our research also sheds light on recent developments and current challenges in University Libraries use of Twitter in theory and practice, and give some critical perspectives on information literacy and digital library community engagement.

The dataset for this research is collected from the twitter timelines of eight norwegian university libraries with a presence at Twitter. This is public available data. In addition to tweet content, the frequency of favoritemarking, retweets, answeres and hashtags are retrieved. There will also be a cathegorization of the group each of the libraries have chosen to follow.

Using five principles of Social Media Optimization (SMO), defined in the study “Social media optimization: making library content shareable and engaging” by Doralyn Rossmann and Scott W.H. Young (2015) the objectives will be analyzed accordingly:

(1) Create sharable content
(2) Make sharing easy
(3) Reward engagement
(4) Proactively share
(5) Encourage use

These principles has been modified and updated from Bhargavas (2006, 2010) established principles of SMO (Rossmann and Young, 529:2015b), we will apply and modify these concepts into eight norwegiean university libraries use of Twitter as a community building network. The outcome of this research is expected to give insight into effective community building methods and techniques for use in the university library community on Twitter.

library community building, engagement, social media, emerging technologies, information literacy, twitter


Bhargava, R. (2006) “5 rules of social media optimization (SMO)” Influential Marketing Blog, available at http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2006/08/5_rules_of_soci.html

Bhargava, R. (2010) “The 5 new rules of social media optimization (SMO)” Influential Marketing Blog, available at http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2010/08/the-5-new-rules-of-social-media-optimization-smo.html

Palmer, S. (2014) “ Characterizing University Library Use of Social Media: A Case Study of Twitter and Facebook from Australia. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. Vol. 40. p. 611-619.

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Young, S.W.H. and Rossmann, D. (2015a). ”Building Library Community Through Social Media.” Information Technology and Libraries. Vol.34. No.1. p. 20-37.

Young, S.W.H. and Rossmann, D. (2015b). ”Social media optimization: making library content shareable and engaging.” Library Hi Tech. Vol. 33. No. 4. p. 526-544.

Zhao, WX, Jiang, J, Wng, J, He, J, Lim, EP, Yan, H and Li, X. (2011). ”Comparing Twitter and Traditional Media Using Topic Models.” Paper presented at the Advances in Information Retrieval: 33rd European Conference on IR Research, ECIR, Dulin. Ireland.

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