Social media

Twitter information for your users – good practice from Mosman Municipal Council

Mosman Council has been doing some great stuff with social media and today Laurel Papworth pointed out their ‘Twitter policy’ that is on their website. They are one of the exemplars of local government social media in Australia – despite being a local government area with a higher-than-average older demographic.

Their information page about the Council’s use of Twitter clearly sets out

– who is tweeting on behalf of the Council (the web team based at the Library)
– why they are doing it
– their reply policy
– how to stop them following you

The clarity here is excellent and a model to base your own institution’s Twitter information page on. I am also impressed that they have experimented and been open about the difference between Twitter communication and more ‘traditional’ forms of contacting Council – this ‘evolutionary’ approach is to be commended.


Fiddling with Wolfram Alpha

Well, Wolfram Alpha is another nail in the coffin of the value of ‘raw data’ on the internet. And another reason why museums (and everyone else) need to emphasise interpretation, value add, and the ‘experience’ (Max Anderson’s ‘the visceral’). The raw materials will increasingly be free, easy to find, and ready for recombination and building upon. (Another reason why if you are not seriously cataloguing, documenting and digitising you are going to become invisible)

I’m impressed with my initial fiddling around.

Once upon a time you would have found it best to visit the Sydney Observatory to find out where Beta Centauri is in the sky. They would have given you a sky chart – which you can now download monthly from our site with accompanying podcast, or buy the annual Sky Guide book.

Of course, you’ll still find the Observatory a great place for a nerdy date or to get a go on the big telescope, and savour the experience of the historic building and unique location.

Now for the sky and factual data I can just go to Wolfram Alpha and do this search. Notice it has given the result relative to my geographical position and the time in my location. Equally impressive is the ability to see the sources used to generate the information (critical in establishing trust), and the ability to download the result as a PDF.

Now go and try it with people, places and things . . . .

You’ve probably noticed Google has also done some nifty new enhancements to their search.

Here’s the Wonder Wheel

And the Timeline