Email has been around longer than the Internet—early inceptions date to the late 1960s using mainframe computers. Now, almost everyone has at least one email address. With more than 1.5 billion email users sending 183 million email messages a day, it would seem email has a secure role in online communication and collaboration, in spite of many new tools. Everyone needs to understand and use email. If you don’t already, consider offering, classes on email for your patrons using these free email services:
Instant messaging (IM) is a real time communication tool that allows users to type into a chat box and send the info to one or more other IM users. It, too, can be a productivity tool or a time user. It is a popular communication among teens, as well as business people because of the instant response possible. Here is how it works.
Text Messaging (SMS—Short Message Service)
Short Message Service (SMS), commonly called text messaging, lets users send short messages of up to 160 characters via cell phone or other communication device. There is a basic cost involved depending on your provider for those who send and receive text messages. With 500 billion text messages being sent per year, it seems that text messaging is permeating our culture. Are you part of the revolution?
Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings or presentations over the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the Internet. This can be either a downloaded application on each of the attendees' computers or a web-based application where the attendees will simply enter a URL to enter the live meeting. These web-based applications are used either with Flash or Java technology.
Communicate your thoughts on these tools in this communication tool--your blog!
- Describe how your library uses email. Has it improved productivity?
- Share your thoughts on online reference using some of the other Web 2.0 communication tools.
- Are you an active user of text messaging, IM, or other communication tools?
- Which OPAL or MINITEX Web conference (Webinar) did you attend? How was it? What do you think o this communication tool?
- Library Success Wiki: Online Reference
- “Web Conferencing for Libraries: "Can You Hear Me Now?" in InfoToday.
1. Google Groups
Google Groups bundles several services including email, document sharing, wiki features and web creation into one service. People use Google Groups to communicate and share around a topic of mutual interest. Google has these groups of interest to librarians and those who want to know more about Google features and updates:
- Take the tour of Google Groups
- Participate in the 23 Things On a Stick Google Group.
- Set up a Twitter account and “Tweet” with some of your co-workers or other 23 Thing participants. How can you use this in libraries?