Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hands-on play with WordPress

Although I used to follow the SLIS WordPress blog to receive information for newly-admitted students before I came to the campus, it’s totally strange now when I need to post and manage blogs on the WordPress by my own. After spending a couple hours getting familiar with various functions, settings and rules, I find WordPress very simple to get start for an entry-level user. Generally, it has a huge community group and an incredibly number of open source information, with a clear and simple process of posting and receiving blogs with multiple types of information resources from all over the world, and a mobile app which is pretty easy to download and install. Moreover, WordPress is stable and low-cost, which would be a nice choice for students or some non-profit organizations.

When it comes to the context of promoting library resources to the young and teenager patrons, WordPress has its pros and cons. First of all, WordPress has a well-organized structure of posting blogs. Unlike short and simple messages published on Twitter or Facebook, blogs on WordPress are usually detailed and content-rich with text, images, links, etc. And the most fun and convenient part is its tagging system. You can create any tag, you can create a bunch of tags, or you can just choose from the most used tags, to mark your blog in order to attract patrons. In addition, users can set WordPress to inform them about the updates of blogs they are following and don’t need to spend a lot of time to filter much junk information like advertisements. Hence, it’s clearly smell more academic, less popular. It might be a good platform to present events, resources and any kind of activities with clear and thorough introduction. However, WordPress might not be that “social” to offer an active interaction between blog posters and readers since its “follow”, “share” and “like” systems are not very positive among user groups of libraries, compared with Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, it’s difficult to attract young patrons to choose WordPress instead of more simple and popular apps.

Overall, WordPress has its creative advantages to promote library resources, but currently I can’t see many reasons to persuade young patrons to use WordPress for obtaining library information unless the communication part become more attractive and those young adults and teenagers could feel more involved in the interaction with both the bloggers and the whole community. 

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