Friday, October 19, 2007

InfoCasting via Twitter

Sunday afternoon in the fall in the U.S. means one thing to many people, professional football. And near Chicago, Illinois, that translates to the Chicago Bears.

So while working one Sunday a few weeks back the following went through my head:
Not many people will be here (at the library) between 12 and 3, because the Bears' game is on.
Next thought: Why don't we go to where they are, watching the game?

How could we do that? Perhaps by setting up some kind of contextual, value-added, strictly factual broadcast (an "InfoCast" if you will) to accompany ongoing events (could be any kind of event) we know many people are watching. (Hmm... InfoCasts could be done during popular TV shows, or and this could be dangerous territory, but perhaps, fact-checking from neutral, credible sources during political speeches....)

We would make our presence known, and make it clear that as Reference Librarians we are available 24/7 to answer questions related to the event or anything else. A kind of interactive, 2.0 Biblio-"Pop-up Video".

My initial thought was that this could be done via Twitter, but, and correct me if I am mistaken, those who would be receiving the InfoCast would either need to be continually refreshing to get new messages or if they were subscribed, checking their email for new messages. Not ideal, but I suppose a live vocal broadcast could also be done - although that would seem to require more effort and polish.

Sure, with NFL football games there may be some legal issues that would have to be, forgive me, "tackled" (that's terrible...), but in the abstract, I find the idea of doing an InfoCast intriguing and fun.

What do you think? Is anyone doing this? Other thoughts on InfoCast mediums? Or potential InfoCast events?


dave m said...

I believe Twitter can be configured so that you receive updates from friends automatically via SMS or IM.

So, if I was following the InfoCast, I could have it send me updates without having to manually check on the web or in email.

I think the idea of a Twitter-based InfoCast for live events is brilliant.

spinelabel said...

The tricky part would be coming up with content that really adds value. The radio and TV guys already have the play-by-play covered. And anyone can do wisecracking comments, which alienate as many folks as they appeal to. The library is known for relevant and reliable information, so that's what a library infocast should add. A librarian could provide context (eg: "Did you know today is Gale Sayers' birthday?")Such work would require research, so the person doing it should wait for commercials to send it out. People will be ready to look away from the game and the librarin will have time to look up some facts and the citation information. OR, the librarian could comment on the commercials. "That car is actually named after a native group of the Pacific Northwest." Would anyone thank us for that?