Social Media at the 2012 meeting!

Web guru Blake Hayes has graciously made the following post on the ALHFAM homepage:

The 2012 ALHFAM conference theme is “Maintaining Relevance in a Digital Age” and  we are going to practice what we preach and keep you updated digitally! Find the  latest on the conference on the 2012 Conference Facebook page, ALHFAM Facebook page, LinkedIN page and Twitter  feed (@ALHFAM)!

The following article from the Spring Bulletin will help you get started.

Tweeting from Texas

by Heidi Glatfelter ( and you can find Heidi on Twitter here: @MarketEarlyAmer

Because the theme of the 2012 conference in Texas this June is “maintaining relevance in a digital age,” we would be remiss if we didn’t tweet from Farmer’s Branch! For those of you who have never tweeted, here is a quick primer that will allow you to practice in the months leading up to the conference. Don’t be scared by the techiness” of Twitter – it’s really quite easy, and we can all practice before getting to Texas.

Getting Started:

Visit Select a Twitter name (something similar to your own name or organization is best) and a password. Follow the tutorial on the screen. It will ask you to select some people to “follow” and will provide a “helpful” list of celebrities. If you are not inclined to follow Kim Kardashian or Lady Gaga, search for a term like “history” or “museum.” This will give you lists of people to follow who are relevant to you. Click the “Follow” button next to the name of anyone you are interested in following.

After you finish the tutorial, you will see your Twitter page and Twitter feed, where all of the tweets of your followers are listed. You can read over these tweets to get a sense for Twitter “lingo.” I have included some hints below also. Click on “View my profile page” on the upper left of the page under your name. This will take you to a page where you can upload a photo, a description of yourself and other information.

You are all set to Tweet! Type your first tweet into the box that says “Compose new Tweet.” A tweet must be 140 characters or less. Twitter will keep count of how many characters you have left. Your first tweet can be as simple as “This is my first tweet!”

Some samples of tweets you might see at the ALHFAM conference are:  From @ALHFAM: “The buses are leaving the hotel in 5 minutes! #ALHFAM12”

From you: “I’m looking for someone to go to breakfast with – anyone awake and hungry? #ALHFAM12”

From any member: “This panel discussion on museum tech is great. I plan to implement some ideas when I get home. #ALHFAM12”

From any member: “Discussing virtual exhibits with @EmmaM. Does anyone have an online exhibit they can share the link to? #ALHFAM12”

The Lingo:


You’ll notice that the sample conference tweets above all have #ALHFAM12 in them. This is known as a “hash tag.” By coding each of our conference-related tweets with this hash tag, we can do a search on the hash tag in Twitter and see every single tweet that includes the tag. This search will provide us with a running dialogue of the conference on Twitter.

To demonstrate, I posted a Tweet using the hash tag #ALHFAM12 with my @MarketEarlyAmer Twitter account. If you conduct a search on the Twitter homepage for #ALHFAM12, you will find my tweet!

The @ sign is how you address other Tweeters on Twitter. Here is an example of a tweet I sent to Mystic Seaport:

“Hi @mysticseaport! This tweet is to demonstrate to ALHFAM how to use Twitter” hash tags. Hope to see you at #ALHFAM12!

Shortened URLs:

Sometimes you want to include a URL in your tweet but the URL is very long. This will use up your 140 characters! You can use sites like “” to shorten your URL. I just tweeted the following:

“Everyone please register at for #ALHFAM12!” changed the long Facebook URL to a short one, which I cut and paste into my tweet.

That’s all you need to know to tweet! In Texas, we probably won’t be sharing too many URLs, so you will only need to know #ALHFAM12 and the @ sign. Play around with Twitter before you board the plane and join in with Tweeting when you arrive in Texas.

Example: “I’m at the airport – anyone want to share a cab?! #ALHFAM12”

The best way to learn is by doing, and what better group to learn new things with than our ALHFAMily?!

Go to Twitter now, search for #ALHFAM12 and the three tweets I discussed above should pop up, along with any new tweets others may have sent. Then, send your own tweet and include #ALHFAM12 in it, so we can all see how the hash tag search function works.

A note on smart phones:

People with smart phones should also download the Twitter app, so they can tweet from anywhere. All the same rules apply, whether you are on a computer or on a smart phone.

But smart phones will allow us to Tweet and read the #ALHFAM12 feed, even when we are out on the road seeing the lovely Texas sites.

About the Author

Heidi Glatfelter is chair of the NERDS (New Electronic Resources and Data Systems) Professional Interest Group.

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