Monday, July 1, 2013

Applying my narrative information source framework to Twitter: Preliminary findings

Following from my previous blog post, I want to now demonstrate how my narrative information source framework is seemingly operational. After using Twitter to locate tweets on library consultants and library consulting, through the following queries, I began to see data that fit within the pattern of my theoretical framework:

Twitter query for library consultants:

Twitter query for library consulting:

Guide narrative information sources
Based on my preliminary results, many sources on Twitter functioned as guide or referral based information sources, pointing me to other types of narrative information sources. I would argue that Twitter can function as a type of search engine or reference tool to locating various types of narrative information sources. However, unlike Google, Twitter is updated by users or crowdsourcing, rather than a crawling spider program.

To show one example of how tweets located in Twitter function as a reference information source, pointing me to other sources is the tweet of a URL link to a blog commentary or review of

When accessed, the URL from this tweet, functioned as a commentary on or guide to  library consultant blog - This blog appears to be a narrative information source, narrating a specific library consultant's personal experience in her work of library consulting. This is just one of the many examples of  how tweets in my query lead me to other documents or types of narrative information sources.

Personal Narratives,  eulogies, biographies, memoirs (or mixed narrative/life-writing information sources)
Tweets can also lead one to the narrative information sources conveying personal reflections, reports of  personal experience or to information about the lives of library consultants. Blog postings directly retrieved from tweets included the following:

By Cindy Bajema:You Can’t Stop the Librarian in Action

from the tweet;

  • death and obituary of library consultant

  • First Project as Library Consultant

    I have even been directed to vlog posting (or a YouTube video) where a library consultant tells her narrative or personal story of her work and what it involves from the following tweet:

    Non-fiction information sources (Events & Documents)
    Tweets in my Twitter queries have also led me to discovering non-fiction narrative information sources such as:
    • the retirement of a library consultant (which in a sense is also a life-writing type of narrative information source)
    • and job information or job advertisement
    One tweet even led me to another guide or referral based narrative information source, specifically a directory of over 41 library consultants: from the tweet:
    Event information and press releases are also popular in Twitter. One event tweet was:
    Tweets like the above tweet discussing an event usually point to a document such as a press release.

    My Twitter search on library consulting also lead me to  documents that related to the work of library consultants such as Pelham Public Library's  25th of March 2013 posting of "The report put together by BPC Library Consulting for Performance Concepts..."from the tweet:

    Or to Springfield City Library's June 22, 2013 posting of this tweet

    Tweets in my search results also pointed to information about places that used or needed consultant services. A church (Bethel Seventh-day Adventist church) is mentioned in one tweet by librarian Amy Patrick ‏@mom2sadie in 4 December, 2012:

    Or this tweet by the Telluride Planet reports on a public library making use of a library consultant to gather information from the public about their priorities for the library:
    Conclusion and viewpoint

    Hence, as you can see, my preliminary conceptual framework of narrative information sources is able to from preliminary selective observation to explain the types of narrative information and information sources that one can access via Twitter.

    Finally, while I did not deliberately set out to show you that Twitter is useful for finding or locating business information, you can perhaps obviously see this from the data I present. Twitter in my view has thus proved a useful business reference tool for finding/locating current business information, particularly in the library and information industry. Industry events, competitors and market information are all available and can be easily monitored with a saved Twitter query. This is due to the fact that people and organizations are posting and referring to content/information online through tweets. Hopefully in my next blog post, I can expand upon the idea of Twitter as a business information source or resource. Or should I more accurately say that Twitter can function as/like a business information search engine?

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