140 Characters: Is It Enough?


week we took a field trip to the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles,
California. We talked with David Keller, records management and imaging services,
and Monika Medina, external affairs, media, and communications. We wanted to
learn about the twitter campaign for MWD’s 75th anniversary of the
construction of the Colorado River Aqueduct. This campaign involved “live-tweeting”
as individuals who helped with the construction and coordination of this water
delivery project to promote the anniversary celebrations.

turn, we shared about the CLIRWater project in order to gain insights about
what we should do in order to promote the freshly digitized archival
collections. Having thought on this issue, I have realized that marketing archives
via social media requires thinking about the different purposes of each website
and making the correct choice. Monika shared that we must think about the
demographics of each platform’s audience. We must ask ourselves, which platform
would efficiently and creatively draw viewer’s attention to the archives? Who
are we marketing to?

am interested in seeing how this aspect of the CLIRWater project will develop.
I am personally only on a few different social media platforms, but talking
with David and Monika has helped me realize that the websites are more
different than I had previously realized. Being a frequent user of twitter and
tumblr, I am familiar with these platforms. However, for a professional project
in which you need to attract
hits/viewership, this requires rethinking how you manage social media. Suddenly
“live-tweeting” as historical characters requires thinking about how to make
the most of 140 characters while also capturing the tone/accuracy of the historical
people and events these tweets are meant to reflect. Not as easy as it might
sound on first blush.