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BSI Knowledge Centre Manager seeks to centralize company's social media data

I recently posted our podcast with Lucy Ahmed, Knowledge Centre Manager for BSI, so the transcript is in order. Here it is.

Our blogging team caught up with Lucy at SLA 2011 and asked her how BSI uses social media technologies, and her plans for centralizing the information its employees share on sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Yammer.

Janelle: Hi, everyone. I'm Janelle Kozyra, a blogger with Inmagic. I'm at the SLA 2011 Conference and I am with Lucy Ahmed who is here all the way from the U.K. So, Lucy, welcome to Philadelphia and SLA and what brings you to the show this year?

Lucy: Thank you. Well, I'm a Knowledge Centre Manager for British Standards, so I've come with a couple of colleagues, one of which is based over here in the states and the other is based in the U.K. with me. And I've come as a full member of the SLA, so I've been to some of the sessions as well.

And, yes, just kind of having a look around, seeing what's available, and we currently do have social networking within BSI. And so I'm kind of looking at ways of building in content in a collaborative way to find easier ways of managing the information, so it's quite useful in that aspect because there's a lot of quite high-profile people here. So, yeah, it's good.

Janelle: So tell me about the social networking that you're doing right now. What is it serving exactly and what sorts of information are you sharing?
Lucy: Well, we have the central role in the marketing team who actually sets up LinkedIn and various things like that. So I'm a member of their discussion groups on that, and so that's quite good. Obviously it's quite business orientated. And we do also have Facebook which I'm not personally involved with but we have something to do with that.

But we also have Yammer which is an internal social networking site which has been great. And that's good, you know, so we can communicate with other members of BSI. It's just much easier to give out information in that way rather than having to email everybody or find various other mediums. And it's just instant and it's out there and anyone can comment on that and it's all good. It's instant.

Janelle: So what is your need now? Are you planning to build off of those capabilities or --

Lucy: Yes, really. We're trying to amalgamate everything so it's all in one place. We're looking building a web page. We're looking at various other products that have got all the information into one place.

Janelle: Tell me, so what is your objective, then?

Lucy: Really that, so it's kind of bringing information from different places, because we're in quite a unique position that we liaise with committees, who write staffers, and so customers. So we've got those two faces. So I guess quite a lucky and unique situation to be in, so we just want to make the most of it, really.

Janelle: So then let's talk about your role, then, because as you're incorporating more of these social technologies into what you're doing, how have you seen your role change in the knowledge center?

Lucy: Well, I think it's all about streamlining things. I mean traditionally [the role of the librarian] was collecting lots of information. I actually see it more as knowing where to look for it and directing people in the right direction, rather than actually holding it and keeping it.

And obviously archiving is still really important, but I think it's important to kind of share those ideas and to get everybody involved because now the Internet has changed the role of the online mission. So I think you have to go with the change. You can't kind of stall and debate and 'I don't have time to do that because of this, that, and the other.' You know, you've got to kind of look to other people for ideas, really, as well. You know, it's just being open to things.

Janelle: So do you feel, though, your role is pretty secure now? I mean, are these new technologies affecting your job security, your sense of your job security?

Lucy: I think it's the same for everybody. I think it can only be a good thing to get people to use services themselves because we are living in a more self-service society. And I just think it's about being innovative because the thing is people still need to find information from relevant sources. You know, unless you're a researcher or whatever, you don't really know how to do that properly, so in a way our role has come back.

Now the Internet has taken off because, to start with, there's that goal the Internet is going to take over the world and everything. Yes it has, but actually people still don't know how to find information in the right place. So I think it just still is important.

Janelle: Great. Well, thank you, Lucy. Nice to meet you. Enjoy the rest of the show.

Lucy: Thanks very much.

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