Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Coffman,Steve, Arret,Linda,

Title: To chat or not to chat

Publication Full: Searcher

Year: 2004 Volume: 12 Issue: 8

Start Page: 49 Other Pages: 56

Descriptors: ONLINE chat groups, COMPUTER network resources, ELECTRONIC discussion groups, CONVERSATION, TELEPHONE,


The article offers some alternatives to chat services. If you have a virtual reference service that does not live up to your expectations, the first and most obvious solution is to just pull the plug. A few libraries have simply made the decision that the value gotten from chat services did not justify the investment and decided to spend their money and efforts elsewhere. That is one way to handle an underperforming chat service, but it is not the only option. If you do not like the idea of killing off your chat service, then try to improve the way it works. Generally when people talk about improving chat services, they focus on marketing and other ideas for increasing the number of people using the service. However usage is only part of the problem: the other is cost. And if you succeed in increasing usage without reducing costs, you could get the library into a tight space financially quickly, considering what costs to answer questions virtually and that costs per question do not go down significantly as volume increases. Well over 90 percent of U.S. households have had traditional landline telephone service for years. Despite the growth of the Internet, the telephone is still the way most of us receive information and get questions answered. While few companies offer chat or any other kind of live communication on their Web sites, almost all can be reached by phone.


M3: Article; Coffman, Steve 1; Arret, Linda 2; Affiliations: 1: Vice President, Business Development, LSSI, Inc. 2: Library Consultant Reference Services and Technologies Source Info: Sep2004, Vol. 12 Issue 8, p49; Thesaurus Term: ONLINE chat groups; Thesaurus Term: COMPUTER network resources; Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC discussion groups; Subject Term: CONVERSATION; Subject Term: TELEPHONE; Number of Pages: 8p; Illustrations: 1c. Document Type: Article; Full Text Word Count: 7019

Links: http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/sep04/arret_coffman.shtml

Extra Data: NULL


Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

Book Title: NULL

Series Title: NULL

Publisher: Information Today Inc

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 10704795