This week, as suggested by the (groan-worthy?) title, I’m discussing the ways in which Apple might help my blog by allowing my blog to help them. I have more faith in some of these ideas than in the others, but I figure I’ll run through them in no particular order and then invite opinions as to the best idea(s).
- Sponsored Post – The library for which I blog just got new computers! Funnily enough, they’re Macs. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to have Apple sponsor a post I did about our newest acquisitions, detailing the great ways in which patrons can use them? It helps me to get the word out about the library, and it is positive publicity for Apple.
- Banner Ad – My library is beginning to offer e-books in addition to physical copies (It is, believe it or not, a growing trend that involves putting an expiration date on digital files.). It would be beneficial to Apple, then, to have a banner ad on the library blog that advertises the iPad as a capable e-reader. I bet a lot of library users who are sick of waiting for physical copies of high-demand books to be returned would put such a purchase on their wish lists.
- Sponsored Polls – Speaking of e-readers, there is no denying that they are picking up speed. Yet, so many books are still not available in digital form! I would love to post sponsored polls that ask library users what books, of a possible five (different every week), they would most like to see available electronically. The library provides Apple with a ready-made audience for such a poll, and could use this information to decide what publishers to push down this road. It is good for the library because it gives us librarians an inkling as to what works we need to make more available due to high interest – or maybe we could use the info to guide our programming, constructing book discussions around the highest results.
- Apple Affiliates – Our library computers have no speakers, you know. Audio would be disruptive for obvious reasons. But, we have nothing against patrons bringing headphones to the library, so that they can use the computers to listen to music. How about I link to the Apple website, suggesting that patrons purchase their earbuds from the Apple store? I could do this when writing about the iPad as an e-reader as well. Apple stands to profit from the increased traffic, and the library blog gets a little something for pointing the way.
- Donations – I know that donations are not to be counted on, and I know they don’t often work well. However, it is certainly an option for a blog that represents a very popular library. The loyal readership is there, and the blog is the e-figurehead of an organization that exists to support and educate its community. Its motives are pure, and people generally see this. It could be worth having a donate button, especially for a specific goal – such as raising money for a prize to be given to the best book review submitted to the blog, or something like that. And the prize? An iPad! This is yet another opportunity to send publicity Apple’s way, as well as get our readers into the swing of digital reading.
So, what do you think? What’s the best idea here?