Firstly have a look at this online video presentation on Social Networking.
(a YouTube video created by Common Craft)
What is social networking?
Social networking is a broad term referring to the entire Web 2.0 phenomenon, but what we will be focusing on this week are usually referred to as social networking sites.
Many of you will already be using or aware of sites, such as Facebook, Myspace and Bebo.
Basically these sites involve you setting up an online account (yes, another login & password) and then building a profile to reflect your interests. You can then add friends and contacts who can see your profile and vice versa. The next step is to add various applications and join various groups if you are interested in doing so. You can add photos, write comments, send emails, etc.
Each site has its advantages and disadvantages - if you are not using any at the moment, it’s worth taking a look at a couple to see what you think.
Some major players are currently facebook, myspace and bebo. Others out there include: Ning, LinkedIn, Elgg and there are also some Irish social networking sites called nimble & igopeople.
For a comparison of myspace, bebo and facebook, see below:
How libraries/universities are using social networking sites:
There are loads of examples of libraries and higher education institutions using social networking sites in various ways. UCD library and NUI Galway are two examples of libraries using facebook (you will need to set up an account to access them). You might also like to check out the following links:
The British Library on facebook
Social networking software on the Library Success wiki
Revisiting UK University pages on Facebook for more local examples.
Social Network Sites: Public, Private, or What?
1. Take some time exploring mySpace, facebook & bebo.
2.If you are interested, create a profile for yourself, add at least 3 friends, do a search for an old colleague, college or school friend or family member that lives abroad.
Note: exercise 2 is optional - not everyone will be interested in joining a social networking site
3. What did you learn or do that surprised you? Did you identify ways that you might be able to implement features or components of this tool in your library/work?
4. And finally write a blog post about your experience. How would your library use social networking as a tool? What are the advantages of having a social networking account? Would you be interested in getting together with colleagues and setting up a social networking account for your library?