Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lesson 6: Facebook/Myspace for Fogies (Social Networking)


The latest craze (for people of all ages) is the social networking scene. Blogs allow people to interact with others internationally, as long as they remain consistent in posts and are well-written. Social networking sites, however, allow people with common interests (or histories) to interact without the pressure of maintaining an audience. These sites encourage posting notes to associates/friends, uploading photos or videos for sharing, and/or giving commentary on newsworthy events. It's a peer, family, and mentoring network that can enhance careers, if used wisely.

As librarians, we can utilize these social networking tools to reach our patrons in new ways. For example, Dawn Lawson, author of "Taking the Library to Users: Experimenting with Facebook as an Outreach Tool," found positive results when she advertised her library events through the network (by the way, check out her "Links and Resources"!). Green Library at Stanford University created a Facebook "Page" shortly after this type of profile was introduced, and has experienced positive results as well.

Coincidentally, MySpace did not incorporate hardy privacy tools until more recently (in order to keep pace with Facebook), and some libraries were not prepared for the site's popularity, so the debate against social networking was a little stronger. All the same, libraries have found creative ways to be where their patrons are, and librarians continue to voice disappointment when authorities try to ban the tool (i.e. Lawmakers Seek to Block MySpace in Libraries, No Facebook MySpace at Mishawaka Library, NextGen: My MySpace Comment, Libraries and MySpace). More formal studies of MySpace can be found through further investigation.

Still other libraries choose to survey how their students would perceive them on social networking sites before jumping on the bandwagon. Some even foretell of implications for libraries due to social search engine constructs. The popularity of MySpace and Facebook has led to a genre of online social networking studies that continue to grow without sign of ceasing.

After checking out the videos below, take a peek at some of the library-focused organizations currently on Facebook and Myspace!
Video Tutorials (coming soon!):
More helpful information:
Library-oriented groups and organizations
on Facebook:
on MySpace:
What to do now?
  1. Try searching for more libraries and library-oriented groups/organizations, based on the organizations you are actively involved with
  2. Connect with co-workers and friends by adding them as friends within the network
  3. Upload a profile picture to your profile
  4. Create a Facebook Page for your Library (if it doesn't already have one!)
  5. An advanced user? Build a Facebook Application
  6. And for a bit of comedy, check out "Facebook Manners and You" (via Feral Librarian) and "The 30 Standard Facebook Profile Photo Styles" (via AllFacebook)
When you're finished creating your new profile, post the link in our comments. Happy networking!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Lesson 5: Social Bookmarking & Tagging

This time out we'll be exploring social bookmarking. For the most part we'll be looking at delicious, but there are optional activities included for exploring other social bookmarking sites.

What's social bookmarking?

  • A way to organize websites, and share them with others
  • Bookmarking for folks who use more than one computer across their day
  • A new way to classify information, by tapping into the hive mind
  • A valuable resource for collecting, organizing, and eventually embedding selected resources
Need more information? Check out these materials:

When you're ready to dive in, try these activities

  1. If you do not already have one, please sign up for an account on del.icio.us (registration page).
  2. Find five websites (they don't have to be blogs!) you think your fellow participants ought to know about. Bookmark them in del.icio.us and tag them "ilw2" (you might want to play with multiple tags too). When you're done, check out what else has the 2.0things tag. Did anyone else find the same sites you did? (Feel free to keep bookmarking and tagging sites for the remainder of the course! It'll be a great resource for everyone afterwards.
  3. Over the remaining weeks of Web 2.0 Things, bookmark and tag at least five webpages in delicious (or the social-bookmarking utility of your choice) for yourself. For the page that has the most other people bookmarking it, find out who else bookmarked it and how they tagged it. Feel free to follow tags to see what else has been bookmarked under them! Write a blog post on your impressions of social bookmarking and how you think it could be used in libraries.
  4. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags they used to categorize this reference?
  5. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool for your work? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere? How can libraries take advantage of social bookmarking sites?
  6. (optional) Want to play with some other social bookmarking sites? Enter the same search term (eg. "Library 2.0") in the searchbox at the following sites. Compare the results and blog about it. (don't forget to tag it and share it!)

  • del.icio.us - popular social bookmarking site. User tagged (search without quote marks).
  • Connotea - "Free online reference management for all researchers, clinicians and scientists". User tagged
  • CiteULike - "a free online source to organise your academic papers". User tagged.
  • (there's more -- play with ones from this list)

Still want more? Compare your searches above to using Google or Google Scholar

Can't get enough? You can compare book finding with tags: search for books on a topic using LCSH in Voyager and tags in LibraryThing

There's lots you can do with RSS feeds and tagged lists, feel free to play with those options, and keep your eyes on this blog for a post later in the week showing off some examples of library implementations of RSS feeds of delicious tags.

We'd love it if you write a blog post about what you find, and leave a comment here telling us where to find it. You can also leave your reflections here, as comments.

Want to know more about social bookmarking? Check out some of these resources from 5 Weeks to a Social Library

Essential Readings

Supplemental Readings

Questions? Comments? Leave them here, or contact Rudy or Helen

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lesson 4: Instant Messaging

IM Services

There are several free IM services that you can register with. An account with one of these services allows you to talk to other users of the service. So, if your friend uses AIM and your brother uses Yahoo! you will need to sign up with both services. When you sign up for IM, you are also signing up for email. If you already have an email account with a service, look around on the email screen to find a link for IM.

AIM sign up screen
Google Talk
Yahoo! sign up

You can use these through a web browser. Additionally, most have a client that you can download which some people prefer. In either case, you will need an Internet connection in order to chat online with others. There are free services, but these are the most popular ones in the United States.

This tutorial about Google Talk covers the specifics of using Google Talk. Additionally, there are tutorials available for installing the AIM desktop client and setting up MSN Messenger. So, sign up from a account or two or three and get chatting!

Instant Messaging aggregators

Aggregators allow you to bring together all of your IM services. So, you can register with AIM, Google Talk, MSN and Yahoo! but only log in one place. Once you are logged into the aggregator, you can talk with people using any of the services. You will need to have accounts with all of the services, however.

Pidgin – requires a software download
Trillian - requires a software download
Digsby - requires a software download
Meebo – can log in through a web browser, no software download

A good explanation of aggregators is avaialable at "Pidgin - Free Instant Messenger: AIM, YIM, MSN, IRC, GMail."This is specifically a tutorial for Pidgin, but the basic explanation of an aggregator is useful even if you decide to use Trillian or Pidgin.

You only need one aggregator, since an aggregator will bring all of your accounts together. So, look at a couple, choose one, and then chat with anyone using any IM service from just one place.

There will be a hands-on lab session in room 314 on Thursday 4/9 from 10-11 AM. No need to register.