Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Hello Fellow LSC597ers!

We are indeed coming to the end of the semester, and many of us are coming to the end of our time at URI. Wow. It went fast. Thank you to everyone for many enjoyable posts, discussions, links, ideas and well wishing.

Here are some of my thoughts on the course, on social media, on blogging and what comes next- my opinions, naturally, and not necessarily very sensible ones!

1. The course: I think a component addressing the use of social media tools in the library belongs in the core courses, and its curriculum has to stay current with developments. Whether the topic needs to be a stand alone course like 597 (a class I have really felt has made an impact on my ability to use social media, and probably one of the most useful courses I’ve taken to improve my repertoire of skills!) or whether it should be part of 502 or 508 is moot. It  probably depends very much on the realities of budget and faculty capacity, but I do think it’s vital to address  SMNs and communication/marketing/PR etc.  Maybe it will naturally evolve as a part of many courses because the students and instructors of the next years will automatically use 2.0- and-beyond tools in every aspect of their daily lives.

2. The Library 2.0 /Social Media Tools: I want to blaspheme here, thinking of Ranganathan’s five laws. Just substitute “Social Media Tool” for “Book(s)” and sometimes “user” for “reader” in 1-4 and 5 stays the same:

  1. Books/SMTs are for use.
  2. Every reader/user his [or her] book/SMT.
  3. Every book/SMT its reader/user.
  4. Save the time of the reader/user.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

I bet that’s not an original thought. In fact, I wonder if we haven’t read something of the sort over the course of the semester.

That leads me to another problem, whether exclusive to me or shared I don’t really know, though there is plenty written about superficial reading and clicking in search behavior. I do not absorb information as well when I am flipping back and forth through lots of online reading with hyperlinks to ever more information. Unfortunately, I find that is how I often approach blogs and the linked reading from tweets. Yes, I have developed all sorts of nifty ways to “hold that thought” by tags, bookmarks etc. using Diigo, Evernote and “Read It Later” (my three remaining favorites after much trial and exploration) but it still leaves me feeling fuzzy brained. I return to Ranganathan # 4.

Onward with musings and opinions: I was surprised how effective Facebook has been for interactive discussions in a closed group. I found we were more coherently communicative there than through tweets and blogs. Is it the layout of comments cascading down from the original post? Dunno, but something seemed to work better, and not just for me by the look of it. Twitter is great for quick “pass it on” messages. Really, far the most effective tool in that way, but I find it too disjointed for following a thread, even if using a hashtag.

The future: I think it makes tremendous sense for libraries to assess their unique communities for which traditional and social media communication tools are prevalent. They should build their marketing based on those conduits. This will probably vary considerably in different communities. Whatever the form, 2.0 tools should be integrated in the library web presence.

For me personally, I’ll be continuing at least a blog, linked to my reading (probably Library Thing rather than shelfari because Library Thing will show German libraries too) and my Pinterest. We’ll see how far I go from once a week updates. Eventually, I really would like to have an interactive site for students, teachers, parents… I had better start small, though, so it will be a modest little library blog.

Last but not least, I recommend reading at least the Social Network part of Cites & Insights 12:4 (May 2012). It starts on page 33 with discussion and citations from dana boyd on what problems can arise when using social media sites. Boyd has had quite a few issues apparently with Tumblr, e-mail providers, domain names… It’s quite a treat. I haven’t dared follow all the links yet. (Go back to Ranganathan #4 once again. Am I getting too repetitive?)

Alas, I am reluctant to sign off. Thank you all 597ers, and thank you Suellen. It has been an interesting journey!


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As a last gasp on the Facebook readings this week, I’ll just say Fernandez has covered all bases and scared the Facebook out of me. No not really, but he does bring up so many pitfalls in “Privacy and Generation Y: Applying Library Values to Social Networking Sites”. I appreciated the exploration of whether Gen Y does want privacy. I think they do (going by my own kids and a slew of students), just as much in some ways as other generations. They just don’t always think about it before/during or after Online interactions. But how many of us are always premeditated, and how much in this world would never have been created/achieved if we were all always cautious about privacy? Just think of that word “uninhibited” in connection with performing and visual arts throughout history. In connection with many eccentrics, for that matter.

I was glad of this emphasis, though: Fernandez notes, “the majority of 18-24-year-olds…did not want tailored advertisements” and, when made aware of tracking practices, “the number who opposed tailored advertisements increased” (Fernandez, 8 quoting Turow et al. 2009, 16). I think it’s the “when made aware” that counts, and all the stink about Facebook keeping profiles really heated up in 2009 as Fernandez explains.

Nevertheless, I feel really wary about how best to reach out to the public while protecting their privacy if I myself can’t always be sure how much I am revealing, how secure sites are etc. Will I be able to inform myself deeply enough to trust my own competence? Does that mean I shouldn’t become a librarian in today’s SNS driven world? “Translators of SNS knowledge” sounds like a great skill to add to ones CV!

I appreciate the recommendations to update policies, to post news about privacy issues and to stay sensitive to patron boundaries. Add library employee boundaries to that.

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I presume many of you have read about the suit Yahoo is bringing against Facebook, claiming misuse of Yahoo’s marketing and advertising ideas.  I will keep my eyes open for what Cory Doctorow has to say on this. The scary thing about this social media battle is the prospect of domino litigation if Yahoo sues successfully. Facebook has certainly used other ideas in the past, but there we are, back to what’s acceptable repurposing and what amounts to copyright infringement.


That reminds me of the special irony of the form I chose for my book review.

While putting together my Glogster poster about Cory Doctorow’s book,”©ontent”, I couldn’t print the title’s

© into my poster.

After all Doctorow’s admonitions, did it occur to me why Glogster wouldn’t print the ©? Did I read the terms of use verrryy carefully? Well sort of, but it only hit home that Glogster, like Pinterest, claims copyright of any material you post on its site as I saved to publish publicly. And there was the © in Glogster’s claim of “my” poster. No other ©s allowed, thank you very much.

I’m all for sharing. I like being able to browse LibGuides, Pinterest, Glogster, Flickr, Scoop.it! and a ton of other sites for inspiration from peer ideas. Oh yeah, books and journals too. I would be flattered if -was flattered on Pinterest when- someone pinned my uploaded photograph. I presume most people give credit when using material they find, though often this is in the form of “I found it on LibGuides/Scoop.it!/YouTube/Pinterest” rather than giving an individual’s name. Whether citations are correctly specific or too generalized, I think it odd that a company would claim copyright on a product created in their “space”. Does a studio get to claim the artist’s work as their intellectual property, just because an easel was set up and paints were used? Not likely. This will never matter to me personally. I will not be the next big name in anything. But I have to wonder what the owners of sites like Pinterest and Glogster are hoping for.

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So the LoC will archive all public Tweets, and the readers are mixed in responses. There are those who question the value for posterity, those who regard the cost, those who think it’s a great idea, and those who got it wrong about public and private and are affronted. I wonder if similar outcries would have come if, in this era of instant communication, the LoC announced it planned to archive a donation of all music ever recorded and music never commercially recorded…Say didn’t they do that? (Well, okay, Alan Lomax’s collection may not have been tax dollars funded, I’m not sure and no time at midnight to search.) Aren’t they still collecting all sorts of stuff that has to do with humankind? Take a look at the LoC’s “Online Collections” for a start. Certainly looks like a glorious mix of the profound and prolific to me, and all representative of what strange and wonderful creatures we are.

But back to privacy and public status and whether this is worthwhile. First, I can’t imagine people not realizing when they sign up for Twitter that they’re essentially broadcasting. It’s sort of all about “stream of conscious” commentary, isn’t it? Is there anyone out there who would actually use Twitter to reveal personal details to friends, as if the world couldn’t listen in? Oh. Yes. I guess the entertainment industry, but as Angelina Jolie pointed out (or so Danah Boyd told us), she uses the social media info as a smokescreen.

Now if LoC were archiving Facebook, that would be very different and a possible infringement on privacy because it was started as a “closed community” really. TONS of people weren’t aware of how much they were revealing in a public forum until the world got wiser to settings and social media in general. (I think the British Library is doing some collection, project or exhibit with Facebook. Again, it’s too late to sleuth, so I’ll gt back to this in another post.)

Second, the examples of “First Twitter” “Election Result”  etc. in Matt Raymond’s blog post, “How Tweet it Is!” have historical relevance. The rest? Maybe. I can’t say it bothers me to think tax dollars are going for this, because I can think of a LOT of other funding that is neither creative or beneficial for the country that I’d want to see cut first. And did tax dollars get used to acquire the archive, or was all this stuff handed over by Homeland Security? Just speculating. Nope, it was Twitter itself that handed over.

In any case, Twitter may have a place in an ethnographic research project of the future. My greatest skepticism is whether ANYONE a few centuries or millennia from now will be able to make heads or tails of WHAT those tweety bleeps are referring to! Will the archive put EACH tweet in context to some aspect of daily life, historical event etc? Now THAT will cost tax dollars, but provide some jobs for puzzle freaks!

Remember cuneiform? When they finally deciphered that language, it turned out to be predominantly commercial in application. Not the Hammurabi Code stuff (although that’s Akkadian, isn’t it?) but the daily market records of who bought X number of oil flasks, who gave what to the temple etc. Ancient tweets, pulverized by the locals and preserved reverently by archaeologists.

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Dempsey’s extensive article on the way 2.0 technologies are changing our lives and the places – or should I say time and spaces – in which we work and act was an interesting collage of the opportunities and challenges of our permanently wired world. One of the most notable points for me, not only for the thought but also for word choice (bricolage!) was the remark about converging (or at times conflicting?) modes of 21st Century information-gathering and classic research methods. It brought immediately to mind an article I skimmed (yup, there’s that alarming “attention scarcity … where a bouncing and skimming style of consumption has been observed” (Nicholas, et al in Dempsey)) about Twitter’s role in predicting citation, i.e. the correlation between tweets and later frequency of citations in connection with publication. It’s a bit off track to relate these two, but the research certainly pertains to new ways in which social media is used in a mash-up with “old school.”

From the teacher librarian perspective, the dilemma whether to connect by building “an internal social network …[or to] piggyback on one of the social networks they already use” was very pertinent. I know plenty of colleagues, not to mention students, who choose not to use school conduits of communication if avoidable. On the other hand, who is going to allow the library into their private network unless they’ve gotten enthusiastic through some other means?

I’m exercising brevity, so let me end on how RELEVANT the need is to develop some sort of cross generational / cross cultural social media etiquette, and HOW CHALLENGING it is to compose a condensed, content rich message. I need more practice!

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