Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weeks 11 & 12: Social Networking


Objectives: Explore the wonderful world of social networking. Get in deep with two of the most popular services (MySpace and Facebook) and touch on some of the others that are out there. Get a feel for the similarities and differences, and blog about what you think!

MySpace and Facebook are particularly popular with “Net Generation” users. An estimated 85% of students in high school and college have at least one profile in at least one of these sites. The central feature of this particular kind of social networking site is the ability to identify a group of friends whose profiles become linked to yours. Your group of friends becomes a network with unique communication privileges. Your friends can post comments that will appear on your site. You are able to broadcast announcements that go to your entire group of friends or your network in one stroke. The personal connection encouraged by these sites is both the strength and potential vulnerability of this type of social networking.

Social networking sites give libraries just another option to reach our clientele in new ways. As we utilize these new tools, it makes us realize that it is truly an exciting time to be in this profession!


We will all look at the first two. The remainder on the list are options for your own exploration. Choose one or sample several!


Activity 1: MySpace

MySpace is the most trafficked internet site in the US. A MySpace profile can be created by anyone with an email address. The ability to customize the “look” of your profile makes it popular with high school students and anyone looking to advertise to a young audience. Independent musicians create profiles to advertise their music directly to listeners. Movies geared toward teen audiences are also being promoted directly on MySpace. Libraries – particularly public libraries – have also begun to create MySpace profiles as another way to reach this set of their user population.

For this activity, you'll create your own MySpace account. Blog about your experience and include a link to your profile in your blog entry to get credit!

Suggested activities: Fill out the forms to include information about yourself in your profile (how "personal" you get is up to you!). Use the built-in editor or find layout sites (google “myspace layouts” to find some sites) to do some customization. Upload images, especially one to use as your profile default. Find friends, such as the UK Libraries, on MySpace and comment on their profile. Security: Read about the options for restricting access to your profile, reducing comment spam, etc. Choose whether to restrict access to your profile. (If you restrict, please friend at least one of the Blue 2.0 organizers so we can check your profile and give you credit so you’re in the prize drawing! ) Update your status, add some calendar events, try out the blog, add a video or music to your profile, join a group (there is a group for Libraries on MySpace, but you can join any group.)

Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour+

Activity 2: Facebook

Facebook is particularly popular with college students. On a sprawling and unfamiliar campus, Facebook can serve as a lifeline to staying connected with old friends and can aid in meeting new people. Facebook users can easily connect with individuals from one’s high school, hometown, etc. Links within Facebook profiles make it simple to find others who share the same interests (favorite bands, movies, hobbies, etc.), live in the same dorm, participate in the same school activities, etc. Students can create groups based upon interests which can further help in connecting with others.

For this activity, you'll create your own Facebook account. Blog about your experience and include a link to your profile in your blog entry to get credit!

Suggested activities: If you use a UK email address, you will be added to the UK community (recommended). Fill in the text boxes to include information about yourself. Upload photos. Search for UK Libraries pages and profiles belonging to your library colleagues. Join the “Blue 2.0 at UK Libraries” group. Seek out other groups and join at least one, e.g. the UK Library group, other library organizations, interest groups, etc. Poke someone. :-) Add a Facebook app. (Be a ninja, add a library utility, link to your flickr account, chuck a book at someone.) Some utilities are just for fun, others enhance the functionality of Facebook in cool (or even library-relevant) ways. Play with several. You can always un-install a utility. Update your status.

Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour+

Activity 3: Choose another social network site

Establish an account in at least one other social networking site. Play with your settings, explore any options that are similar to or different from MySpace or Facebook. Does the site offer anything not available in the other two? Anything missing now that you have experience with the Big Two? Blog it!

Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour+

Examples and information (Note that you have to have established your own Facebook account to see other Facebook sites)


As always, Blue 2.0 is about helping each other! If you need help, IM a co-participant or post a question to the blog (as a comment on this post on the Need Help post). Contact any workgroup member if you’re really stuck. Beth is the primary contact for this topic, but we all have experience in social networking.


Beth said...

See this timely blog post about Facebook apps for libraries:

Anonymous said...

This was fun - I mean this assignment and all of them. Thank you for inviting me to join this endeavor. :) See
my blog
for a comparison of Facebook (like!), MySpace (hmmmm), and BOOMj (WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU! I'M OLD, BLIND AND DEAF AND NEED SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR THE ELDERLY). Come back and visit
my ongoing blog

mhines said...

Yea! I'm done! I finally caught up with the podcasting and the photo segment, and now I've completed the social networking part. You can find my blog here:

illiadgal said...

Social Networking (and that’s no April Fool)

I finished Blue 2.0, and I'm feeling fine. Thanks for all your hard work!

-Amanda Williams

fabala24 said...

I've finished all of my Blue 2.0 assignments, and I'm happy to say that I did everything on schedule.
The Blue 2.0 experience has been a lot of fun. Thanks so much for everything you've done to facilitate it.

My blog for the social networking part is here.


Kasclar said...

I finally finished everything as well. Took me a little longer than I thought and I'm not sure I did everything I was supposed to do, but I didn't find the social networking aprt very easy and both MySpace and Facebook had problems. The search function apparently never works on Facebook! Anymore: more details about my experiences are at my blog. Kerri

Anonymous said...

dearest Blue 2.0 group. I promise to finish my podcast by lunch today barring no major technical difficulties--at which time I will wimp out and review one to complete my assignments. When I finish, I will post here and on my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

As promised, my final assignment and blog is finished. thanks Blue 2.0 group. It's been a fun (and sometimes frustrating) learning experience.