Thing 17 - Week 7 - Social Networking

by tosca on Friday, July 25, 2008

Umm popped in to Bebo (am rostered on the Learn.Net which, after a day and a half of being down, is a thing of beauty) and looked up the Auckland City Libraries' page. Am already a Bebo fiend with my own profile so am familiar with the layout, quickly requested to be added as a friend. Will take a bit for someone to respond, I suppose. In the meantime I'm still able to look around their page. My impression? It's not aimed at adults, or at least, not primarily. What tells me that? Their 95 friends all look waaay (try 15 yrs or so) younger than me, and their tag-style profile pic. I use Bebo to keep in touch with family/friends who're a trillion miles away (sometimes even that doesn't seem far enough). Don't laugh, but I even use it to contact a friend . . . who lives one house in front of mine LOL I'd rather bebo her and leave a message in her comments section than pick up the phone/text/go and visit. Yeah, I'm lazy. So sue me!

What libraries are using Bebo? To name a few: Rotorua Public Library, Auckland City Libraries, Birmingham Public Library, Lester Public Library, Tupu Library - I could go on (don't I usually??). What are they using it for? To promote their library and to engage customers in discussion. I think.

Err ok Myspace. Know about it, have looked around it, but I always seemed to come across the dodgy stuff - and not even on purpose. So kinda stopped looking after that. Ha ha ha just tried to log onto Myspace in the Learn.Net and was told that webmarshall had blocked it due to 'inappropriate content.' Having watched the kids at play here I know a way around it. So, I headed for Google and typed 'myspace' and 'Goldfinger' (one of my fav alltime bands - well, them and Rammstein - who I saw live a few years ago ARGH) and ended up at their page. I was so stoked! Have long been a fan for years. In fact, and don't laugh at this story, about 10 yrs ago I used to visit their site EVERY DAMNED DAY for about a few months straight and email them constantly. Things like, When are you coming to visit NZ? Are you EVER coming to NZ? How come you don't EVER come to NZ? And then one day, lo and behold, they came to NZ . . . and I was down with a chest infection and doped up to the eyeballs LOL Gotta laugh, eh, 'cause the alternative is to cry LOL Ok, so there I am waitin' and waitin' for their page to load and it WON'T. Am assumin' it's our pcs here in the Learn.Net - which makes for a disappointing try. Will try from home later. Majorly bummed! Oohh, at home now and got up Goldfinger's page and holy hell! When'd they get a chick to sing?? I could do that. I could SO do that LOL

There are just as many libraries with profiles on Myspace. This particular list is an index of Myspace library profiles for teen services. It has 72 listings. 72! Mind boggling. And what are they doing? Promoting their services and engaging their customers in discussion. I didn't say it was ALL meaningful discussion - but they're engaging them!

Eep! I think I may have checked out Facebook before. Joined up and didn't like the layout so quickly deleted my account. Or did I just leave it there hangin' in cyberspace forever and just can't remember my password? Sheesh, who knows. I know of a few library staff who're Facebook users. Am trying to remember why I initially joined and I think it was to catch up with friends who've moved overseas. Other than that, I have no comment regarding Facebook. It's a bit flasher than Bebo and certainly more adult looking. No foul-mouthed teenagers WiTh ThEiR gAnGsTaH tYpE tExT hErE (my younger sister types like this in Bebo and I find it an eyesore but she assures me it shows she's keepin' it real - whatever THAT means). Am showin' my age. She even TEXTS like that. Yuck.

Hennepin County Library in Minnetonka, Minnesota, have a Facebook page. Wow, they have a catalogue search box in here, too. That's dedication. Which makes me wonder, can we do that in blogger? Must see. Am trying to get my head around what Facebook can do for us. Bebo I get, Myspace not so much - but I think that's just me, and Facebook - I run a blank. Maybe as a way to network with other library systems rather than borrowers? Trying not to be narrow minded LOL With that in mind, I pulled up another page and found Maison Bisson's 'What does Facebook matter to Libraries'. Two reasons listed seem simple enough: customers collaborate and share URLs - and databases and OPACs aren't usually bookmarkable & some instructions are convoluted, meaning links aren't easily shared; catalogues don't support comments from customers, making it a one-sided conversation where we're doing all the talking and not engaging. By the by, The British Library is on Facebook. I kid you not!

How's this for a laugh, was in the Learn.Net working on this post when one of the students from my old bookclub came in and asked if we had a Bebo page yet. Almost laughed myself stupid. Talk about timing! I do have a query about Bebo charges: why are we charging customers? Their ability to email is limited to Bebo friends only. This doesn't make sense to me - Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail etc. are able to email everyone in the universe at whatever email address they have, but Bebo sends messages only to Bebo people. Does that make sense?

Casey Bisson, of Maison Bisson, is an Information Architect and Web Application Developer at Plymouth State University and you can read about him here. A comment on his page page made me laugh: 'Will library systems ever be as easy to use as the game/social environments we're trying to use them in . . . ?' Good question! Will they?? I have no clue and, like the comment before it, I will be ' . . . looking, with my back against the wall, near the door, until this party really gets going.'

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One comment

Heya, some interesting comments on the social network stuff.

If you're interested do some more looking at Hennepin libraries website. This is a library that I think is doing everything right as far as web 2.0. They have a trillion RSS feeds, they blog, they're in the Social networking sites and they're there with a purpose. ie The catalogue search they have there, as well as the chat with a librarian link, talk to a librarian direct from your facebook page. Love it.

Pity they're too far away from where I'm moving, I'd go work for them. Instead I'm going to be hitting up google, I'm sure they need a librarian.

Asked to get myspace unblocked on the learn.net. Hoping it'll happen soon.

by Kelly on July 29, 2008 at 12:10 PM. #

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