Social Network Sites: What do you want others to know?

January 30, 2011 at 11:34 am (Communication, Online Communication, Privacy, Social Media, Social Network) (, , , , , , , )

Task:

Based on three of the provided readings on issues relating to online identity, privacy and/or trust think about online identity in relation to both individuals and organisations:

  • What is important in terms of how we present and manage those identities online?
  • What can we share and what should we retain as private to the online world?

Readings:

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J., & Jenkins, L. (2007). Section 3: Privacy, Security and Trust. In Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. [ebook] Available http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing_part3.pdf

Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites, First Monday, 14 (6), 1 June. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2445/2213

Rayne-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15 (1), 4 January. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Response:

What is important in terms of how we present and manage identities online?

Presenting and managing your online identity within social network sites (SNS) comes with the responsibility to understand ‘who can see what, when and how’ from the content connected with your SNS profile. The use of user selected privacy settings towards the distribution of personal details, photos, videos and comments can help in defining and controlling how your information is available to others.  So what is important when choosing your SNS account privacy settings?

  1. Gain an understanding of how the SNS works in distributing the information you – and your online friends – contribute about yourself and your social activities.
  2. Discover who has the ability to ‘see’ the information posted about you – because you might find that it’s not just your ‘friends’.
  3. Find out what your rights are in managing comments or tags associated content posts from yourself and others.

What can we share and what should we retain as private to the online world?

The limits on what we are able to share through SNSs’ are generally confined to text comments, links to other websites, videos, and photographs.  However, some SNS’s – like facebook – also have the ability for other users to ‘like’ and ‘share’ information with their friends by on-posting your content on their walls. So deciding what to share and what to keep private has become mostly a personal decision for each user.  This statement is justified by considering Raynes-Goldie (2010) view regarding the merging of the traditional ‘informational privacy’ and ‘expressive privacy’ into a new online-related form which she has dubbed ‘social privacy’.

When deciding what you want others to have access to online, as yourself questions such as:

  1. What did I join the SNS for – meeting new people, socialising with existing friends or connecting with other professionals?
  2. What do I feel comfortable with people whom I possible do not know seeing about me and my social activities?
  3. What contact information do I want to make available for use?
  4. How do I want to connect with other users – through common interests or just approved friends?

Your answers to these questions will give you a good basis for understanding what you are looking to gain from the SNS. They will also assist in guiding your choices for setting privacy levels that you feel comfortable in maintaining towards the distribution of content linked to your profile.

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Five things needed to be ‘Library 2.0’ savvy

December 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm (Communication, Libraries, Library 2.0, Social Media, Social Network, Web 2.0 Tools and Apps) (, , , , )

Ok, so here are five things libraries need to know and become to consider themselves ‘Library 2.0’ savvy;

1. Be active.

If the library is not constantly active within the social networks chosen interest will fade from those that are following them. Users have little or no hesitation in going elsewhere to find the information they seek. So using all chosen social networks on a regular basis is a must do to keep users interested in the library’s posts.

2. Provide valuable and user relevant content.

Libraries need to contribute relevant and/or valuable content. For example, establishing a series of topic, genre or age relevant blogs such as ‘Good Reads’, ‘Crime @ the library’ or ‘Kid’s Corner’ which offer reviews of current materials is a solid attempt at achieving this. However, libraries must enforce a regular posting schedule, say two posts per week, to keep content fresh.

Also, the creation of a Facebook fan page and/or a twitter feed to promote events, activities and new books is a good avenue for instigating two way communication channel between the library and the online community.

3. Define a social network future direction.

Don’t just jump in with two feet and see where you land. Take the time to sit back and plan the direction the library wants to take and what it wants to achieve with its social networking activities. This planning stage will give the library a good basis for choosing the best social networking tools and applications which best suit their needs and also the needs of their online community.

4. Get staff involved.

Don’t think that this is a one person operation because it’s not. Involvement and understanding towards the use of social networks through to the appropriate language and online social mannerisms used by all staff members involved is another must do. Online users expect to interact in real time, and in a friendly, personalised and informal manner so ensure all staff members are ready and confident to do this.

5. Be interesting.

This is possibly one of the most important factors to remember when using social networks. All content – no matter the method of communication or online tool used – should be of interest to the audience. Keep in mind that social networks are built primarily on user- shared and generated information. Without users willing sharing the information posted by the library, the library’s social networking presence will not be as effective or even seen by the masses.

The information provided by the letters A, C, D, H and I within the following blog post was used as the basis of this post:

Social Networking Librarian: A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries

http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/

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Quick review of Web 2.0 tools @ ASU

December 27, 2010 at 11:13 am (Communication, Libraries, Online Communication, Social Media, Web 2.0 Tools and Apps) (, , , , , )

Arizona State University (ASU) library uses a range of Web 2.0 tools to both promote and advertise their services through the online environment. The most prominent is their use of YouTube and the creation of The Library Minute video series, but they also include the use of a blog as their Library Channel home page as well as Twitter (@LibraryChannel) as a joint announcement and student interaction channel, along with a few others of note such as Flickr, Vimeo and iTunes.

The Library Minute videos offer a series of one minute insights into what services are available both online and within the ASU library and how users can access these services. While most videos stuck to a similar strategy of quickly demonstrating the use of available online services. Some focused on what the topic of the video – or rather the concept highlighted – meant to the individual and not how the library had integrated this concept into its services. This seems to suggest the tailoring of these videos to what questions the library users frequently ask rather than just the offering of what services are available and how to use them online.

The other web 2.0 applications that showed the most promise for uptake by users was the use of a blog format for the ASU’s Library Channel home page. I felt that this feature was demonstrated well as a communication tool to broadcast – and allow comment and discussion – about library exhibits and events, new or updated resources added to the library collections, changes in the services provided amongst a range of other library orientated notifications. It also demonstrated good understand and control by the blogger as most of the posts published where kept to a short length (meaning they are quick and easy for most people to scan rather than read in full).

The ASU’s use of Twitter seems to also follow the ‘short and shiny’ guideline of their home page blog posts. The posts – or tweets – are mostly notifications of changes, events and exhibits that are happening within the library. However, ASU also use their Twitter feed as a personal communication tool with students for fast, effective direct @ replies and retweeting of posts that advertise the library, its services and events.

On the negative side I felt that more information would have been useful in the videos. Some seemed incomplete and lacking for the user to gain full understanding of how the service worked – or they seemed to miss small details such as where to locate the access point/link for the service. These missing details could result in the user experiencing  frustration and choosing not to use the service.

Overall, the ASU library offer an excellent example of how predominantly free Web 2.0 applications and tools can be utilised to promote a library and connect with existing and new users online.

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RSS… How can it be used in a library?

December 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm (Communication, Libraries, Online Communication, RSS Feeds, Social Media) (, , , , , , )

RSS icon The point of this post is to briefly discuss how RSS feeds can be used effectively to deliver relevant information to a library community and enhance information services for users.

The reason behind RSS is to allow for the streaming of information from the source (in this case the library) to the user’s online feed aggregator of choice. This type of information delivery gives the user an hub of multiple online resources which interests them. The end result is information which interests the user arrives through a singular online interface of their choice.

Firstly, the type of information that form the basis – or reason – for an RSS feed’s creation need to be established. Ask yourself and your colleagues questions such as; ‘What do we want to acheive through RSS?’, ‘Do we want to advertise new books, CDs, DVDs, etc?’, ‘Do we want to promote library events and activities?’, ‘Are we seeking to achieve more transparency towards library policies and procedures?’. The answers should give you a good outline and idea as to what content the library wants to provide.

Secondly, there are a number of reasons which could be used to form the content direction for an RSS feed. However whatever the reason is, it should always reflect the information requirements and interests of the library user.  Ask additional questions like; ‘Would the library users be interested in receiving updates about XXX topic?’ or ‘Could this type of content be shared under another RSS feed such as ‘General Updates’?’ and most importantly; ‘What type of information would the user want to receive from the library?’.

In planning this type of service, you may want to ‘start small’ by providing just one or two RSS feeds at first. ‘General Updates’, ‘News and Events’ and ‘What’s new’ are good suggestions for this as they provide user relevant content – or rather information users would be interested in taking the time to read. This point is perhaps one of the most important to keep in mind when providing information via a RSS feed service. If the users are not interested in receiving the type of content you are providing, they simply will not use your RSS feed.

Examples of effective RSS feeds:

The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/syndication

Library of Congress: RSS Feeds and E-mail Subscriptions

http://www.loc.gov/rss/

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Social Networking. What does it mean?

November 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm (Communication, Online Communication, Social Media, Social Network) (, , , )

My understanding of the traditional social network concept acknowledges the links found within relationships, common interest areas and community group structures which have been or are formed, maintained and experienced between two or more people.

However, in today’s technology driven world the term social networking is most commonly associated with the online or virtual environment through the use and popularity of websites such as facebook, MySpace and Twitter. These online platforms serve to promote and document individual conversation and information contributions by highlighting relationship links no matter the participants’ geological location, time zone or in some instances, language.

In my opinion, today’s definition of social networking has altered from face to face conversation, to one that reflects and highlights the communication of physical relationships, common interest and community group structures through an increasingly intertwined physical and virtual world.

Readings

Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html

Social network. (2010). Wikipedia. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network

Social network service. (2010). Wikipedia. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network_service

Social networking websites that I currently use:

Twitter:

Facebook:

Blogger (Blogspot):

LinkedIn:

Delicious:

My own website:

Other websites I use or have used in the past:

What I want to learn and accomplish:

My hope for this university subject is that I will increase my understanding of how to apply social networking principles, strategies, technologies and tools effectively within a library and community environment.

I would like to learn and to discover effective ways to promote and engage different communities through the growing variety of user centred and socially driven information networks and online communication tools.

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