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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What are some issues surrounding online privacy and use of personal information?

January 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm (Libraries, Online Communication, Privacy) (, , , , , )

Task

Based on your interests and/or workplace context, read two of the above readings to form your understanding of one or more of the following areas of policy concern and reflect on your new learning about these issues in a 350 word post.

  1. Intellectual property, copyright and emergence of the Creative Commons
  2. Privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safety using SNSs
  3. Information access for all, adequate bandwidth/wireless/mobile connectivity and the ‘digital divide’
  4. Regulating the Internet in libraries, organisations and in the home
  5. Information and digital literacies, and recent emergence of transliteracy
  6. Acceptable use/online behaviour/social networking policies

Readings:

Hodson, S.S. (2006). Archives on the Web: Unlocking collections while safeguarding privacy, First Monday, 11 (8), August. Avaliable http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_8/hodson/index.html

James, M.L. Cyber crime 2.0 versus the Twittering classes. Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library Information, analysis and advice for the Parliament. Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Section, 24 February 2010 (2009-10). Retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/Library/pubs/bn/sci/Cybercrime.pdf

Area of policy concern highlighted in readings:

Privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safety using SNSs

Response:

James (2010) highlights the broader national issues online users collectively face in protecting themselves against a range of wide spread issues. The downloading of sophisticated malicious software onto their computers or other devices, using out-dated security systems which have only received developer patches and minor updates and the overall increasing use of social based online technologies are all largely unseen factors by the individual user within the expanding cyber based crime industry. James goes further to discuss the use of popular social networks such as Twitter, and the contribution of personal information for display through the Twitter website and ‘tweets’ (posts to twitter) is adding to the growth of pre-existing criminal activities such as identity theft, home invasions and robbery.

Hodson delves more into the control of online information of a personal, private, sensitive or proprietary nature which has been archived and how this information can be made available for use by others online. She discusses the established and accepted meaning of privacy and what is being done to uphold that meaning within the global virtual environment. Hobson also highlights the ability for large corporations – which manage huge amounts of personal information about their clients – to ‘make mistakes’ by allowing access to this information to others. This opens all named clients to the potential of online identity theft and fraud.

So what do these two discussions mean for the information professional? Both James and Hobson highlight issues that are relevant for all online users regardless of the location of their online connection point (the user’s physical point of access to the internet). So these issues can – and most likely do – affect library users and library owned computer equipment which connects to the internet. Awareness of the overarching issues, as discussed by James, should be acknowledged and understood by library staff. However, the issues surrounding personal privacy and the use of personal information online as discussed by Hobson are, most likely, of higher immediate importance and relevance to library staff for serving and advising their online user community and the ensuring safety within the online activities they undertake. Another factor in the awareness of these issues is the ability to quickly identify, acknowledge and resolve any potential threats from malicious software or online criminals to the library’s users, computer network and technology by library staff and to have effective and clearly understood internet and social media policies in place which outline the actions to be taken by staff members.

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Web 2.0 and my local library…

January 8, 2011 at 11:04 am (Libraries, Library 2.0, Online Communication, RSS Feeds, Social Media, Social Network, Web 2.0 Tools and Apps)

This post is intended as a quick review of my local library’s website (City of Onkaparinga libraries: http://www.onkaparingacity.com/onka/living_here/libraries) and their use of Web 2.0 technologies, tools and applications.

To put it plainly the City of Onkaparinga does not make any use of Web 2.0, or any online social media tools, communication avenues or interactivity that I can see. But instead offering criticism I will discuss what they could easily use for free to promote their services and collections through social media.

1.  Blogs

There are a number of free blog applications such as Blogspot (http://www.blogspot.com/) or WordPress (http://www.wordpress.com/) that could be used to promote the library’s collections, new additions, staff recommendations, or even just news and events. A blog can be easily set up and maintained and offers the blogger informal feedback from users through increased interactivity and user generated (and easily moderated) comments.

2. RSS Feeds

RSS feeds, in my eyes, are a must have feature for any website – library or other. If there is important information that being pushing out to your users, it is now almost expected that you supply this information in a format that the user can pull into their own online space, through their own aggregator (RSS feed reader). Online users now share the expectation that you will come to them. They do not expect to have to come to you and seek out the information they are looking for.

Free applications such as Google’s feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com/) allow the creation RSS feeds for any website.

3. Social Networks

I understand the issues of privacy, etc that centre around the use of online social networks and also the variety of reasons used by libraries choosing not to use them. But take this piece of advice from someone who works largely with the Web 2.0 environment, is a self confessed social media addict as well as a distance education student, mum-to-be, wife, friend and someone who has family and friends interstate and overseas…

Social networks are where a large – and growing – number of  your library patrons communicate, share, search for and locate information.

Do you really want to miss out on being a part of all that? No? I didn’t think so.

You might not feel comfortable with setting up a public facebook page for the library or a MySpace page for youth. That’s okay. But there are other social networks that can be just as effective as facebook and MySpace when used creatively. Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/) is a prime example of this.

Twitter offers the opportunity to push short informative posts which promote what is happening within the library walls in real time. The use of additional applications such as TwitVid (http://www.twitvid.com/) and TwitPic (http://www.twitpic.com/) allow the inclusion of videos and photographs within a tweet so people can seeshare and interact with the information being pushed, not just read it.

4. Widgets

Widgets are small Web 2.0 applications that you can plug into the template of most blogs and websites to display your posts from other applications. For example, you can use a Twitter widget to stream (display) your tweets automatically on your blog homepage. This not only gives access from your blog to your twitter account, but also allows for cross promotion of both applications’ use through the posted content.

By using a combination of all these free and easy to use Web 2.0 technologies, tools and applications, and promoting them through their official website, the City of Onkaparinga has the potential to reach a considerably larger online audience – within a ‘real time’ time frame – than what they are currently achieving with their online media efforts.

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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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