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Archive for the ‘social software’ Category

Good post on Infoblog about best Web 2.0 practices and the library catalog.  The idea of cross-promotion within the library by way of library catalog is a good use of Web 2.0 technologies to manufacture interest in the library and what we are doing.

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Great video about social networking from the folks at Common Craft.  This would be a  neat intro for a workshop or class for beginners.

Common Craft (Lee & Sachi LeLever) create all kinds of videos on Web 2.0 topics for the non-techie web user.

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Today I have been thinking a lot about book discussions and libraries, particularly academic libraries.  My library is sponsoring a faculty book discussion next week, around the book The View From the Center of the Universe, and it got me thinking about why my library doesn’t do more book discussion projects.  Time is, of course, the first reason which comes to mind.  But it shouldn’t be that hard considering we are an academic library and have access to great material and a faculty who are generally fond of the library and the programming we provide.   Laura Cohen writes about adding value to the library; not just through marketing our collections, but also through engaging users in social and participatory websites that discuss books.  One example she uses is the creation of discussion blogs revolving around campus reading programs or visiting writers.  A library website or blog is the perfect place to start these virtual discussions.  People recognize the word “library” and may have an old-fashioned idea about our mission or may see us as just dusty warehouses of books.  Since people are going to the web for book discussions, shouldn’t we be there when go looking?

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Tired of that sad ‘ol picture you use to populate your MySpace, Facebook, website and other social networking tools?  Well…mEgo is here to help!  Design and build your own customized avatar to use on the web and share with your friends.  What is neat, though, is that you create the look of your avatar, even as you create “hot spots” on your mEgo body that link to your favorite content (polls, websites, blogs, etc.).  Interesting concept and bound to take off.

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Our local newspaper, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has a front-page story about Facebook and the dispute over safety on the popular social networking site. State officials are investigating the solicitation of minors and the use of inappropriate images on the site. Two teens interviewed for the story expressed little or no concern over their privacy being violated by online predators:

“Aixin Wang, 17, of Brighton and a member of the Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Board’s Teen Council, said she has an account with Facebook, which she said “has been really safe in protecting my information” and “I haven’t had a problem with anything.” But she said that “if there seems to be a problem, it’s a good thing to check it out.”

Fellow Teen Council member Sujay Tyle, 14, who attends Pittsford Mendon High School, expressed similar sentiments. He said he feels secure on the site because he believes it adequately restricts contacts to invited friends and other members of his school.”

I have a problem with this, because no child or teenager should wholly trust a company to protect their privacy and their interests. This is the parents’ responsibility, who should be monitoring the teenagers and their use of online networking sites. It strikes me as an issue that needs to be addressed in the classroom, whether through the library or primary teacher, but a class on Internet privacy and information ethics should be an essential component to information literacy instruction.

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Library Journal‘s September 15th issue features an interesting article about what libraries are doing with tagging and social bookmarking tools.  Some exciting examples are Ann Arbor District Public Library’s experiment with a “social library catalog“.  Scroll to the bottom of the screen to find their tag cloud, a wonderful tool to browse subject headings which works conceptually once you get past the error code at the top of the screen.  Another library, Nashville Public, includes tag clouds right on their homepage, in their case on the front page of their teen web services.  Tags and social bookmarking tools seem a natural segue from traditional, subject-expert dependent catalogs.  Web 2.0’s very unique nature is “user-centered” and libraries need to find a way to incorporate this into their websites in order to stay relevant to their users.

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A couple of social networking blogs that caught my attention tonight. One is from a colleague over at the University of Rochester who actually attended my workshop last week. Cynthia’s blog is Long time listener, first time caller — I love the title! Cynthia works in IT at the library and is doing much the same thing as me — collecting lots of good library & web 2.0 gadgets and tools and taking them back to her institution and teaching others. The second one is called Mashable! The Social Networking Blog and I found it through Cynthia’s blog. Mashable has lots of great widgets and code for inserting into your blogs, websites and social networking apps like MySpace and YouTube.

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