Friday, November 2, 2007

November 12 - 18, week 10 : Online Social Networks

Sites like Flickr, YouTube and are called social software because you can:

1. Set up a user profile
2. Add others as "friends" or "contacts"
3. Subscribe to work uploaded by others
4. Message other users within the site
5. Add comments, ratings and tagging to works of other users

Flickr is about photos, YouTube is about video clips, and is about slideshows.

Online social networks are about people. They are like library catalogues where the records are about people not books - and each person is in charge of their own record. Some examples of online social networks are: Facebook, MySpace, Beebo, Orkut, LinkedIn and Ning .

The Facebook and Twitter sites don't show you anything useful unless you log into your own account, so we will be making one.


Thing 15. Join Facebook and create a Facebook profile.
Thing 16. Add some Facebook friends and join a Facebook group.

Thing 17. Create a Twitter account and add some friends.
Thing 18. Tweet at least once a day between Mon 19th and Fri 23rd November.

BLOG POST: Do you think libraries should try to have a presence in Facebook?


Facebook is like a grown up version of Myspace. You create a profile and then use this to keep in touch with your friends. It began in a college dorm at Harvard, but soon spread to other campuses. It's big. According to wikipedia:

As of October 2007, the website had the largest number of registered users among college-focused sites with over 42 million active members worldwide and expects to pass 60 million users by the end of the year (also from non-collegiate networks).[3] [4] From September 2006 to September 2007[5] it increased its ranking from 60th to 7th most visited web site, and was the number one site for photos in the United States, ahead of public sites such as Flickr, with over 8.5 million photos uploaded daily.[6][7]

The Murdoch University network in Facebook has 1792 members. Overseas students are using it to keep in touch with family. There is a for sale noticeboard and discussion of campus issues.

The site's growth has exploded now that people without a ".edu" email address can join, and that other software can interact with Facebook using an API (Application Programming Interface).

Given that Facebook takes up 1% of all Internet traffic, our users are probably spending much more time in Facebook than on the library web pages. Can we use this platform to offer services to our students?


To communicate with students

To communicate with each other

For work tools

Library catalogue search box that can be embedded in a Facebook profile

Journal database search that can be embedded in Facebook



Twitter is like a cross between microblogging and IM (Instant Messaging). The concept is simple: Say what you are doing in 140 characters or less. It sounds like a simple and useless tool, but it is an extremely powerful social tool.

When you join, you find friends and "follow" them. That way you can see what they are tweeting. You can set your account to private so that only your friends can see your tweets and they will not be seen by search engines. Please make your account private for the 23 Things.

The best description I've heard is that it's like "walking to school with your friends". Sometimes you are gossiping about who has a crush on who, sometimes you talk about nothing but the hottest issue, sometimes you talk about lunch, but you often spend a fair whack of it talking about serious schoolwork too.

It is an anytime, anyplace tool. There is bound to be someone you know tweeting at any time. You can send and receive messages directly from the website, via IM chat, via text on a mobile phone or using client software on your PC. We are looking at it mainly to get a taste of the 24/7 interconnectedness and networking of many of our students.




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