Just a quick post to share a few articles and links that I have found interesting/useful/funny — and sometimes all three. These are in no particular order and with no particular theme.
Why Facebook is for Old Fogies: A humorous article from TIME with lots of truth mixed in about why adults want and need to be on Facebook. A great handout to add a little levity for classes on social networking or for any bibliography for a presentation. My favorite reason from the list:
10. We’re not cool, and we don’t care. There was a time when it was cool to be on Facebook. That time has passed. Facebook now has 150 million members, and its fastest-growing demographic is 30 and up. At this point, it’s way cooler not to be on Facebook. We’ve ruined it for good, just like we ruined Twilight and skateboarding. So git! And while you’re at it, you damn kids better get off our lawn too.
Building Your Base Toolkit: A great resource for those who do library programming from the New York State Library and hosted by the Mid-Husdon Library System. This site is designed to give libraries “tools for connecting with your community” and has lots of good marketing advice in addition to tips for running successful library programs. I am always on the lookout for new programming ideas and they have a lot of good ideas on the Creative Programming page.
Twitter Basics for Librarians: This post is meant to help libraries and librarians start using Twitter, but it could easily be adapted for any group or for a handout for a basic class on twitter at your library. This post also led my to discover Tweeters Directory: Librarians, twitter resource that I had not seen before (although I am undecided about adding my name as I like to keep my following/followers list small and hate to decline people).
Flickriver: My new favorite way to browse and explore flickr, but be warned that this site can be a giant time suck. If you want to have lots of fun, do a search for the tag “librarian” and sort by “interesting” — here are the results of this search. It is so cool that Cindi’s photos comprise 3 of the top 5 and very telling that many of the “interesting” shots comprise photos of the stereotypical “sexy” librarian image. Oh, and the “librarians in shower caps” mosaic ranks quite highly too! Of course, it is always fun to search for your user name too. The black background and not needing to click to get to the next image just makes the browsing so much better.
Best and Worst Blogs 2009: The second annual list by TIME “spanning politics, housekeeping, astronomy and everything in between”. I found a few new blogs to check out thanks to this list and was happy to see many of my favorites included. The Most Overrated Blogs list is short but right on the money.
March 5, 2009 at 8:50 am Janie Hermann
A colleague and I were discussing the recent Facebook TOS kerfuffle and she said she was fascinated by how much privacy people are willing to give away in exchange for a desired experience. I agreed that I am equally fascinated, and that it is vitally important for librarians to be on the vanguard of monitoring these trends, and educating our customers as to the possible risks of sharing too much information.
But I also think that librarians, at times, can be too knee-jerk about privacy issues, and I wonder if while looking at one end of the Facebook dustup (big corporation trampling on privacy rights) we might be missing some important lessons on the other end (big corporation letting customers control their own information in exchange for a highly engaging experience. And Facebook DOES give customers a tremendous, leading edge, amount of control. See: “10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know.)
We all know that people (myself, and probably you included) will share personal information in exchange for a quality experience. We share personal renting and buying habits in exchange for Netflix and Amazon recommendations. We share personal reading habits on GoodReads and LibraryThing to connect with others who share our interests and tastes. We share our credit card numbers with many online vendors in exchange for the convenience of “one-click” ordering.
We know all this, and we personally experience the benefits, but librarians still seem generally loathe to let our customers share their personal information in exchange for anything. We don’t just protect customer privacy, we paternalistically protect it from the customers themselves, rendering them childlike. Our privacy philosophy often reduces down to, “We know better”, or “You can’t be trusted with that–you’ll hurt yourself.”
Our choice to disallow customer control of their own information means that their needs for connection and social networking go unmet, which in turn creates opportunities for entrepreneurial companies like Library Elf, GoodReads, and LibraryThing (created by frustrated library lovers, I wonder?) to come in and fill those needs. Which is great, but why aren’t libraries creating and offering these experiences?
I worry every day about whether libraries will be relevant, three, five, or ten years from now. Unless we start allowing our customers to make decisions about their own personal data, AND start building systems that offer them a social networked experience based on their ability to selectively share their heretofore private info, I fear that libraries will grow increasingly irrelevant to our customers.
February 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm Peter Bromberg
Confession: I don’t get Facebook. I try to get it. Really I do. But my experience has been, well, kinda like this:
May 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm Peter Bromberg
So, if you’re a facebook user like I am you probably know about the “status updates” feature.
This is a little section on facebook where you, well, update your status. The status can be funny, sad, serious, a joke, for real, etc. You can change it as often as you want, and it shows when you last “updated your status.”
Here is an example of what my page looks like right now:
(Hopefully, Kate, Julie and K.G. won’t mind!)
However, earlier today my status was “Amy needs to buy a new digital camera!”
Which is true.
Here’s where you find out what your facebook status can do for you…
Quick story. I was in Princeton today to run a program that CJRLC held on Open Source with LibLime’s Nicole Engard. Afterward, I had the pleasure of going to lunch with some colleagues (including Janie). On our walk back to the parking garage, I was talking about how I need to go buy a new camera.
My camera died right in the middle of PLA much to my dismay (hence my desperate status update on facebook). Nicole took out her camera to show it to me because she likes it. All of a sudden I heard a great booming voice shout, “Is there an Amy Kearns here?!”
Turning around, I saw our very own ROBERT LACKIE! (Phew! I was scared there for a moment!) We all had a good laugh and then tried to piece together how he had come to be standing right there behind me!
(No, Robert isn’t a stalker.) Apparently, Robert had been walking in a group not far behind us and someone overheard the part about “need to buy a new camera,” and Robert knew my facebook status stated that. Then they heard the part about “mine died at PLA” …. and Robert knew it had to be a LIBRARIAN who needed a new camera! He connected these things together and determined that I was nearby!
[As best as I can tell, this is basically what happened. Robert, you are free to contribute to this tale!]
So, you see, your online facebook status can have an effect in the “real” world! I update my facebook status on a fairly regular basis, and I know that sometimes people do notice it and sometimes do send me a message about it, but I usually really just do it for myself in a way. It never occurred to me that someone might actually apply it to the “real” world (which, I suppose can be good or bad, but that’s another post).
This is a silly and small example that didn’t end up having any great consequences (other than the fact that I got to see Robert, have a good laugh, and have everyone see me nearly jump out of my skin upon hearing my name called out like that!)
But, you never know when something like this may happen and have bigger implications.
For example, Nicole added her own story telling us that she once gave a colleague a ride after seeing their facebook status updated as needing a ride and being nearby! Others probably have similar stories of real life encounters with facebook status updates.
I’m always interested and pleased when my “virtual” life and my “real” live overlap. Especially if it means seeing Robert!
So, what will YOUR facebook status do for YOU?
April 2, 2008 at 9:04 pm Amy