MySpace and Social Networking Sites
Thank you, Karen and Janie, for your posts earlier this week which mentioned MySpace,IM, and other social networking sites as primary means of communication among high school and college students and other patrons of our libraries, especially teens and young adults. I totally agree that if we want to better connect with many of them, we need to at least be familiar with these “tools” for communication and sharing. If you are not familiar with and have little interest in MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking sites, you might reconsider:
These interactive networks of photos, blogs, user profiles, groups, and internal email systems have been interconnecting people for a few years now and their use and popularity have been explosive! Believe it or not, these social networks have become some of the highest traffic sites on the Web in 2006. Millions of people, especially high school and college students, have joined them because of the ease of interactivity between the site’s users. Consider these stats from Alexa Internet:
In February 2006, MySpace was ranked as the world’s 7th most popular English language website and the most popular English language social networking website with higher traffic and over 56 million users–now, as of April 2006, it is ranked 5th in the world. Facebook, another very popular social network was listed as the world’s 66th most popular English language website, but in April, it has risen to number 28.
As a librarian and professor, I joined Facebook last year when I found out that the students in my public speaking class were communicating with each other via that tool, instead of our university’s email system. It was amazing how much more open and willing the students were to sharing information about each other and their individual and group projects in our class, via Facebook. They were thrilled that I was willing to join Facebook, and they loved that I used it to find out and celebrate their birthdays, for instance, as they came up during the semester.
Anyway, I for one, am quite interested in seeing how Karen, her library, and other libraries incorporate and use MySpace and other social networks to better connect with their patrons and students.