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Social networking is about connecting with people. In the Learning 2.0 context, it is about reaching out to people through various online communities. Millions of people are creating an extended network of "friends" in sites like MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, Xanga, and Flickr, among others. There are lots of other social networking sites; there is a good list of them on Wikipedia.
Check out this YouTube video, "Social Networking in Plain English."
While there are lots of social networking sites out there, probably two of the more popular ones are MySpace and Facebook. We will explore Facebook in a later exercise, but we can take a closer look at MySpace in today's lesson. The two online environments are very similar, but MySpace tends to draw a younger audience. You will also notice it is quite ad-heavy compared to Facebook. Many libraries are using MySpace to reach out to their younger users. Libraries who have created a profile on MySpace have heard positive feedback and seem to be having an impact on their young adult users.
Discovery Activity #4
You have a choice of activities this week. (You only have to do one!)
a. Record your reaction to the social networking video above.
b. View the examples of libraries using MySpace. Respond to what you have seen and read in your blog.
Libraries Using MySpace
- Hennepin County
- University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburg
- Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
- Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
- Ball State University's MySpace page--Scroll down to see their video tutorial on Scholarly vs. Popular Articles.
For further reading on social networking... (not part of the Discovery Activity)
Librarians speaking about MySpace
1. Stephen Abrams' recent post on MySpace and other social networking environments
2. Sarah Houghton-Jan's (aka LibrarianInBlack) post and comments
I thought this cartoon was a cute way to close our learning on social networking this week.
(Scroll to read the entire cartoon.)