Second Life

Second Life provides a virtual world to project your digital presence. It provides a gaming approach to social networking which allows users a more exciting visual experience.

I was stymied significantly by my computer’s lack of grunt. I found the environment difficult to navigate and the avatar almost impossible to reposition because most of my screen was blanked out in pink! Given a better system, I would like to investigate further to fully appreciate this social networking tool. At present, because I haven’t been able to investigate further, I am a little unsure why people are so interested in it. I have read several posts in the INF506 Facebook page detailing the interest and excitement associated with using Second Life, but cannot connect enough to appreciate it.

It clearly shows me that there are a multitude of ‘styles’ in social media tools and each person will be drawn to different features. For example, I find Twitter difficult to use. The extra connections in the conversation interrupt the flow of what I am reading and it causes difficulties for me. On the other hand my husband loves Twitter and would use it over Facebook. I have met people who are addicted to Facebook but see no purpose in a tool such as Delicious or Pinterest. It is important as a TL to appreciate this diversity. Not everyone will connect at the same level. Go slow and be persistent to encourage further connection to a social networking tool that will really change the work environment, but don’t expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon with the same enthusiasm.

Delicious and other tagging sites

Signing up to Delicious really opened my eyes to a whole new world. While I haven’t been able to really invest the time as yet to tag and pin as much as I would like to, I know that this is an area I want to develop further. I signed up to Pinterest as well and have started investigating the best way to use this site. As one of the fastest growing social media tools, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

In reflection, I realised that Delicious had been introduced to me several years ago at work. The TL got up at a staff meeting and presented the tool. I remember asking myself why it was useful, but didn’t pursue it further. Either my mind was set against it, I didn’t understand fully the potential or the presentation didn’t fully explore. Whatever the reason, an opportunity was lost. This gives me something to think about when I find myself in that TL’s shoes trying to develop interest in the staff body of a new tool. What will I need to do to get a better response?

Delicious and other tagging tools have the ability to tag and ‘keep’ things you come across of interest. It is ‘cloud’ technology. Just like my bookmarking function on my web browser, these tools can capture a link, but I don’t need to keep it on my computer. There is great potential for this for the future of web technology. This is evidenced by the very popular response to Pinterest, a recently introduced application similar to Delicious. There is a continued place for such tools and I look forward to investigating them more when my studies are completed.

OLJ Tasks- Explore developing a Social Media Policy

Based on the advice given in various articles, I would giveĀ  5 key pieces of advice to a social media working party or committee.

1. Be clear about the PURPOSE of Social Media

Is the bandwagon just being leaped upon, or is there a distinct advantage in using social media in the school context? What benefits can be harnessed? What can social media do that other forms of communication cannot do as effectively?

2. Ensure a POLICY is clear and available

Writing a social media policy provides structure that both protects and enables all stakeholders. This policy needs to be clearly written and communicated. To avoid a misuse or unfortunate social media faux pas, employees and clients need to fully understand the purpose of social media in the particular context of the school. Employees especially need to be aware that employers reserve the right to monitor what their employees say on social media. Such legal outlines are important to include in a policy.

3. ADAPT current policies

Communication is such no matter what the platform. If employees are guided by policy to inform respectful communication in phone calls and emails, social media is no different. Ethics extends to all forms of communication and this must be clearly outlined for employees.

4. RESPECT copyright and protect confidential and proprietary information

Proprietary information must be protected no matter what platform is used to communicate. The boundaries do not change with social media.

5. Provide VALUE

Whatever is posted in social media should provide value to the community at large. There are many ways schools can use social media to offer recommendations or promote services. If you consistently aim to provide value, social media becomes an effective, constructive and indispensable communication tool.

The essence of Library 2.0

After reading Meredith Farkas’ blog titled “The Essence of Library 2.0” (http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/), I have appreciated that while it is easy to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ to use social media, it is essential that the focus remain on the users or clients rather than focus on social media itself.

While social media delivers excellent tools to market, communicate and engage users, it is important to choose an appropriate tool that users will respond to and librarians can keep updated regularly to make it worthwhile and useful. For example, libraries providing not just Facebook but Twitter and a number of other social media contacts provides for a diverse range of social media users. But first, libraries must be aware of their user demographic and use evidence-based practice to determine this.

Genuinely understanding the users’ needs and delivering tools and applications where they are at is the essence of Library 2.0.

OLJ Task- 4Cs of Web 2.0

How well does Arizona State University (ASU) use Web 2.0 tools to achieve the 4Cs of social media?

Firstly, I wanted to find out more about what the 4Cs of social media were. The Module 3 notes list collaboration, conversation, community and content creation (CSU, 2012). However, I found that content creation was called co-creation in Mootee’s (2008) article. While very similar in meaning, co-creation seems to epitomize the collaborative nature of Web 2.0 more; and Gates (2009) simply uses content.

Conversations: ASU libraries promote conversations in a diverse number of ways. The library channel page (ASU LIbraries, n.d.) allows comments to announcements. In the ‘Get Help’ tab, a few options such as ‘Ask a Librarian’, ‘Report technical problems’ and a ‘suggestion box’ all provide appropriate places for users to contact library staff. Of particular note is the suggestion box, where you can read other user’s feedback and the library’s response to the issue. This ‘open book’ attitude facilitates future genuine communication and ‘establishes trust with users’ (Schrier, 2011). Conversations are also promoted in Facebook and Twitter.

Content Creation: ASU libraries‘ content creation appears to be only one way. Content is created by library staff for library users, including the creation of a number of informative YouTube clips that students can access regarding the libraries’ facilities and spaces. There appears to be little content creation stored from the library users, except for feedback comments. Additionally, through Twitter students have the option of replying to the tweets. The Flickr account appears to be staff producing the content as well.

Connections: While there are tabs for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube indicating a range of formats for making connections, the website appears to limit the student connection to responses to formally created library content only. Although it is noted that responses from the library is timely and open to all readers. Facebook in particular just provides another avenue to connect with staff.

Collaboration:There is little evidence of collaboration between users and library staff except through conversations and complaints through a variety of methods.

ASU libraries could better address the 4Cs of Web 2.0 by allowing greater input from users. Acknowledging that as a university library, the focus is on assisting users to locate information, there is a significant lack of assistance in creating information. Is this a reflection on the university not being able to move away from its traditional function as a repository of knowledge that is delivered to students? Library staff need to find alternative ways for users to collaborate and create content that doesn’t devalue or diminish the excellent sources of information already provided.

References

ASU LIbraries. (2012). Fact sheet 2012. Retrieved from http://repository.asu.edu/attachments/96525/content/fact-sheet-2012.pdf

ASU libraries. (n.d.) The library channel: News, events, announcements. In ASU: Arizona State University. Retrieved December 28, 2012 from http://lib.asu.edu/librarychannel/

Charles Sturt University (CSU). (2012). Module 3: Library 2.0 and participatory library servicesĀ [INF506 201290 Modules]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201290_W_D/page/84cf677e-ec91-4f08-8080-0f7dd953df21

Gates, J. (2009). The 4Cs of web 2.0 and storytelling. In The learning evolution. Retrieved from http://learnev.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/4-cs-of-web-20-and-storytelling.html

Mootee, I. (2008). Web 2.0 and the 4 Cs. In Future lab. Retrieved from http://www.futurelab.net/blogs/marketing-strategy-innovation/2007/10/web_20_and_the_4_cs.html

Schrier, R.A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: The digital library as conversation facilitator, D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8) July/August 2011. Retrieved from http://dlib.org/dlib/july11/schrier/07schrier.html