Discovery 13 – Social Networking

September 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm 3 comments


Discover social networking by watching this video:

Social networking services, as defined by Wikipedia, are “primarily web based and provide a collection of various ways for users to interact, such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups.” Many of Gene Smith’s building blocks of social sites will be found by users at various sites.

  • Identity—a way of uniquely identifying people in the system
  • Presence—a way of knowing who is online, available, or otherwise nearby
  • Relationships—a way of describing how two users in the system are related (e.g. in Flickr, people can be contacts, friends, or family)
  • Conversations—a way of talking to other people through the system
  • Groups—a way of forming communities of interest
  • Reputation—a way of knowing the status of other people in the system (Who’s a good citizen? Who can be trusted?)
  • Sharing—a way of sharing things that are meaningful to participants (like photos or videos)

It is worth noting that most socail networks incorporate tools already discussed in our other Discovery exercises —blogging, micro-blogging, photo and video sharing, and IM.

Earlier this year, the Pew Internet and American Life Project published a research report that said:

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% now (Dec 2008)

  75% of adults aged 18-24 use these networks

One of the more popular social networking sites, Facebook, was originally launched for students at Harvard College. Its membership was opened up and expanded to include almost anyone who has an e-mail address. Facebook recently announced it had 300 million registered users.  Users, in addition to setting up profiles and linking to people and networks, can also pick and choose from thousands of applications.

Ning is social networking service that allow anyone to build their own free social site via a set of integrated Web tools. Ning offers a site to anyone for free and displays ads on Ning pages to provide revenue. Features include the creation of groups, discussion forums, integrated blogs, RSS feeds, tag clouds, integrated video and photos, and personal page customization.

Ravelry is another very popular social networking site with a dedicated focus. It is a knit and crochet community, where you can:

  • Organise. Organise your projects, stash, needles, and more.
  • Share. Show off your work. Share your ideas and techniques.
  • Discover. Find new designs & yarns. Make friends. Try new things.


Facebook requires registration in order to view any profiles of members.
1. Register for the site and add 2-3 friends. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post so others can find and ‘friend’ you.  

2. Complete a profile, write on at least one wall and join at least one group. Here are some possible Facebook Groups to join: (Groups are only visible when logged in to Facebook.)
Library 2.0 Interest Group
Libraries Using Facebook Pages
Librarians and Facebook

Read through the Top Ten Facebook Apps for Librarians and consider using some of them.

Top Ten Facebook Apps for Librarians – Part One
Top Ten Facebook Apps for Librarians – Part Two
Top Ten Facebook Apps for Librarians – Part Three

If you like, register with one of the other social networking sites mentioned above (or any other you may have heard of) and join up with other library staff and library-related groups. Some library-related Ning groups:


Write a blog post about what you thought of social networking sites. Here are some questions to get you thinking:

Which library-related or non-library groups did you join in Facebook (or other networks) and why?
Reflect on why Facebook may be the fastest growing social network. Is that reputation deserved?
How might public libraries use Facebook to deliver library services to the public?


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

Discovery 12 – Web Video Discovery 14 – Online Databases

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. citylibrariestownsville  |  September 22, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Oh, how could I forget Shelfari
    A social network for people who love books!

  • 2. Dawn  |  September 27, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Find me on Facebook!

  • 3. Robin  |  November 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Find me on FB and friend me!


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Learning 2.0 is a discovery learning program created by Helene Blowers. Content and style for CityLibrariesLearning has been borrowed and duplicated with permission, under a Creative Commons License.
Creative Commons License
CityLibrariesLearning by CityLibraries Townsville is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.
Content has also been borrowed and duplicated under Creative Commons Licenses, from All together Now by the School Library Journal and Michael Stephens and 23 Things on a Stick
September 2009
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