Social Software in Libraries by Jessamyn West 1

Run don’t walk to this incredible presentation and list of resources. 

 I decided that part of really getting the idea of social software or technology generally is that many people confuse tools and brands and examples and I think people will feel more in charge of technology if they know how to explain it. From working with novice users, I know they use turns of phrases like “My Yahoo s broken” and don’t even realize that they’re not really speaking sensically to someone who understands the terms. On the other hand, I can understand how the idea of “a browser” can be pretty transparent and ethereal to someone who only knows that you click the blue E and you get the Internet. I had an Internet before web browsing, many people haven’t. 

One thing that Jessamyn and the commentors bring up is the fact that showing some sites live opens up privacy issues. I’m careful with my screenshots but sometimes I’ve caught some things that my Facebook friends might not want out there. Even a screenshot of Netflix tripped me up once!

Here’s a direct link to the presentation:

One thought on “Social Software in Libraries by Jessamyn West

  • jessamyn

    Yeah this is an eternal issue. I don’t want to overcensor myself and just not show anything that might have personal information — I’m pretty free with showing my Flickr front page for example — but things that are friends-only are more of an issue. I often show a LOT of my page, show my “wall” after making sure it’s decent and show how my personal information like phone numbers and such are ONLY available to my friends on the network. So, this gives people a friends view without having to log on and have an account.

    I also make sure people know it’s okay to friend me on these networks even if we don’t know each other that well. I know my Mom only wants to “friend” people she knows mostly and that works for her but I’d love for librarians trying this stuff out to have a readymade friend or two heading in to it. I think it makes it a bunch less scary.

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