Home > Week 7 > #7 – Facebook

#7 – Facebook

Now that you have some background knowledge about Social Networking, we are going to explore some of the best known applications in the next four “Things”. The first of these is a world-wide phenomenum.

Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.  Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace,  school or library.

Mark Zuckerberg invented Facemash on October 28, 2003 while attending Harvard University, but it wasn’t until September 2009,  that Facebook claimed that it had turned cash flow positive for the first time

A January 2009 study ranked Facebook as the most used social network by worldwide monthly active users, followed by MySpace. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, “best-of” list, saying, “How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers’ birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?”

Facebook and MySpace probably get more mainstream press than any other tool on this list—besides blogging. And, as we all know, not all the press is positive.  However, social networks are one of the main ways that young adults communicate with each other—68% of all teenagers use social networking sites.  In the last couple of years, Facebook has also become used by more and more adults as a quick way of  networking.  Use of these sites has even surpassed landline telephones and even e-mail for a growing percentage of people.  Recently libraries around the world have discovered the benefits of having a Facebook “presence” as a means of advertising events, reporting news and generally keeping in touch with their customers.

So, what does it all mean to libraries? Whether or not you become a convert to Facebook and/ MySpace, it is important to understand how they work. If our users are communicating through these networks, we need to be able to be there, too.

Background Reading:

Wikipedia entry for Facebook

Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

Activities for #7:

1.  If you don’t already have one – now is the time to set up a Facebook account.  www.facebook.com.  If you have any problems , take a look at this tutorial.

Once you have your Facebook account, you’ll need to…

2. Create a Facebook profile

Facebook profiles are for individuals. Facebook pages are for organizations. 

As you create your profile, Facebook will ask you if you want to find friends by using your email account. Facebook will ask you to provide your email account password. I strongly advise against this. There are other ways to add friends later. As a matter of fact, you can skip all of the steps in the profile setup if you want, as long as you enter your name and secret question. You can always go back and edit your profile information later.

3.  Once you have created your 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.)

Library2 Interest group

Libraries and Facebook

Or choose any of the groups from this list

Hottest Facebook Groups for Librarians – http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/2007/hottest-facebook-groups-for-librarians/

Facebook is really not much fun without friends.

So go find some friends.

You can only see your friends’ profiles, and they’re the only people who can see yours. You can share as much or as little information about yourself as you want. When someone performs a search, only your name, photo (if you upload one) and the networks you belong to will appear in the search results.

The more information you enter about yourself in your profile, the more options Facebook gives you for finding friends. You can automatically find high school or college classmates, former co-workers, etc., if you’ve entered your education and work history into your profile. Even if you don’t enter that information into your profile, you can still perform searches based on that information—the only difference is that you have to enter that information manually every time you search.

You can also search for people directly by their names. If you’re at a loss as to who to add, type “Devon Libraries” into the search box.

In addition to searching for people, you can search for organizations. If you simply type an organization name, like “Library,” into the search box, and choose to search Facebook, you will get a list of all the different entities with that name in the title. If you limit the search to “Pages,” you’ll find only organizations. Once you track down the organization you had in mind, you can become a fan of that organization. Find Devon Libraries and become a fan.  Well, we have to increase our fanbase numbers somehow!

Finally:

Many libraries worldwide are using social network sites to:

  • Speak the language of their patrons
  • Showcase their library
  • Promote and assess library functions, through surveys and focus groups
  • Repackage information
  • Promote outreach – extend the support of the library beyond the physical walls
  • Educate users/customers

Blog about your thoughts about Facebook.  Which groups did you join and why? Reflect on why Facebook may be the fastest growing social network. Is that reputation deserved?  Blog your thoughts and observations regarding setting up your Facebook account, and ways you think you might use the service in the future. Also, please feel free to blog any feelings regarding the balance of privacy and transparency, the marketing potential of social connections, conspiracy theories about all the personal information Facebook collects, or anything else that may have popped into your head throughout this experience.

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  1. September 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Thanks!

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