Assignment 3, Part 2 – Evaluative Report

This report comprises two parts, part A is an evaluative statement using three experiences in my online learning journal (OLJ) to demonstrate meeting the five learning objectives for INF206 as published in the subject outline.  Part B is a reflective statement about INF206 and its effect on my development as a social networker and the implications for my development as an information professional.

The three experiences chosen from my OLJ are:-

  • Delicious: a social bookmarking service
  • ASU Libraries
  • Social Media Policy

Delicious a social bookmarking service

This learning experience proved to be effective in developing my skills as a social networker and in gaining an understanding of social networking technologies.  While being aware of Delicious I had no previous experience with social bookmarking.  While Delicious was fairly easy to grasp one area of difficulty was overcome by social networking with fellow students through Facebook.  Examination of the functionality allows for sharing, following and networking with tagging/stacks for organising and searching.

Research into Delicious gave further insight into how this tool could be used in a number of ways by libraries and information professionals to support their communities informational needs, for example, the provision of online subject guides feed or feeding into a website.  Like all Web 2.0 technologies, evaluation of usefulness is necessary and will depend on the context; the information needs of the organisation and those being served.

Shortly after I made my OLJ entry the Delicious interface changed and I had to learn how to perform the same functions again.  This reminded me that Web 2.0 technologies are constantly changing and evolving, and that I need to be open to learning and change.

ASU Libraries

This exercise involved an examination and evaluation of the Arizona State University Libraries (ASU) use of social media to connect with library users and provide a participatory library service.  Social media’s foundation principles of conversation, collaboration, community and content creation form the basis of not only Web 2.0 but also Library 2.0 which encompasses both these foundation principles and Web 2.0 technologies, applying them to libraries allowing “the end users to thrive and survive (and libraries along with them)” (Abram, 2007, Library 2.0 section).

The ASU libraries did make an effort to connect with their community using a variety of tools and media, to have the conversation about what their users needs were, then they responded, for example staying open all night before exams, demonstrating participatory library service.  Participatory library service is dependant on getting to know your community (both users and non users) and their needs through assessment, both formal such as surveys and informal such as conversation, or observations and then responding, allowing the community to shape future services (Farkas, 2007).

ASU’s librarian Anali Perry featured in The Library Minute videos added a human face to the library.  Bennett suggests that “the more human we look, the more we personalize our services, the more connected we will be to our patrons” (as cited in Brookover, 2007).  These videos made me question how far I am prepared to go as an Information professional to connect with and serve my clients.  When client’s needs are identified, will I be prepared to respond and change?

Social Media Policy

This exercise demonstrating policy development was the last of several exercises relating to the issues that our socially networked world presents.  Through access to the Internet, information, Web 2.0 technologies and the ease with which interaction and content creation is taking place we are seeing a global transformation that is changing society and culture, for example many now have mobile phones to access the Internet wherever they are.

To respond to these changes information policy which control and guide the flow of information are developed at both government and organisation levels.  Intellectual property, copyright, Internet regulation, privacy and security of information are some of issues that need to be addressed.  Government information policy as defined by Weingarten “is the set of all public laws, regulations and policies that encourage, discourage or regulate the creation, use, storage and communication of information” (as cited in Hay & Wallis, 2011).

For an organisation, information policy can provide direction about the flow of information, what is acceptable behaviour and use of social media whilst in work or personal time.  Information policy would also cover use of the network, computers and other devices.

This exercise made me consider some of these issues when developing a social media policy for an organisation.  Developing policy was found to be very complex but a necessary part of management in organisations today.

Part 2 – B.  Reflective Statement

Social Networker

Social networking is something that people do naturally as they are drawn to others for any number of reasons; those reasons could include common interests, values, and social circumstances.  Social networks are based on the concepts of communication, sharing, collaborating and creating a community; and the Internet with the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies have made  “contributing materials and connecting with other people faster, easier and more accessible to a wider population than ever before” (De Rosa, Cantrell, Havens, Hawk, & Jenkins, 2007, p.2-1).

Social networking with staff from other libraries at meetings, conferences, via the telephone and email listserv has been very valuable in my current work but my use of other forms of social networking was fairly limited.

This subject has allowed me to explore a wide range of social networking and Web 2.0 technologies and share experiences with fellow students.  Without studying INF206 I would have never have considered using some of the networking technologies, such as Second Life for example.

The experience I have gained by participating in this subject has given me greater confidence as a social networker.  The understanding gained about how the technologies work and of the many advantages of social networking now seems to outweigh any perceived disadvantages that I held previously.  The ease and quality of information accessed through social connections has been impressive and will inform my work from this time forward.

At the same time I recognise that I still need to develop further, as my social technology behaviour has tended to be that of a spectator and joiner on Bernoff and Li’s Social technographics ladder, whereas this subject has given the opportunity to be a creator and I could contribute more, becoming a conversationalist (Bernoff & Li, 2010).

Information professional

INF206 has had significant impact on my perspective and future direction as a developing information professional.  While having been aware of social networking and many Web 2.0 technologies I had not really considered their application to libraries or why they should be used.  This subject has made me think about social networking and Web 2.0 technologies potential for connecting to and serving end users, how our end users might already be using them and how these technologies can be effectively used within the workplace.  Recognising that before implementing any new services or technologies there must be a need, supported by assessment and it cannot be because the technology is interesting, new or desirable (Farkas, 2008).

Our socially networked world does present some challenges too, for example mobile devices have made Internet access and social media readily available for many, requiring an understanding and ability to develop information policy.  Easy participation in the online community and access to information is not a given though, as digital divide exists between those that have access to the infrastructure, skills and resources and those who do not.

Helping others to be able to freely access information and develop their information literacy skills to be able to fully participate in society is a key role of information professionals (Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), 2006, 2007).  Thus helping others learn to critically evaluate online information and identities, helping them to be aware of the dangers or consequences and the need for them to safely manage their privacy and identity is part of my role as a future information professional.

This subject has also alerted me to new ways of staying informed and learning about emerging technologies and trends, bringing the information to me.  Through this new knowledge I have been able to extend my personal learning network and have found an amazing array of new and useful sources of information that will equip me to improve the quality of my work.  At the same time I recognise that I will have to make more of an effort to keep my technical skills up to date, keeping an open mind and experimenting with new technologies.  This will be important not only for looking for opportunities to improve service and access to information but also as I help others acquire skills and knowledge.

INF206 has encouraged me to understand “end users deeply in terms of their goals and aspirations, workflows, social and content needs, and more” (Abram, 2007, Librarian 2.0 section) so that I can become a librarian 2.0 and information professional for our time and into the future.

References

Abram, S. (2007). Web 2.0, library 2.0 and librarian 2.0: Preparing for the 2.0 world. Retrieved December 12, 2011, from http://www.online-information.co.uk/online09/files/freedownloads.new_link1.1080622103251.pdf

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) (2006). Statement on information literacy for all Australians. Retrieved January 26, 2012, from http://www.alia.org.au/policies/information.literacy.html

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) (2007). Statement on free access to information. Retrieved January 26, 2012, from http://www.alia.org.au/policies/free.access.html

Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2010). Social Technographics: Conversationalists get onto the ladder. Retrieved January 9, 2012, from http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2010/01/conversationalists-get-onto-the-ladder.html

Brookover, S. (2007). Why we blog. Library Journal, (November 15). Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6497263.html

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J., & Jenkins, L. (2007). Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership.  Available from http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing.pdf

Farkas, M. G. (2007). What will work @ your library. In Social software in libraries: Building collaboration, communication and community online (pp. 233-255). Medford, N.J.: Information Today, Inc.

Farkas, M. G. (2008). The essence of library 2.0? Retrieved January 9, 2012, from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/

Hay, L., & Wallis, J. (2011). Social networking for information professionals [INF206 Module 5]. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201190_W_D/page/5feac35f-13fd-4dc5-80db-434ea456a7ca

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Social Media Policy

If I was asked to advise a working party developing a Social Media Policy regarding customers or clients use of an organisation’s social networking sites or computers/network, the following would be the five key points or areas that I would suggest the policy covers.  These suggestions suit the context of a public library.

Acceptable behaviour

The policy should clearly state what will be acceptable behaviour or use; considering the following:

  • Offensive, obscene, racist or profane language and images.  Users should comply with all relevant laws relating to racial or religious vilification.
  • Aggressive, bullying, harassing or stalking behaviours.
  • Off topic or spam posts (Fleet, 2011; Whiteman Public Library, 2009).
  • Whether external links can be added (Fleet, 2011).
  • Selling goods or services.
  • Political activities (Whiteman Public Library, 2009).
  • Uploading files that contain viruses or similar.

Compliance with copyright or other intellectual property laws

Do not upload materials that the intellectual property is owned by someone else useless appropriate consent is obtained.

Privacy

Protect the privacy of others by refraining from revealing their personal information or publishing photos of other persons unless consent is obtained.  Advise to use caution in revealing personal identifying information about yourself or that of your children (City of Monterey, 2012).

How the organisation will respond to:-

  • Social media, timeframe for responses (Fleet, 2011).
  • Comments that will/will not be responded to (Fleet, 2011).
  • Consequences for non compliance with the organisation’s social media policy.  Would users be blocked from social media, would they forfeit their opportunity to use the computers or networks?
  • Issues involving children – access to computers/networks – not available unless parental consent has been provided.  The organisation will not be responsible supervision of children or for enforcing parental restrictions regarding the use of social media (City of Monterey, 2012).

Disclaimer

A disclaimer to the effect that the organisation does not accept responsibility or liability any for consequences of using networks, computers or social media, such as a virus downloaded.  Accuracy of information, content of any links and views expressed are not endorsed by the organisation.

References

 City of Monterey (2012). Monterey Public Library terms of use. Retrieved January 20, 2012, from http://www.monterey.org/library/terms.aspx

Fleet, D. (2011). Social media policies for your company: External policies. Dave Fleet: Conversations at the intersection of communications, PR and social media, May 9. Retrieved from http://davefleet.com/2009/05/social-media-policies-company-external-policies/

Whiteman Public Library (2009). Social networking policy. Retrieved January 20, 2012, from http://198.171.202.30/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Social-Networking-Policy.pdf

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Two Take Home Messages

After reading a number of article on issues related to finding authentic information in a socially network world, I have been given the task of identifying two take home messages that I believe will inform my work as an information professional.

My two take home messages are:-

  •  Not all is what it seems in the socially networked world.
  • Do your own research, critically evaluate information.

How do I believe these messages will inform my work?  Not only are these going to be important to me but as a future information professional I hope to be able to help other people gain skills in safely using the Internet in our socially networked world.  There are a number of issues that people need to be aware of so as to not fall unsuspectingly into hidden traps.

Not all is what it seems in the socially networked world.  Social networking can be used by people who are not what they seems, we are all familiar with accounts of older adults portraying themselves as young people of the opposite sex.  While not all people are this deceptive, individuals may give an impression that they are something they are not, portraying their offline self in a less than authentic ways.  An example of this could be the way photos are used on social networking profile to convey another impression of their physical body (Sessions, 2009).

Others are not what they seem, sending spam (tweets in this example) with the objective of making money of those who click on their links (Yardi, Romero, Schoenebeck, & Boyd, 2009).

Helping others to do their own research, critically evaluate information and the understand reasons why they should, is another area I hope to help people in my work.  Many people/students are turning to Wikipedia as their first source of information.  While socially generated information is useful, Wikipedia entries are edited based on the content being verifiable through published sources from peer review journals to mainstream newspapers, not necessarily the most accurate as Garfinkel’s article demonstrates (Garfinkel, 2008).

References

Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the meaning of truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84-86.

Sessions, L. F. (2009). You Looked Better on MySpace: Deception and authenticity on the Web 2.0. First Monday, 14(7), July 6. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2539/2242

Yardi, S., Romero, D., Schoenebeck, G., & Boyd, d. (2009). Detecting spam in a Twitter network. First Monday, 15(1), January 4. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2793/2431

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Online Identity

Our identity is what makes us who we are.  Oxford dictionary defines identity as “ condition of being a specific person,” involving our personality and individuality (Sykes, 1976, p. 533).  Organisations likewise can have an identity that makes them unique from other organisations.  Online identity can include user generated content and social networking activity tied to our profile (Pearson, 2009).

We need to think about the sort of online identity we project as individuals or an organisation, as it will be used, rightly or wrongly, to measure or judge us.  For example youths using social networking make an assessment of a person character and potential as an online threat based on the profile, photos, friends and other content that contribute to an online identity (Mallan & Giardina, 2009).

Our online identity can be potentially harmed by others, whether deliberate or not, such as an inappropriate posting on a Facebook wall or being tagged in an indiscreet photo.  The exposure of personal information with those who are not the intend audience can threaten privacy and reputation when social networking sites change settings taking control away from the individual (Raynes-Goldie, 2010).  Lack of management or control and system loopholes can leave our information available to be “creeped” over by others (Raynes-Goldie, 2010).

This raises issues about what content is appropriate to put online and how it is managed.  What sort of information do you want to make public?  This is an individual decision but needs weighed up knowing the risks to your identity.

The security of private information being collected and possibly shared between organisations, business and agencies or being open to hacking or abuse by unscrupulous individuals is another issue.

Big businesses operate on the Internet with the capacity to accumulate and analyse large amount of data, making our internet searches and online activity a valuable source of data (Pearson, 2009).  Many people may not like to think of their online activities being stored and analysed, this raises issues regarding our trust in businesses and their activities especially given the legal system limited jurisdiction and control over Internet.

References

 Mallan, K., & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites. First Monday, 14(6), June 1. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2445/2213

Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a Dog. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77.

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook. First Monday, 15(1), January 4. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Sykes, J. B. (Ed.). (1976). The concise Oxford dictionary of current English (6th ed.). Oxford: Clarendon.

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Reflections

These are my reflections on some areas of policy and my future as an information professional.

When I reflect upon of the role of public libraries in providing “free Internet access,” I have the view that this is a service the community needs and expects.  All persons need the opportunity to access information that meets their informational, recreational and educational requirements (Bertot, Jaeger, McClure, Wright, & Jensen, 2009).  Living in a rural community I can see the lack of Internet access, lack of skills to use Internet and lack of bandwidth are all issues contributing to the digital divide.  As libraries provide more PCs to meet demand and wireless Internet access on the same network it can all slow down to a less than useful pace (Bertot, et al., 2009).  I see the challenges facing libraries, given the limited resources available.  I also see the need to advocate for libraries, reminding funding bodies of the important role they play in enabling participation in the information society by their communities.  Supporting policies that will help to overcome the digital divide is necessary.  For me personally I see a responsibility to keep learning about new technologies on the Internet so I can assist others to gain new skills.  I am also reminded not to make assumption about services that can be provided until I have ascertained what will be possible, both technically and in view of resources available.  Just because the Internet can serve as a platform for enhanced service and I have may have seen it modelled elsewhere doesn’t mean it will be possible, there is still a divide.

I also see the need to stay informed and pay attention to policies that regulate the Internet whether in libraries, organisations or at home.  Things like ISP filtering, propriety software can have dramatic implications, for example on collaboration using cloud computing (Nelson, 2009).  While issues such as security need to be addressed; solutions found need to support interoperability and open cloud development (Nelson, 2009).

References

 Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., McClure, C. R., Wright, C. B., & Jensen, E. (2009). Public libraries and the Internet 2008-2009: Issues, implications, and challenges. First Monday, 14(11). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2700/2351

Nelson, M. R. (2009). Building an open cloud. Science, 324(5935), 1656-1657

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Information Policy – Why?

After watching this video Did You Know 4.0 created by xplanevisualthinking (Sept 14, 2009) under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

I considered some of the shifts or changes in individual’s behaviour as a digital citizen that the video highlighted and how I believe this may impact on the need for information policies in organisations to address these behaviours.

The five shifts that I selected are:-

  • Prevalence of mobile or cell phones and their rapidly increasing use as connection to the internet.
  • Of songs downloaded in the last year, 95% were not paid for.
  • Online Social networks and how they can be leveraged, example given – political fund raising.
  • Inappropriate blogs or messages board that negatively impact on a person’s employer.
  • Self publishing of content in a variety of media – for example, Wikipedia and You Tube.

I have considered these shifts from employer/employee perspective.

From an employer/employee perspective it raises many questions about the use of the employer’s Internet network by employees.  A policy may be in place or be developed regarding personal use of the network, when personal use may be permitted, what sort of things it may be use may be for.  Employers are going to want to protect themselves from loss of work time by employees or from inappropriate use or unlawful activities by their staff.  Examples of behaviour that employers may wish to address include viewing pornography, or downloading illegal copies of music or films that breach copyright law. Outside of work employees may publish their own content whether on social networks, blogs or in some other form, they may make reference to their work, comments about other staff or disagree with an employer’s policies, decisions or practises.  An employer’s information policy may cover this situation and breaches could have serious implications, including the loss of employment.  The use of mobile phones and other mobile Internet devices would also need to be covered by the policy.

Depending on the size and type of business some information will want to be kept secure for example the private details of clients and financial information will want to be protected.

Likewise these shifts can have a change in business practises, a businesses reputation and service can go social.  A business may monitor social networks to respond to customer comments and establish a presence in social networks.  The policy may cover a businesses objective, approach and expectations regarding the interaction via social networks.

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Developing a Draft Social Media Marketing Strategy

The following steps and questions may be useful when considering how to go about developing a draft social media marketing strategy.

Develop a plan and write it down (Brown, 2009).  Consider what your objective is? What do you want to market?  Which services, products or program are you looking to market?  Who do you want to reach?  Who is your market segment?  Do some research into the type of online behaviour that will reach your audience or market segment.  What social media are they using?  Select the social media that will reach your audience.  How much do you have to spend on marketing?  How much time will you allocate to your marketing?  Do not over commit to many social media options if you are not going to be able to manage them well, allowing for good interaction and developing fresh content.

When I think of developing a marketing strategy for the local public library:-  The objective could be to connect with parents and carers of pre-school aged children (0-5 years), with the goal of improving attendance at children’s programs and informing parents of the many services available to assist parents in their role and to aid in the healthy development of their children.  A key message might be helping children to develop the skills that will serve as a foundation to their literacy development.  What social media might be appropriate to reach parents with children in this age group?  Facebook might be an option for reaching mothers (Brown, 2009).  You Tube may also be used by this market segment.  Further research might be necessary to select the most appropriate social media.  How much is the library willing to committee in terms of resources, staff time, etc.?  Does the library have the ability to make video footage?  Then the library needs to consider when they are going to start and how they are going to make the audience aware of the library’s presence and start the conversation.

References

Brown, A. (2009). Developing an effective social media marketing strategy. Salt Lake City Social Media Examiner (July 30).

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