Thursday, May 31, 2007

Friendless in Seattle

MySpace Outage Leaves Millions Friendless
The Onion | May 30, 2007 | Issue 43•22

BEVERLY HILLS, CA—An estimated 150 million people continued to be without social lives Tuesday as a massive system failure at entered its third day.

"The problem is taking longer than we anticipated, but rest assured we're working around the clock to get MySpace back online," said David Gundy, a spokesman for the social networking site. "We're hoping to have friendship restored to our users as soon as possible."
Although MySpace's emergency-response team has so far been unable to reconnect any of the millions currently stranded without access to online companionship, Gundy said he remains hopeful that no profiles have been lost. However, because the sudden lack of friends has deprived MySpace users of comments, bulletin posts, and searches for elementary school crushes, it is feared that the ordeal could inflict long-term psychological damage.
"I lost 6,456 of my best friends in an instant," said Minneapolis resident Peter Steinberg, 20, who has loyally befriended as many profiles as possible over the past two years. "Nothing can describe how devastated I feel. Some of these people I've exchanged two, even three comments with, and I can't tell you how many ROTFLMAOs we've shared, too."
Other stranded, friendless citizens are doing their best to cope, but are finding it harder and harder to go on.
"Without an 'About Me' section, I've lost all sense of self," said Imbrescia, 17, who depends on the site to convey his innermost thoughts to millions of extended-network friends. "Do I want kids? How tall am I? What's my body type? These are questions I can't answer anymore. I'd pray to a god for help, but I've lost my religion field."

A handful of relief organizations have begun to offer some assistance to MySpace refugees. The American Red Cross is currently setting up a network of approximately 60 smaller-sized "fill-in" sites, where lonely MySpace users can post abbreviated profiles and receive instant messages from aid workers in half-hour increments.

Source []

Thanks to my colleague Steve McMinn for TheHeadsUp on this news item.

Social Networking Sites Grow 47 Percent, Year Over Year


NEW YORK– May 11, 2006– Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that April’s top 10 social networking sites collectively grew 47 percent year over year, increasing from an unduplicated unique audience of 46.8 million last year to 68.8 million in April 2006, reaching 45 percent of active Web users. MySpace, which has attracted significant media attention of late, topped the list with 38.4 million unique visitors and a remarkable year-over-year growth rate of 367 percent ... . Blogger took the No. 2 spot, garnering 18.5 million unique visitors and growing 80 percent year over year, followed by Classmates Online with 12.9 million unique visitors and a 10 percent year-over-year increase. Newcomer YouTube and the more established MSN Groups rounded out the top five, with 12.5 million and 10.6 million unique visitors, respectively.

“Social networking sites are the reality television of the Internet,” said Jon Gibs, senior director of media, Nielsen//NetRatings. “The content is relativelyinexpensive for publishers to produce, and social networking is not a fad that will disappear. If anything, it will become more ingrained in mainstream sites, just as reality TV programming has become ubiquitous in network programming,” Gibs continued. “However, again like reality programming, the concept of ‘reality’ alone, or in this case ‘social networking,’ is not enough. In this competitive marketplace, sites also have to provide consumers with distinct content they can identify with.”


Loyal Users
The interactive nature of social networking sites keeps visitors coming back. MySpace enjoyed the highest retention rate among the group, with 67 percent of all March at-home visitors returning in April ... . MSN Groups and Facebook also benefited from a loyal following, with 58 and 52 percent of visitors returning month over month, respectively. and MSN’s new social networking site MSN Spaces rounded out the top five sites ranked by retention rate, with 49 and 47 percent, respectively.

“The social networking sites that are seeing strong growth have developed a unique online presence that is continually refreshed by user generated content,” said Gibs. “This promotes ongoing consumer interest and visitor loyalty.


Source []

Monday, May 28, 2007

Primp My Resume with Facebook

Hard Sell on 'Soft' Skills Can Primp a Resume; Experience With Facebook, Class Projects, Juggling Activities Can Impress Employers
By Dana Mattioli.
Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: May 15, 2007. pg. B.6

For many students, the joy of graduating from college is quickly replaced by the stress of trying to find a job. Because they lack relevant on-the-job experience, many new graduates figure they lack the skills required in the corporate world.

"Students don't think about what skills they developed during their college careers over and above what's on their transcripts," says Joan Brannick, president of Brannick HR Connections in Tampa, Fla. "It's not just about the class work they did."

In addition to expertise in a variety of academic fields, college provides "soft" skills that many employers seek. "Students have the ability at 2 a.m. to write a paper while instant messaging their friends and watching a TiVoed version of 'Grey's Anatomy,' " says Brad Karsh, president of, a career-consulting group based in Chicago ... .

Recent graduates do need to translate the skills they developed in college into business language that relates to the positions they're seeking. Thus, notes Microsoft Corp. recruiting manager Warren Ashton, working on class projects might become "cross-team collaboration," proficiency in Facebook and MySpace would probably sound better as "connecting with customers through new technologies," and study abroad might be called "global exposure and cultural savvy."
Recent students also tend to be tech savvy, so it takes less time for them to learn to use employers' tech gear. A Gallup Panel survey found 30% of those aged 18-21 agreed that they try to keep up with the latest styles and trends for electronic products, compared with 18% of those 45-54, and 15% of respondents 55 and older.

Microsoft's Mr. Ashton says he is also impressed by how comfortable students are connecting with people through a variety of resources. "They come through the door and tell us about new ways of reaching people," he says.

Maria Jose, a senior at DePaul University in Chicago, says she recently brought up her use of Facebook, a social-networking Web site, during an interview. Ms. Jose, who is looking for a job in marketing, suggested she could raise awareness about the company's events by reaching out through the site.

... "Do not assume recruiters already know you have these experiences and abilities," he says. "Sharing them up front will help set you apart from others who are interviewing."

Full Text Available

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Conversations With Patrons: Extending Your Library’s Presence Online

"Conversations With Patrons: Extending Your Library’s Presence Online"

by Brian Matthews, Steven Bell, LearningTimes and the Blended Librarian Community

This talk, "Conversations With Patrons: Extending Your Library’s Presence Online", explored the social nature of the web and advocated using social networking sites and student blogs to better understand and assist patrons. A recording is now available.


Google, Google Scholar and Wikipedia are emerging as favorite research designations among undergraduate students, while library resource usage seems marginalized. Is it really easier for students to find what they need on those free Internet sites? Where do they turn for help? How can libraries increase usage and relevancy? Are there new modes of instruction effective for the Net Generation? This talk explores the social nature of the web and advocates using social networking sites and student blogs to better understand and assist patrons. Blended Librarians need to add Web 2.0 technologies to their skill set, and this presentation will help get you started. Included will be strategies for assessment, marketing, reference assistance, and instructional opportunities. Find out how to expand your library’s web presence and interact more directly with students.

Session Recording Available

Checking Out The Impact of a Digital Trend on Academic Libraries

Checking Out The Impact of a Digital Trend on Academic Libraries
Laurie Charnigo, Paula Barnett-Ellis
Information Technology and Libraries, 26, no. 1: 23-34 (March 2007).

While the burgeoning trend in online social networks has gained much attention from the media, few studies in library science have yet to address the topic in depth. This article reports on a survey of 126 academic librarians concerning their perspectives toward, an online network for students. Findings suggest that librarians are overwhelmingly aware of the "Facebook phenomenon." Those who are most enthusiastic about the potential of online social networking suggested ideas for using Facebook to promote library services and events.
While some librarians were excited about the possibilities of Facebook, the majority surveyed appeared to consider Facebook outside the purview of professional librarianship.

Study rationale
Emphasis in this study centers on librarians' awareness of, experimentation with, and attitudes towards Facebook and whether or not they have created policies to regulate or block access to the site on public-access computers.
As librarians struggle to develop innovative ways to reach users beyond library walls, it seems logical to observe online services, such as Facebook and MySpace, which appeal to a huge portion of our clientele.
From a purely evaluative standpoint of the site as a database, the authors were impressed by several of the search features offered in Facebook. Graph-theory algorithms and other advanced network technology are used to process connections. Some of the more interesting search options available in Facebook include the ability to:
*** Search for students by course field, class number, or section;
*** Search for students in a particular major;
*** Search for students in a particular student organization or club;
*** Create "groups" for student organizations, clubs, or other students with common interests;
Post announcements about campus or organization events;
*** Search specifically for alumni; and
Block or limit who may view profiles, providing users with built-in privacy protection if the user so wishes.

Arguably, much of the information provided by Facebook is not academic in nature. However, an evaluation or review of Facebook might provide useful information to instruction librarians and database vendors regarding interface design and search capabilities that appeal to students. Provitera-McGlynn suggests that facilitating learning among millennials, who "represent 70 to 80 million people" born after 1992 (a large percentage of Facebook members) involves understanding how they interact and communicate. Awareness of students' cultural and social interests, and how they interact online, may help older generations of academic librarians better connect with their constituents.

The Literature of Online Social Networks
Although social networks have been the subject of study by sociologists for years and social network theories have been established to describe how these networks function, the study of online social networks has received little attention from the scholarly community. Garton, Haythornthwaite, and Wellman were among the first to describe a method, social network analysis, for studying online social networks. Their work was published years before online social networks similar to Facebook evolved. Currently, the literature on these networks is predominantly limited to popular news publications, business magazines, occasional blurbs in library science and communications journals, and numerous student newspapers.

Although evidence of interest in online social networks is apparent in librarian Weblogs and forums (many librarians have created Facebook groups for their libraries), actual literature in the field of library and information science is scarce. Dvorak questions the lack of interest displayed by the academic community toward online social networks as a focus of scholarly research. Calling on academics to "get to work," he argues "academia, which should be studying these phenomena, is just as out of the loop as anyone over." This disconnect is also echoed by Michael J. Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, who writes, "While I'd venture to say that most students on any campus are regular visitors to Facebook, many professors and administrators have yet to hear about Facebook, let alone evaluate its impact." The lack of published research articles on these types of networks, however, is understandable given the newness of the technology.
... Facebook membership extends beyond students to faculty, staff, and alumni. Shier cites examples of professors who used Facebook to connect or communicate with their students, including the president of the University of Iowa and more than one hundred professors at Duke University. Professors who teach online courses make themselves seem more human or approachable by establishing Facebook profiles.

Greeting students on their own turf is exactly the direction staff at Washington University's John M. Olin Library decided to take when they hired Web Services librarian Joy Weese Moll to communicate and answer questions through a variety of new technologies, including Facebook.

Brian Mathews, information services librarian at Georgia institute of Technology also created a Facebook profile in order to "interact with the students in their natural environment." Mathews decided to experiment with the possibilities of using Facebook as an outreach tool to promote library services to 1,700 students in the School of Mechanical Engineering after he discovered that 1,300 of these students were registered on Facebook. Advising librarians to become proactive in the use of online social networks, Mathews reported that overall, his experience helped him to effectively "expand the goal of promoting the library."

See: Brian S. Mathews, "Do You Facebook? Networking with Students Online," College & Research Libraries News 37, no. 5 (2006): 306-307]

Bill Drew was among the first librarians to create an account and profile for his library, the SUNY Morrisville Library.

As of September 2006, nearly one hundred librarians had created profiles or accounts for their libraries on Facebook. One month later, however, the administration at Facebook began shutting down library accounts on the grounds that libraries and institutions were not allowed to represent themselves with profiles as though they were individuals. In response, many of these libraries simply created groups for their libraries, which is completely appropriate, similar to creating a profile, and just as searchable as having an account.

The authors of this study created the "Houston Cole Library Users Want Answers!" group, which currently has ninety-one members. Library news and information of interest about the library is announced in the group. In this study, one trend the authors will try to identify is whether other librarians have considered or are already using Facebook in similar ways that Moll, Mathews, and Drew have explored as avenues for communicating with students or promoting library

The Survey
In February 2006, 244 surveys were mailed to reference or public service librarians (when the identity of those persons could be determined). These individuals were chosen from a random sample of the 850 institutions of higher education classified by the Carnegie Classification Listing of Higher Education institutions as "Master's Colleges and Universities (I and II)" and "Doctoral/ Research Universities (Extensive and intensive)." The sample size provided a 5.3 percent margin error and a 95 percent confidence level. One hundred twenty-six surveys were completed, providing a response rate of 51 percent. Fifteen survey questions (appendix A) were designed to target three areas of inquiry: awareness of Facebook, practical impact of the site on library services, and perspectives of librarians toward online social networks.

Awareness of Facebook
A series of questions on the survey queried respondents about their awareness and degree of knowledge about Facebook. The overwhelming majority of librarians were aware of Facebook's existence. Out of 126 librarians, 114 had at least heard of Facebook; 24 were not familiar with the site.
That librarians will become increasingly aware of online social networks was the sentiment expressed by another individual who wrote, "Most librarians at my institution are unaware of social software in general, much less Facebook. However, I think this will change in the future as social software is mentioned more often in traditional media (such as television and newspapers)."

Perspectives Toward Facebook
One of the main goals of the study was to obtain a snapshot of the perspectives and attitudes of librarians toward Facebook and online social networks in general. Most of the librarians surveyed were neither enthusiastic nor disdainful of Facebook. A small group of the respondents, however, when given the chance to comment, were extremely positive and excited about the possibilities of online social networking.
However, fifty-one respondents indicated that librarians needed to keep up with Internet trends, such as Facebook, even when such trends are not academic in nature (table 2).
Out of 126 librarians who completed the survey, only 23 reported that Facebook has generated discussion among library faculty and staff about online social networks. On the other hand, few individuals voiced negative opinions toward Facebook.
When asked if Facebook serves any academic purpose, 54 percent of those surveyed indicated that it does not, while 34 percent were "not sure." Twelve percent of the librarians identified academic potential or possible benefits of the site (figure 4). The authors were surprised to find that 46 percent of those surveyed were not completely willing to dismiss Facebook as pure recreation.
For the 34 percent who were not sure whether Facebook has any academic value, there were comments such as "I am continuing to observe and will decide in the future." Academic uses for Facebook included suggestions that it be used as a communication tool for student collaboration in classes (Facebook allows students to search for other students by course and section number). One individual suggested it could be used as an "online study hall," but then wondered if this might lead to plagiarism. Some thought instructors could somehow use Facebook for conducting online discussion forums, with one participant observing "it's 'cooler' than using Blackboard." "Building rapport" with students through a communication medium that many students are comfortable with was another benefit mentioned.

Respondents who were enthusiastic about Facebook thought it most beneficial as a virtual extension of the campus. Facebook could potentially fill a void where face-to-face connections are absent in online and distance-education classes.
Facebook could provide students who are not physically on campus with a means to connect with other students at their institutions who have similar academic and social interests.

Some librarians were so enthusiastic about Facebook that they suggested libraries use the site to promote their services. Using the site to advertise library events and creating online library study groups and book clubs for students were some of the ideas expressed. One librarian wrote: "Facebook (and other social networking sites) can be a way for libraries to market themselves. I haven't seen students using Facebook in an academic manner, but there was a time when librarians frowned on e-mail and AIM too. If it becomes a part of students' lives, we need to welcome it. It's part of welcoming them, too."

More librarians, however, felt that Facebook should serve as a space exclusively for students and that librarians, professors, administrators, police, and other uninvited folks should keep out. Furthermore, as one individual noted, it is not "an appropriate venue" for librarians to promote their services.

While online education is growing at a rapid rate across the United States, so is the presence of virtual academic social communities. Although Facebook might prove to be a passing fad, it is one of the earliest and largest online social networking communities geared specifically for students in higher education. It represents a new form of communication that connects students socially in an online environment. If online academics have evolved and continue to do so, then it is only natural that online academic social environments, such as Facebook, will continue to evolve as well. While traditionally considered the heart of the campus, one is left to ponder the library's presence in online academic social networks. What role the library will serve in these environments might largely depend on whether librarians are proactive and experimental with this type of technology or whether they simply dismiss it as pure recreation. Emerging technologies for communication should provoke, at the very least, an interest in and knowledge of their presence among library and information science professionals.[snip]
As Casey writes, "Libraries are in the habit of providing the same services and the same programs to the same groups. We grow comfortable with our provision and we fail to change." By exploring popular new types of Internet services such as Facebook instead of quickly dismissing them as irrelevant to librarianship, we might learn new ways to reach out and communicate better with a larger segment of our users.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Going Virtual: Technology & the Future of Academic Libraries

Going Virtual: Technology & the Future of Academic Libraries

John Hubbard | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | May 16, 2007

Library Council of Southeastern Wisconsin Annual Conference

It is, almost paradoxically, the most difficult time in history to be a librarian, let alone do library research, because of the exponential growth in informationtechnology.

But there are ways, of course, which we can use technology to our and our users’ benefit, namely with the implementation of virtual collections, finding tools like federated search engines, and especially virtual services, such as online reference.
We’re not yet ready to replace the reference desk with virtual reference. However, more and more people are doing things online nowadays.
If you build it… they’re already there
We’re hardly the ones being innovate here when it comes to developing an online library presence.
An EDUCAUSE study has shown that IM beats out the library in terms of market penetration.
There are a variety of psycho-social factors in place – maybe the online disinhibition effect alleviates their fear of reference – making virtual reference some users’ preferred contact method.
As we switch from information gatekeeper to service provider, offering virtual reference services are essential to the survival of our profession and libraries in general.
The dot-com boom back and it’s name is Web 2.0.
Virtual reference services are the final front against the commercialization of traditional library functions.
“We’ve Always Done It This Way.”
Technological innovations necessitate service & staffing changes
Let’s talk about the dreaded “C” word: CHANGE.
“The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” (Western Union memo, 1876)


Friday, May 25, 2007

NYTimes: Facebook Expands Into MySpace’s Territory

NYTimes: Facebook Expands Into MySpace’s Territory

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24 — With an ambitious strategy for expansion, Facebook is getting in MySpace’s face.

Noah Berger for The New York Times

Other Internet services are playing a role in Facebook’s expansion. Facebook, the Internet’s second-largest social network, was originally popular on college campuses, but over the last year it has opened its dorm-room doors to all, and its membership rolls have exploded at triple-digit growth rates.

Now Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is inviting thousands of technology companies and programmers to contribute features to its service. They can even make money from the site’s users by doing so, and, at least for now, Facebook will not take a cut.

Some of the new features, demonstrated by software developers at a Facebook event here on Thursday, will allow members to recommend and listen to music, insert Amazon book reviews onto their pages, play games and join charity drives, all without leaving the site.

See Facebook Application Directory []

The result is expected to be a proliferation of new tools and activities for Facebook’s 24 million active users, who have largely been limited to making online connections, sharing photos and planning events.

The move could foster some of the chaotic creativity that is more closely associated with MySpace, its larger competitor. It could also open the door to hazards like spam, and make Facebook’s identity less clear.

But Facebook is thinking big. In the parlance of its 23-year-old chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, the company is positioning itself as a “social operating system” for the Internet. It wants to sit at the center of its users’ online lives in the same way that Windows dominates their experience on a PC — while improving its own prospects for a lucrative acquisition or an eventual public offering.

“This may be the most important development since the company got started,” said Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist who was an early investor in Facebook and one of its three board members. “But the company is taking a massive gamble. There are lots of things that can go wrong with this.”

Facebook, which is largely supported by advertising, has gained significant momentum over the last year. Since the site opened up to nonstudents eight months ago, its membership has doubled to 24 million, according to the research firm ComScore. Users now spend an average of 14 minutes on the site every time they visit, up from eight minutes last September, according to Hitwise, a traffic measuring service.


Facebook does not have a music feature, but iLike, which along with Amazon and Microsoft was one of 65 companies that appeared at Facebook’s event, is one of several that plans to make music-related tools available on the site. If users choose to add iLike to their Facebook pages, the software will automatically see where they live and what bands and songs they say they enjoy. It will then recommend songs and local concerts.

“It’s exciting to build something that works so well in their world and to really engage in what was heretofore an off-limits, walled garden,” said PicksPal’s chief executive, Tom Jessiman.

Facebook hopes that thousands of outside companies will eventually build features for its site ... .



Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Are Reference Desks Dying Out?

Chronicle of Higher Education | April 20, 2007
Section: Information Technology
Volume 53, Issue 33, Page A37

Are Reference Desks Dying Out?
Librarians struggle to redefine — and in some cases eliminate — the venerable institution


At the University of California at Merced's library, there is no reference desk and there never has been. The way reference services are delivered there would intrigue some and disturb others.

Consider this example: On a recent weekend, a student asked Michelle Jacobs, one of Merced's librarians, how to get journal articles about child obesity for a political-science paper. Ms. Jacobs gave the student the information he wanted right away. For any reference librarian, this is business as usual — except that the student asked his reference question through a text message.

And Ms. Jacobs answered the question from her cellphone.
And when Ms. Jacobs answered the question, she was at a library conference in Baltimore, almost 3,000 miles from Merced. In fact, Ms. Jacobs regularly answers reference questions from her phone — she handled three that weekend in Baltimore.

It's all in a day's work for Ms. Jacobs. She fields questions through e-mail and instant messaging, and she has even reached out to students through Facebook, where she has her own page. She sat at the reference desk at other colleges before coming to Merced. She doesn't miss it.
"The big trend is using social-networking tools to move beyond the reference desk," he says. "By putting ourselves in blogs and social networks, it opens up a door" to patrons.

High-tech tools could also change the way reference librarians interact with people in their own buildings. At Santa Rosa Junior College, in California, librarians are using wireless paging devices, which can transmit voice communications from pager to pager and also receive transfers from phone calls.
'Going to where students are' seems to be a theme in social-networking discussions, and they mean virtually," he says. "It's equally important to go where they are physically."
The diverging visions for reference services — face to face versus virtual, and desk versus no desk — were strikingly, even uncomfortably, apparent at an Association of College & Research Libraries conference session on reference in Baltimore last month.

The message from the panel, which included Mr. Campbell and Mr. Mathews, was direct and clear: Reference services need to get online, get away from the desk, and scale up.

Source []

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

User-Generated Content and Social Media

NFAIS is organizing a one-day meeting, User-Generated Content and Social Media, to be held on June 29, 2007 at PALINET Headquarters, in Philadelphia, PA, from 9:00am to 4:30pm.

It has been estimated that by the year 2010, 70% of all digital information being created will be user-generated . And as of July 2006 half of the top ten fastest growing web brands were based upon user-generated content (think MySpace, Flickr, Wikipedia) . Certainly the use of new technologies such as blogs, wikis, bookmarks, user tagging, etc. has become commonplace in order facilitate communication, information sharing and even collaborative efforts within the workplace – global or not.

But what does this growth in user-generated content mean for information providers such as publishers and librarians? Does it represent an increase in valuable content that needs to be incorporated into products, services and collections? Should the new social media be embraced as a means of engaging the user community or as a means of increasing productivity within an organization? What trends are emerging that must be incorporated into plans for future products and services? This program will answer these questions and more as publishers, librarians and other information professionals share their experiences in creating their own blogs as an effective means of communication, in leveraging valuable user-generated content to enhance products, in creating online communities to engage users, and in using social media to create a more product workplace. The year 2010 is not that far away!!

Preliminary Program Agenda

8:30am - 9:00am: Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00am - 9:05am: Welcome

Bonnie Lawlor, Executive Director, NFAIS

9:05am - 9:30am: User Generated Content: Current Status

Speaker TBA

This session will provide an overview of user-generated content tools such as blogs, bookmarks, wikis, etc. and where they fall in their lifecycle with regard to development and user acceptance. In addition, the major hosting services and distribution channels will be discussed along with the features and functionalities that are essential to facilitate the conversation, collaboration and overall productivity integral to any online community – including those within a corporate environment.

9:30am - 11:00am: Blogging as Professional Practice in the Information Community

Steven J. Bell, Associate University Librarian for Research & Instructional Services, Temple University

Rafael Sidi, Vice President, Product Development, Elsevier Engineering Information

Barry Graubart, Vice President, Product Management, Alacra, Inc.

This session will focus on the value of a blog as a communication tool. Three information professionals will discuss why they have adopted this new technology - whether it be for current awareness, academic discussion or commentary. They will provide insight on the time and effort involved, how users find their blogs, the feedback that they have received from users within their specific community, and the pros/cons of blogging as an effective communication channel.

11:00am - 11:15am: Break and Networking Opportunity

11:15am - 12:15pm Syndication of User-Generated Content

Lawrence F. Schwartz, CEO and President, Newstex

Jonathan Hoy, Strategic Alliance Manager, LexisNexis

Blogs with proven value are increasingly being considered as yet another source of information, not unlike journals, newspapers, reviews, etc. This session will discuss how one information provider identifies important blogs for inclusion in information packages, the criteria used for selection, and the method used, if any, for compensating the author. The subject disciplines that have content-rich blogs will be highlighted, along with those disciplines in which the technology has not yet been widely embraced. In addition, an online service provider will discuss how they are currently incorporating blogs into their services, the level of usage to date, and their plans, if any, for increasing the use of blogs as a source of information.

12:15pm - 1:15pm Lunch and Networking Opportunity (lunch provided)

1:15pm - 2:45pm: The Collaborative Information Workplace

Nicole Engard, Web Manager, Jenkins Law Library

Barbara Brynko, Editor-in-Chief, Information Today, Inc.

This session will focus upon the effective use of collaborative communication tools within the workplace. The speakers will discuss why they adopted such technologies and how they identified the tool(s) most appropriate for their specific need(s). In addition they will discuss implementation issues such as user resistance, the learning curve required, and any unanticipated problems that may have arisen. The level of success achieved to date and any emerging trends that they have observed will also be discussed.

2:45pm - 3:00pm: Break and Networking Opportunity

3:00pm - 4:30pm: Community Wisdom

Diane Pardee, Chief Marketing Officer,

Corie Lok, Editor, Nature Network Boston

Abby Blachly, Chief Librarian,

This session will discuss the pros and cons of creating an online community for the purpose of collaboration and/or adding value to users. Speakers will discuss why they created an online community, how they selected specific functionalities for use by that community (blogs, forums, static pages, wikis, etc.), which of those functionalities have been the most successful, and the problems most frequently encountered by those responsible for administrating the community. In addition, they will highlight the benefits that members have derived from their participation as well as the return on the investment that their organization has received as a result of creating the community.

4:30pm: Adjournment

Registration Discount Available Through June 8th 2007

Source []

Facebook for Kids?

Facebook for Kids? - JAM Ages Down Social Networking with MyPicme

Emily Claire Afan | KidScreen. Toronto, Ont.: May 2007. pg. 25

JAM Media's preschool show Picme is migrating from the small screen to the online realm this month with the launch of a new interactive web hub. The Irish prodco plans to roll out its own dedicated MyPicme domain by year's end, but first it will debut as a page on, and the goal is to convince the show's other international broadcasters (including S4C in Wales, US HD channel Animania and France's TPS Jeunesse) to do the same. The MyPicme site borrows some of the same social networking elements that make MySpace and Facebook so popular.

JAM Media's preschool show Picme is migrating from the small screen to the online realm this month with the launch of a new interactive web hub. The Irish prodco plans to roll out its own dedicated MyPicme domain by year's end, but first it will debut as a page on, and the goal is to convince the show's other international broadcasters (including S4C in Wales, US HD channel Animania and France's TPS Jeunesse) to do the same. The MyPicme site borrows some of the same social networking elements that make MySpace and Facebook so popular. Parents can use these tools to help their kids create profile pages by listing personal details like their friends, fave TV shows and desserts ... .

Source []

ALA 2007 Poster: More Than Just “Being Where They’re At”

26th Annual ALA Poster Sessions
American Library Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC, June 21-27, 2007
IV - 9
More Than Just “Being Where They’re At”: Making the Most of Outreach Strategies

Eric Frierson, University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor, MI (
Donna Hayward, University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor, MI (

We laud strategies that take the librarian out of the office and insert them into the places where students are, both virtually and physically. But how do we convert initial contact into a more supportive and meaningful ongoing relationship? How can we make ourselves more than just a link on a website, and more than just the “substitute” instructor in course-integrated library sessions? This poster session will describe the steps we’ve taken to ensure that our engagement with students outside the library is ongoing, resulting in more effective and meaningful interactions. Multi-prong strategies we’ve employed include holding well-attended informal drop-in instruction sessions and connecting with students in their online social spaces, such as We’ve found that face-to-face interaction with students is an effective way to engage them virtually by putting a personality behind the links that they see online. Surprisingly, these strategies create the opportunity to forge relationships with faculty that did not exist before. In addition to practical tips for implementing similar strategies at your library, we will present data from student surveys and class assignments that measure the effectiveness of these strategies.

Source []

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Facebook Friends

A companion to the Friends: Social Networking Sites for Engaged Library Services has been established within Facebook at

As you are aware, Friends is devoted to the use of online social networking sites for any and all types of library-related programs or services

College Professors: Social Networking Sites Are Potential Teaching Tool

Thomson Press Release
Many College Professors See Podcasts, Blogs and Social Networking Sites as a Potential Teaching Tool

Thomson Learning survey indicates professors in higher education are anxious to take advantage of podcasts and blogs as valuable communication and learning tools

Stamford, Conn., 05/07/2007
Thomson Learning, one of the largest academic publishers in higher education, today released survey results examining faculty views on social networking sites and new media tools. Faculty members recognize the role new media tools can play in higher education because of their popularity among students, according to a survey released today by Thomson Learning.

Survey results revealed that many tech-savvy faculty members recognize the value of blogs and podcasts as communication tools in the classroom. Key findings of the survey include:

Nearly 50 percent of faculty respondents who are familiar with social networking sites say they feel such sites have or will change the way students learn.

• Nearly 90 percent of respondents who are familiar with social networking sites say they know about sites that allow students to grade or rate professors, and 67 percent have checked if they’ve been graded.

While the majority of faculty surveyed do not use social networking sites, those who do use these sites use them for both personal and work purposes.

• Nearly 35 percent of respondents view podcasting as a valuable communication tool to reach students.

• Nearly 10 percent of faculty members surveyed indicate they have their own blogs. Comparitavely, fewer than 8 percent of Americans have a blog.

“As professors teaching mass media communication, it is essential for us to pay attention to all emerging technologies as a way to help our students understand the importance of mass media in our lives today,” said Shirley Biagi, a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento, and the author of Media/Impact - An Introduction to Mass Media (Thomson Wadsworth).

The Thomson Learning survey was conducted over a five-week period starting February 6. The survey pool included 677 professors, the majority of whom have been teaching for more than 10 years at four- or two-year colleges and universities on the subjects of humanities/social sciences or business/economics at their respective institutions.

If you are interested in seeing the complete results of the Thomson Learning Social Networking Sites and New Media Tools survey, or would like to speak with Professor Biagi, please contact Tomomi Melton at

Source []

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Going Where Patrons Are: Outreach in MySpace and Facebook

Meredeth Farkas, "Going Where Patrons Are: Outreach in MySpace and Facebook," American Libraries 38 (4): 27 (April 2007).

Libraries have a long tradition of bringing services wherever their patrons are located, through such approaches as bookmobiles and branches in strip malls and community centers. This has also become the ease in the online world. While most libraries have their own websites, some are also starting to push their services to the online sites at which patrons congregate.

Library services are usually not the first thing people think of when they hear about MySpace and Facebook. Regardless of what many people may think of these social networking sites, they are extremely popular with high schoolers and college-aged individuals, who are using the space to build identity and connect to friends online.


Last year, some public and academic libraries started building a presence in MySpace and Facebook by creating profiles. Some are designed to increase the visibility of the library and to make it seem more relevant to young patrons. Others actually provide library services within the confines of the profile.


The online world has opened up so many opportunities for us to embed library services into spaces our constituencies may visit. It makes sense to look at what social software sites our patrons frequent and how we can provide services there. Just like putting a library branch in a strip mall, creating presence in social networking software makes the library more visible and more convenient to access.

MEREDITH FARKAS is distance learning librarian at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. She blogs at "Information Wants to Be Free" and created "Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki." Contact her at

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wikipedia: Use of Social Network Websites in Investigations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Social network services are increasingly being used in legal and criminal investigations. Information posted on sites such as MySpace and Facebook, has been used by police and university officials to prosecute users of said sites. In some situations, content posted on MySpace has been used in court to determine an appropriate sentence based on a defendant's attitude.[1]

1 Facebook
1.1 Alcohol policy violations
1.2 Other investigations
1.3 Student government
2 MySpace
3 See also
4 References

Facebook, an online facebook and social network service, is increasingly being used by school administrations and law enforcement agencies as a source of evidence against student users. The site, the number one online destination for college students, allows users to create profile pages with personal details. These pages can be viewed by other registered users from the same school which often include resident assistants and campus police who have signed-up for the service. Recent disciplinary actions against students based on information made available on Facebook has spurred debate over the legality and ethics of school administrators' harvesting such information. Facebook's Terms of Use specify that "the website is available for your personal, noncommercial use only," misleading some to believe that college administrators and police may not use the site for conducting investigations. However, Facebook spokespeople have made clear that Facebook is a public forum and all information published on the site should be presumed available to the general public, school administrators included. Legal experts agree that public information sources such as Facebook can be legally used in criminal or other investigations.[2]

Alcohol policy violations
It has become increasingly common for colleges and universities to use Facebook to investigate underage drinking and violations of dry campus policies. Students who violate these policies may be discovered through photographs of illicit drinking behavior, membership in drinking-related groups, or party information posted on the Facebook website. Examples of such investigations include:

In October 2005, pictures from Facebook were used to cite violators of university alcohol policy at North Carolina State University. Charges included underage drinking and violations of the dormitory alcohol policy, specifically holding open bottles of alcoholic beverages in the dorm hallway. A dorm resident advisor originally wrote up citations for 14 different students, some of which were dropped. Details were not released by the university, but the incident received news coverage including articles in the official school newspaper and segments on local TV stations. [1]

In November 2005, four students at Northern Kentucky University were fined for posting pictures of a drinking party on Facebook. The pictures, taken in one of NKU's dormitories, proved that the students were in violation of the university's dry campus policy. [2]

In November 2005, Emory University officials cited members of the Facebook group "Dobbs 2nd Alcoholics," referring to the second floor of a campus residence hall, for conduct code violations. A similar drinking group, "Wooddruff=Wasted," was also investigated. The group's club members only discussed "having fun in Wooddruff" and said no photos of students were ever posted on Facebook. [3]

In response to the monitoring, some students have begun to submit "red herring" party listings. [4] In one case at George Washington University, shown at, students advertised their party and were raided by campus police. The police found only cake, no alcohol, and later claimed the dorm raid had been triggered by a noise complaint. [5]

Other investigations
In December 2004, The Student Life newspaper at Pomona College in Claremont, California reported that an assistant football coach at the college had been living in the team's equipment room and hosting parties there. The paper cited postings by football players on a Facebook group page titled “We Miss Coach Baker” as evidence of the alleged parties. [6]

In March 2005, the United States Secret Service met with a University of Oklahoma freshman after he posted to the Facebook: “We could all donate a dollar and raise millions of dollars to hire an assassin to kill the president and replace him with a monkey.” The investigation began after a fellow OU student alerted the Secret Service to the threat. [7]

In October 2005, sophomore Cameron Walker was expelled from Fisher College in Boston for comments about a campus police officer made on Facebook. These comments, including the statement that the officer "loves to antagonize students . . . and needs to be eliminated", were judged to be in violation of the college's code of conduct. [8]

In November 2005, Kansas State University authorities announced that they were using Facebook to investigate a possible violation of the school's honor code potentially involving over 100 students. Students used the message board of a Facebook group to share class information without authorization from the professor. [9]

In October 2005, Penn State University police used Facebook to track down students who rushed the field after the October 8 Ohio State game. As of November 2005, two students have been charged with criminal trespass for their involvement. [10]



People's activity on MySpace has also been implicated in numerous investigations, but unlike Facebook, there are no known cases of investigators actively mining or patrolling MySpace for crime information. Some examples of MySpace-based issues in the legal system: [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] Further investigations are reported by the blog MyCrimeSpace. The company Razorcom offers a paid service called myspaceWatch that allows parents and others to track activity of users.

Source []

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Trojan Force

[Troy University] University Police Monitoring Facebook

University police monitoring Facebook

Joshua Smith , staff writer
posted on Feb. 9, 2006

People are “Facebooking” you, and it’s not who you might think: The Troy University Police Department [Troy, Alabama]

“Lately, because of issues [on Facebook], we’ve been monitoring it more closely,” Troy University Chief of Police Rod Anderson said.0 According to Anderson, officers familiar with Facebook are using their e-mail address to gain access to Facebook to monitor possible harassment and intimidation by students. Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves said he was unaware of this monitoring program. “As far as going out on Facebook every day to see if there’s stuff on there that’s inappropriate,” Reeves said. “I’m unaware that [the police department] is doing that. It’s news to me.” According to Facebook spokesperson Chris Hughes, this activity is being taken without their consultation and that they have not cooperated with any other school in any similar effort.

In a Facebook search of people who work at “university police department,” two names were found on the Troy server: Larry Thomas, who lists himself as a 2005 alumnus of Troy and Dale England, who has locked out his profile to people who are not on his friends list. Reeves said that he was aware of three instances where students or faculty reported harassment via Facebook. Anderson confirmed one of these.
Reeves said that the university administration is not taking an active role in monitoring Facebook activity.

In response to the activity taken by the university police department, Facebook spokesperson Chris Hughes said, “If users do not want police to be able to see their profile information, they should go to the ‘My Privacy’ section and change their settings. “[Users] can make it so that only students can see the info or even so that only friends can. Users have complete control over who can see what,” he added. Hughes said that monitoring of Facebook raises legal issues. “Any law enforcement attempt to gather information from Facebook must follow proper legal procedure, and any evidence gathered illegally is unlikely to be admissible in court,” Hughes said.

Joseph Colquitt, a professor of law at the University of Alabama and a retired circuit court judge in the state of Alabama said, “This is a very complicated legal matter.” Colquitt continued, “Quite frankly, I would want to hear a lot of arguments from both sides before making any kind of decision on a matter such as this.” “It would depend on how the information was gathered, how that information was used, how it was posted, etc,” Colquitt said.

The center of the legal question is the Fourth Amendment’s implied right to privacy. “It would be difficult to argue that there is an invasion of privacy if the information is public,” said Colquitt. “I believe that anything on the Internet is a public forum,” said Sam Shelton, an assistant professor of political science at Troy University who teaches a course on constitutional law.“I’d compare Facebook to a gated community,” he said. “Only those in the community can be let in. However, I have no control over who is let in or what they do when they’re let in,” Shelton said. Shelton said he believed that the actions taken by the university police department were possibly inappropriate.

However, the question is not cut and dried. “If there’s information out there and the government sees it, even if they’re not supposed to, are they just supposed to advert their eyes?” Shelton said. While there have been no cases in the legal system to determine Facebook’s status as a public or private forum, Shelton said it would be an interesting case to watch. “If all you had were some illicit activity gained by law enforcement via Facebook, I’m not sure that would be enough for a warrant,” Shelton said, under the need to show probable cause. However, Shelton also noted that every judge defines probable cause differently, so there’s no easy way to say whether information on Facebook would be enough for a judge to issue a warrant. Chief Anderson said believes that Facebook is not doing enough to ensure that inappropriate material is kept off the network.


The Tropolitan: The Official Newspaper of Troy University [Troy, Alabama]


Newspaper Theft at Troy University: Facebook Article Involved?
by Robert Shibley

February 15, 2006

Today’s Inside Higher Ed features an article about an instance of illegal censorship at Troy University in Alabama, which holds the dubious distinction of being one of the targets of FIRE’s Speech Codes Litigation Project because of its unconstitutional speech code. The latest instance of censorship at Troy came last Thursday, when nearly 2,000 out of 3,000 printed copies of the Tropolitan, Troy’s main campus newspaper, were stolen from their distribution sites. Tropolitan staffers surmise that the theft might be connected to the fact that an article in that edition of the paper revealed that university police officers might be monitoring students’ entries on, a popular website for college students.


Source []

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Best of Both Worlds: Chat Reference and MySpace

Ask a Librarian targets teens with MySpace page

Students have information access at their fingertips

TAMPA, Fla. (March 14, 2007) — The Ask a Librarian program is embracing a growing trend by creating its own MySpace page. The program has been successful since its inception in 2002, and now program administrators hope to take it to the next level by offering MySpace users easy access to information.

Ask a Librarian is a free online service that allows users to chat live with a librarian for immediate assistance with research projects, homework, reports, or just general questions. The service is available to anybody, but it tends to be most valuable to high school and college students, which make up the largest group of users. Because Ask a Librarian is so beneficial to students, program administrators decided to make it even more accessible to them by creating a MySpace page.

“Ask a Librarian is such a valuable resource, but not enough students are aware of it,” said Diana Sachs-Silveira, virtual reference manager for the Tampa Bay Library Consortium, one of the founding organizations of Ask a Librarian. “Since we’re trying to target our services to students, and millions of students already have their own MySpace pages, it just makes sense to try to reach them in a format they’re comfortable and familiar with.”

Ask a Librarian administrators post weekly bulletins on MySpace highlighting that week’s most interesting or challenging questions. The MySpace forum will give students quick access to research and information, which will enhance their learning process.

Ask a Librarian is available 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit or

Ask a Librarian is a joint project of the College Center for Library Automation (CCLA) and the Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC). Ask a Librarian is funded as part of the Florida Electronic Library ( by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant.

The Tampa Bay Library Consortium, Inc. (TBLC) is a nonprofit multi-type library cooperative that assists and empowers libraries. Since 1979, TBLC has worked with member libraries to provide better, faster service and resource sharing to the residents of Florida. For more information, call (813) 622-8252 or visit

The College Center for Library Automation (CCLA) operates the statewide Library Information Network for Community Colleges (LINCC) and associated Web-based information portal, LINCCWeb, from its headquarters in Tallahassee, Fla. As an administered program of the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Community Colleges, CCLA serves 70 community college libraries in 57 cities throughout Florida. For more information, visit

[ ]

Thanks to Pamala J. Doffek, Librarian | Goldstein Library | College of Information | Florida State University | for The HeadsUp!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


ElggJam07 Conference Programme

The conference will be held on Wednesday July 11th 2007 at the University of Brighton in the new Creativity Zone.

Note: FULL! The last 10 places have just been filled. We are holding a waiting list in case of cancellations, so please email in (

You can also register as a "virtual" delegate, giving you access to any web-based material the conference produces [?]


Case Study Sessions
20 minute sessions about the use of Elgg in practice.

1. Salvor Gissurardottir, University of Iceland
Elgg in Teacher Education in Iceland

2. Katie Piatt, University of Brighton
Using Elgg to support an Alternate Reality Game

3. Deshinder Gill, University of Brighton
Using blogs to support PDP

4. Tim Hawes,
Live video presentation from Canada

5. Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu
Context input on ePortfolios, Personal Learning environments and Elgg

6. Sven Heising, HDNet
Highly customised Elgg installations in Germany

7. Karen Stepanyan, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College
Results of pilot study

8. Norman Borrett, Bradford College
JISC funded research using Elgg, integrating with Moodle and with SURF WBL repository for Foundation Degrees.

1. Stan Stanier, University of Brighton
2. Ben Wedmuller, Elgg & Curverider
3. George Roberts, Emerge



Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Market Study: Social Networking: Finding Friends Online

Social Networking: Finding Friends Online

In recent years, online communities, also known as social networks, have experienced stellar growth. Beginning in the mid-90's, social networks allow individuals to connect virtually, via the Internet, based on common interests. In the twelve years that followed, more than 400 social networking sites have populated the Internet. As these sites struggle to attain critical mass and retain members, they also search for business models to attract venture capitalists and achieve profitability.

This In-Depth Analysis defines types of social networks, profiles participants, explores popular business models, discusses the migration of social networks to mobile technology, and incorporates the results of an In-Stat survey about online communities.

Table of Contents
Executive Summary
An Overview of Social Networking
Social Networks Defined
A Brief History
Types of Social Networks
Social Networking Sites
Business networking
Common interest
Face to face facilitation
Friend networking
Pet networking
Photo Sharing
The International Spread
Advertising Revenue
User Fees
Access to Member Information
Mobile Social Networking
Mobile Social Networking Providers in America
AT&T Wireless
Verizon Wireless
Boost Mobile
Social Networking Users
Younger Users – Thirteen to mid-twenties
Career Aged Users – 26 to 64
Older Adults - 50+ users
Survey Results
Social Network Participation
Features and Spending
Preferred Communication Method
Mobile Devices and Social Networking

List of Tables
Table 1. Five Popular Business Networking Sites
Table 2. Ten Popular Common Interest Networking Sites
Table 3. Twenty Popular Dating Social Networking Sites
Table 4. Ten Popular Face-to-Face Facilitation Sites
Table 5. Ten Popular Friend Networking Sites
Table 6. Ten Popular Pet Networking Sites
Table 7. Twenty Popular Photo Sharing Sites
Table 8. Ten Popular Blog Sites
Table 9. Ten Popular International SNS Websites
Table 10. Mobile Access to Social Networking Sites
Table 11. Twenty Popular MoSoSo Sites
Table 12. Most Utilized Sites (as Reported by Respondents to Our Survey)
Table 13. Reasons for Participating in a Social Networking Site
Table 14. Features Currently Purchased by Respondents
Table 15. Monthly Spending for Premium Services
Table 16. Future Payment for Premium Services
Table 17. Barriers to Purchasing Premium Services and Features
Table 18. Respondent Willingness to Meet Online Contact in Person
Table 19. Means of Communication with Online Contact
Table 20. Respondents Using a Mobile Device for Social Networking
Table 21. Barriers to Using a Mobile Device for Social Networking

List of Figures
Figure 1. Market Share for Popular Social Networking Sites

Service: Consumer Media & Content
Product Number: IN0703412CM
Publication Date: April 2007
Number of Pages: 24
Price: $3,495 U.S. Dollars
Analyst: Jill Meyers

Source []

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Fourth Amendment and Facebook Privacy

The Fourth Amendment and Privacy Issues on the "New" Internet: and
Matthew J. Hodge and are two of the most trafficked Web sites on the Internet. These Web sites form a "new" type of internet where users can create profiles and share information like never before. With the exploding popularity comes the usage by law enforcement of these Web sites to investigate criminal offenses and the corresponding privacy concerns of citizens.

The Comment explores Fourth Amendment jurisprudence beginning with Katz v. United States and continuing with the landmark decisions of Smith v. Maryland and United States v. Miller. The Comment then discusses Fourth Amendment cases dealing specifically with cyberspace communications, including a case out of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, United States v. Maxwell. The Comment goes on to discuss how a court faced with a Fourth Amendment issue on or might apply the holdings from prior cases. and have default settings which allow almost anyone to view a profile created on one of these Web sites. However, the sites also allow users to restrict access to their profiles to only those they accept or allow to view. This active step creates different issues with regards to a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Web sites also have privacy policies which allow them to collect information from users and store the profiles on their central systems. All of these features create issues a court would likely deal with when presented with Fourth Amendment inquiry. The Comment discusses these issues and ultimately concludes that in limited instances, a person should be entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy on these Web sites.

31 S. Ill. U. L. J. 95

Full Text Available []

BTW: The Fourth Admendment addresses the issues relating to illegal Search and Seizure.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Crossing Boundaries: Student/Faculty Relationships on the Facebook

Crossing Boundaries: Identity Management and Student/Faculty Relationships on the Facebook

Anne Hewitt and Andrea Forte
GVU Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
TSRB, 85 5th Street
Atlanta, GA 30332-0760,

This poster describes preliminary results from an ongoing investigation of student/faculty relationships in the online community Facebook. In spring of 2006, a survey was conducted in two large courses at a mid-sized public research university to understand how contact on Facebook was influencing student perceptions of faculty. We found that contact on Facebook had no impact on students’ ratings of professors. We found it striking that one third of the students we surveyed did not believe that faculty should be present on the Facebook at all. Some raised concerns about identity management and privacy issues. We discuss the implications of these findings and the potential for further research in the area.

Full Text Available

Poster for CSCW 2006, the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, November 4-8, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Source []

ISU Thesis: Facebook a Hiring Tool for Businesses

Online Self-Reported Information: Facebook a Hiring Tool for Businesses
by Decker, Jason, M.S., Iowa State University, 2006, 74 pages
Publication Number: AAT 1439933
ISBN: 9780542999109

Recently, the Internet has become a potential tool for employers to use during the hiring process with recruitment and selection. Online personalized resources like: blogs, personal websites, online portfolios, and social networking sites have opened the doors to a whole new medium for gathering information on potential employees.

The purpose of this study is to explore to what extent content from an online self reported profile, Facebook, influences companies hiring decisions.
From those companies sampled, 30% of them use Facebook to lookup potential employee candidates.

Full Text (Available to Iowa State University Community Only)

The ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database (PQDT)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Carmun: Students of the World Unite!

Carmun "... connects students who share academic passions. It easily organizes academic research, and it is expanding the boundaries of universities by creating a database of rated and reviewed source material. Imagine an academic community where you can tap into the intellectual horsepower of students around the country or even the world."


Research Tools
Create a bibliography in half the time:
Your paper is written. All that stands between you and the finish line is the bibliography. Enter your sources manually, and Carmun will format them automatically. All you then have to do is hit print.

Organize sources from past work:
By uploading bibliographies from past papers you’ll never have to hunt for lost citation information again. All your sources can be stored on Carmun. Once they are uploaded, you can manage them in the same way you manage your music on iTunes.

Bookmark URLs and save citations you find online:
Keep track of websites and citations. To help you save time and stay organized, "Post to Carmun" will store URLs and citation information with a click of the mouse.

Insert parenthetical citations and footnotes while you write:
"Notematic", select the project list and citation style, Carmun does the rest.

Source []

Sci-Tech Today Article
Social Networking Looks Beyond Facebooks
By Carolyn Y. Johnson
May 1, 2007 9:59AM lures users in with the promise of convenience -- it can automatically turn a journal article or source into a correctly formatted bibliography entry for students doing research. The creators of hope students will form groups, post their own bibliographies, and add to the community -- as well as click on the ads.
Carmun fuses social networking and the card catalog to create a free online space where people can dish on the hottest sources for their latest 20-page term paper, in place of the latest Lindsay Lohan gossip.

On Carmun, which went online in March, users set up profiles that are a toned down version of what appears on popular social-networking Web sites like and, with some basic information and a photo.

Then, they join or start groups related to their academic interests, such as Brain and Neuroscience, or Celtic Studies. They can also use Carmun as a database for their projects -- tagging, bookmarking, and rating the resources they use, and then sharing their projects with others if they choose.

The Web site lures users in with the promise of convenience -- it can automatically turn a journal article or source into a correctly formatted bibliography entry. Then, Edson hopes students will stick around, form groups, post their own bibliographies, and add to the community ... .

Already, the site has attracted 80,000 unique visitors in its beta version, and 4,500 people have set up profiles, he said in an interview last week.


The 30,000 (and Counting) ...

Feb. 24, 2006

What's the hype about Facebook?
by Samantha Beres

Inside Iowa State
As of late February 2006 there were nearly 22,000 registered Facebook users at Iowa State University (ISU), which included 17,230 undergraduate students, 3,200 alumni, 374 graduate students and nearly one thousand faculty and staff.

As of May 1 2007, there were more than 30,000 registered ISU Facebook folk.

Surely A Movement That Can't be Denied ...

Let's Go Fly A Kyte

New York Times | April 30 2007 |
Social Networking Leaves Confines of the Computer

SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 — While Walter Zai was in South Africa watching the wild animals recently, people around the world were watching him.
You feel like you are instantly broadcasting your own life and experiences to your friends at home, and to anyone in the world who wants to join,” said Mr. Zai, who used a new online service called Kyte to create his digital diary.
The social networking phenomenon is leaving the confines of the personal computer. Powerful new mobile devices are allowing people to send round-the-clock updates about their vacations, their moods or their latest haircut.

New online services, with names like Twitter, Radar and Jaiku, hope people will use their ever-present gadget to share (or, inevitably, to overshare) the details of their lives in the same way they have become accustomed to doing on Web sites like MySpace.
Central to the technology of Kyte and similar services is the marriage of mobile phones and the Web. Users download Kyte software for their phones at and can send their photos and videos — however grainy — from the phone to their online Kyte “channel.”

Viewers can tune into the programming on their own phones or on the Kyte site, or they can have the channel show up on their own Web site or social network page. In some cases the video stream can be watched live. Those who are watching the same channel can swap messages with each other and with the channel’s creator, even if he or she is silently stalking wild animals.

Daniel Graf, Kyte’s 32-year-old co-founder, sees each of the world’s hundreds of millions of camera-phone owners as a potential television broadcaster.
Another company proving the potency of the sharing impulse is Twitter (, which is also based in San Francisco and has lately captured the enthusiasm of bloggers and tech insiders. Twitter, spun off this month from a company called Obvious, lets people broadcast short text messages from their phones and computers to those of friends and strangers.