Monday, May 26, 2008

Total Makeover: Change of Facebook Profile

New York Times / May 21, 2008, 2:48 pm

Big Changes Coming to Profile Pages on Facebook

Profile pages on Facebook are getting a total makeover.

Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., held an hourlong briefing for the news media Wednesday to preview changes coming to the site next month.

The biggest change: user profiles on the service will evolve from a single, flat and often cluttered page into four tabbed sub-pages dubbed feed, info, photos and applications.


Feed, the primary page people will see when they visit other users on the service, will broadcast all of a user’s’ recent Facebook activities — photos he or she uploaded, wall messages and new friends, for example. Users can expand or shrink these updates to, for example, show more thumbnails from a new set of photos, and will have more control over the information their friends see about them.

The info tab will contain all the data typically found on Facebook pages today — a person’s contact information, education history and top friends, for example. The photo tab will have a portfolio of images.

Finally, programs created by third-party developers since last summer and installed by users are relegated to a fourth “application boxes” tab and will generally become less visible.



Facebook Profile Preview Information Page

This spring, Facebook will be launching a redesigned profile aimed at making things simpler, cleaner, and more relevant, while still giving you control over your own profile. We want profiles to be a destination to learn about and interact with your friends.

To give everyone an opportunity to preview upcoming improvements to Facebook, understand the motivations behind them, and offer feedback on the initial designs. While some upcoming changes may take getting used to, ultimately they will lead to a better, faster, more useful Facebook.


The Facebook Blog /Check out Facebook Profiles Preview /

Facebook Profiles Preview's Video


Facebook 2.0 Group

Facebook 2.0 is intended to serve as a forum and venue for Facebook users and non-users to recommend and discuss enhancements to Facebook features and functionalities. Suggestions of present and future Facebook Apps that may enhance library programs and services are of particular interest. The organization and configuration of Facebook elements are also of great interest.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

CourseFeed + Facebook = Social Learning

CourseFeed + Facebook = Social Learning

Students go to class to both socialize and learn. CourseFeed combines actual learning content from leading learning management systems with the leading social network - Facebook. CourseFeed introduces learning content into the already thriving social network making time on Facebook productive. Students love CourseFeed because they get instantly informed of all new course work via email alerts and a news feed. CourseFeed not only closes the communication gap between students and instructors, it makes learning social by providing classmates a way to connect, interact, and collaborate.


CourseFeed is therefore a “mash-up” between online school content and Facebook. CourseFeed’s seamless integration with a school’s LMS ensures classmates displayed in a CourseFeed course are the same students enrolled in corresponding LMS course. Users see names and photos of their classmates and are given tools to interact – making online course work social and collaborative. CourseFeed’s alerts let students know when a change is made in the LMS course and provide single-click access to course content (no more hunting around). Below is a list of CourseFeed features:

CourseFeed Features
  • Automated setup of courses in less than a minute
  • Network and see everyone in your course – guaranteed accurate course roster
  • Course Wall
  • File storage for course notes, etc.
  • Profile display to let friends know when you're in class
  • View all online course materials without leaving Facebook
  • Course feed shows when instructors posts announcements, files, etc. to your course
  • View all announcements, new or old, in the announcements area
  • One-click access into your school's online content system and auto-navigation that takes you right to the item


CourseFeed makes online learning social. Students go to class for all kinds of reasons – to hang out with friends, to get a degree, and to learn – probably in that order. As more and more instruction goes online the “real” classroom experience is left behind. We at CourseFeed believe the best learning experiences require that groups of students be involved, engaged, and interested. The so-called online learning management systems of today are sterile data repositories that manage data transfer, not learning.

CourseFeed recognizes the role social interaction plays in learning and lets schools extend the classroom experience into the social networks students already thrive in. CourseFeed makes the online learning management system social, interesting, and engaging by pairing learning content with social connections – how classrooms really work.




CourseFeed Facebook App


Monday, May 19, 2008

CHE: Colleges Create Facebook-Style Social Networks to Reach Alumni

Chronicle Of Higher Education April 25, 2008

Colleges Create Facebook-Style Social Networks to Reach Alumni


Trying to emulate the popularity of Web sites like Facebook and MySpace, hundreds of college alumni associations have begun to offer their own online social networks, seeking to stake a claim on the computer screens of current and former students, especially young alumni.

But many of the sites have struggled to attract alumni and to keep them interacting with the devotion they show to their online profiles on other networks. That makes the sites less useful to colleges, which want to foster closer ties with alumni and keep tabs on their whereabouts for fund raising and other purposes.

"Social networking is definitely hot, and people want to know what to do," says Andrew Shaindlin, executive director of the alumni association at the California Institute of Technology.

The question, he says, is, Do these exclusive networks fill a need for alumni?


Colleges have long tried to tap into Facebook by establishing affinity groups there, but they cannot easily mine the site for data or contact information. So, in order to embrace the social-networking phenomenon themselves, many institutions have simply built their own networks.

Reconnecting People


While online socializing is one attraction for alumni, career development has grown as another major draw for the colleges' networking sites. Now job hunters can more easily identify and contact fellow alumni who are employed at companies where they want to work. Some employers that pay a fee can tap into the sites to recruit alumni from specific institutions or who graduated with certain majors.


Several companies offer platforms for institutional alumni networks, and two have taken a particularly large share of the business. Affinity Circles Inc., which was created in 2002 by Stanford University students, offers a product called inCircle and says it has about 95 college customers. Another company, iModules Software Inc., has offered alumni-centric products since 1999, including one for social networking called Encompass. More than 500 colleges and universities use its products, the company says.


"We don't do many events where we can reconnect 2,300 people simultaneously," says Mr. Brandon. "We see a lot of groups of friends reconnecting online."

Specialized Sites

While most alumni associations have used commercial vendors to construct their social-networking presences, a few colleges have built their own.

Elon University released its online "town square," called E², last May. Administrators were looking to revamp the alumni association's Web site to make it more dynamic. They ended up building a social network not just for alumni but also for current students, faculty members, and even parents.


The site has a feel similar to that of a Facebook profile page but with several additional features, including the option for students and alumni to post résumés along with their profiles.


Alumni may find the network more attractive than current students do. "I've heard there's a lot of resistance from the students to using it — they think it's cheesy and repetitive of Facebook," says Caroline E. Sage, a 2002 graduate. "But I do know a lot of people who have reconnected, and I have been surprised by the alumni involvement.


A Closed Environment

Carleton College, too, is creating its own alumni-networking site, using an open-source framework called Elgg. The exclusivity of existing platforms was one reason campus officials decided to forgo commercial vendors and build their own site, which will allow alumni to interact with people outside the college community.

"They were all working in the model of creating a closed environment where your alums can do all the stuff they can on Facebook," says Mark F. Heiman, a senior Web-application developer at Carleton. "We looked at that and said, 'This is not going to work. Nobody is going to sign on to this.'

"That message has not been lost on some alumni directors, who see the restrictive nature of the social-networking sites offered by colleges as a major drawback.


He suggests that colleges focus on working as best as they can to stay connected with current and former students through Web sites those people already use, including the career-networking site LinkedIn.

Most software companies that build online-networking systems for colleges have been reluctant to confront the issue of how having closed environments can put those systems at a disadvantage. Mike McCamon, vice president for marketing at iModules, says his company is considering steps to allow alumni associations to interact with iModules customers at other institutions but has no immediate plans to do so.


Section: Money & ManagementVolume 54, Issue 33, Page A18



Saturday, May 17, 2008

Downloadable Open Source Social Networking Applications

Max Kiesler "an award-winning strategic designer and co-founderand principal of, a web consultancy in San Francisco" maintains a Most Excellent Compendium of Open Source social bookmarking, filesharing, search and social networking applications.

Social Networking

Affelio "Affelio is open-source social networking software / architecture. It has following features: (1)distributed architecture (2)Internet-wide scalability, (3)Extensivity with opened Affelio API for developers, and (4)high custamizability with skins/templates."

AstroSPACES "AstroSPACES is the world's first open source social networking solution. Coded from scratch, it is highly efficient and very easy to use."

blogBOX "blogBOX is a free and open source social networking system written in PHP. Future versions will be written i Python/Django."

Elgg "Elgg is an open source social networking platform developed for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) which encompasses weblogging, file storage, RSS aggregation, personal profiles, FOAF functionality and more."

FlightFeather: Social Networking Platform "FlightFeather's goal is "social networking for everyone". This means that anyone should have a chance to run a popular social networking site -- on minimal hardware, and without wasting bandwidth."

FriendPortal - An Open Source Friendster "An open-source, Friendster-like social networking portal and news site written in PHP. Post and read news plus browse through contacts like you would in Friendster, Orkut, or Ringo with the knowledge that your personal information is safe."

Geek Grep "GeekGrep is a Django based social-networking system designed to get geeks connected with each other. The main feature is a database of geek codes and the ability to search them. See our project web site for a design template of the future site."

Hiitch: The Social Networking Platform "Hiitch is a secure and advanced desktop social networking platform. It allows you to build a focused and private network of communities for your family, friends, company and etc. It gives you total control and freedom for your social networking needs."

iSocial: Social Networking CMS "Social Networking script written in PHP and MySQL. Designed for every kind of communities - can easily create their own social networking website for free with no ads."

Jahnet "The JahNet framework is a Open Source social networking and asset management CMS that is focused on helping digital artists collaborate on a global scale. JahNet allows you to securely share your ideas, images and projects with users around the world."

Manusya "The Manusya application is an opensource social networking application being built on mod_perl, Perl Template Toolkit, Postgresql, Apache and Linux. The manusya_web_core packages are required for the front-end."

Melt: Online Social Networking Software "Melt is "social software" intended for NGOs to build online social networks, where people can announce events, create groups to organise those events, and add resources (files and web links) to support organisers. Everything can be tagged and linked."

OpenPNE "OpenPNE is a Social Networking Service Engine written in PHP. It has many features(friend control,friend invitation,diary,blog feeds,message box,etc)."

Openpublic "OpenPublic is an interest group social networking and collaboration platform. It provides a solution for mutual interest and special interest groups and membership based organizations wishing to create a knowledge network around their interests."

OpenVZ "OpenVZ is an open source social networking system."

Phpizabi "PHPizabi is one of the most powerful social networking platforms on the planet."

PHP-Spacester "PHP-Spacester is a social networking script such as Myspace and friendster. It is a fork of astrospaces. It will feature the XDNS system (Xotmid Distributed Network System) which is a leaf-hub connection thus allowing anyone to run a leaf and connect to."

Pihook: Social Networking System "Open source social networking system."

Snoss "Social Networking Open Source Software, an open source social networking framework, written in PHP, Javascript and MySQL with an AJAX UI."

Tag Me "Tag Me is a social networking application that allows people to send information about themselves via bluetooth or by mobile web browser you create an online wml website and create a url barcode that holds the link to your online profile."

The Apple Orchard "The Apple Orchard is a multi-user, open source social networking web application with the ability for users to upload photos and videos, write a blog, have comments, personalise their page layout and appearance and sort multimedia by tags."

The Appleseed Project "Appleseed is (augmented) social networking software, ie Friendster, only distributed. Sites running Appleseed will interoperate, and form the 'Appleseed Social Network.' Development is focused on privacy and security, as well as ease of configuration."

Virtual Learning Commons "The Virtual Learning Commons software combines a web based content management system, academic tools and social networking to create a website. Can be used by groups to create web based content within an integrated social networking environment."

WorldSpace WorldSpace is a user-extensible shared virtual environment, aimed at being a next-generation social networking system.

Yogurt: Social Network "This is a Social Network module for xoops CMS. You have seen Facebook, Orkut, Myspace , try Yogurt for Xoops!"



Feed Available


Friday, May 16, 2008

Open Source Social Networking Software/Sites


I have created a Global Facebook Group devoted to Open Source Social Networking Software/Sites.

The Focus of Open Source Social Networking Software/Sites Group is devoted to document and foster discuss Open Source Social Networking Software/Sites.

The Group Is Available At


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blackboard Sync: New Facebook App

Let’s face it. You would live on Facebook if you could. Imagine a world where you could manage your entire life from Facebook – it’s not that far off! Right now, though, one thing missing is your academic life. You have to access a different system to get your course information and you don’t always know when something new has been posted or assigned, so it’s difficult for you to stay on top of your studies. We get it. That’s why Blackboard is offering Blackboard Sync™, an application that delivers course information and updates from Blackboard to you inside Facebook.

You can find out if you have a new assignment, grade, new forum posts, etc., without having to leave Facebook. Blackboard Sync also cross-references your courses' Rosters with Facebook to make it easier to connect with your classmates through Facebook.

So go ahead and install Blackboard Sync and start getting course updates and connecting with classmates through Facebook right away.

Note: Blackboard Sync is available for students attending institutions using the Blackboard Learning System, version 7.1 and higher. If your institution is using a version of Blackboard not supported by Blackboard Sync, or if your institution has blocked the application, you will receive an error message when you try to install Blackboard Sync. You can talk to your Blackboard System Administrator on campus if this occurs.





The Chronicle of Higher Education: Blackboard Unveils Application to Bring Course Updates to Facebook


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Digital Libraries à la Carte 2008

Digital Libraries à la Carte 2008

This modular course prepares librarians for the future. Some modules are also relevant to publishers, researchers, lecturers and IT specialists.

The modules are one day each. You can attend one or more modules. Modules 3a and 3b are held in parallel, as are modules 5a and 5b.


Module 1: Strategic Developments and Library Management
Module 2: Technological Developments: Threats and Opportunities for Libraries
Module 3a: Hands-on: Library 2.0
Module 3b: Change: Making it Happen in Your Library
Module 4: Libraries - Partners in Research and Open Access
Module 5a: Libraries - Partners in Teaching and Learning
Module 5b: Put Yourself in the DRIVER’s Seat - Practical Training for Building a European Repository Network

The course will take place at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, from Monday 25 up to and including Friday 29 August 2008. There is a welcome reception or dinner on Sunday evening 24 August. Lectures start daily at 8.45 AM, end at 5.45 PM, and are followed by a joint dinner.








Elgg Social Networking

Elgg is an open-source social web application licensed under GPL version 2, and runs on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) or WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) platform. It offers a networking platform combining elements of blogging, e-portfolios, news feed aggregation, file sharing, and social networking. Elgg has its own plug-in architecture, and can use plug-ins to provide a calendar and a wiki. It supports a number of open standards including RSS, LDAP for authentication, FOAF, and XML-RPC for integration with most third-party blogging clients. It can be integrated with MediaWiki, Moodle, Drupal, and WebCT.

Elgg provides each user with a personal weblog, file repository (with podcasting capabilities), an online profile, and an RSS reader. Additionally, all of a user's content can be tagged with keywords—so they can connect with other users with similar interests and create their own personal learning network. However, where Elgg differs from a regular weblog or a commercial social network (such as MySpace) is the degree of control each user is given over who can access their content. Each profile item, blog post, or uploaded file can be assigned its own access restrictions—from fully public to readable only by a particular group or individual.

Using Elgg is the easiest way to create your own fully customized, hosted social network for your business, organization, or group of friends. Elgg communities can include blogs, discussion groups, media galleries, friends' lists, and much more. Because it's open source, and has many plug-ins, Elgg can be extended in unlimited ways. Elgg lets you host your own Facebook-style social network and retain complete control over how it works. This book shows you all you need to know to create safe, fun social networks.

While anybody can use Elgg to create their social network, it is especially useful in education as it has many features making it suitable for e-learning, including groups, communities, and blogs that can be used for online classes where students can communicate in a new way with each other and with students around the world—in a managed, protected environment, creating what its authors term a "personal learning landscape". This book also covers using Elgg in teaching/learning.

Detailed Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Social Networks and Elgg
Chapter 2: A Tour around Elgg
Chapter 3: Users, Profiles, and Connections
Chapter 4: Blogging and Resources
Chapter 5: Communities and Files
Chapter 6: Customizing Elgg
Chapter 7: Elgg Plug-Ins
Appendix A: Installing Elgg
Appendix B: Elgg Case Study


What you will learn from this book
Get started with your Social networking site
Customize your site's appearance to give it a unique style
Invite friends, create groups, and start blogs
Automate your user registration
Host photos, videos, and MP3s—enable users to comment and discuss them
Use Elgg as a group podcasting platform
Create, improve, and maintain a community
Protect your network from spam

This book has a very easy-to-follow approach that will teach you how to do things with examples and lots of screenshots. As an example the book builds a community site for Linux administrators

Mayank Sharma
Mayank Sharma is a contributing editor at SourceForge, Inc's He also writes a monthly column for Packt Publishing. Mayank has contributed several technical articles to the IBM developerWorks where he hosts a Linux Security blog. When not writing, he teaches courses on Open Source topics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, as guest lecturer.







Friday, May 9, 2008

Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage

In recent years, various observers have pointed to the shifting paradigms of cultural and societal participation and economic production in developed nations. These changes are facilitated (although, importantly, not solely driven) by the emergence of new, participatory technologies of information access, knowledge exchange, and content production, many of whom are associated with Internet and new media technologies.

Already in the 1970s, futurist Alvin Toffler foreshadowed such changes in his coining of the term 'prosumer': highlighting the emergence of a more informed, more involved consumer of goods who would need to be kept content by allowing for a greater customisability and individualisability of products; this indicated the shift from mass industrial production of goods to a model of on-demand, just-in-time production of custom-made items. Going further beyond this, Charles Leadbeater has introduced the notion of 'pro-am' production models - alluding to a joint effort of producers and consumers in developing new and improved commercial goods. Similarly, the industry observers behind speak of a trend towards 'customer-made' products, while J.C. Herz has described the same process as 'harnessing the hive' - that is, the harnessing of promising and useful ideas, generated by expert consumers, by commercial producers (and sometimes under ethically dubious models which appear to exploit and thus hijack the hive as a cheap generator of ideas, rather than merely harnessing it in a benign fashion).

Such models remain somewhat limited still, however, in their maintenance of a traditional industrial value production chain: they retain a producer ' distributor ' consumer dichotomy. Especially where what is produced is of an intangible, informational nature, a further shift away from such industrial, and towards post-industrial or informational economic models can be observed. In such models, the production of ideas takes place in a collaborative, participatory environment which breaks down the boundaries between producers and consumers and instead enables all participants to be users as well as producers of information and knowledge, or what I have come to call produsers. These produsers engage not in a traditional form of content production, but are instead involved in produsage - the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement. Key examples for such produsage can be seen in the collaborative development of open source software, the distributed multi-user spaces of the Wikipedia, or the user-led innovation and content production in multi-user online games (some 90% of content in The Sims, for example, is prodused by its users rather than the game publisher Maxis). Further, we also see produsage in collaborative online publishing, especially in news and information sites from the technology news site Slashdot to the world-wide network of Independent Media Centres, the renowned and influential South Korean citizen journalism site OhmyNews, and beyond this in the more decentralised and distributed environments of the blogosphere.

While there are elements of boosterism in its coverage of such trends,'s identification of the participants behind such produsage phenomena as a new 'Generation C' is nonetheless useful. In this context, 'C' stands in the first instance for 'content creation', as well as for 'creativity' more generally (and Generation C appears closely related to Richard Florida's idea of a creative class, therefore); if the outcomes of such creativity are popularly recognised this can also lead to another 'C'-word, 'celebrity'. But also notes that Generation C poses a significant challenge to established modes and models of content production, and importantly, therefore, the 'C' can also refer to issues associated with both 'control' and the 'casual collapse' of traditional approaches.

This book will outline and analyse the produsage phenomenon and its implications, by mapping the produsage landscape as it currently exists or emerges. It will begin by offering an introduction and overview on produsage in general, and from here continue to explore specific key domains in which produsage takes place. In a second section, it will discuss some of the key underlying models for produsage environments which are in place across different domains: these include the technological, intellectual, and social structures used, as well as the legal and economic models employed by produsage projects. This highlight the opportunities and challenges associated with produsage both in domain-specific fields and across the broader landscape of produsage.

Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage was released by Peter Lang, New York, in February 2008.


Detailed Table of Contents and Introduction


Product Details

Paperback: 418 pages
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing (February 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0820488666
ISBN-13: 978-0820488660

List Price: $34.95


05-08 | IWR | Blogosphere | Profile = Gerry McKiernan

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Will Facebook For Work

Status: Looking for Work on Facebook

Published: May 1, 2008


With American consumer confidence at a 26-year low and one in seven workers telling the Pew Research Center that they fear they will be laid off, social-networking sites are becoming, for some users, platforms from which to network for job leads, to forge professional contacts or even to announce to friends that you are out of work.

Landing a job through a social network not designed for that purpose appears to be a rarity. But savvy users say the sites can be effective tools for promoting one’s job skills and all-around business networking. Even human resource professionals are encouraging people to log on.

In a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers published in March, employers indicated that whereas in the past they used social-networking sites “to check profiles of potential hires,” said Marilyn Mackes, the group’s executive director, today “more than half will use the sites to network with potential candidates.”, the job search site, officially introduced a Facebook application last month that enables companies to find candidates. It joins other job-oriented Facebook applications, including one by Jobster that has more than 26,000 members.


Steve Biegel, the creative director of Scarlet Heifer, a small Manhattan advertising agency, also uses his Facebook profile for professional ends. “You can share your entire portfolio, which is a nice way to network,” he said.

“My partner and I are constantly on these sites mingling with prospective clients or people we can hire for our company,” he added. “It’s like pollination. You just go from flower to flower.”


Even recent college graduates who have had Facebook profiles for years are refining them into business tools. Take Melissa Gilmore, Shanna Allen and Shani Alston, research assistants at the Center for Family Planning Research at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, whose task is to recruit women for a birth control study. About a month ago, the researchers, all 23, created a Facebook group for the center and took the creative step of linking to it on their own personal Facebook profiles to enlist friends for the study.


“When somebody joins your group on Facebook, they’re much more likely to be receptive to your message,” said Dustin Luther of Calabasas, Calif., who leads real estate seminars for sales agents and is the founder of the popular Seattle blog “My last seminar, a group of us all went out to dinner and we were able to post photos and videos. It kind of keeps everybody engaged in what you’re doing in an informal way.”

Yes, plenty of people think social-networking sites are incompatible with the formality of the workplace. Those who professionally network on Facebook and MySpace respond that all business is personal, and that it’s the informality of the social sites that makes them useful.


Certainly, social-networking sites have always been used for self-promotion. And since the deluge of attention about the perils of posting too much or wearing too little, many users have become more discreet. More people make their profiles private, or benign enough to be read by colleagues in their employee networks. Even so, some job recruiters are leery of mining the sites for talent.

Lars Asbjornsen, the vice president of online marketing for Robert Half International, a staffing service, said he saw the most potential for recruiting on a business site like LinkedIn. A survey published this month by Robert Half, based on interviews with 150 senior executives from 1,000 of the country’s largest companies, found that while executives were interested in recruiting from social-networking sites, more were interested in doing so through “professional networking” sites.

Chuck Hester, 49, of Raleigh, N.C., has profiles on both Facebook and LinkedIn but it was his connections on LinkedIn (more than 500) that helped him land his current job. After relocating his family to Raleigh from California, Mr. Hester began using LinkedIn to reach out to marketing professionals in the area. Among them was the chief executive of iContact, an e-mail software company where Mr. Hester is now the corporate communications director.

When he travels, he sends messages to members of his LinkedIn network suggesting that they meet for a meal or drink. A recent gathering in San Francisco brought together more than 20 members of his network. Every other month, Mr. Hester organizes “LinkedIn Live” meetings, where job candidates, recruiters and executives who have connected on the Web site can connect in person. The first meeting, in July, drew about 50 people; the last had about 200. “We can trace for a fact 20 to 30 people who got jobs from this,” said Mr. Hester, who is happy in his position but continues to live by a networking credo: “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.”