Thursday, August 28, 2008

"I'm Ready For My Close Up ...": Facebook - The Movie

'West Wing' creator may be writing movie about Facebook

August 28, 2008 (Computerworld) A new Facebook profile created for Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin claims that he has agreed to write a movie about the invention of Facebook Inc.'s popular social network.

"I understand there are a few other people using Facebook pages under my name -- which I find more flattering than creepy -- but this is me," the profile notes. "I don't know how I can prove that, but feel free to test me."

The profile says that Sorkin, who created the West Wing television series, has agreed to write the movie for Sony Pictures and producer Scot Rudin. Sorkin also admits on his profile that he doesn't yet know how Facebook works.

"I figured a good first step in my preparation would be finding out what Facebook is, so I've started this page," the page says. "Actually, it was started by my researcher, Ian Reichbach, because my grandmother has more Internet savvy than I do, and she's been dead for 33 years."

Sorkin goes on to urge Facebook users to send him questions and leave comments, which many have done. Sorkin has written two Broadway plays and several feature films, including A Few Good Men, Malice and Charlie Wilson's War.


"Aaron Sorkin prompts users to test to see if he is real in the group's description," he noted. "The only problem with accomplishing what would otherwise be an elementary task is that there is no way to 'friend' or send a message to Sorkin. The only other person that I know of that doesn't have a friend request in the directory is [Facebook founder and CEO] Mark Zuckerberg


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ryze: Business Networking

Ryze [] helps people make connections and grow their networks. You can network to grow your business, build your career and life, find a job and make sales. Or just keep in touch with friends.

Members get a free networking-oriented home page and can send messages to other members. They can also join special Networks related to their industry, interests or location. More than 1,000 organizations host Networks on Ryze to help their members interact with each other and grow their organizations.
Is this free? Yes. You can message other members, join networks, view member home pages and much more for free. We also have a paid service that lets you do other things like advanced searches for a few dollars per month, but you can do a lot for free.

Why is it called Ryze? Because it's about people helping each other 'rise up' through quality networking.

Where are Ryze members located? Ryze members are around the world, with more than 500,000 members in more than 200 countries. When you join, we give you links to several people in your country or state to check out.

Who are the people behind Ryze? Adrian Scott is Ryze's founder. Previously he was a founding investor in Napster, co-founded a startup called Applesoup/Flycode, and developed technology for companies like Charles Schwab and Bank of America.

How did you come up with the idea for Ryze? Our founder, Adrian, used to hold networking events in his loft back in San Francisco. He wanted a way for people to keep in touch outside of the events and as people moved around the world. He also wanted to make an easy way for people to remember their friends' backgrounds. (How often can you remember what companies a friend used to work for and where they went to school?) He also wanted to create a way for people to build their networks across geography.

How do you make money? Though our basic membership level is free, we offer paid subscriptions for advanced features like contacting distantly-connected members for a few dollars a month. It's a decent investment for people building their career or business. We also have some revenue from events we hold, and advertising.

Can my organization use Ryze to help its members network? Yes, your organization can set up a Network on Ryze to help your members connect with each other, and also help you recruit new members and publicize your events.




Video Tutorial

Windows Media (10MB)


Real Player (7MB)

[] to Buy Shelfari, A Social Network for Book Lovers to Buy Social Network for Book Lovers
By HEATHER HAVENSTEIN / Computerworld, IDG Monday agreed to acquire Shelfari, a social network for book lovers, for an undisclosed sum.

Amazon's acquisition of Shelfari means the site will likely make it a much stronger competitor to other social networks that focus on bibliophiles, according to some observers. In addition, Amazon earlier this month acquired online rare book seller AbeBooks, and gained its 40% stake in one of Shelfari's main competitors, LibraryThing. Thus, observers note, Amazon will have a stake in two competing social networks for readers.

Shelfari allows users to build a virtual book shelf to display the books they have read or want to read, along with the ability to provide reviews and ratings for viewing by others. The site also helps users connect with each other to form groups or provide book suggestions.

Josh Hug, Shelfari's CEO, noted in a blog post Monday that the site will benefit from Amazon's additional resources and expertise in building a platform where users can share ideas. [snip]


"Whether Shelfari goes mainstream will depend on how Amazon integrates it with its core business and with products such as the e-Reader Kindle," he noted. He went on to note that LibraryThing hopes to compete with Shelfari by providing a superior service to Shelfari. " [snip]

Stan Schroeder, a blogger at Mashable, added that Amazon turned its eye to Shelfari because it needed a book-oriented social network and acquiring Shelfari was the "easiest, fastest or least cash intensive" way to do it.

"I think that Amazon will actually help Shelfari to grow." Schroeder added. "It'll be much easier to build a community for book-lovers if you've got Amazon's huge user numbers and book inventory to help you."



Monday, August 25, 2008

Comparing Social Networking to Online Communities

Comparing Social Networking to Online Communities

By leelefever on December 7, 2004 - 9:08am.

Lately I've been promoting the possibilities of using social networking to bring managers together within an enterprise. Recently, after introducing the concept, a teammate said: This is just another virtual team/community collaboration tool we;ve seen a lot of those and they never work.

While my introduction to the concept surely played a part in this perception, I couldn't help but wonder about the real differences. What are the significant differences between social networking and more traditional online communities? How would I describe the differences?

In my mind, they are different. Social networking represents a related but significantly different animal than more traditional online community / collaboration tools. Before going forward in comparing the two, let me be more specific: I mean 'social networking' to mean sites /communities like Orkut, Tribe, Ryze, etc. I mean 'traditional online communities' to mean discussion or message board-based communities ... .

Following are the points that I believe make the biggest differences:

  • Use of the Member Profile
  • Identity without Collaboration
  • Explicit Relationships with Forums and People
  • New Forum/Group Creation
  • Network Centric Navigation


Client Video: LinkedIn

Client Video: LinkedIn
By leelefever on July 2, 2008 - 8:49am
Length: 02:29
Date Produced: Jul 2 2008
Views: 6894 reads

Notes: I've been a member of LinkedIn for years and like many members, I wondered how to get more from my connections. The company came to us to help address this question in video form. Ultimately, it's about uncovering LinkedIn's ability to not just connect, but get things done.


Do Social Networks Bring the End of Privacy?

Scientific American Magazine - August 18, 2008
Do Social Networks Bring the End of Privacy?
Young people share the most intimate details of personal life on social-networking Web sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, portending a realignment of the public and the private

By Daniel J. Solove

He has a name, but most people just know him as “the Star Wars Kid.” In fact, he is known around the world by tens of millions of people. Unfortunately, his notoriety is for one of the most embarrassing moments in his life.


For the first time in history nearly anybody can disseminate information around the world. People do not need to be famous enough to be interviewed by the mainstream media. With the Internet, anybody can reach a global audience.

Technology has led to a generational divide. On one side are high school and college students whose lives virtually revolve around social-networking sites and blogs. On the other side are their parents, for whom recollection of the past often remains locked in fading memories or, at best, in books, photographs and videos. For the current generation, the past is preserved on the Internet, potentially forever. And this change raises the question of how much privacy people can expect—or even desire—in an age of ubiquitous networking.

Generation Google

The number of young people using social-networking Web sites such as Facebook and My­Space is staggering. At most college campuses, more than 90 percent of students maintain their own sites. I call the people growing up today “Generation Google.” For them, many fragments of personal information will reside on the Internet forever, accessible to this and future generations through a simple Google search.

That openness is both good and bad. People can now spread their ideas everywhere without reliance on publishers, broadcasters or other traditional gatekeepers. But that transformation also creates profound threats to privacy and reputations. [snip]

Before the Internet, gossip would spread by word of mouth and remain within the boundaries of that social circle. Private details would be confined to diaries and kept locked in a desk drawer. Social networking spawned by the Internet allows communities worldwide to revert to the close-knit culture of preindustrial society, in which nearly every member of a tribe or a farming hamlet knew everything about the neighbors. Except that now the “villagers” span the globe.


Social-networking sites and blogs are not the only threat to privacy. As several articles in this issue of Scientific American have already made clear, companies collect and use our personal information at every turn. [snip]

The government also compromises privacy by assembling vast databases that can be searched for suspicious patterns of behavior. [snip]

The Future of Reputation

Broad-based exposure of personal information diminishes the ability to protect reputation by shaping the image that is presented to others. Reputation plays an important role in society, and preserving private details of one’s life is essential to it. [snip]

Some would argue that the decline of privacy might allow people to be less inhibited and more honest. But when everybody’s transgressions are exposed, people may not judge one another less harshly. Having your personal information may fail to improve my judgment of you. It may, in fact, increase the likelihood that I will hastily condemn you. Moreover, the loss of privacy might inhibit freedom. Elevated visibility that comes with living in a transparent online world means you may never overcome past mistakes.


This openness means that the opportunities for members of Generation Google might be limited because of something they did years ago as wild teenagers. Their intimate secrets may be revealed by other people they know. Or they might become the unwitting victim of a false rumor. Like it or not, many people are beginning to get used to having a lot more of their personal information online.

What Is to Be Done?

Can we prevent a future in which so much infor­mation about people’s private lives circulates be­yond their control? Some technologists and legal scholars flatly say no. Privacy, they maintain, is just not compatible with a world in which information flows so freely. As Scott ­McNealy of Sun Microsystems once famously declared: “You already have zero privacy. Get over it.” Countless books and articles have heralded the “end,” “death” and “destruction” of privacy.

Those proclamations are wrongheaded at best. It is still possible to protect privacy, but doing so requires that we rethink outdated understandings of the concept. One such view holds that privacy requires total secrecy: once information is revealed to others, it is no longer private. This notion of privacy is unsuited to an online world. The generation of people growing up today understands privacy in a more nuanced way. They know that personal information is routinely shared with countless others, and they also know that they leave a trail of data wherever they go.

The more subtle understanding of privacy embraced by Generation Google recognizes that a person should retain some control over personal information that becomes publicly available. This generation wants a say in how private details of their lives are disseminated.


Facebook rolled out these programs without adequately informing its users. People unwittingly found themselves shilling products on their friends’ Web sites. And some people were shocked to see their private purchases on other Web sites suddenly displayed to the public as part of their profiles that appeared on the Facebook site.

The outcry and an ensuing online petition called for Facebook to reform its practices—a document that quickly attracted tens of thousands of signatures and that ultimately led to several changes. As witnessed in these instances, privacy does not always involve sharing of secrets. Facebook users did not want their identities used to endorse products with Social Ads. [snip]

Changing the Law

Canada and most European countries have more stringent privacy statutes than the U.S., which has resisted enacting all-encompassing legislation. Privacy laws elsewhere recognize that revealing information to others does not extinguish one’s right to privacy. Increasing accessibility of personal information, however, means that U.S. law also should begin recognizing the need to safeguard a degree of privacy in the public realm.

In some areas, U.S. law has a well-developed system of controlling information. Copyright recognizes strong rights for public information, protecting a wide range of works, from movies to software.

[snip] To cope with increased threats to privacy, the scope of the appropriation tort should be expanded. The broadening might actually embody the original early 20th-century interpretation of this principle of common law, which conceived of privacy as more than a means to protect property ... .

Any widening of the scope of the appropriation tort must be balanced against the competing need to allow legitimate news gathering and dissemination of public information. The tort should probably apply only when photographs and other personal information are used in ways that are not of public concern—a criterion that will inevitably be subject to ongoing judicial deliberation.

Appropriation is not the only common-law privacy tort that needs an overhaul to become more relevant in an era of networked digital communications. We already have many legal tools to protect privacy, but they are currently crippled by conceptions of privacy that prevent them from working effectively. [snip]

It would be best if these disputes could be resolved without recourse to the courts, but the broad reach of electronic networking will probably necessitate changes in common law. The threats to privacy are formidable, and people are starting to realize how strongly they regard privacy as a basic right. Toward this goal, society must develop a new and more nuanced understanding of public and private life—one that acknowledges that more personal information is going to be available yet also protects some choice over how that information is shared and distributed.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Inigral Schools: Will Colleges Friend Facebook?

Will Colleges Friend Facebook?

As colleges have worked over the years to solidify their Web 2.0 presence and reach out to students where they’re most likely to congregate online, there’s often a glaring omission from their overall Internet strategies: social networks. That’s not so much an oversight as a hesitation, with many institutions still debating whether to adopt social networking capabilities of their own or grit their teeth and take the plunge into Facebook, with all the messiness and potential privacy concerns that would imply.

A new start-up company [Inigral: The Social Web for Education [] believes colleges’ wariness about joining the Facebook fray — despite the advantages they could theoretically reap from keeping tabs on alumni, soliciting donations and marketing to would-be applicants — leaves an opening in the market for an application that would combine the ubiquity of the social networking site with the privacy and authentication sought by institutions.

The result, Schools [] [QuickTime Overview] , upends the traditional application framework. Rather than make it available to anyone with a Facebook account, the service is based on partnerships with individual colleges that pay to allow their students access. The colleges then provide the company, Inigral, with constantly updated data feeds that allow the application to stay current with courses, clubs and other activities that students can join.

The application eases colleges’ privacy worries by adding an extra layer of authentication, usually using official student IDs or e-mail addresses, and adhering to any federal privacy restrictions.


Inigral initially began its foray into educational social networking by developing a Courses [] application, which it has mainly shelved to focus on Schools.

Beyond the basic functionality of allowing students to display to their classmates what courses they’re taking, they can join dorms or student groups — synced with colleges’ official data — and say which sports teams they play on. They can decide who can see what (for example, only true Facebook friends can see many details), including comments on how they’re doing in various classes, but stay assured that all classmates within the application have been verified as real.

In contrast to other applications that try to bring college classroom functionality to the social network, said Michael Staton, Inigral’s co-founder and a former high school teacher, Schools builds on the original campus success of Facebook, which replicated students’ real-life relationships. [snip]

“We think there is a lot of value, and universities are starting to realize this, in having students feel more connected to each other and to campus life,” Staton said. Rather than compete with course management systems, some of which are also migrating onto Facebook or inspiring independently designed applications, Inigral is attempting to encompass the college experience as a whole.


“It’s something that we’ve been looking at for a long time,” said Kevin Christian, the university’s director of strategic partnerships, of Facebook. “The higher ed community broadly has been trying to understand how best to utilize social networking as a tool to affect [our] campuses in a positive way."

The university, he said, is finding it can have the benefits of “living within the Facebook world” without ignoring “prudent concern to retain Facebook as a true social networking site.” Much as the university is planning to do with its new army of iPhones, Christian said some faculty members were planning on making use of the newly adopted technology in their classrooms.


Next spring, the company plans on rolling out a “bigger beta” of its application, Staton said, before doing a major launch in fall 2009. Beyond a core set of “really, really affordable” features, the company is planning on adding on extra functionality at a premium cost.


Campuses might ask, “’How much time and resources is this going take from us?’ Our answer is, none,” Staton said. — Andy Guess


Facebook: Changing The Way Faculty And Students Interact

Facebook: Changing The Way Faculty And Students Interact

The vast majority of undergraduate students and many graduate students at the University of Maryland have accounts on the social networking site Facebook. The site provides support for maintaining social connections, even very casual ones, and for browsing friends of friends. It also has the capability to support community groups with discussion boards, shared links, videos and photos, and a public comment space.

All of these features can be useful tools for supporting classes at the university. Facebook is not affiliated with the university; this allows it to be a forum for students to have more casual social interactions in a virtual space just like they can have causal social interactions outside of the classroom that support learning.

Dr. [Jen] Golbeck uses Facebook for all of her classes. She created a group for her class and requires all the students to join it. This creates a place where students can see basic information about one another; for example, a Facebook group shows the photo and name of all its members There are several benefits to this, starting with the very simple.

For faculty, this allows us to learn names and faces more quickly. In larger undergraduate classes, this is a very useful tool. For students who have made details of their profile available, we can also find information about their major and their interests. Dr. Golbeck has found this to be really helpful when students ask for advice on finding ideas for class projects; a better understanding their background allows faculty to suggest topics that they will be passionate about.

Dr. Golbeck has also found that about a quarter of her class adds her to their friend list in their profile. While that does not provide direct benefits for the class, it maintains a relationship between faculty and the students once the class ends. That, in turn, allows information communication through the Facebook interface. This type of communication feels less intrusive to social network users than email or a phone call, and thus students are more likely to contact faculty this way. After class ends, this has been useful when students want advice on other classes, or if they are asking for recommendation letters for internships or jobs. Facebook maintains the social context for my relationship with the student, so that is made apparent with their message instead of requiring a long reminder from a student who I may have taught a couple years ago.

For students, this low barrier to communication is also useful. Since Facebook is not associated with the university, student might feel more comfortable engaging in open discussion there than on blackboard or other official websites. Facebook also facilitates contact between students. For example, when building groups for a project, students may have had discussions with one another, but not have each others email addresses (and sometimes may not even know each others' names). Since Facebook provides a list of students through the class group, students can find one another here and communicate directly through Facebook.

It is important to keep in mind that since Facebook is unofficial, it is not a space faculty can or should police. The freedom students have there to connect with faculty and other students in an informal way is precisely why it can be a successful communication tool. When properly understood and used as it’s intended, Facebook can be an excellent virtual medium for building and maintaining real world social connections within a class.

Online Social Networking: An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation

Online Social Networking: An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation / Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A. / Executive Director – Virtual Private Library

Online social networks are becoming a true growth point of the Internet. As individuals constantly desire to interact with each other both in business and in personal contacts, the ability for the Internet to deliver this networking capability grows stronger and stronger. There are a number of excellent resources available to anyone interested in becoming part of the online social networking community of the Internet. I have listed and briefly annotated a number of resources and sites that will start you on your knowledge discovery for online social networking on the Internet.

This Internet MiniGuide on Online Social Networking is a freely available download at the below Subject Tracer™ Information Blog and is frequently updated. Also available as a free download is the white paper link compilation




“Z as in Zillman,” Library Hi Tech News 21, no. 9 (November 2004): 25-30. Self-archived at <>

Friday, August 22, 2008

Social Networking: A Quantitative And Qualitative Research Report Into Attitudes, Behaviours And Use

Are You An 'Alpha Socialiser'' or an 'Attention Seeker'? ... Ofcom Research Identifies Social Networking Profiles

Nearly half of all children who have access to the internet have their own personal profile on a social networking site, according to extensive qualitative and quantitative Ofcom research published today [April 02 2008].

The report reveals just how quickly social networking sites have become a part of Britons' lives. As well as widespread use amongst 8-17 year olds (49 per cent of internet users in that age group), the report also reveals that over a fifth (22 per cent) of adult internet users aged 16+ have their own online profile. The research finds that it is common for adults to have a profile on more than one site (the average being 1.6) and half of current adult social networkers say that they access their profiles at least every other day.

The research also shows how social networking sites are stretching the traditional meaning of 'friends'. Some users say that they derive enjoyment from 'collecting' lists of people with whom they have an online connection but often have never met.

Types of social networkers

The qualitative research suggests five distinct groups of people who use social networking sites :

  • Alpha Socialisersmostly male, under 25s, who use sites in intense short bursts to flirt, meet new people and be entertained
  • Attention Seekers – mostly female, who crave attention and comments from others, often by posting photos and customising their profiles
  • Followers – males and females of all ages who join sites to keep up with what their peers are doing
  • Faithfuls – older males and females generally aged over 20, who typically use social networking sites to rekindle old friendships, often from school or university
  • Functionals – mostly older males who tend to be single-minded in using sites for a particular purpose.

The qualitative research also suggests three distinct groups of people who do not use social networking sites

  • Concerned about safety – often older people and parents concerned about safety online, in particular making personal details available online
  • Technically inexperienced – often people over 30 years old who lack confidence in using the internet and computers
  • Intellectual rejecters – often older teens and young adults who have no interest in social networking sites and see them as a waste of time

Privacy and safety

Despite being one of the main reasons cited by some respondents for not using social networking sites, privacy and safety are not a top of mind concern for those who use social networking sites. The research found that:

  • 41 per cent of children and 44 per cent of adults leave their privacy settings as default 'open' which means that their profiles are visible to anyone
  • 34 per cent of 16-24 year olds are willing to give out sensitive personal information such as their phone number or email address (Get Safe Online Research), and
  • 17 per cent of adult users said that they talked to people on social networking sites that they didn't know and 35 per cent spoke to people who were 'friends of friends'.
The research also found that some 27 per cent of 8-11 year olds who are aware of social networking sites and have internet access have an online profile. While s ome of these are on sites intended for younger children, the presence of underage users on social networking sites intended for those aged 13 or over was confirmed by the research. In addition, while 65 per cent of parents claim to set rules on their child's use of social networking sites, only 53 per cent of children said that their parents set such rules.

Other key findings
  • Facebook is the most popular site with adults followed by MySpace and then Bebo. For children aged between 8 and 17, Bebo was the most used social networking site
  • A minority of younger women reported creating fake profiles for fun;
    Some teenagers and adults in their early twenties reported feeling 'addicted' to social networking sites and were aware that their use was squeezing their study time, and
  • A minority of people reported being aware of bullying through social networking sites and some younger users admitted using social networking sites to 'get back' at people they had fallen out with.


Executive Summary


Slide Show


Full Report


Annex 3: Social Networking Qualitative research


Video: Ofcom's Research on Social Networking




Emergency Alerts Via Facebook And MySpace Are New Ways To Reach Students

Emergency Alerts via Facebook and MySpace Are New Ways to Reach Students / By JEFFREY R. YOUNG

Chronicle of Higher Education / Friday, August 22, 2008

Colleges are experimenting with Facebook and other social networks to notify students about emergencies like crimes and floods—and get vital information in return. Most emergency-alert systems send out warnings. But social networks give students a chance to add on-the-scene reports or trade information if trouble hits. In addition to cell-phone and e-mail alerts, the social networks also give colleges yet another way to reach students in a crisis.

The prospect has some safety officials excited by the possibilities of letting students trade crisis information over Facebook and MySpace, but others worried that it could open an alert system up to misleading rumors.

The University of Maryland at College Park set up a Facebook group last month for "emergency awareness" at the university. Any emergency message that the university issues on its other alert systems, which can go to cell phones, university Web pages, and e-mail accounts, will also be posted to the Facebook group. The group also lists tips about emergency preparedness, photographs of drills by emergency staff, and other information.

"Students aren't using traditional methods of getting information from authorities," said Maj. Jay Gruber, of the university's police department. "So I wanted to think outside the box and think of ways that students do get information."


A group of researchers at the university is also working to build a prototype of a homemade social network for the university's Web site designed for use in emergency situations. The project is an outgrowth of work by Ben Shneiderman, a professor of computer science at the university, and Jennifer J. Preece, dean of the university's College of Information Studies. They published an article in Science last year proposing that local governments develop social networks to supplement 911 emergency hotlines.


Now a graduate student at Maryland, Philip Fei Wu, is building a prototype for university use. "We hope to create a platform to allow students to communicate, to exchange ideas, to comment on ideas" in an emergency, Mr. Wu said in an interview.


Officials at the University of California at Los Angeles have been working with MySpace to build a system that will automatically post emergency alerts to a university MySpace page. [snip]

The project was proposed and led by a Sara Cohen, who worked as an intern in Mr. Burns's office while she was a graduate student at UCLA. Ms. Cohen lived in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and found MySpace and Facebook to be the best sources of information then because cell-phone networks and other communication systems suffered outages, and she thought the university could proactively use social networks in future disasters.

Mr. Burns said the university hopes to share the computer code it has developed with other colleges. [snip]

At least a few other colleges—including Florida State University and the University of Iowa—are also exploring creating MySpace or Facebook pages for use in emergency alerts.


LibGuides Integration With Twitter

LibGuides Integration With Twitter

Springshare has announced the integration of its LibGuide service

"Now when you publish a new guide you can broadcast the news on Twitter for all your faithful followers to see. Anybody subscribed to your Twitter updates will see the name of your newly published guide and the URL to access it. It’s a great way to advertise your guides to the Twitter universe ... ."

"The 'Post to Twitter' option is available when one changes the status of a guide to “published”. [ ]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When Professors Create Social Networks for Classes ...

August 18, 2008
When Professors Create Social Networks for Classes, Some Students See a 'Creepy Treehouse'

A growing number of professors are experimenting with Facebook, Twitter, and other social-networking tools for their courses, but some students greet an invitation to join professors’ personal networks with horror, seeing faculty members as intruders in their private online spaces. Recognizing that, some professors have coined the term “creepy treehouse” to describe technological innovations by faculty members that make students’ skin crawl.

Jared Stein, director of instructional-design services at Utah Valley University, offered
a clear definition of the term on his blog earlier this year. “Though such systems may be seen as innovative or problem-solving to the institution, they may repulse some users who see them as infringement on the sanctity of their peer groups, or as having the potential for institutional violations of their privacy, liberty, ownership, or creativity,” Mr. Stein wrote.

Alec Couros, an assistant professor of education at the University of Regina, in Canada, is coordinator of the education school’s information and communication technologies program. He says that there are productive — and non-creepy — ways for professors to use social-networking technologies, but that the best approach is to create online forums that students want to join, rather than forcing participation. “There’s a middle space I think you can find with students,” he says. —Jeffrey R. Young

Many Comments


SPEC Kit 304: Social Software in Libraries

Social Software in Libraries: SPEC Kit 304 Published by ARL

Matthew Bejune and Jana Ronan / July 2008 / ISBN 1-59407-803-3 / 196 pp. / $45 ($35 ARL members)

Washington DC—The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published Social Software in Libraries, SPEC Kit 304, which provides an overview of ARL libraries’ implementation of software that people use to connect with one another online.

In the last few years, the use of social software has grown enormously. attracted more than 114 million visitors in June 2007, a 72% increase from June 2006, while Facebook grew 270%, to 52.2 million visitors, according to comScore. The Pew Internet & American Life Project reports 48% of adults have visited video-sharing sites such as YouTube. Many authors who write about online social software emphasize the community of such sites, where users mingle for social, political, or research purposes, creating and sharing information or just having fun. These sites “allow individuals to present themselves, articulate their social networks, and establish or maintain connections with others.”

While a growing number of libraries have adopted social software as a way to further interact with library patrons and library staff, many things are unclear about the use of social software in ARL member libraries. This SPEC survey was designed to discover how many libraries and library staff are using social software and for what purposes, how those activities are organized and managed, and the benefits and challenges of using social software, among other questions.

This survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in February 2008. Sixty-four libraries completed the survey by the March 14 deadline for a response rate of 52%. All but three of the responding libraries report that their library staff uses social software (95%) and one of those three plans to begin using social software in the future.

Survey results indicate that the most broadly adopted social software—chat or instant messaging—was also the earliest implemented social software. While one respondent was using instant messaging for reference and another was using chat for internal communication as early as 1998, the earliest use of this type of social software dates back to 1993.

While chat and instant messaging have been in use for several years, use of other types of social software in libraries is very recent. Beyond isolated cases, a steadily increasing number of ARL member libraries began implementing social software in 2005, with the largest rate of adoption being in 2007.

This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents of examples of Web sites that show how each of the 10 types of social software is used.


Table of Contents and Executive Summary and Representative Documents


  • University at Buffalo, SUNY ; Facebook: University at Buffalo Libraries / 116

  • University of California, Irvine ; ’Facebook: UCI Libraries / 117

  • University of Georgia ; Facebook: UGA Student Learning Center / 118

  • Indiana University Bloomington; Facebook: Herman B. Wells / 119

  • University of Manitoba ; Virtual Learning Commons / 120

  • University of Michigan ; Facebook: Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library / 121

  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale ; MySpace: Morris Library / 122


Saturday, August 16, 2008

NYTimes: The Social Network As A Career Safety Net

New York Times / August 14 2008

The Social Network as a Career Safety Net


IF you have avoided social-networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook with the excuse that they are the domain of desperate job hunters or attention-seeking teenagers, it’s time to reconsider. In a world of economic instability and corporate upheaval, savvy professionals like the technology consultant Josh So epitomize the benefits of brushing up your online image and keeping it polished.

When Mr. So, a 32-year-old from Dublin, Calif., learned he had 45 days to find a new job before his company eliminated his division, he turned to friends online. Within hours of updating his job status on the social-networking site LinkedIn, Mr. So won four job interviews through his contacts there. Within a week, two of the interviews resulted in offers. And within less than a month, his employer counteroffered with a position in another division and a $25,000 bump in his annual salary.

The old business adage that it’s not what you know but who you know takes a twist in the Internet era: it’s what you know about social-networking sites that can get you ahead. “Build your own inner circle of people you know are good — people you know will get you places,” Mr. So said.

While it lacks the glamour of more popular sites like MySpace and Facebook, LinkedIn “is the place to be,” said the JupiterResearch media analyst Barry Parr, if you want to make professional contacts online. LinkedIn is a “Chamber of Commerce mixer,” he said. LinkedIn has more than 25 million members, and it is adding new ones at the rate of 1.2 million a month — or about one new networker every two seconds.

Bernard Lunn, a Web technology entrepreneur in New York, describes LinkedIn as the ultimate Rolodex.


“I’m no spring chicken,” said Mr. Lunn, 53. “I’ve been in business for almost 30 years. I had lost touch with a lot of people and had spent time in different industries.” The Web site did the work of finding people for him, providing a list of likely connections by searching its own database of people who had overlapped with him at past jobs. All Mr. Lunn had to do was review the list and select contacts he wanted to add to his network.


If LinkedIn is the Chamber of Commerce luncheon, then Facebook is the after-hours party (and MySpace is the all-night rave, which may make trolling for business connections there a bit trying). “Facebook seems a more natural way of communicating,” said Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst for eMarketer in Seattle. “LinkedIn seems more formal."


"Facebook, which began in 2004 as a way for college students to communicate, has more than 80 million active users. The fastest-growing segment is now those 25 years old and older, according to the company. The site makes it easy to carry on a casual conversation or ask group questions. The easiest way to use it professionally is to join your employer’s network. And it helps to post interesting links that are relevant to your job.

The site features classified ads in the Facebook Marketplace, and there are job-hunting applications on the site, like Jobster. There are also tools for building a professional profile or online business cards. And you can use one of a handful of applications, liked LinkedIn Contacts, to connect your Facebook profile to LinkedIn.



The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age

The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age

Joseph Turow and Lokman Tsui, Editors

Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2008

Cloth / 978-0-472-07043-5 / $70.00 ; Paper / 978-0-472-05043-7 / $24.95

Investigates the multi-faceted nature of hyperlinks and their consequences for commerce, communication, and civic discourse in the world of digital media.

"Links" are among the most basic---and most unexamined---features of online life. Bringing together a prominent array of thinkers from industry and the academy, The Hyperlinked Society addresses a provocative series of questions about the ways in which hyperlinks organize behavior online. How do media producers' considerations of links change the way they approach their work, and how do these considerations in turn affect the ways that audiences consume news and entertainment? What role do economic and political considerations play in information producers' creation of links? How do links shape the size and scope of the public sphere in the digital age? Are hyperlinks "bridging" mechanisms that encourage people to see beyond their personal beliefs to a broader and more diverse world? Or do they simply reinforce existing bonds by encouraging people to ignore social and political perspectives that conflict with their existing interests and beliefs?

This pathbreaking collection of essays will be valuable to anyone interested in the now taken for granted connections that structure communication, commerce, and civic discourse in the world of digital media.

"This collection provides a broad and deep examination of the social, political, and economic implications of the evolving, web-based media environment. The Hyperlinked Society will be a very useful contribution to the scholarly debate about the role of the internet in modern society, and especially about the interaction between the internet and other media systems in modern society."

Charles Steinfield, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University.

Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and author of nine books, including Niche Envy: Marketing Discrimination in the Digital Age and Breaking up America: Advertisers and the New Media World.

Lokman Tsui is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. His research interests center on new media and global communication.



Introduction: On Not Taking the Hyperlink for Granted / Joseph Turow

Part 1: Hyperlinks and the Organization of Attention

Preface to Part 1

Structuring a Marketplace of Attention / James G. Webster

The Hyperlink as Organizing Principle / Alexander Halavais

Hyperlinking and the Forces of “Massification” / Philip M. Napoli

The Hyperlink in Newspapers and Blogs / Lokman Tsui

The Role of Expertise in Navigating Links of Influence / Eszter Hargittai

Google, Links, and Popularity versus Authority / Seth Finkelstein

Part 2: Hyperlinks and the Business of Media

Preface to Part 2

The Hyperlinked News Organization / Martin Nisenholtz

How Hyperlinks Ought to Change the Advertising Business /Tom Hespos

Hyperlinks and Marketing Insight / Stacey Lynn Schulman

Hyperlinking and Advertising Strategy / Eric Picard

From Hyperlinks to Hyperties / Marc A. Smith

Part 3: Hyperlinks, the Individual and the Social

Preface to Part 3

The Morality of Links / David Weinberger

Linked Geographies: Maps as Mediators of Reality / Stefaan G. Verhulst

Will Peasants Map? Hyperlinks, Map Mashups, and the Future of Information / Jeremy W. Crampton

The Social Hyperlink / Lada A. Adamic

Are Hyperlinks “Weak Ties”? / Markus Prior

What Is the Online Public Sphere Good For? / Matthew Hindman

Selected Bibliography

About the Authors


Full Text Available


Buy The Book


Thursday, August 14, 2008

WebJunction Launches New Online Social Experience

DUBLIN, Ohio, August 13, 2008. WebJunction, the online learning community for librarians and library staff, has launched a new social and learning experience in close collaboration with partners in 15 state libraries. The new site builds on the deep repository of helpful content, relevant courses, and active discussions that have been the hallmark of WebJunction since 2003.

The new capabilities make it easier for librarians and staff to:

  • Connect with friends, peers, and colleagues from across the library community using powerful new social tools such as friends, public profiles, groups, discussions, tagging, and recommendations;

  • Create their own content, conversations, and spontaneous communities with fast, fun and easy-to-use tools;

  • Learn the skills they need to thrive in their careers with new and more flexible online courses covering general business, technical, and library skills, complimented by powerful social and learning management tools that add depth to the experience.

"WebJunction and our partners have been helping libraries take advantage of collaboration and e-learning tools for the past five years," said George Needham, Vice President, OCLC Member Services. "This latest release continues that work, and also brings some of the social tools of the modern Web to the library community in a unique and tailored way."

Originally launched five years ago with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OCLC, and partners from across the library community, WebJunction has grown to over 30,000 registered members and has delivered thousands of courses.






See Also


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Business/Professional Online Social Networks?


I am greatly interested in learning of Any and All Business / Professional Online Social Networks.

I am aware of LinkedIn and a few others that I've previously blogged at


BTW: Some May Be Interested In The Several SciTech Social Networks That I Recently Profiled On My "SciTechNet(sm)" Blog At


Please Recommend A Business/Professional Online Social Network As A Comment On This Blog Entry



Friday, August 8, 2008

Dow Jones Introduces g2 BI Tool With Social Networking

Dow Jones & Co. ( announced the latest version of its g2 offering, an on-demand business intelligence application. The latest version provides linking with B2B social networking tools. g2 allows organizations to proactively identify, qualify, and connect to desired companies and executive contacts through patented technology that crawls the web and maintains databases in real time, unveiling intelligence on companies, personnel, and news. Dow Jones’ technology filters through more than 150,000 news articles daily from more than 25,000 different media sources and more than 3 million blogs to obtain this comprehensive business intelligence. Additionally, more than 100 triggers are monitored and detected daily through the mined business intelligence data.

g2 offers a database of nearly 4 million companies and 9 million executives that serve as the starting point for relationship mapping; the newest version of g2 expands on the current offering by enabling users to easily import contacts from leading applications such as Microsoft Outlook and LinkedIn. Similarly, Dow Jones’ other on-demand business intelligence application, SalesWorks, includes simple integration from executive profiles to LinkedIn, to extend access to more business information.

Enhancements include the following:

The ability to connect executives and companies through a user’s best relationship path by optimizing corporate and personal networks through the Position search feature

The ability to add single contacts using the biography editor

The option to display company keywords on the company search page

The ability to set personal affiliates to a private setting

New processing tools that have improved the global search capabilities by allowing users to view more executive, company, and news results per page

Enhanced search engine optimization tools that include meta keywords on the company summary page, making it easy to view the specific words and terms that a company uses to generate traffic to its website

The addition of Canadian provinces to the search fields in triggers, companies, and executives





See Also

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