Friday, 23 July 2010

LinkedIn: Facebook for the American businessman

(Must stop thinking of Link from the Legend of Zelda video game whenever I see the word LinkedIn.)

I watched this YouTube video for a simple explanation of what LinkedIn is all about;

I have to admit, I'm not a big fan. It seems like the social networking market has become totally dominated by Facebook, leaving all others in the dark. As a result, there aren't as many people on these other sites, so it's hard to find anyone you know. LinkedIn doesn't look as easy to use an
d seems mainly populated with American businessmen. I'm not sure what the benefits for libraries would be, if more people jumped on the LinkedIn bandwagon then maybe it would be more worthwhile taking part. As it is, I don't think there would be much of an audience to inform and keep in touch with. I'd need more convincing on this one I'm afraid.


Facebook. The social networking phenomenon. It has recently reached 500 million members worldwide (8% of the population) including more than 25 million Brits - that's one in three!

I signed up for Facebook in my first year at university, to keep in touch with friends from school when we all went our separate ways. It's good for that purpose but, like Twitter, it does stray into the realms of "I'm eating breakfast" and "Can't wait for the weekend" at times. I will always be grateful to Facebook for reintroducing me to a friend who has now been my boyfriend for two years. We first met in a few lectures at university but lost touch and then I saw he was a friend of a friend so I added him and we got together =) I don't use it as often as I used to now because I never seem to have time but I still upload my photos for my family and friends to see.

I think it's a great way for libraries to inform their readers of news, i.e. opening hours, events, new acquisitions, etc, especially as such a large amount of people are now using Facebook. It's easy to use, has a good layout, and is a fast, simple way of getting information across. A downside that has been in the news a lot recently is the privacy. Personally I don't find it a problem, it's all down to common sense. I only add people I actually know as my friends and I don't include any information I don't want people finding out. So there it is, another positive Thing!


On to Things 14 and 15: LibraryThing. I enjoyed uploading a few of the titles in my collection onto the website and thought the layout was really nice, especially the 'Your books' tab;

You can see pictures of the covers of the books, the author, title, the tags you've given them and the ratings. I think LibraryThing is
a really good idea. You can see which books are recommended for you based on the ones in your library, you can read reviews by other people, and you can see whether your books have won any awards. I imagine it's extremely time-consuming though if you have a lot of books. You can see from looking at the tag cloud what most of your books are about;

I think LibraryThing is a good idea for book fans wondering what to read next or wanting to interact with like-minded people. I think it would also be good for small libraries but would be a mammoth task for large libraries to upload their collections. I like the widgets you can use to display books on a website, and it's a great idea that libraries can integrate data from LibraryThing into their own catalogues. All in all, that's a thumbs up for LibraryThing, now I'm off to add more books!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Time to reflect

12 Things down already! I've enjoyed the Cam23 experience so far and I feel more confident about my knowledge of Web 2.0 technologies. The Things have been very informative and well described.

According to the VARK questionnaire here, the Cam23 activities have suited my style as it said "You have a very strong Read/Write learning preference". At the bottom of the study strategies handout page it also said "You like this page because the emphasis is on words and lists. You believe the meanings are within the words, so any talk is OK but this handout is better. You are heading for the library." I'm already there! How spooky.

I would definitely be happy to recommend Flickr to a colleague and maybe a few of the other Things if I thought they'd be relevant. I hope to continue my enthusiasm as I approach the downhill slope of the next 12 Things and slide towards the finish line.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Delicious bookmarking

Well, the name doesn't give anything away about what it is. Delicious is in fact a social bookmarking website where you can keep all of your websites in one place and organise them with tags. I kind of get what it's about, but I'm still not totally convinced that it's worthwhile. So I'm going to sit on the fence for now. What I don't like is that it seems a bit pointless really. You can already store websites in your 'bookmarks' menu, or just search Google for it - quick and easy.

Maybe I feel this way because I don't visit a huge number of websites, if I had loads, then maybe I'd feel the need to have a place where I could organise them effectively. As for the benefits for libraries, I think that it could be quite good to have a page where you could direct readers to useful websites, however, we already have a page in our 24hr Library section for our part-time students called 'Useful Links' that provides this function anyway. So, not jumping up and down cheering for Delicious just yet, but not totally against it either, think I just need a bit more convincing.

Slideshare: for sharing slides

Slideshare; a place where you can, quite simply, share PowerPoint presentations with others. I definitely don't think it's something I would use personally, but I can see how it could be useful for libraries.

At this library, we already upload presentations to students' CamTools as a reminder of what was said to them at their inductions. As these are specific to this library I don't really see how others would find them that useful, maybe just for inspiration if they are stuck for ideas when creating their own. Also, presentations are by nature concise, just using keywords and pictures to get a point across, usually relying on the person giving the presentation to provide more detail on the various points, therefore quite often these presentations are lacking in-depth information.

I did find some good presentations on Web 2.0 technologies and I think Slideshare could come in quite handy, it would just be a matter of trying to direct readers to the site and convincing them of its benefits.