As of this morning, UNC is back in session for the spring term – how the winter break flies! This semester I’ll be teaching my Online Social Networks course. This is the third time I’ve taught this particular course, and it is a lot of fun. I’m in the midst of updating the syllabus, which I’ll post to the blog when I finish.
Of potential interest to my readers is an article I discovered in the most recent issue of Portal.
Academic Libraries, Facebook and MySpace, and Student Outreach: A Survey of Student Opinion.
This study surveyed 366 Valparaiso University freshmen to discover their feelings about librarians using Facebook and MySpace as outreach tools. The vast majority of respondents had online social network profiles. Most indicated that they would be accepting of library contact through those Web sites, but a sizable minority reacted negatively to the concept. Because of the potential to infringe on students’ sense of personal privacy, it is recommended that librarians proceed with caution when implementing online social network profiles.
I’ve only skimmed this article, but I am collecting resources on social networks and libraries for one of our classes this semester. There is a growing body of literature on libraries and social networks – if you know something noteworthy feel free to leave a comment.
I would be remiss without congratulating Lori Eakin and Jeff Pomerantz, colleagues at SILS, for their study Virtual Reference, Real Money: Modeling Costs in Virtual Reference Services which appears in the same edition of Portal.
Wayne Sutton, one of my esteemed guest lecturers in last night’s (penultimate) Technologies of Friendship class, streamed and recorded the lectures via Ustream.tv. If you’d like to check them out, here’s a link – and I’ve embedded the video.
Thank you again to my speakers – Brian, Wayne, Dave and Abe. We had great conversation and I’m pretty sure we could have kept going for a few more hours (which is saying something for being in class on 8:30PM on a Monday). To find out more about the speakers and their projects, check out the following:
Thanks again to my speakers for a great set of talks.
On November 24, we’ll be discussing new forms of work, organization and action in INLS490. We’re lucky have four experts coming in to discuss their first-hand experience with the topic.
Our guests for November 24 will be:
All of these guests are leveraging new media and technologies in their work. Brian’s work with Carrboro Coworking is addressing a very real new-economy need – creating collaborative spaces for creative work. Dave works virtually and physically with many different teams, and Wayne is the glue of the Triangle-area technology scene. Abe is venturing out with his first startup, addressing work patterns and productivity. Clearly, this is going to be a dynamite class.
If you’re in the area and would like to attend, please do – the class is in Manning Hall 307, Mon Nov. 24 from 6-8:30. One thing I ask – if you’re not affiliated with UNC, please drop me a line and let me know you’re coming. I’ll provide cookies and snacks.
Last evening was the third meeting of my Technologies of Friendship class. While I’ve been meaning to blog about the class each week, this post will have to serve as a catch-up. We’re actually not that far behind – this was actually only the second teaching class due to Labor Day and the fact our class meets on Monday.
Our first teaching class was designed as an overview of the material. We read three articles exploring the social impacts of the Internet, the issues surrounding computer-mediated-communication, and the management of relationships with mediating technology. To accompany the lecture (slides here) we completed two exercises. The first was a name generator exercise that invited students to reflect on the various types of connections they keep through technology. The key component of the generator was comparing categories – i.e. why did some friends end up in multiple bins, exploring those stories. The next exercise was a reflection on social capital and medium, students were asked to think about the types of support they derive from differing mediated relationships.
The second teaching class (lecture slides) began an exploration of historical perspectives. Our readings explored the history of two communication technologies – the telegraph and the telephone. We explored the invention, marketing, uses and social framing of the tools, as well as the tools’ evolution of use. Accepted uses, cultural impacts and the role of gender in technology use were also explored. We then compared this to the development and marketing of the Internet. We will continue this theme next week, exploring some of the early tools of Internet communication.