which “explores social media on the internet” and education comes this discussion on “scholarly” evaluation.
What is “scholarly” in the age of the internet?
Back in February, this article came across my Twitter feed: Some Thoughts on Authoritarian Durability in the Middle East. It was a brief but thoughtful piece by a political scientist at the University of Toronto, on why some authoritarian regimes collapsed while others survived. It is the sort of thoughtful webpage that would make an excellent contribution to a website: it provides a reasonably sophisticated idea framework, as well as links to further sources. It’s probably just as good, in its way–and certainly more accessible–than the many of the scholarly journal articles students find on J-Stor.
And yet, it would not fulfill the “scholarly article” requirement.
Or another example: a student asked for help finding statistics on the population of France around the time of the French Revolution. I gave him some Google search tips, but also suggested he try searching in Wolfram Alpha. Curious, I also tried a search myself, for the population of France in 1789. And of course I got my answer–28.7 million people–as well as a list the two dozen or so sources, generally of high quality, that Wolfram Alpha used to calculate that number. (I also got, with a click on a link, other fun facts, including what area today has roughly that population–Texas–as well as, and I love this, how much heat that many people would generate, and how much they would weigh–approximately 2 million metric tons, if you’re curious. You gotta love Wolfram Alpha.)
So, is that scholarly? And how it as a source? Can my student cite it, or should they find a “traditional” source?
Of course, neither of those two sources benefits from traditional peer review, and the Wolfram Alpha source is really the search engine’s interpolation of many different sources. But what if the calculation of many different estimates provides a better answer, as James Surowicki suggested some years ago? And as for peer review, it is increasingly being suggested in the academy that modern publishing methods have rendered it obsolete. As Dan Cohen, the head of GMU’s Center for History and New Media, has been writing about for a while, many alternative models to the traditional journal article are emerging. If we structure our research program around old media, students will lose the research skills they need to fund the emerging new forms of scholarly work.
At the same time, we can’t throw out all standards. The web is full of shoddy, substandard work, and we need to give our students standards and rules and tips for finding the separating the jewels from the muck, and for finding those jewels in the first place.
So how can they know? How can we, the teachers know? What counts as “scholarly” in the age of the internet?
11/19/2011 David Lee King explains how to set up a Google+ library page. NB Google+ wreaked havoc with my website, until it is perfected, beware of adding it to your website. On its own it may be fine.
Setting up a Google Plus Page for your Library is Easy
by DAVID LEE KING on NOVEMBER 9, 2011
I just set up my library’s Google Plus Page, and it was really easy to do. Here’s what I did:
- First, you need a personal Google Plus Profile. Just like Facebook, Google wants you to be a real person (here’s a link to mine if you’re curious).
- Go here -https://plus.google.com/u/0/pages/create - to set up the Page
- Choose a category for your library. I chose “Company, Institution or Organization” for ours.
- Fill in your Institution’s name and URL. I chose to put in our full name (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library) rather than the shortened “topekelibrary” that we often use for social media sites, because our full name shows up on the account.
- Select a Category – really, a subcategory of the “Company, Institution or Organization” thing you picked up in #3 above. This gives you a lot of suggestions … none of which are Libraries. I ended up choosing Institution (though Government Agency, Education, or Other would have worked ok too).
- Click Create.
- Then, you’re given the option to Share your new Google Plus Page with all your Google Plus friends (I did that, but you don’t have to).
After that, I fleshed out our account info a little bit by doing these things:
- Added a photo for the G+ icon (our library’s logo for now)
- Asked our Marketing dept for some pictures to add on the Photos tab
- Created some Circles – I kept the Following circle for random follows, then created these additional Circles: Customers (for library patrons), Staff (for library staff), and Librarians (for librarians who don’t work at my library but want to follow)
- Added links to our Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Flickr accounts
- Finally, I sent out our first status update message – “Just setting up Topeka Library’s dandy new Google Plus Page for organizations. Let’s explore it together!”
That’s pretty much it. What will we do with it? For starters, I’ll probably post a couple things a week there, to see if other people in our service area are interested in using Google Plus to connect with the library. After that (I’ll give it 6 months or so) we’ll see.
A couple other examples of Google Plus Library Pages:
- Skokie Public Library
- Falvey Memorial Library
- Springfield City Library
- Garaget (a cool-sounding library in Sweden)
- Cedar Rapids Public Library
Cool! Now the question is … what will your library DO with a Google Plus Page, now that they are available?
image by Bruce Clay
And from Information Industry News + New Web Sites and Tools From Gary Price and Shirl Kennedy
New Report From Pew Internet: Why Americans Use Social Media
By: Aaron Smith, Senior Research Specialist at Pew Internet and American Life Project
Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.
Other factors play a much smaller role—14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use social media, and 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively.
Other Key Findings:
- Connecting with public figures online is particularly popular among Twitter users. One in ten Twitter users (11%) say that reading comments by public figures such as celebrities or politicians is a major reason why they use social media, and 30% say it is a minor reason. Just 4% of non-Twitter users point to these connections as a major reason for their social media usage.
- Older users are more likely to view social networking sites as a way to connect around a hobby or interest. One in five social network users ages 50-64 (18%) cite connecting with others around common hobbies or interests is a major reason they use social networking sites, compared with one in ten users ages 18-29 (10%).
- Few social media users are there to seek romance. Just 3% of users say that finding potential romantic or dating partners is a “major reason” why they use these sites, and 84% say that this is “not a reason at all” for their social network usage.
Teachers and students are realizing the importance of Social media and are increasingly embedding it in the education system.
Social Media enhances collaboration among students http://www.technology-digital.com/social_media/top-five-uses-of-social-media-in-education
17 NOV 2011 Written By: Cyndi Laurenti
Social media use has increased significantly since they caught on a few years ago. A recent study showed 1 in 14 people on Earth has a Facebook account. As social media use has proliferated, businesses have increasingly sought to leverage the advertising opportunities it offers.
It’s also possible for teachers, school administrators, and students to use the power of social media to enhance learning online in PhD programs, elementary school, and anywhere in between. The following guide provides five of the top uses for social media in educational environments.
1. Enhanced Collaboration
While simply acquiring information can be accomplished alone, students’ problem-solving skills are often better enhanced in a collaborative environment. Social media allow students to work together on projects beyond an individual’s capability.
2. Enhanced Flipping
Social media can be used to enhance the teacher-student relationship. As classrooms have begun to evolve over the decade, educators are taking a hard look at traditional approaches to education. Regular classes usually consist of a lecture, with homework completed outside the classroom. Some educators are exploring a new way to teach, called “flipping” the classroom.
In this strategy, students view recorded lectures or read curricular material outside the classroom. Inside the classroom, students complete what usually qualifies as homework. Teachers act as tutors, helping students through problem areas in their work.
Social media software can be used to deliver this educational content outside of school, and facilitate collaboration between students and teachers as well as among students themselves during in-class work.
3. Real Time Information
Simple communication of up-to-date information to a student body is another way some schools are already using social media. Social media subscriptions can be helpful for providing homework assignments or assigning reading materials as well as enabling students to communicate with teachers outside the classroom. This use can also be a better way for schools to reach parents than mass e-mailings or sending home printed letters.
4. Collaboration Between Educators
Building course curricula is a challenging task. For higher grade levels, several days can easily go into creating a one-hour lecture. Social media can be powerful tools for educators to communicate ideas and share lesson plans.
5. Open Source Social Media
A public social media website like Facebook or Twitter may not be appropriate for a classroom setting, but there are many open source social media services that allow collaboration between individuals. Diaspora offers an open source alternative to traditional social media. It allows customization, enabling educators to host the platform on their own schools’ servers.
Many students and teachers prefer to separate their school and personal lives. By offering an alternative to personal social media websites, educators can work in a controlled environment, building learning solutions that work best for different age groups.
10/28/2011From the Chronicle of Higher Education comes this article concerning students use of Facebook and other social networking sites in connection with academia.
Students Push Their Facebook Use Further Into Course Work
October 27, 2011, 4:28 pm
College students are taking social media to a new level, using Web sites like Facebook to communicate with other students about their coursework, according to results of a new survey on student technology use.
Nine out of 10 college students say they use Facebook for social purposes, like writing status updates and posting pictures. And the majority, 58 percent, say they feel comfortable using it to connect with other students to discuss homework assignments and exams. One out of four students even went so far as to say they think Facebook is “valuable” or “extremely valuable” to their academic success.
The survey was conducted in June by the Educause Center for Applied Research, and was taken by 3,000 students from more than 1,000 colleges. The results show how technology is shaping students’ lives both inside and outside the classroom.
Kevin Roberts, chief information officer of Abilene Christian University, says technology is merging the academic and social aspects of students’ lives.
“Learning takes place beyond the 50 minutes you spend in class,” Mr. Roberts said. “So using Facebook, while you’re talking about the Rangers game, students just throw in, ‘Oh, by the way, did you understand what Dr. So-and-So was talking about today?’”
Some students say they still want to keep their social and academic lives separate, as noted in an earlier Chronicle story. In the survey, 30 percent of students say they prefer to draw a line between these two worlds.
Students are taking to other social networks, too. More than 30 percent of students say they use sites such as Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Google+. Nearly a quarter of students report using social studying sites, such as CourseHero and GradeGuru, and 11 percent say they wish instructors would incorporate these sites into the curriculum more often.
The idea of students wanting professors to integrate more technology use into the classroom was a common takeaway from the survey. After e-mail, learning-management systems and e-textbooks were the two technologies that students wanted instructors to use more frequently, according to the survey.
Learning-management systems are used by 73 percent of students, and e-books or e-textbooks by 57 percent.
Even though those technologies are commonplace on most campuses, some students say that their instructors don’t use them effectively or that they themselves don’t have the skills they need to use them effectively.
“Students are saying they want to see classes taught more like how they live their lives,” Mr. Roberts said. “I don’t think they just want technology for technology’s sake.”
10/15/2011 From 5 years of Social Networking Trends
When are people most likely to share content on the web? How do they prefer to share it? What services are they sharing to most frequently? These are the burning questions of the age of social media. Bookmarking and sharing service AddThis just might have the answers.
AddThis is celebrating its fifth birthday with a deep dive into its data pool. The Clearspring service has analyzed five years’ worth of sharing data — and has summarized its findings in the infographic below.
What does the data tell us? Sharers apparently don’t suffer from the midweek blues, at least when it comes to passing along web content to friends and followers; we share the most on Wednesdays. And the most active time of day for sharing comes bright and early at 9:30 a.m. ET each day.
More intriguing is how the world prefers to share. AddThis data suggests the majority of us prefer to share by copying and pasting URLs from the address bar to emails, IMs and social sites. We do this 10 times more frequently than we share via buttons and other tools. How old-fashioned of us.
Keep in mind that this data only looks at sharing activities powered by AddThis — it’s not the complete sharing picture. Still, given that the service reaches 1.2 billion users each month, it’s likely to be indicative of wider trends.
10/13/2011 From a scary article on Facebook and how it tracks movements on the web
Over the weekend, Dave Winer wrote an article at Scripting.com explaining how Facebook keeps track of where you are on the web after logging in, without your consent. Nik Cubrilovic dug a little deeper, and discovered that Facebook can still track where you are, even if you log out. Facebook, for its part, has denied the claims. Regardless of who you believe, here’s how to protect yourself, and keep your browsing habits to yourself.
The whole issue has stirred up a lot of debate in privacy circles over the past few days. Here’s what the fuss is about, and what you can do to protect your privacy if you’re worried.
The Issue: Facebook’s Social Apps are Always Watching
For quite some time now, Facebook’s user tracking hasn’t been limited to your time on the site: any third-party web site or service that’s connected to Facebook or that uses a Like button is sending over your information, without your explicit permission. However, Winer noticed something mostly overlooked in last week’s Facebook changes: Facebook’s new Open Graph-enabled social web apps all send information to Facebook and can post to your profile or share with your friends whether you want them to or not.
Essentially, by using these apps, just reading an article, listening to a song, or watching a video, you’re sending information to Facebook which can then be automatically shared with your friends or added to your profile, and Facebook doesn’t ask for your permission to do it. Winer’s solution is to simply log out of Facebook when you’re not using it, and avoid clicking Like buttons and tying other services on the web to your Facebook account if you can help it, and he urges Facebook to make its cookies expire, which they currently do not.
Digging Deeper: Logging Out Isn’t Enough
Nik Cubrilovic looked over Winer’s piece, and discovered that logging out of Facebook, as Winer suggests, may deauthorize your browser from Facebook and its web applications, but it doesn’t stop Facebook’s cookies from sending information to Facebook about where you are and what you’re doing there.
Writing at AppSpot, he discovered that Facebook’s tracking cookies-which never expire, are only altered instead of deleted when a user logs out. This means that the tracking cookies still have your account number embedded in them and still know which user you are after you’ve logged out.
That also means that when you visit another site with Facebook-enabled social applications, from Like buttons to Open Graph apps, even though you’re a logged out user, Facebook still knows you’re there, and by “you,” we mean specifically your account, not an anonymous Facebook user. Cubrilovic notes that the only way to really stop Facebook from knowing every site you visit and social application you use is to log out and summarily delete all Facebook cookies from your system.
Why You Should Care
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t really use Facebook for anything you wouldn’t normally consider public anyway, you should take note: everything you do on the web is fair game. If what Cubrilovic and Winer are saying is true, Facebook considers visiting a web site or service that’s connected to Facebook the same thing as broadcasting it to your friends at worst, and permission for them to know you’re there at best.
Facebook says that this has nothing to do with tracking movements, and that they have no desire to collect information about where you are on the web and what you’re doing. They want to make sure that you can seamlessly log in at any time to Facebook and to sites and services that connect with it and share what you’re doing.
In fact, a number of Facebook engineers have posted comments to Winer’s original post and Cubrilovic’s analysis pointing this out. There’s also some excellent discussion in this comment thread at Hacker News about the issue as well. Essentially, they say this is a feature, not a problem, so if you have an issue with it, it’s up to you to do something about it.
What Can I Do About It?
Whether or not Facebook is tracking your browsing even when you’re logged out, if you don’t want third-party sites to send data to Facebook, you have some options. You could scrub your system clean of all Facebook.com cookies every time you use Facebook, but a number of developers have already stepped up with browser extensions to block Facebook services on third-party sites. Here are a few:
- Facebook Privacy List for Adblock Plus is perfect for those of you who already have AdBlock Plus installed (get ABP for Chrome or Firefox). Just download the subscription and add it to AdBlock Plus to specifically block Facebook plugins and scripts all over the web—including the Like button-whenever you’re not visiting Facebook directly.
- Facebook Disconnect for Chrome keeps Facebook from dropping those tracking cookies on your system in the first place, and disables them when you’re finished using Facebook-enabled services. It’s essentially an on/off switch for third-party access to Facebook servers, meaning you’ll still be able to log in to Facebook and use the site normally, but when you’re visiting another site or using another application, that site or service won’t be able to use your information to communicate with Facebook.
Disconnect for Chrome and Firefox is a new plugin from the developer behind Facebook Disconnect, but it doesn’t stop with Facebook. Disconnect takes protection to a another level and blocks tracking cookies from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Digg, and Yahoo, and prevents all of those services from obtaining your browsing or search history from third party sites that you may visit. The app doesn’t stop any of those services from working when you’re visiting the specific sites, for you can still search at Google and use Google+, but Google’s +1 button likely won’t work on third party sites, for example. The extension also lets you see how many requests are blocked, in real time as they come in, and unblock select services if, for example, you really want to Like or +1 an article you read, or share it with friends.
Ultimately, the goal of all of these tools is to give you control over what you share with Facebook or any other social service, and what you post to your profile, as opposed to taking a backseat and allowing the service you’re using to govern it for you. What’s really at issue is exactly how deep Facebook has its fingers into your data, and how difficult they-and other social services-make it to opt out or control what’s sent or transmitted. That’s where extensions like these come in.
However you feel about it, Facebook likely won’t change it in the near future. If you’re concerned, you should to take steps to protect your privacy. As a number of commenters at Hacker News point out, it’s not that there’s anything inherently “good” or “evil” about what Facebook is doing-that would be oversimplifying an already complex topic. It’s really an opt-in/opt-out issue.
What do you think of the assertions? Do you think Facebook has a vested interest in knowing as much about you and your browsing habits as possible, or is this much ado about nothing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Update: Nic Cubrilovic has posted an update to his story after discussing the matter with Facebook engineers. They have agreed to make changes to the way their cookies are stored and handled so your account information is not present when you log out of Facebook.
However, while Facebook has changed its cookie-handling process, the cookies are still retained and not deleted after logout, and do not expire. They remove your account information when you log out, but they still contain some non-personal data about your browser and the system you’re using. Nic still recommends you clear your Facebook cookies after every session, and we still suggest that if you’re concerned, that you do the same, and try one of the extensions above, or Priv3 or Firefox to protect yourself.
09/18/2011 From comes this great article on Social Media and how it effects print media
Friday September 16, 2011, Lauren Fisher
Social media is everywhere, but is print still valuable?
The growth of social media isn’t in doubt. More and more people are turning to social networks to communicate while more and more decision makers are turning to social platforms as well. But digital publications have a bit of a problem.
While social media may be seen as a ‘sexy’ platform that you can’t afford to ignore, it’s losing out to print media when it comes to being trustworthy. According to a recent survey, 62% of key opinion formers said they would react to a negative story if it was printed in the paper, while just 21% would if it happened in social media. So why is social media getting all the attention but not the trust?
The headline is the holy grail
There is no doubt that seeing your name in print still brings a pretty special feeling with it. You know it means something when this happens – for good or bad. And this largely comes down to exclusivity. A national newspaper will print less stories than a major blog because they are restricted by space. You know if you’ve made it into the paper that you’ve ‘made the cut’ whereas we know that blogs can potentially publish stories endlessly throughout the day.
While this does not mean that blogs/online news sites have any less strict editorial policies, you know that a paper only has one chance a day or week for a headline. When it’s online, you have multiple chances. So if you’ve hit the front page of a newspaper, you are going to be seen all day long, no matter when someone picks it up. With online, it’s not the case. You can get pushed further down, which if it’s a negative story can bring with at an (inaccurate) feeling that your story is kind of forgotten and you can move on.
This is, of course, a dangerous way to look at it. While there is a very physical experience to holding a paper in your hand and reading your or your company’s name, the actual impact on your reputation is no different to that of online. And let’s not forget that there’s no such thing as ‘tomorrow’s chip paper’ when it comes to online. You’re there forever, so why does the attitude persist that print matters more than digital?
It can be largely attributed to a misunderstanding of how social media functions. Because it’s seen as immediate and there is generally more content produced and shared, it’s easy to see a negative brand mention as just ‘one of many’ and that it will soon pass. But this shows a misunderstanding of just how influential social or digital platforms can be, and also a misunderstanding of how influential the person writing something is.
If you’re faced with a negative mention of you or your brand online, it can be easy to just take it at face value and see that one mention as the totality of the coverage. But if you look at how influential that individual might be across other platforms, you begin to see a different story. Then they have the power to tweet that story, influence other bloggers in their area, turn up in the search engine results for your brand, and you suddenly have a big problem on your hand. Ignoring something that’s said online ‘because’ it’s just said online shows that you might not understand what it is you’re dealing with.
Where did the story start?
What’s perhaps most amusing about the findings in this study is that it ignores where a story might actually have originated. Nearly all significant news stories will no doubt now start online, as it’s the most immediate medium for discussing and generating news. Further to this, a story can make the papers purely because of the hype that’s built up online. So while you may not feel something is important until you’ve seen it in print, the chances are you probably could have stopped it becoming a story worth printing altogether. Or failing that, you might have been able to influence the story that was printed, by acting fast online.
It’s likely that this change in thinking won’t happen as quickly, at least in the upper echelons of an organisation, because newspapers are steeped in tradition and remain much more of a physical experience than reading something online. But thinking about it in this way only brings with it risk, that you ignore something until it’s too late.
08/31/2011 The Krafty Librarians writes an informative article on how Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 are being used in libraries today which continues to follow up on the piece, “What Students Don’t Know.”
The End of Social Media 1.0?
Brian Solis wrote an interesting post, “The End of Social Media 1.0,” describing a shift in the social media landscape to value added social media. He says people are still embracing social networks but competition for their eyes and their loyalty is stiff because users are no longer willy nilly hitting the like button, re-tweeting and following like they once did. They have become discerning social media consumers, interested only in companies that have value to them.
While I kind of dislike the whole 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 way of labeling of things other than specific software updates, Brian brings up a good point. Even though he is speaking specifically about businesses and social media, the same should be said about libraries and social media. Simply having a presence on Facebook or Twitter isn’t going to cut it. So what if you have 800 fans…big deal. How active are your fans on your page? How active are you at engaging your fans? Technically I am a fan of CVS Pharmacy but that was just so I could enter to win a contest. I really don’t care about CVS, I just haven’t taken the time to “un-fan” them. I don’t read their posts, I don’t interact with them on their wall, and quite frankly I completely forgot I was a fan until I was doing some Facebook house cleaning. How many of your library fans are like that? How many of your library Facebook fans are still students or employees?
In light of the recent study “What Students Don’t Know,” few students even think of the library or the librarian in general, so you gotta do more than just have a Facebook presence to win their attention. What are you doing on library’s Facebook page or Twitter to be of value to current and potential fans? Brian says, “Businesses must first realize that there’s more to social media than just managing an active presence, driven by an active editorial calendar. Listening is key and within each conversation lies a clue to earn relevance and ultimately establish leadership.” Now change the word businesses for the word libraries or library businesses.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a chicken and egg thing going on here. You kind of have to first have fans to listen to them. Normally I would say that librarians are pretty good listeners. But if a tree falls in the woods does anyone hear it? The “What Students Don’t Know” study clearly worries me and makes me wonder if we are good listeners but crummy overall communicators.
If your library has a Facebook presence as a way to connect to users, simply having a bunch of fans does not show how good you are at communicating through social media. What you do with those fans on Facebook, the conversations, interactions, and changes you make to your products or services is a better indicator of your social media presence. How many libraries have established a relationship with their fans? What has your library done differently as a result of Facebook communication?
I was listening to the radio the other day and the DJs were talking about who has more followers on Twitter. At first they were comparing their numbers to each other, then they started comparing themselves to outside personalities. You have 100,000 followers, big deal. How many are actively following you and re-tweeting? How many still use their Twitter accounts and tweet at least once a month? Recently there was a big broohaha over Newt Gingrich’s Twitter followers. People claimed that he had staffers buy the Twitter followers in order to boost his numbers. Mashable conducted a Twitter analysis of Gingrich’s account along with several other politicians and discovered many of his followers (and followers of other politicians) were due to being on Twitter’s Suggested User List. Many of the followers are either spambots or people who signed up but never did anything. According to Mashable 14% of Gingrich’s followers have posted within the last month. Various reports from 2009 say that most people quit Twitter after one month, leaving lots of inactive Twitter accounts. (Remember when everybody had to start a blog and all of the dead blogs littering the Internet?) These accounts are still subscribed and “following” people, they just aren’t active. Twitter is all about communication and reaching out to people, yet the number of followers you have cannot be used as an indicator of success.
Social media is about communicating with our users. Having lots of fans and followers does not mean your library or company is successful at social networking. Communication is a two way street. If your wall is dead, your fans aren’t interested and they aren’t getting your message. If your wall is dead, you are my CVS Pharmacy to your Facebook fans, something they “liked” but really don’t care about anymore.
Indifference may not wreck a man’s life at any one turn, but it will destroy him with a kind of dry-rot in the long run.
You can have lots of fans and followers but that is just having a social media presence. While participation requires presence, presence does not require participation. There are too many libraries and library vendors present on Facebook and Twitter and trumpeting their “success,” in social media. There are very few that are participating and engaging their fans and followers which is the true mark of success.
08/11/2011 From the Business to Community Blog comes an article on how much an effect social networking including blogging has on College students
Mark Schaefer | Aug 05, 2011
From time to time I have been pleased to feature the research of the University of Massachusetts DartmouthCenter for Marketing Research. They’ve uncovered some fascinating trends among non-profits, Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing Inc. 500 firms and the latest research turns to social media usage trends at four-year accredited collges and universities in the U.S. Some highlights:
Social media usage soars
100 percent of colleges and universities studied are using some form of social media, up from 95 % last year, 85% in 2009 and 61% in 2008.
Facebook is the most common form of social networking being used with 98% of colleges and universities reporting having a Facebook page (up from 87% last year). Eighty-four percent have a school Twitter account (up from 59%) and 66% have a blog (up from 51%). Podcasting has risen from 22% to 41% in just one year.
College admissions professionals are flocking to LinkedIn with 47% on the professional networking site, up from 16% last year. The number of schools using MySpace has declined from 16% last year to 8% this year. Foursquare and You Tube were included in the study for the first time and are being used by 20% and 86% respectively. The use of message boards and video blogging have remained at approximately the same level as last year (37% and 47% respectively).
The rise of the blog
Blogging continues to be embraced by colleges and universities. While other sectors are reporting a leveling off of blogging (i.e., Fortune 500, Forbes Top Charities) higher ed adoption has grown significantly in the past year.
Eight percent of schools with blogs are using some internally developed applications (down from 14% in 2009-2010). Others cite WordPress (38%) and Blogger (10%) as platforms. The use of WordPress as a blogging platform has doubled in the past year.
When asked who manages their blog, the most popular answers were the admissions office (including the director, staff and students), marketing, and public relations. The researchers also claim that these institutions are using their blogs “siginificantly” more effectively by developing communities around them. 85 percent now accept comments, up from 63% four years ago. The report also points to a four-year increase of RSS availability from 46% to 77% as an indicator of an increased sophistication in the use of blogging as a “conversation: and recruitment strategy.
And it seems to be working …
When asked how successful social media tools have been for their schools, respondents have “consistently raved about their experience,” especially Facebook (95% success) and YouTube (92%). For every tool studied, a high degree of success is reported. The relatively new Foursquare is being used by 20 percent of those interviewed while 61% of them report success with it. The exception is MySpace which shows a decrease in perceived success from 42% to 34%.
Surprisingly, school “listening” activities have fallen off. 53 percent in 2007, 54% in 2008 and 73% in 2009 report they monitored the internet for buzz, posts, conversations and news about their institution. The latest research shows a slight decrease to 68%. Given the ease with which monitoring can be done, it is surprising that all schools are not monitoring online buzz about their institutions.
US colleges and universities are taking the lead in using social media as part of their marketing and recruiting plans. Some schools will use search engines and social media sites to garner more information about prospective students. They are evaluating the effectiveness of tools that were adopted early on and making decisions about which new tools to add into their communications strategy. The goal is clearly to reach and engage those tech savvy young people who may be making at least initial decisions about a school based on its online presence.
Looks like colleges and non-profits are leading the way by far over corporations in social media marketing usage. This has been trending for our years now. isn’t it interesting that the organizations with the most money and resources have the least use of these tools … maybe that makes sense?
The website growmap.com provides us with statistical analysis with this infographic about how students use social networking in their education. How can we as librarians further incorporate social networking into our literacy instruction and library use?
Social Media: Students Using it to Improve Grades
AUGUST 3, 2011
1,127 students took part in a new study to determine if there is a correlation between social media use and better grades. This infographic shares the results of that study:
- Edudemic: Where is Social Media Taking Education
- Connected Principals: Why Social Media Can and Is Changing Education
- Multi-literacy Revolution: Facebook, Social Media and Education
- University of New England: High School Principal Encourages Use of Social Media at School
- Tagoras Survey: Social Media for Continuing Education
7/8/11 How are colleges changing through Web 2.0 and Social Networking?
This Visible College
By Bryan Alexander
What does the future hold for higher education? How is American academia changing under the impact of continuous technological transformation?
My previous column presented several scenarios in order to think through transformations to one aspect of the academy, scholarly communication. In this column we’ll explore another part of higher education using only one scenario — but it’s a doozy.
“Class begins when the classroom door closes.” This image is enshrined in many practices, much popular memory, and even campus policies. But the concept may well be turned inside out in the near future as several trends coincide, altering the ways we teach and learn. That shut door is about to be wrenched open and our closed classes drawn into a global, visible college (compared to the invisible college described by David Staley and Dennis Trinkle1).
None of these supporting trends is mysterious or surprising:
- Social media
- Mobile computing
- Open content
Social media dates back to web developments preceding Tim O’Reilly’s 2003 coinage of “Web 2.0” or perhaps earlier, to Ward Cunningham’s 1994 creation of wikis and the first practical realization of the read-write web.2 Mobile devices are all the rage in 2011, yet Mark Weiser started explaining his theory of ubiquitous computing in the 1980s.3 Open educational content (OER) in its digital form arguably appeared with the first digitization projects and has recently gathered an impressive head of steam.4 Education has paid increasing attention to each of these on multiple levels, from professional development to course redesign to campus infrastructure support.
When these three trends combine, though, the synthesis surpasses each individual trend. What they do is turn the classroom inside out.
Three Forces Already in Play
Consider, first, the power of mobile devices for media capture and sharing. Phones (smart and feature), laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartpens, and others all afford various forms of audio and/or video and/or image recording. It is increasingly trivial for students to record classroom activities and share them, from a Facebook status update to edited HD video uploaded to YouTube. Faculty and classroom staff have access to the same technological affordances. Indeed, some campuses either make such media transmission available on demand (webcast.berkeley) or mandate and then automate the process. Several recent stories have dramatically demonstrated the possibilities of the latter, with controversial or exciting classes reaching a global audience via YouTube.5
YouTube and iTunes already host a growing number of publicly accessible, well-produced educational videos and audio files. That content may not fulfill the licensing requirements of open content, but it can serve many no-cost needs, and plenty of other material already appears under such licenses. MIT, Yale, Carnegie-Mellon, and other leading universities have already published curricular content as open educational resources (OER), licensed explicitly to be used and remixed in teaching. Additionally, the United States Department of Education launched an RFP for new OER, funded for up to $2 billion: the awkwardly named but historically ambitious Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program.6 Other open content materials sprawl across the web, from the long-established MERLOT archive to social media content shareable under Creative Commons licenses:FreeSound, part of Flickr (182,853,387 images as of June 9, 2011), dig.ccmixter, many blogs, parts of the Internet Archive, and more.
Social media has passed the point of being The Next Big Thing and is now merely A Very Big Thing, or something like the web’s default setting. We web users create and share media, comment and tag others’ work, edit, embed, and remix. Not everyone does all of these, of course, but most of us participate in some form, and consumption is widespread. Facebook, to pick one example, passed 500 million members some time ago and is approaching the one billion members mark. It is, at root, a platform for user-generated content.
Educational uses of social media are diverse and widespread. Alex Halavais described one aspect of social media:
Blogs provide an electronic version of the coffee house and the academic conference, allowing for open and observable discussion and debate among near-strangers.7 [emphasis added]
It is normal, now, to consider media social. Education is increasingly influenced by that practical assumption.
Everything I’ve described is happening now. What happens when these trends continue to grow and cross-pollinate?
The Door Opens
What once happened in the classroom behind closed doors increasingly occurs on a global stage:
Australian university lecturers are resisting putting recorded lectures online because they fear students will mock their off-the-cuff flubs in YouTube mashups and social networking posts.
But, despite this, university student representatives believe that students, with an ever increasing workload, should be able to have full access to all lectures – some believing it should be mandatory.8
Students and instructors can share open content using social media because OER is licensed for precisely that kind of use. Mobile devices expand sharing by increasing the number of opportunities to do so. Mobile devices also enable the capture and sharing of other, non-OER classroom content, with social media the logical, easiest platform to use and with the widest reach.
Imagine a few years on when these three forces have developed further and continue to reinforce each other. Students, faculty, and campus administration capture, and then share, class activities. Any netizen can access classroom events from around the world, across the curriculum. Lectures, discussions, questions, interruptions, announcements, awkward moments of silence — all are available to anyone with a networked device. Facebook conversations start in the world, stream into a class, and then feed back out again, forming conversations with unpredictable boundaries.
A learner in a Chicago classroom and a learner in Paris can consult the same OER document, then find each other through advanced Twitter search and compare notes about how their respective instructors parse difficult problems. A teacher in Lyons rages at his students, who document his outburst with audio and video, then find emotional support from friends in Morocco and Louisiana — all within an hour. Sophomores brooding on their junior year schedule scope out potential instructors by their many media representations, shared by themselves and others. Grad students on the job market research target colleges by browsing the interiors of their classrooms. Senior faculty members assess tenure-track colleagues’ performances in the classroom without saying a word, without physically being present, and those junior faculty teach with a greater consciousness of being observed. The world of education approaches ubiquitous surveillance and total access at the same time.
One objection to this worldview is that some education will remain immune to it. Distance learning, for instance, often replicates the physical classroom’s constraints online, with class participation restricted to registered learners and staff. E-reserves are predicated on limited access, as are many paid databases (JSTOR, LexisNexis, etc.). The TEACH Actrequires faculty wishing to claim fair use to digitally recreate the physical classroom’s restrictions in time (the semester) and space (the specific student group). Much pedagogy is predicated on a protected, safe space for faculty and students to risk expressing ideas they might not hazard publicly. Classroom observation often requires following formal procedures.
Strong precedents and habits support these practices, but all will probably be reconsidered. Learners (and staff) can easily create social media content streams paralleling closed ones, as with backchannels. Proprietary content and presumably restricted discussions can all leak out to secondary discussions through paraphrase, capture, and copying. Business models and policy templates will come under immense stress. Perhaps their best protection will be relative obscurity, a classic problem of search: With so much available material, not all receive due attention.
This scenario also constitutes a privacy nightmare. This imagined world has all kinds of surveillance, and nobody in formal learning can maintain any expectation of private space. Unless technological trends reverse and, simultaneously, a mass revolution in attitudes occurs, this will simply become an accurate description of reality. The classroom will shortly be turned inside out and the Panopticon will become the norm, with privacy the exception. Perhaps some consolation can be found in that the world at large is heading in this direction. It was in 1999 that Sun’s cofounder advised us that “You have zero privacy anyway… Get over it.”9 Alternatively, netizens, students, and instructors might simply relax their expectations, as David Brin argued: If we can all be surveilled, we can all be embarrassed.10
To understand this brave new classroom, we can learn from the library. For years librarians have grappled with their own version of this inversion, seeing library functions migrate beyond physical walls. Indeed, a slogan coined in 2005, around the same time Web 2.0 started growing into a planetary force, spotlighting not library as place, but (every)place as (a) library.11 Libraries facilitate access to patrons anywhere. Similarly, teachers increasingly make learning experiences available to any connected learner, willingly or not. Thus education needs all kinds of professional and policy responses to support the classroom. We can imagine changes to teacher training in graduate school, new professional development content, increased campus media capture support, new privacy policies, intellectual property policy revisions, reinterpretations of FERPA, and new licenses and negotiations for non-OER materials. And that’s just for starters.
If the above scenario comes to pass, every classroom potentially will be connected to every place and become a virtual place for any connected person. Closed doors will be outmoded, and the invisible campus will become the visible college.12
Check the posting itself for the references referred to
From Tech Crunch we can see the interview with Zuckerberg about social media just click the link and watch the video
Zuckerberg explained that in accordance with Facebook’s data, social sharing functions exponentially, so that the amount of stuff you shared today is double the amount of stuff you shared a year ago and the stuff that you will share a year from now will be double the amount you’ve shared today. In Mark Zuckerberg’s Law of Social Sharing, Y = C *2^X — Where X is time, Y is what you will be sharing and C is a constant.
Holding that most people intuitively misunderstand the profundity of exponential growth, Zuckerberg provided the example of a piece of paper folded upon itself 50 times. “If you took a piece of paper and folded it on itself 50 times, how tall would it be?” He continued, “Most people would say a few feet … Turns out it goes to the moon and back 10 times … I mean it’s 2^50 * the height of the paper. It’s a small base doubling many times.”
Whether Zuckerberg’s concise prediction of human sharing behavior is accurate remains to be seen. As Chris Dixon points out, it seems kind of absurd that people will be sharing 1,048,576 (2^20) times the items of information they are sharing today twenty years from now.
But who knows? Maybe automated sharing will hyper-accelerate social sharing beyond what we can share manually? In any case the law is remarkably self-perpetuating.
In the never ending discussion about how best to engage students Brian Mathews in his blog(the ubibquitous Librarian) discusses social media and using a student to engage other students. Novel approach?
In the pursuit of user-sensitive librarianship
Originally posted May 10, 2011
Using Students to Manage the Social Streams; or How to Use Social Media to Engage Students; or What We’re Trying Next w/ SoMe
Ah yes, social media. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on this topic—a favorite one of regular readers. So what’s new? Well, I’m trying a different approach this upcoming fiscal year. The story goes like this…
A few librarians and myself oversee our social media presence, but honestly, it has not been a priority and minimal effort at best. The main reason is that there are simply too many other things going on—but a secondary reason might be our questions on impact and return on investment (in terms of effort.)
I decided to punt the rest of this year and to start fresh in the summer. Meanwhile, I noticed that the UCSB Recreational Center is very active, particularly with Facebook. They were extremely organized and consistently pushing out a variety of content. I dug into it and found that they hired a student to manage their social media– a digital outreach coordinator.
The short version of the story is that I met with the student and offered her a small stipend to draft her thoughts on using social media to engage students and to make some recommendations for the library. Here is her document: HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO ENGAGE STUDENTS (Kelsey Gagliardi)
She offers some practical “how to” advice from her experience, along with some candid remarks from the student point of view. She emphasizes updating frequently, favors fan pages over groups, says we should own our “place,” and urges interaction with freshmen to build your audience. I especially like how she breaks down the workflow/timeline leading up to an event.
I consider this a new starting point for rethinking our approach, but next up is the actual application. My new approach is to pay one of our senior Circulation Students (art and advertising major) to manage our streams.The core concept is having a student engage other students about the library. Ideally 80% of our social media effort will flow through her, with the rest being administrated by librarians and library staff.
We have many unusual things happening later this year—launching a new website, beginning construction on a major renovation and addition, so there is a lot of content to push out. But I also want to develop regular occurring features—like candid photos of people in the library, a weekly (?) book giveaway to “fans,” library tips, 2 minute videos highlighting various special collections, mini reviews of DVDS and eBooks, etc. Our Housing and Residential Life office has a weekly schedule of content type that I want to build upon. Monday is X, Tuesday is Y, Thursday is Z, etc. Reoccurring themes! I’m thinking things like: scholarship, productivity, culture, leisure, social, community service, etc.
Additionally I want to promote other efforts on campus. The Career Center and all their workshops, the various free talks and performances, tutoring and writing assistance, etc. Tapping into the lifecycle of the student and pushing appropriate content to them,regardless if it is library-orientated or not. I want the Library to be in-the-know on campus affairs.
I’m going to start my student this summer working 3-4 hours per week (on top of her hours at Circ) with the initial objective of interacting with incoming freshmen and flushing out a blueprint/strategy for what we want to accomplish through out social media. A process and brand strategy document.
Ahhh, it’s refreshing to get back into this topic. I’d love to see what others have developed in terms of a scalable and strategic social media plans for academic libraries. I had forgotten how much fun this stuff is!
A big thanks to Kelsey Gagliardi for her work on this project.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education Jeffrey Young discusses the ambivalence of academics towards Social Media
June 19, 2011
Academics and Colleges Split Their Personalities for Social Media
By Jeffrey R. Young
Christian Brady, an associate professor of classics and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University, has created two Twitter accounts, one for personal comments and research (@targuman), and the other for his role as dean (@shcdean).
|@targuman: Modern catechism? “Wireless as a common good.”||@shcdean: If you are an SHC student or alumnus in the DC area this summer can you let me know? I would like to get a dinner together in mid June.|
|@targuman:David Letterman is the best and most underrated interviewer on TV. Interviewing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.||@shcdean: I want to assure you all that the new, gorgeous softball stadium Beard Field is named after a wonderful PSU supporter and not my chin hairs.|
|@targuman:Currently listening to the gutters finally being repaired (fell off in January!). Every clunk and thud makes me think $$.||@shcdean: Students: assuming funding, why wouldn’t you want to study abroad for a full year? Admits are telling me you are afraid to disconnect.|
Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association, recently experienced something of an identity crisis through her use of social media.
Crashed on the couch at home one night, she sat watching the premiere of the PBS documentaryFreedom Riders and tweeting her reactions to the film’s footage of civil-rights activists in the 1960s. After posting more than a dozen updates, she realized she was using the Twitter account she had set up for work, @mlaconvention, referring to the MLA’s annual meeting, where she began using the microblogging service a few years ago. Although nothing she typed was inappropriate, her short messages had little to do with her role as leader of a professional association of language and literature professors and scholars counting 30,000 members.
“I realized after two hours of live-tweeting that that wasn’t MLA-convention tweeting, that was Rosemary Feal, and she better have her own account,” Ms. Feal told me recently. Just a few hours after the documentary ended, she created a second Twitter account, @rgfeal, which she now uses for purely personal observations. She still posts to @mlaconvention for association-related comments. Occasionally she posts a message to both accounts.
Many professors and higher-education leaders are struggling to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives when using online social media, a realm that encourages widespread sharing of thoughts and opinions. Often that means creating multiple accounts, one for each of the hats they wear. Some professors use Facebook with friends and family, reserving Twitter for professional observations, or vice versa. Professors now have what amount to “daily me” networks online, with many outlets.
Colleges themselves are also finding a need to craft multiple identities online, setting up a different Facebook page and Twitter account for every department or research lab. The University of Virginia’s library has 14 Facebook accounts. (One focuses on the science-and-engineering library, another on the fine-arts library, and so on.) Many colleges now count dozens of official Twitter accounts, plus a tangle of pages on Facebook, channels on YouTube, and photo collections on sites like Flickr.
In the past year, more colleges have tried to get a handle on their many online identities, crafting social-networking policies and creating a new job position—social-media strategist—to try to bring some sort of order to the chatter.
Here are five social-networking tips for academics and colleges, distilled from talks with online-savvy professors and social-media experts at several universities.
‘It’s Not Schizophrenic’
Christian Brady, an associate professor of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies and Jewish studies at Pennsylvania State University, has split his social-media identity, as Ms. Feal does. “It’s not schizophrenic and it’s not to hide anything,” he said. Both of his Twitter feeds are public, and he expects that someone who searches for his name on Google will quickly find both his personal feed, @targuman, and the one he uses for his role as dean of the university’s Schreyer Honors College, @shcdean.
Deciding which account to post to is a matter of considering his audience, he says. Those looking to hear from the honors-college dean may have no interest in his research into Targums (ancient Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible), or in his collection of comic books. “I wouldn’t call them multiple identities, but views or perspectives on yourself,” is how he puts it.
Though Facebook was born only a few years ago, Mr. Brady says scholars have long made adjustments in their public personae: “If you’re writing an op-ed piece for the local newspaper, you’re going to use a different tone than if you’re writing for a journal in your discipline.”
Don’t Be Creepy
Some professors use only one Facebook page but wrestle with how open to make that information. One of the most-discussed questions about social networking on campuses is whether or not professors should “friend” their students on Facebook. Mr. Brady’s policy on the issue is one I’ve heard from many professors: He will accept a friend request from any student, but he never makes the first move. “I think it’s a little creepy when the old guy asks his students, Will you be my friend?,” he told me.
Kirsten A. Johnson, an assistant professor of communications at Elizabethtown College, takes the same approach, and she hopes that students who do join her circle of Facebook friends might benefit from seeing her attempt to have a life off campus while teaching. “I try to be a good role model for them—it lets them see that balancing act that I’m able to do outside of the classroom,” she told me. Students checking out her page quickly learn that she’s in a Christian rock band, for instance—something she is proud of but never mentions in class.
There may be a benefit to that kind of sharing. Ms. Johnson recently conducted a survey of 120 students at the college about what they thought of a series of Twitter feeds run by professors. The majority of students found the professors who mixed in personal details with their down-to-business tweets more credible—rating them higher on measures of competence, trustworthiness, and caring. Her theory: Students want to end the semester with a connection to their professors, not just a head full of facts.
Both Ms. Johnson and Mr. Brady acknowledge that there are topics they avoid on their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, knowing that bosses and students might see. “I’m pretty careful about my politics,” says Ms. Johnson. “It’s not for me a political forum. It’s a ‘Hey, get to know me a little better’ forum.”
Faced with those 14 different accounts for UVa’s library, officials there recently created a social-media policy. Charlotte Morford, the library’s director of communications, says the first step was debating whether or not any guidance was needed. “One school of thought that says you can do it in three words: Don’t be stupid,” she told me. The university already has acceptable-use policies for the campus network
The library’s new policy is brief, and while it asks anyone setting up a page or news feed on behalf of a library division to remember a few basic legal issues, and to let the communications office know, it also urges people to “delight” users as well as inform them. “By all means enjoy it, have fun with it, and delight them in the way they’ve come to expect from the Library,” the policy says.
It makes sense to have so many accounts, Ms. Morford argues, because many library divisions and programs that have set up Facebook pages have different audiences, and their leaders have different styles.
Many colleges have established campuswide policies for social media. An early example was Vanderbilt University, which established one last year. It, too, takes a light touch, mainly listing existing acceptable-use policies for computer use, and adding some tips and suggestions for social media. “This environment is about conversations, so you’re not going to be as strict about what you can or cannot say,” says Melanie Moran, associate director of the Vanderbilt News Service.
Do all those online voices make her nervous that someone might say something inappropriate on an official account? Ms. Moran argues that professors will talk online anyway, and in most cases the results are proof of their interests and passions. “That’s more powerful to me than an institutional press release,” she says.
Watch Out for Zombies
The job of updating a Facebook page or Twitter account for a university department is often assigned to a student worker. When the academic year ends and that student has graduated or moved on to another job, though, those pages may stand lifeless, creating a kind of zombie online presence.
“If it’s not active, it’s detrimental,” says Erin Dougherty, who recently became Endicott College’s first digital-marketing coordinator. “It just sort of turns people off if you’re a visitor to go to something that hasn’t been updated in a long time.”
Ms. Dougherty is hunting for zombie accounts on the campus and either recommending they be spiked or finding a permanent point person or group to make sure each one has a pulse.
Fight Twitter Rumors
Messages buzzed through Twitter recently about Vanderbilt’s offer to pay $3,000 for a rare blue-eyed cicada. The messages were a hoax, though, and campus officials turned to the institution’s official Twitter feed to try to exterminate the misinformation.
“You can respond right away to the people who are saying it, and then anyone who follows them can see it,” says Ms. Moran, of Vanderbilt’s news service, who is the point person for the university’s official feed (@vanderbiltu).
After Vanderbilt officials saw the cicada hoax on Twitter, the university used its Web site to respond as well, filing a blog post about the hoax to inform those who might be searching for more information.
To some professors who haven’t yet tried Facebook or Twitter, such stories may seem like a reason to stick with old-fashioned e-mail.
College 2.0 covers how new technologies are changing colleges. Please send ideas to email@example.com or @jryoung on Twitter.
In this blog “doug” discusses Adventures in Bookmarking particularly a new product called “quick note.” His comments follow:
I was so impressed with the iChromy browser from Diigo, that I started to poke around and see if they had developed any other software. I can’t believe that I missed it, but as I looked around the Chrome Web Store, I found a product called Quick Note. Just another notepad, right? Not by a long shot.
First of all, it installs itself in the Chrome browser. It doesn’t take a big reach to see it working this was in the Chrome Operating system as well. (It also works as an extension to Firefox) It appears as an application in the My Apps tab of my Incredible Startpage. When you open the application, you’re in a document.
Nothing too fancy. No formatting, no nothing. So, what’s the attraction?
The attraction is that the note is posted to my Diigo account. Now, that takes bookmarking to a new level. Sure, Diigo is a great bookmarking tool and lets you archive things for later reference. (See the OTR links postings)
But, these saved notes are now available from any computer connected to the internet! I’m thinking of classroom activities where students and teachers use Diigo as a central discussion area. Now, in addition to bookmarks sharing, you have notes sharing. Sure, you could use any of the document sharing resources on the web but with this, it’s all in one place.
I see lots of potential with this. I wish that I had found it earlier!
In case you don’t know much about Diigo here is the home page.
Collect and Highlight, Then Remember
Diigo and Quick Note
Now that you know about Diigo, thought you might be interested to see what the Chrome Web Store looks like. I find I use Chrome primarily as my browser and am interested to see the other apps it has to offer besides Quick Note. Here is the link:
There are many more apps in a wide variety of subjects which can be used on your desktop or mobile device. Pretty cool, huh?
As reported by an online division of the Boston Globe
National Archives hires ‘Wikipedian in Residence’
WASHINGTON—The National Archives has appointed its first “Wikipedian in Residence” to help connect with the Wikipedia community.
The paid summer intern position is based at the Archives II facility in College Park, Md.
The Archives says McDevitt-Parks has more than seven years of Wikipedia editing experience. His job will be to foster collaboration between the Wikipedia community and the National Archives. That could include using some of Wikipedia’s tools for ongoing digitization projects at the archives.
McDevitt-Parks says Wikipedia as the ultimate public history project, and he describes himself as a history buff, news junkie and “word nerd.”
This blog called Worldwise was published in the Chronicle to be used
“as collected wisdom, not advice.”
4 Globally Oriented Tips on Using Social Media
June 9, 2011, 11:28 am
Over the past year, I’ve given talks or moderated sessions on social media in a strange set of cities: Adelaide, Sydney, and Doha. Preparation for those events was often done in the margins of my professional life: In my favorite airplane seat (aisle, exit row), on my laptop at home as I tried to multitask with family time (bad idea), or early in the morning. I’ve scanned more “Ten Tips for Twitter” than I care to think about, read myChronicle colleagues’ excellent stories, and talked to communications and marketing administrators at universities, including many outside of the United States. Now I’d like to take revenge on all those other tip writers with my own, globally oriented version of four social media do’s and don’ts. Think of these as collected wisdom, not advice.
1. Don’t have a social media strategy. Have an institutional strategy. Or an international strategy. Or a combination of both. Then let planning for social media be a servant of those goals.
2. Figure out where your target audience lives. This is global social media 101, but I feel obligated to mention it because I have watched U.S. academics give speeches at international conferences and appear to be oblivious to the basic geopolitical facts of social media. Facebook and Twitter are regularly blocked in China, for instance. So they are probably not such great platforms to recruit Chinese students.
One source of country-by-country information about the popularity of various social media is comScore. Twitter, perhaps because it works well on mobile phones, is popular in developing countries like Brazil, Indonesia, and the Philippines and not just industrialized countries like the Netherlands and Japan. (All five countries just mentioned are in the top 10 countries for Twitter usage.)
3. Add social media to your crisis-communications plan. Most universities have communications plans for when bad things happen, from natural disasters to presidents getting charged with sexual harassment. Having covered events like the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the floods in Queensland, Australia, I can tell you that Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and video blogs by presidents helped institutions to reach journalists in a timely manner in these sorts of situations. When campus servers are down and e-mail and phones are out of service, institutional representatives can still usually get to “the cloud.” And they can use social media to communicate over the heads of journalists and directly to the public when the disaster is negative headlines.
4. Let faculty members and students be your ambassadors. Don’t speak Mandarin or Urdu or Arabic? Guess what, you may have a student or faculty member who does. And many of them may actually like the university they attend or are employed by. At many institutions, savvy marketing administrators are overcoming their fears of “loose cannons” and instead encouraging faculty members to get their ideas out in the social-media marketplace. International offices are encouraging international students to go out and describe their experience. Two examples: Griffith University, in Australia, has used its students to advocate for it in the multi-lingual social-media world. Duke University has both supported and mined the expertise of faculty members who blog. If this content is canned and controlled, it’s awful. If it is genuine, it builds an audience.
One major impression I am left with after spending a fair amount of time learning about social media is that there are an awful lot of “experts” with very thin expertise. I’ve tried not to be one of them. I was going to make this five tips, but I ran out of what felt like fresh or important points to make at four. And I promise that, at least in this space, I will stay quiet on this topic until I learn something else I think is worth saying.
6/10/2011 There’s been a lot from Congress concerning Social Networking issues and this article address how problematic text messaging or SMS is. They have prepared the following report with the summary listed here:
Text and Multimedia Messaging: Emerging Issues for Congress
Checking in on the Library of Congress’ Twitter archive, one year later.
In April 2010, Twitter announced it was donating its entire archive of public tweets to the Library of Congress. Every tweet since Twitter’s inception in 2006 would be preserved. The donation of the archive to the Library of Congress may have been in part a symbolic act, a recognition of the cultural significance of Twitter. Although several important historical moments had already been captured on Twitter when the announcement was made last year (thefirst tweet from space, for example,Barack Obama’s first tweet as President, or news of Michael Jackson’s death), since then our awareness of the significance of the communication channel has certainly grown.
That’s led to a flood of inquiries to the Library of Congress about how and when researchers will be able to gain access to the Twitter archive. These research requests were perhaps heightened by some of the changes that Twitter has made to its API and firehose access.
But creating a Twitter archive is a major undertaking for the Library of Congress, and the process isn’t as simple as merely cracking open a file for researchers to peruse. I spoke with Martha Anderson, the head of the library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIP), and Leslie Johnston, the manager of the NDIIP’s Technical Architecture Initiatives, about the challenges and opportunities of archiving digital data of this kind.
It’s important to note that the Library of Congress is quite adept with the preservation of digital materials, as it’s been handling these types of projects for more than a decade. The library has been archiving congressional and presidential campaign websites since 2000, for example, and it currently has more than 200 terabytes of web archives. It also has hundreds of terabytes of digitized newspapers, and petabytes of data from other sources, such as film archives and materials from the Folklife Center. So the Twitter archives fall within the purview of these sorts of digital preservation efforts, and in terms of the size of the archive, it is actually not too unwieldy.
Even with a long experience with archiving “born digital” content, Anderson says the Library of Congress “felt pretty brave about taking on Twitter.”
Stephen Bell examines academic libraries and social networking. Has it been effective in connecting with students?
What Are We Doing With Social Media? From the Bell Tower
It’s now been several years since academic libraries began dabbling in social media. Are we are any closer to strategically capitalizing on it to improve our relationships with students?
Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA Jun 2, 2011
The application of social media in higher education is in the news because of the attention being garnered by John Maeda, university president at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It seems that Maeda, a tech savvy design expert, sought to have an open, transparent presidency driven by frequent blogs posts and tweets. Maeda played out the strategy well, taking advantage of blogging, Twitter, and YouTube to constantly share his thoughts with students and faculty. It didn’t work out. In this case social media flopped. Maeda now acknowledges that his strategy conflicted with the culture of RISD.
“I ate the Jell-O, I drank the Kool-Aid. But now I realize that what I thought could work in the digital era doesn’t have the same impact locally as it does globally,” he said in an interview. “People don’t want more messages; they want more interactions. There’s no perfect memo where you can press send and get connected, or Facebook group you can join to be committed.”
Librarians sip the Kool-Aid
Early on the academic library community became interested in social media. At first it was MySpace and Facebook, and we rushed to establish a presence in hopes that our students would eagerly seek our virtual friendship even if they were lukewarm to getting to know us personally.
By 2006, our literature began to reflect the movement, with Brian Mathews sharing his experienceat attempting to connect with a segment of students at this institution. Since then there are multiple studies aiming to answer questions related to the impact of social media in academic libraries orwhether students even want to have social media contact with librarians. Academic librarians have also explored YouTube as a vehicle for reaching students virtually, and while most are of questionable value, a very few have gone viral.
Since those early efforts to connect with students in social media, real breakthrough developments have yet to be seen. Yet we still keep plugging along with social media.
What are we up to now?
In more recent years our social media behavior is changing. Rather than simply establishing a presence and hoping students will notice, we’re developing strategies for making the best use of our time in social networks. I’ve taken note of some academic libraries that have social media teams that plan out approaches for different media, recognizing they have unique qualities and that one strategy for all of them may not work.
At my library, a group has worked this spring to establish a more concrete social media plan, and they just recently issued guidelines for coordinating our strategies and establishing a core of social media journalists within the library.
Also, this blogger shared the results of his poll to learn more about libraries using incentives to encourage community members to interact with the library. For example, one academic library has a special gift for any student who becomes Mayor of the library. Another held a contest for the best tweet about the library. At LJ‘s recent Day of Dialog preceeding BEA, a panel of experts discussed what librarians need to do in order to truly engage their communities using social media. Just throwing tweets out willy nilly or randomly posting to Facebook and then dropping away is unlikely to result in a robust community in either forum. The panelists provided suggestions for creating more engaging content, but the overarching message is that getting results with social media depends on well planned strategic deployment.
A new report sheds some light on the state of social media in higher education. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) produced a report titled Best Practices in Social Media. Nearly 1000 colleges and universities were asked how they use social media in order to better understand its use in marketing and the extent to which the tools are being used.
Among the findings, 96 percent used Facebook, 75 percent use Twitter, and 40 to 60 percent use YouTube, blogs, and Flicker. In a bit of a surprise, the main audience for social media is neither current nor prospective students but alumni. By a wide margin Facebook is most heavily favored, and it provides the best results.
One question asked respondents to rank the major barriers to an effective social media strategy. Number one was insufficient staff for managing the day-to-day media strategies. That’s a problem for academic libraries as well. We have great ideas and strategies, but lack the necessary staff to make a social media librarian a more common fixture in academic libraries.
Lessons worth learning
Despite some of the uncertainties about where we are headed with social media we should continue to explore how it might be best used to promote the library, provide a student-preferred communication channel, and contribute to growing a loyal user base. Along the way, we may make some mistakes. When it comes to social media the landscape is littered is bad choices and serious misuse. In his Inside Higher Ed essay titled Beyond Tweets and Blogs, Kevin Tynan reflects on the problems of social media as a higher education marketing tool. He cautions institutions to move carefully with blogs and video, and to avoid worrying about keeping up with the latest trendy social media resource.
With all trends indicating that social media is spreading across all age demographics and becoming a regular part of our daily routines, we can ill afford to pass up opportunities to leverage these tools to connect with our communities. Increasingly, the library plays an important role in supporting social network use as well. In a recent presentation, The Networked Librarian, Lee Rainey shared the latest data and trends in social networking and libraries, and told the audience that “librarians are well adapted for supporting this.” According to Rainey, when librarians engage in social media, through our blogs, videos, and tweets, we serve as content creators and this is going to be increasingly important to our work if we want to engage with all the other content creators out there.
For those of us not already doing so, it’s time to start approaching social networking and the use of social media more strategically to connect its use to specific outcomes. The days of dabbling and experimenting should lead us to a new phase, one in which social media is used with intentional design to improve our libraries. But let us remember the lessons learned the hard way by Maeda. Stay focused on the culture of the community, and remember that people want more than messages—they want engagement and interaction.
Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, will be the incoming vice president/president-elect of ACRL. For more from Steven visit his blogs, Kept-Up Academic Librarian, ACRLog and Designing Better Libraries or visit his website.
In a very informative article David Lee King gives very specific reasons and procedures for libraries to set up and maintain a Facebook account to further reach their users from American Libraries Magazine:
Facebook for Libraries
It’s easy to use social media’s most popular tool to connect with your communityPosted Fri, 05/27/2011 – 08:01
Today, I spent part of the day connecting with people. I complained about a silly election video, chatted with a college friend about a band, and put some finishing touches on plans for a conference taking place at the library.
I did all this through Facebook. These days, it seems like everyone has a Facebook account. Quite a few of my professional colleagues and most of my family have Facebook accounts. Nationally, I’m a bit ahead of the curve: Approximately 41% of the U.S. population has a personal Facebook profile, according to a 2010 study from Edison Research (PDFfile). According to Wikipedia, 50% of those Facebook users actually log into their Facebook accounts every day. Total Facebook population? Globally, over 600 million of us currently use Facebook,MSNBC reported in January, and most of them interact every day with an average of 130 Facebook friends and acquaintances.
Think about that for a second. What library wouldn’t love to have a direct, free line to potentially 41% of your community’s ear? Keep in mind, these people could be connected to another 130 people in your community. That’s a lot of free communication!
So, stake a claim in this digital land and create a Facebook Page for your library. Here’s how to set up a Facebook account, and how to use it to connect with your community.
Setting it up
First things first: If you are one of the 59% of Americans who have not yet opened a personal Facebook account, I recommend that you create a personal Facebook profile for yourself before setting up an organizational Facebook Page for your library. Think of it as your entrance ticket to all things Facebook.That Facebook profile can be real or fake (although, if you set up a fake profile, and Facebook discovers it, your account will be deleted). It’s best to set up a real, live, personal account of your very own; you’ll find it useful for other things than just setting up a Facebook Page for your library.
Once you’ve created a Facebook profile for yourself, you can start working on an organizational Facebook Page. This part is easy—simply go towww.facebook.com/pages/ and click the “Create Page” button. Voìla! You have a new Facebook Page.
Actually, it’s not quite that easy. There is some information you have to add first. You have to provide the name of your organization and pick an organization “type.” Facebook doesn’t provide many choices here. Your best bets are “government” or “nonprofit” which are both located in the “company, organization, or institution” pull-down menu. Make sure to check the box marked “I’m the official representative of this person, business, band, or product and have permission to create this Page.”
After you have gathered 25 fans, you can create a unique username and shortened URLfor your library’s Facebook Page. Most likely, you’ll want to shorten your library’s name. For example, my library’s official name is Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. We frequently shorten that online to TopekaLibrary. So, our Facebook PageURL is www.facebook.com/topekalibrary—short and simple.
After you’ve filled out all the introductory information, like your address, phone number, hours, etc., then stop. Before you do much more to your fledgling Facebook Page, you need to figure out a couple of things:
- Who will do the work of the Page, like posting updates?
- Who will answer questions?
- Will you use the Events section of the account? If so, who will post events?
- How often will you post updates? Who keeps track of user names and passwords?
Figure out those practical details, and also create some one-year goals for your Facebook presence. Goals can include how many status updates you plan to post per day/week or how many fans you want. You can also discuss more difficult issues, like what types of content you will post and which specific audience will be your focus.
Once your library’s Facebook Page is created, you can start thinking about how you might customize the library’s Facebook presence for your customers.First, gather your Facebook team. It’s a good idea to have more than one person manage your Facebook Page. Why? The goal with a Facebook Page is to start and continue conversations about your staff and your stuff—and conversations require responses. Monitoring conversations and creating responses when needed is best handled by more than one person, so you can adequately cover the day’s interactions. On another level, it allows you to spread out the work … and the fun.
Once your Facebook team is established, they can look at those one-year goals and figure out the best way to meet them. Maybe you decided you want pictures and videos of library events on the Page. Great! There’s an easy way to connect your library’s Flickr and YouTube accounts to your Facebook Page via status updates. That way, when you post a new video in YouTube, a link also appears on your Facebook wall and gets sent to all your Facebook followers.
This can be done with pretty much any type of content that has an RSS feed: your library’s blog, Twitter account, etc. The hard part isn’t setting up automatic posting updates; it’s figuring out what to share and what not to share.
For example, ask yourself questions such as: “Do I want to send all my library’s tweets to Facebook, or just some of them?” Both are easy to do—it really depends on who your Facebook users are.
Same thing with events. If your library doesn’t already have an events calendar, Facebook Events can fill that need. If you already have a way to share events on your website, you might decide to pick and choose, and only post some to Facebook Events.
Here is the great thing about sharing content like blog posts, videos, or upcoming events via Facebook: Your Facebook followers can share that content, which will let alltheir Facebook friends see that update and read about it if they’re interested.
I asked some of my Twitter followers what works on their library’s Facebook Page. Jamie Hollier of the Colorado State Library says that during her directorship of the Delta County (Colo.) Libraries, “Using Facebook to post events brought new users to events by making our users the advocates.” It works like this: Let’s say you post an upcoming event in Facebook as a status update. Five of your “fans” share the event. If they each have 130 Facebook friends, that information was just, in essence, forwarded to 650 more Facebook users—most of whom are likely to live in or near your community. When your library’s Facebook followers share the library’s content, they are acting as a type of advocate for the library by helping spread its message.
You can also focus on specific audiences. Facebook Pages have Facebook Insights—daily, weekly, and monthly statistics that provide a snapshot of your Facebook audience. This information can be used to find out just who your audience is. For example, at my library’s Facebook Page, 71% of visitors are female (over 40% are ages 25–44). That tells me that we can focus on adult females and customize our content for that user group. (Maybe we already are!)
By using the power of Facebook, your library just increased its reach … for free. Not bad!
Connecting with people
In Facebook, conversation is a huge draw—it’s a primary activity of most Facebook users. Rochelle Hartman, information services coordinator at La Crosse (Wis.) Public Library, agrees. At LCPL, staff members “post things designed to invite conversation. It’s been a lot more successful than [our] website,” Hartman tweeted.The status update box is your main point of connection to your local Facebook crowd. Keeping your library’s status updated is real work, and it takes time to do right. Toby Greenwalt of Skokie (Ill.) Public Library says “daily engagement—keeping up a steady flow of content and conversation—is key.” To keep up that steady flow of content, you have to devote staff to adding content to your Facebook Page.
You also need to work on being personable online. Make sure your status updates read like something you’d say out loud. Sometimes, it helps to actually say your status updates aloud. If it’s not phrased like something you would say in conversation, edit away. The more conversational you sound, the more opportunities for conversation you’ll have.
Once you have figured out how to approach conversation, start asking questions. Nicole Pagowsky of the Dallas County (Tex.) Community College District’s El Centro Library agrees. Colleagues in her workplace find that “asking questions [is] more successful than just making announcements,” she says.
Be witty. Share really interesting stuff about your library and the information found there. For example, at TopekaLibrary, asking about books really encourages comments. People love sharing their favorite authors, or which books they’d want if they were shipwrecked on a desert island (the Bible and a book on building a sailboat from scratch were popular choices).
Give your Facebook community the content they want, and they will become your fans. Even more importantly, they’ll start interacting. My guess? Get that interaction going, and your customers—the ones wanting to interact with you in Facebook Pages—will become advocates for you and your library—not only online, but in person, too.
DAVID LEE KING is digital branch and services manager for the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library.
How Libraries can use 2.0
In another great blog from Lone Wolf in a beautiful Power Point presentation is demonstrated how different social networking sites can be used to engage teenagers and form a partnership between libraries and the technology that students are using–Twitter, MySpace, Blogs, Wikis, etc. and libraries. It is called:
Leveraging Social Media to Reach Your School Library Users Where They Live by melissa corey, lms april 2011 CC-licensed image via http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/41864721@N00/4359012810/ maslFriday, April 15, 2011
Check out the URL below–it will be worth it.
About Open Library
One web page for every book ever published. It’s a lofty but achievable goal.
To build Open Library, we need hundreds of millions of book records, a wiki interface, and lots of people who are willing to contribute their time and effort to building the site.
To date, we have gathered over 20 million records from a variety of large catalogs as well as single contributions, with more on the way.
Open Library is an open project: the software is open, the data are open, the documentation is open, and we welcome your contribution. Whether you fix a typo, add a book, or write a widget–it’s all welcome. We have a small team of fantastic programmers who have accomplished a lot, but we can’t do it alone!
Since I have gained a lot of information through Twitter I found this to be relevant for library use today:
- Posted by Andy Burkhardt, April 26, 2011
Twitter has been working pretty well at our library. It is coming up on two years since our first tweet. I have been thinking a lot lately about how we use Twitter and our successes and shortcomings with it. Looking back on tweets, conversations, and interactions from the past year and a half, I noticed 7 ways that we are leveraging Twitter to improve our library, our services, and our relationships with users. We are leveraging Twitter to:
Report library happenings
If the library is closing early due to weather or if a printer is down, we can communicate via Twitter, among other channels. If we are having events like an international photo contest or a chili cook off, we can let people know. It’s also helpful to let people know when new displays, art, or exhibits are put up. I like to post an update every time we put up our new book display for the month as well as post a picture of a particularly interesting cover.
Promote library resources/services
When we get new interesting resources, we let people know via Twitter. When we got Mango languages, I posted it to Twitter and people retweeted the post and asked about it a lot. I also even simply promote our print collection at relevant times. On St. Patrick’s Day I posted this tweet promoting Oscar Wilde’s short fiction. About half an hour later a student came up from the stacks with a James Joyce title and said he was inspired by the library’s Twitter post.
Looking at the statistics for our library Twitter account, 31% of all our tweets are retweets. That means that at least third of the content, ideas, and events we’re promoting are not our own. Last week we relayed a message from a student about the Vagina Monologues production that was going to be happening on campus. We also have posted information about the human versus zombiesgame that occurs every fall (for more info about this fairly awesome game, go here). Libraries are hearts of the community, so of course we want to promote what other people are doing. One of our strategic goals at the library is “foster a sense of campus community” and Twitter helps us to do that.
Engage our users
We don’t simply use twitter as a bullhorn though either. We try to engage members of our community. I post news articles of relevance and ask questions. I also noticed when people are working on papers or projects and do what I can to encourage them or help them. Below is an interaction where a student was writing a business paper on virtual teams, and it was an opportunity for the library to help.
You check for comments or make your own here or there. I welcome your feedback