I’m the first to admit, I love social media stuff. I’ve been on Twitter for almost 5 years, I (slightly grudgingly) eventually joined Facebook around the same time, and have played with all sorts of thing in between, from Formspring to Pinterest.
However – my use of all those sites is almost exclusively personal (apart from Twitter, which is actually heavily weighted towards work-relevant networks). There’s not actually much need that I can see to do anything involving social media in its current form for my own library service. I do enjoy reading about how academic and public libraries are furthering the use of their resources and exploring how to best use sites, using Facebook to inform users about events and service specifics, Twitter to respond to individuals, and Pinterest to collate interesting visual materials…but it just doesn’t work in my situation.
As a corporate librarian, I’m in a very different position from a public or academic librarians, in relation to sharing resources. Those types of services are set up to spread information, and allow as many people as possible to benefit from their resources, partially because the people using the resources are also helping to fund them (either through tuition fees or taxation). In a corporate library, the employing organisation has invested from their own funds to create their own library service, and properly staff it. A lot of time and effort is spent in a corporate library to create resources that are tailored to the needs and demands of internal service users, and which are therefore a valuable business asset, and definitely not a thing which could be shared. Corporate libraries cannot be sociable outside their own body – their work is for the benefit of their own, internal users only, the exact reverse of the situation for public and academic libraries.
And if it were possible to use social media in a manner suitable for sharing externally (eg for marketing purposes, which the library may have involvement in), most of the social media sites are based on the model of free sharing, e.g. Pinterest (although this has its own copyright-infringement issues, due to the sites enabling of such easy online sharing), or sites which are free because they carry advertising. This throws up all sorts of issues for a firm – what if the adverts on a free site were for an offensive service/company, or for a competitor of a client? By having firm-linked material on the same page, we could look like we were endorsing a client competitor. What if we accidentally infringed copyright on Pinterest by using an image that seemed freely and legally available, but in reality wasn’t? It could be a highly risky activity to be involved in.
Corporate library services basically have to be faceless, neutral, and non existent on social media.
So…don’t think I’m being unsociable if I’m not joining in with these discussions and experiments, but just remember: for every interesting public use of social media, there’s probably a corporate librarian watching it all, feeling frustrated that they can’t join in with the fun stuff…
Any other library service types out there unable to be sociable?
I’m such a copycat: I saw Karen Blakeman’s visual LinkedIn network on her blog, and thought I’d see what mine looked like…
Yes, I’m the type of gal who likes to mess about and try new tools and sites. So, nine months ago, Formspring seemed like an amusing timewasting tool – people can ask you questions, either putting their name to them (usually a Twitter name), or anonymously. You then can answer them, and post the responses in your Formspring stream, either for the world to see, or only to your followers (I’m not sure if this was originally an option). You can also follow other people, and ask them questions too, so it can be quite interactive.
So, the imminent death of Bebo has been announced. I say death, as it seems unlikely anyone will want to buy an ailing social networking website in an English-speaking market dominated by Facebook .
It’s that time of year again. This year’s Christmas networking meeting will be held on Wednesday 9th December at 4pm in the SSC Library. Christine Wilcox has kindly offered to be host again and the meeting will be sponsored by Avizandum.
We will be sticking to our usual “speed networking” format followed by the ever-popular “mulled wine and mince pies” format.
If you would like to come please let me know and if you have any suggestions for discussion topics, even better.
Have you noticed the little ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ icons underneath those ads that appear (in new-look Facebook) along the right hand side of your screen?
Facebook allows you to rate these adverts, as shown in the text of the popup displayed below:
Tell us what you think
Why didn’t you like this ad?
Thanks for your feedback. Over time, this information helps us deliver more relevant ads to our users.
I have been studiously grading the adverts I get over the past few days, marking almost all of them as either ‘uninteresting’ or ‘irrelevant’, and actually, the amount of ads I’m now seeing for ‘miracle diets’ (wow, there’s an incredible range of insane diets out there!) , debt management companies, ‘free’ stuff, ways to live like a celebrity, fundraising as a mother (why that one for me? I don’t have kids, unless I’ve got really impressive amnesia), local foods in Birmingham, floristry courses at Bournville College, ways to fix bad credit ratings, credit card offers, accident compensation claims companies, and teeth whitening gels seems to be dropping off slightly.
But only slightly. I’m still seeing the same ads that I’ve graded as either ‘uninteresting’ or ‘irrelevant’ reappearing in the ad area. So what exactly are Facebook doing with my feedback?
Oh, wait, I’ve just noticed…now I have an advert for an “all natural loss product”…with no thumbs to rate it. I think Facebook has made a decision for me on what I really find irrelevant and uninteresting….