Social Media Monopoly (aka I love a good graphic)

It’s a rainy day and you and your friends are bored. What better way to pass the time than a game of Monopoly! Better yet, why not try the Social Media version? (spotted over at Flowtown) You could be the next social media mogul. Click on the image to enlarge.

Social Media Monopoly

Social Media Monopoly

Social media inside your enterprise

Interesting post entitled 5 Reasons to Do Social Media Inside the Enterprise

Highlight –

•60% –> the amount of time the average worker spends being social (collaborating) in pursuit of goals (Dion Hinchcliffe)
•40% –> Amount of a creative team’s productivity MIT researchers found to be directly attributable to social interaction (MIT)
•7% –> Average productivity increase among employees with extensive digital networks (MIT)
•30% –> Average productivity increase among employees with extensive face-to-face networks (MIT)
•20% –> Average increase in employee satisfaction among companies that implemented social media tools (McKinsey)

Go have a look at the other reasons.

Facebook accessories

How much time do you spend networking on Facebook? Would you like more Facebook in your life? Lucky for you, then, as there are a range of Facebook accessories to suit your everyday life – from coffee mugs and birthday cards, to wall decals and (my personal favourite) like and dislike stamps (what teacher worth their salt wouldn’t want to use these instead of the outdated pass/fail system?).

Like or dislike?

Like or dislike?

There are more Facebook accessories for your viewing – and consuming – pleasure over at Mashable.

Social Media – what is it good for

I have pushed the uses of social media for libraries fairly consistently. Mainly as I see there are many benefits to librarians, such as:

  • Improved staff ICT skills
  • Improved access to information both within the library community and from the public
  • Improved communication with readers/users/customers/clients/ ‘stakeholders’ (you choose your term of preference)
  • Ability to demonstrate to managers/funders that we are responsive, transparent and technically proficient
  • Receiving new content, ideas, help

But what is the user benefit in most library social media?

  • They get to have library promotion directed at them
  • They get to share a community with other library users and library staff
  • They sometimes get to communicate their opinions/needs/requests/ to library staff

But, is this enough and is it working.

What I have mostly seen in libraries is social media used to advertise what we are doing, rather than ask readers what they are doing or showing how they can contribute. When providing destinations or contact points we need to remember:

  • The social media destination or contact point is for them not us
  • We need to supply content and not just promotion
  • We need to seek content and not just comments
  • We need to give users the tools they need to contribute
  • We need to supply some benefit for their engagement
  • We need to show that we are listening and adapting to whatever comes back to us

Crowdsourcing is hugely popular in many instances (and sometimes not). Where it works is when people are given a real and defined function or activity to do and the tools to do it. Where it doesn’t work is where people are asked to contribute but are given limited perameters on what is required and what the final outcome or result of their input will be.

Social media use, also needs to have a clearly defined purpose if it is to be successful beyond being a promotional tool.

Using Flickr as an example, some libraries:

  • Have no Flickr page
  • Have a Flickr page with their own photos on showing their activities (some without even a basic CC licence)
  • Have a Flickr page with their own photos on, and invite their users to join created Groups to add their photos too
  • Have a Flickr page with their own photos on, and invite their users to join created Groups to add their photos too and then add those deposited photos to their catalogues, websites, competitions and local history collections, etc.

This last use of Flickr is what is best practice usage. Libraries get content and community goodwill, users get acknowledgment, preservation of their photos and communal pride. The other uses are essentially pointless. There is no great benefit to your users in putting your library photos on Flickr, there is no great benefit in creating groups that exist only in Flickr and do not go to a greater purpose.

The same can be said of your Facebook page, unless you are using it to keep your ‘like’ audience engaged it is just another promotional tool.  Keeping your users engaged means more than sending an update every week or even day. It means organising by directly messaging all your ‘like’ members about areas where they can assist or contribute or join in. For example, on facebook a public library could organise an online reading club, where readers join and decide on what ebook to read, discuss the book online, send each other updates on reading, send each other links to more information on the author, film adaptations, reviews anything.

So it is with Twitter, is there a staff member sending the occasional promotional tweet . Or, is there a staff member who is keeping watch on Twitter, engaging in time, responding to tweets.

All this is not to say that there is no promotional role for libraries in social media. Library promotion is a valuable  function, and apart from staff time is free.

Glastonbury Festival goes social

The Glastonbury Festival, a long running music and performing arts festival (this year’s Festival is the 40th), has embraced social media this year. The Festival has its own blog and also developed an interactive mobile app. to help attendees plan and navigate their way around, and make sure they saw all of the hottest acts in the lineup. During the festival, a HUGE photo of festival goers (around 70,000 people) was snapped and is now being tagged via Facebook. Mashable have labelled the enormous photo tagging effort as a Where’s Waldo for the digital age” – tag yourself, tag your friends … if you can find them! So far just over 2,500 individuals have been tagged.

Use social media or leave

The BBC tells it staff to keep up with new social media technologies or leave. See the news story in The Guardian here

This isn’t just a kind of fad from someone who’s an enthusiast of technology. I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary

– Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News

Privacy 2.0

You’ve heard it all before: there’s a fine balance to be struck between sharing personal information and oversharing information that might put you at risk.

A large proportion of people use social media and, in doing so, give up some degree of their privacy. But is is a choice. In return for giving their information to a website/organisation, they get something in return – a service, the ability to see what other people have shared and to continue sharing information with others as freely, or as restricted, as they choose. Well, that’s the theory – of course this is somewhat dependent on the terms and conditions written into the service that you’re using. The Economist points out that there is a continued tension between the service provider (for example, Facebook) and their users in what kinds of information should be available and to whom (to only certain people selected by the user, to only friends, to friends of friends, to external application providers etc).

Over on the Facebook blog, there’s an interesting piece with snippets from a range of privacy professionals from around the globe that is well worth a read.

If you’re concerned about your privacy, and where your online information is going, look for the terms and conditions on their site or contact the service provider directly and, while you’re at it, check out the Australian Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s website which has some great information about your rights and private information.

On privacy

Where do you draw the line on privacy in a social media age? In the US, there is growing concern about what kinds of information the CIA might be collecting about it’s citizens who use various social media tools. There is even a court case in the works which is seeking to encourage the US Government to disclose just what information it is collecting and how this affects a person’s right to privacy. Information shared on social media sites have been used in criminal investigations. Recently, information shared on Facebook led to the arrest of a man who made death threats aginst the son of Columbian President Alvaro Uribe.

No matter what side of the law you fall on, users need to be aware that the information they share can be accessed by a range of people and may be used in ways they never intended. Depending on how comfortable you are with the information you’re sharing, you may want to share a little or a lot … like this couple in the US who stopped mid wedding ceremony to update their Twitter and Facebook statuses. Don’t believe me? Watch the video on YouTube!

Also in the works is a new camera device which a user wears and takes a picture every 30 seconds. Read what Mashable‘s Pete Cashmore has to say on this “life logging” device and the implications for privacy and social media over at CNN.

What is Web 2.0?

This video has been around for a while but it nicely sums up some of the underlying ideas of Web 2.0, as well as hinting at the kinds of issues that new developments in technology will bring. I particularly like the video’s distinction between form and content – RDA eat your heart out!

Presentation developed by Dr. Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography, Kansas State University

Swine flu

Pigs protect themselves in Adelaide's Rundle Mall (va email)

Pigs protect themselves in Adelaide's Rundle Mall (via email)

With the recent outbreak of swine flu and the overload of information available from so many information channels, including over 10,000 tweets on Twitter per hour, what is the best way to keep track of what’s happening? Over at Mashable, there’s an interesting article suggesting a few ways to manage the information as it comes to hand.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US is embracing Web 2.0 technologies to spread the word and has a full run down of the 101 ways in which you can get information about the swine flu outbreak from them (including widgets, e-cards, podcasts and video feeds, RSS and mobile updates to name just a few).

You can also find the latest official Australian government responses to the outbreak on the Department of Health and Ageing’s website, as well as the latest updates.

The World Health Organization is also updating information daily on its website, and mapping the spread of the disease (example of the spread from the WHO, 5 April 2009) .