Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Facebook Fun

The twopointopians are always wetting their knickers over Facebook and other "social networking" sites. They want to stick their smiley librarian faces all over the Internet in the hope that some teen desperate for a "friend" will give them a super poke. The question, though, is how do these smiley librarians measure success? How do they know when their Facebook antics have worked? Maybe the answer is to get more of the kiddies into the library. That would be fun! We're fun people! I think the smiley twopointopian librarians will know they've successfully socially networked when their library ends up looking like this.

35 comments:

T Scott said...

There's been a flood of librarians flocking to Facebook (or is that a flock of librarians flooding Facebook) over the past three months. I assume that's an indication that Facebook is on the way out.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but just makes you look so hip when you present about it a conference never mind the fact that nobody looked at it in-reality.

retrojayne said...

AL, I love your snarky ways, but this is not unique to social-networking young people.

I grew up in a county with many affluent types, and house-trashing is a time-honored tradition among the young, rich and stupid. One young man saw his parents' brand-new, not-completely finished house complete destroyed from the inside out, including a toilet from the upstairs bath being thrown out the window. A friend of mine also had a huge party which others found out about, and the resulting chaos ended up on the front page of the regional paper.

Dances With Books said...

Of course, notice also her invitation to the party:

>>Describing it as the “party of the year” she wrote on the sites: “Theres gone be a lot of alcohol an amazing DJ.”<<

Scary thing is we know a few librarians who write just like that as well. Like T. Scott says, if the librarians are flocking, it must be on the way out. Personally, I think FB jumped the shark the minute they opened it to everybody and their grandmother.

And for the record, yes, I have used FB. That way the 2.0pendejos can't whine "you can't talk unless you try it" b.s.

Laura said...

Well, I'm a student in MLS (we call it MSIS), and I have facebook to keep in touch with those whom I see as valuable networking contacts. I only have facebook, and I really do use it more to keep in contact with professionals than my friends. Does this make me a selfish twopointopian? I just want a job when I finish school! A decent job that won't make me jealous of the untrained monkeys that will inevitably make more money than I will (yes, I am preparing myself).

You just poke someone every month or so, and hopefully they'll remember you next year when you are trying to get a job for which they are on the search committee. No, that isn't all the networking I do, but it helps keep you on the radar.

So, because I want to stay in this particular area and don't want to be shipped to whatever job you next advertise in your "Worst Job Ever" post, I'll use anything at my disposal to keep my name on any list I can. Even if I have to keep poking everyone on the planet!

I do admit to being far to lazy to poke everyone on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1996, I learned the power of instant messaging for teenagers when my 15 year old son asked if he could invite a few people over to shoot off fireworks at New Year's. Over 400 kids showed up. And this kid, while popular, did not have the organizational skills to get 10 people together via phone.

AL, we could fill libraries with teenagers via FaceBook if we offered alcohol to them--there's no way we could get them in for appropriate library activities.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Minks said...

Librarians are setting up facebook accounts? Not the librarians I know. Most of them are internet phobic data neophytes. I would be thrilled if they would set up a facebook account. But alas, if they did, no doubt they would have to call me over,, 15 times each, for help doing it. If only all librarians had the ability and willingness to set up facebook accounts. I can dream.

I party-wrecked a $3 million dollar house once. That was a good night. Got home with somebody else's underpants on. Now how does THAT happen?

Anonymous said...

AL, where's the snark? The humor beyond the typical anti-twopointopian sneers? I come here expecting wry, cynical, and guaranteed to make me laugh. This was a weak, poorly considered post. Please to reacquire vigor, condescension, and snark posthaste.

Scribe said...

You should come to my blog, because I wrote a post not long ago called "Libraries aren't Cool". While it does not have a reference to drunk teenagers, it does refer to the "let's be just like teenagers" phenomenon that libraries are going through.

Anonymous said...

So Minks, from your profile, it says you are management and information systems...could that be why people ask you to help them with their facebook pages and other technical questions?

We all seek information in different ways - not every librarian is going to be a technical whiz and not every user is going to want a technical whiz. As my wise old dad says, "it takes all kinds."

a nonny-like moose said...

Having a librarian on AIM is more effective.

Tim Reynolds said...

You know, if the twopointopians were all that smart about social networks, we would be seeing articles on how to use open social network software to layer a social network, over your catalog or website.

But wait that would mean your not cool, and you cant come up with a good excuse to be on “facebooke.” Seriously, a social network applied to the library website, would at least have a direct impact on the library statistics for home page views, and it would develop a library community, not just teenagers who want to poke around. It would also allow for reader advisories, and other library activities.

Oh wait I stepped into reality. I forgot. I work some place where the tech department has Imacs crashing 3 times a week, my mistake. If any twopointopian want to give the idea a try I loved to hear the results. Even if I am wrong.

I'm Kat! said...

But old people on Myspace and Facebook is just...weird...and they act funny too...they just don't "get" it!

And then the old people try to infuse this "Maturity" thing into the whole thing and tell us our flashy Vegas Strip style Pages are "poor Design" and "Hard to look at" and "Impossible to read."

Adults want the networking content to look like all the regular Times and MSNBC and Blog pages too???

Come on now, since when was the Y/Z generation Worried about "CONTENT???" [Ok, OK, there is the "hey, what's the alchohol content in this one?" question but I don't think that is QUITE what we're after here!]

Anyhow...

Check out www.alexa.com for site statistics about Facebook and compare them with Myspace. The two juggernauts are butting heads.

If you are a parent, you need to get on the Social Networking/MMORPG/Game sites your kids visit regularly ASAP. You want to especially find the chat areas on these sites - chat isn't necessarily in Chat format anymore, your kids are using Blogs and Forums as their chat interfaces instead. If you post a reply in a blog and a second person replies two seconds later, you can get a dialog going. If there are 10 people looking the blog at once, and refreshing the page every 3 seconds - or after each time they post a response, a dialog DOES occur.

Find out what sites they visit, find the chat arenas, and "be a roman" for a couple hours. You will learn far more then ever wanted to!! You might even run into your Kid's Character, or people who know your kid Rather TOO well!!

Don't bust them right away - watch them, follow them online for a couple months/weeks. Ok, Days might be long enough to make you bust your lid.

You taught them soooo well - did your kid just say THAT on the internet???? And all this time you thought they were miss/mr innocent!!!

Librarians take store: you should be stocking more of those Clandestine Harleqium Romances!!

I still don't see why libraries and corporate entites are joing social netwroking sites - these sites are really geared towards Private, Personal Social Expression, and not towards the Corporate Dictatorships [you WILL be here at 7:30 AM, you WILL dress in a gray suit with a gray tie, you WILL Nod your head and Smile, You WILL NOT speak or say anything at all other then "This company is very good" or "I am happy to be a worker here" at all whether here at work or anyplace else! We OWN you down to your Personality, your Self Expression, AND your Soul! You have a Myspace page? You WILL NOT work here!] who seem to be edging more into our private Freedom of expression rights by an increasing margin by the day.

Rights are not Priveleges. ;)

I'm Kat! said...

Tim Reynolds, you have a good idea there - a PRACTICAL use of the socal networking structure!!

Now go find a couple of kids to PROGRAM IT for you!!!

[Hey, they may even work for beer!]

Minks said...

Anon @ 1:11

Yea, that is why they all come to me. But, that does not change the fact it would be better for librarianship if they did not have to. Some of the things they come to me about are just plain embarrassing. We have to keep demand for librarians up. Having tech illiterate Librarians in our ranks is not a way to do it (see my blog for way more info).

Like you said,, "it takes all kinds"... I would move that it takes fewer of some then others. =P

Anonymous said...

"Having a librarian on AIM is more effective."

I just wish the people using our restrooms would aim.

Seriously, you people work at weird libraries. The people working here are all pretty savvy. Having said that, facebook accounts are a useless waste of time. And have you looked at the touted library blogs. No one comments on them.

Anonymous said...

BTW, by library blogs I mean libraries that provide blogs, not blogs for librarians.

Anonymous said...

I'm a middle-aged librarian with a Facebook page, not really "hip" but not stodgy either. But mostly, my 'friends' are other librarians. I've showed it to a couple of freshmen English classes and the response I get are looks that range from "you're joking" to "that's nice." Not one student has requested that I be their 'friend' which is ok--I'm not offended. I'm not going to introduce my page any longer unless someone asks--if they find it, that's great. Otherwise, it really is kind of a waste of my time. On the other hand, one of the professors here is friended all of the time. Maybe it's me?????? I don't think so--I think college kids just think it's weird for a librarian to have a Facebook page, especially if the librarian invites you to be their friend.

Tim Reynolds said...

I have had a myspace page since it first came out...yea at one time I was cutting edge. Nobody would read my blogs etc. I was alone in myspace. Then after one blog my readership jumped. Hundreds of people were reading my blogs. I felt approval. Then I saw one of the kids at the library looking at my profile. Oh no the kids had found my account. I bet it was a good laugh and I quickly set it to private.

Can you guess the lesson here

Minks said...

Tim,,, um,,, don't eat squirrel meat?

Chris Clouser said...

>>You know, if the twopointopians were all that smart about social networks, we would be seeing articles on how to use open social network software to layer a social network, over your catalog or website.


I think that would fall into the creepy treehouse zone, though - creating a site that emulates existing sites in order to lure kids in...

Of course, now that I think about it, the "creepy treehouse" meme is going to cause trouble...

Anonymous said...

My library has a MySpace page but I doubt that is why the teens have become increasingly unruly in the past few months. At this point the police have become almost daily visitors. I wish these kids would spend all of their time on social networking sites since it would keep them stationary and occupied.Perhaps I should try setting up bogus profiles to lure them to fictitious parties on the other side of town.

Brian said...

AL-- Why stop at Facebook? Why not better assessment and accountablity for everything we do?

Anonymous said...

Libraries should never try to be cool. The best you can manage is "We know we aren't cool, but we aren't that uncool either. Just ordinary.". This is because anything remotely 'cool' being uttered by a librarian is automatically deemed to be a sham, just librarians trying to be 'hip' (note use of very outdated concept of cool). We sometimes find this a hard balance to maintain as our own idioms could be misconstrued as attempts to be 'cool' which we don't want, so we sometimes have to try to make ourselves a bit more boring than usual, so as to not appear to try to be cool. Phew.
On the specific subject of using social networking sites to lure teens, it so doesn't work for our book club - we already have them in our clutches, but do you think we can get them to talk about books online? No, they say, lets sit around in person and talk about books. Weird. No 'digital natives' amongst our teens.

T.Deslivres said...

Lots of interesting comments for this article !

I'm especially interested in two comments from, I suppose, two different Anonymous about librarians trying to be cool when they should just admit to being ordinary - as ordinary is what we are just like everything else I suppose, even the people that come to visit our libraries (whether they realize it or not). Trying to find a balance to that effect online is not easy, as we now live in a world where a growing number of things, mostly unessential ones, are hyped as "extraordinary" - which in turn desensitizes our audience and makes it more tempting for us to bite the bait of coolness to promote all the reasons why we actually are cool - even though not many realize that.

Another Anonymous comments that "Facebook accounts are a total waste of time" - after a few months of trying out the service I'm tempted to join on that account. What I'm almost completely convinced is useless for now is Librarian groups on Facebook, at least within the French community. The one I joined out of curiosity (one of the bigger ones by number of members) is about as twittery as a graveyard and its Wall - or main page, if you will - is more often used by recruitment companies with poor wording for Information Sciences jobs than anything else. Participating into debates within the group's forums ? Other members apparently will have none of that, not even their founder - hopefully because they are busy working in their library instead of keeping their online group alive. I do not blame them - I do believe, however, that this shows how much (at least in my country) some (most ? Will need figures and statistics) librarians can assume that just having an account somewhere is already half of the job.

And then there are those like me and a few others of my generation who have a Facebook account for personal reasons, know how to use their computers and tools and don't e-mail Minks (or his/her French equivalent) for help on how to use it ;)

Anonymous said...

People have mostly been commenting here about Facebook and MySpace -- what about SecondLife? I don't have an account there yet, but will be setting one up soon. I know there are librarian activities there... but don't know much about what they are. It seems to me that I'd rather use it for personal reasons rather than professional, at least at first. Just don't know as much about it, but have seen it in action and it appears to be very habit forming.

Anonymous said...

Better learn about Second Life--that will be the only place to get a library job!

Anonymous said...

There is a "book wanted" section of Facebook and I discovered someone begging for a book we had right here in the library. Think of this as customer service in reverse, meaning I went looking for problems and sure enough found them.

Of course this begs the question why didn't the person check the library first? Your brain can be put to better use AL helping me solve this problem.

Leslie said...

Haven't entered the Facebook or MySpace realm and have no desire to. (will happily do it though if someone holds a gun to my head).

I think it far better to be a real live human being. We're a small school and I'm the librarian most students meet in IL sessions. I would much rather interact with the students one-on-one than mess around in their sandbox. So far the vast majority would rather visit me than e-mail, IM or telephone.

Anonymous said...

I have asked the Annoyed Librarian to marry me, yet, she has said nothing - as if I never asked. I'm sure if she met me she'd be less annoyed.

Anonymous said...

I have seen libraries and librarians setting up shop in second life but at the moment i just don't 'get it'. I'm 24, so it isn't like i'm 80yrs old and don't get the computer thing. To me it just seems like any online discussion but with dodgy (and highly sexualised) animated lego people. That and I hardly have enough time to do anything on the net (blogging etc) without having a whole SECOND LIFE! I hardly have time for my FIRST life! I suppose that there may eventually be a time where I 'get it', but for now I'm just not sure that it's good enough. Maybe i'm just needing something a bit more 'matrix-y' or something like that, but badly animated avatars just don't increase the realism of an interaction for me.
Can anyone explain to someone who doesn't get the point of second life why libraries should get in there?

Leo Klein said...

Sorry, coming late to the party.

Link at end of post no longer works.

DirectorWho said...

I joined Facebook becuase the workshop I was at would not give us our certificate until we promised to do so. I rarely use it for Library purposes, however, and keep up with the latest Buffy movie gossip or what gear to buy used on the Appalachian Trail, etc.

I also created a 'SecondLife' avatar, and find it the biggest waste of time! Oh, well, it, too was at a workshop, and we (20 of us) spent the better part of a morning creating the character, finding out how to outfit it, etc. Total waste of time I could have been surfing the net at work. I mean, answering research questions. I mean, cataloging. Oh nevermind!

Anyway, I surely can't figure out what to do with it now!

Anonymous said...

I, too, coming into the turgid turbid prose a bit late: das lynkyn ist kaput - 404'ed.

And I blush to admit I've FaceBooked, tho I plead it was to get 8 MLA CE credits. Of course it was pseudonymous, gender & genetics changed to protect the guilty.

What do *you* think of Sartre's thesis that we're all impersonating an identity? or multiples?

Anywho, what's the search string to bring up the article in the Times?

Ciao bella,