Tag Archives: social-media

The use of social media from someone in the general area of Boston

Like another classmate who previously posted, I was also planning to write on another subject. I was going to write about custom QR codes. I’ll probably still try to work that into my social media plan, or perhaps write a post about it later. But I feel like I should post about my social media life on Monday and Tuesday.

I live in southern New Hampshire. It’s roughly an hour north of Boston. I’m not supposed to be on Facebook at work, so I first heard about what was going on in Boston when I happened to go to the reference desk, where a coworker was looking at a news site. This was about 30-45 minutes after the explosions.

I knew one friend was home from work, because she’d posted about it. It was Patriot’s Day, so a lot of people in Mass either had the day off or were working from home. It just makes sense if you want to avoid the traffic mess the marathon causes. When I thought about it, I realized I actually know a lot of people who live or work in or near Boston. People who may’ve been running or watching the marathon. At that point I did go on Facebook, though it wouldn’t be until my workday ended that I could really comb Facebook for information and updates on people I knew.

I saw people checking in. I saw people asking other people to check in. I saw people offering to open their apartments to anyone who needed, well, anything. I saw people sharing information about where and when to donate blood. I saw others sharing information on websites to check on runners or other people. Early on, there were reminders to text rather than call, since it uses less bandwidth. I saw people sharing information as a way of helping, and I saw people just expressing general support and sympathy.

I had plans yesterday (Tuesday) to go into Boston to see Book of Mormon. I checked the Boston Opera House’s website to make sure it was still scheduled, but there was no information. I subscribed to their Facebook page, but there was nothing. Around about noon, I checked in again and there were people wondering what I was wondering.. was the performance going to go ahead? I had to resort to a phone call to get that information. Although eventually, around about 3pm, they finally did think to post to Facebook. Probably to help out their overloaded phone system. (I got a busy signal more than once.) And it was clear they didn’t keep much of an eye on their Facebook page normally. They post about once a month, and there were numerous spam comments on old posts that hadn’t been deleted.

I again used Facebook to inform my mother (mostly) and anyone else who might need to know, what my travel plans were. And I posted again when I got to Boston. And again when I got to the theater. Not that it did much good, because my mother still called me to ask!

My trip went fine. There were cops and military everywhere, but mostly they were just standing around. They were checking bags on the T and at the Opera House, but we hadn’t gone in with bags for that reason. The Celtics game was canceled, so there were no drunken revelers (or.. what’s the opposite of revelers?) to contend with. We thought some people might not have gone to the performance, but it was packed. I guess nobody wanted to miss Book of Mormon!

I am thankful my Facebook friends are, mostly, not the sort to post wild theories or condemn various groups without evidence.

I can’t help think about 9/11 and how I found out about NYC friends from mailing lists and blogs. I can’t say Facebook was any better, but it was different.

I’ll leave you with a link to an io9 post. How the Boston Marathon tragedy revealed the best side of social media.


Tiki Toki Time

I attended the Society of California Archivists conference this past Saturday and discussed with my Preservation Management teacher, Vicky McCargar, part of a session on Thursday about social media and digital collections.  She shared with me the tools highlighted in the session that she had made note of.  I reviewed one that seemed like a neat tool called Tiki Toki through which you can make timelines.


Outside of the timelines shared on the homepage as examples of how to use the site, you cannot view or search for timelines there.  I resorted to conducting a Google search for “tiki toki library” and retrieved some examples of library related timelines.  Of the sites I looked at, my favorite timeline was developed by ALA for Banned Books Week.


Other information organizations with timelines include the Metro Transportation Library and Archive, the Weinberg Memorial Library, and the Salinas Public Library.  Some of the examples link to their organizations’ websites through their timelines but I was unable to find any of the organizations link to the timelines through their websites.




Not only can Tiki Toki be used to display the history of an organization, it can also be used to share and highlight an information organization’s collections.  Timelines can be made public or private.  The tool is integrated with YouTube and Vimeo allowing for the display of videos.  Categories of events can be color coded as was done with the Weinberg Memorial Library timeline.   They can be embedded onto a website as well as available for group contributions.  To allow for multiple people to work on a timeline, they have to be provided with a password.  Unfortunately, access to features is determined by the subscription level and the free service is limited.  The ability to embed the timeline onto a website as well as group editing requires at least a five dollar monthly fee.  In addition, the amount of embedded views per month and the number of timelines that can be created under one account is also limited and based on your subscription rate.  These associated costs may have something to do with why I could not find links to the timelines on the websites of the organizations in the examples.

Here is a short YouTube video about Tiki Toki.


Winnipeg University Study Says Frequent Texters More Shallow

Just thought I’d share this article I came across. I think it falls in the “duh” category but it’s still interesting.  It appeared in The Canadian Press on April 12, 2013.

WINNIPEG — A study at the University of Winnipeg says young people who do a lot of texting tend to be more shallow.

The university says more than 2,300 first-year psychology students were surveyed online for three consecutive years.

The results indicate that students who text frequently place less importance on moral, esthetic and spiritual goals and greater importance on wealth and image.

The study says those who texted more than 100 times a day were 30 per cent less likely to feel strongly that leading an ethical, principled life was important, in comparison to those who texted 50 times or less a day.

The study says higher texting frequency was also consistently associated with higher levels of ethnic prejudice.

The university says researchers Dr. Paul Trapnell and Dr. Lisa Sinclair also took texting into the lab.

In the study, some students texted, some spoke on cell phones, and some did neither. Then, all students rated how they felt about different social groups.

Those who had been texting rated minority groups more negatively than the others did.

The university says the experiment was meant to test the so-called “shallowing hypothesis” described in “The Shallows,” a best-selling book by Nicholas Carr.

The theory suggests “ultra-brief social media like texting and Twitter encourages rapid, relatively shallow thought and consequently very frequent daily use of such media should be associated with cognitive and moral shallowness.”


Social Media in Elementary School Libraries?

I plan to be children’s librarian at a public library or private school.  I’ve interned at a public library and can clearly see the huge benefits of using social media in that setting.  In the fall, I’ll be doing an internship at a private K-8 school and it’s got me thinking about where (and if) social media fits into that puzzle.  Is there a place for it with the younger set?

The most obvious hurdle here is age.  Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, WordPress, Goodreads, and many others require a minimum age of 13 to open an account.  That’s good news for middle and high schoolers, where the possibilities are endless, but are elementary schoolers out of luck?

There’s also the issue of parents.  Some may not want their younger children on social sites, even ones geared toward younger kids like ScuttlePad and Togetherville.  According to “Kids Online,” a report issued by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, sites aimed at the under-13 set vary widely in quality: “evidence is growing that many of the virtual worlds for children that are currently available are impoverished compared to those for teens and adults…the comparable worlds designed for children often provide much more limited, homogenous texts, contain fewer affordances and action opportunities, and even promote bad grammar because of word filters.”

Obviously, librarians are free to use social media to network and cull ideas to enrich their student’s lives at any age level.  In fact, according to a recent report by MMS Education, librarians use social networking professionally more than teachers and principals–citing 82% usage in 2012.  But, what are some other options for connecting with younger students within the Web 2.0 realm?

The best idea I can come up with, given the limitations, is starting a book blog or wiki at a school.  Teachers, librarians and students could recommend books, write reviews, organize book clubs, have kids vote for favorites, etc.  Sort of a Goodreads for the youngins.

Do any of you have experience or ideas on this front?






Is Google Plus really a Plus for Libraries?

Of the social media we’ve discussed so far in class among Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google +, the tool that most baffles me with its relative lack of popularity is Google +. And by lack of popularity I’m referring to its use by the public in general and libraries in particular. Although I’ve been using the Google suite of products for years now, and this used has increased substantially since starting at SLIS (especially Chat and Drive), I only set up my Google + profile on account of this course. Upon doing so, the cursory check of my contacts for possible addition to circles illustrated that it definitely hasn’t caught on as much as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This translates to the use of G+ by libraries as well, most of the library systems in my area have either a nonexistent page with few or no postings, the bare minimum of information, or don’t have a page set up at all. These are libraries who have a presence on Facebook or Pinterest, or both. Have they decided that Google + is just another social media tool that is one click too far?

As many of my fellow students have commented on, it seems that Google Plus just really hasn’t caught on, but a recent report by Global Web Index “benchmarks Google+ as the second largest social platform in the world.” The author of the posting goes on to state that the future is indeed bright for this platform, and that it has seen growth in user behaviors such as posting videos, comments, and links that surpass Facebook and Twitter. I’m inclined to believe that this is a social media tool that will continue to grow and its potential for library use as well. As a professional tool for librarians I’ve already seen that it surpasses Facebook for instance through the use of communities, one pertinent group being Libraries and Librarians, a “public community about libraries and librarians of all kinds, covering both local and global issues in librarianship.” With the wealth of tools at Google’s disposal, the use of circles to group people together of similar interests (and distribute specific and relevant information to them), the ability to have live Hangouts, all make me think that although use is currently minimal, libraries will have much to take advantage of in the future.

-Luis Salazar

Nurturing Discussion via Social Media

One of the topics I considered examining in my previous blog post was why some blogs generate lots of comments and others don’t. Instead, I dwelt on the related topic of expanding your social network. I did, however, mention the issue of “how some blogs are much better at encouraging and facilitating discussion than others” and went on to contrast two different blogs. Now that I’ve had a bit more time to reflect, I’d like to propose a few reasons why some people (and libraries) generate far more discussion than others – on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc.

1. Personal connection – When people know you (or feel like they know you), they’re more likely to feel comfortable engaging with you and your thoughts. This applies not only to celebrities and those in the public eye, but to those who share their own opinions and ideas. Thus, people (and libraries) that are rather impersonal are going to find it difficult to make people care enough to respond.

2. Engagement – If you tweet a question to a library and it fails to respond, then you might give up and stop trying to engage with it. Responding to comments and questions that people pose to you is a good way of nurturing discussion and showing that you actually care; it’s part of the dialogue. Social media is not just a way for companies and libraries to advertise their products and services at lower cost than traditional advertising. It is also about listening. I’m always impressed when I hear that a company has reversed one of its decisions or policies because of social media feedback.

2. Quality content – It’s not enough to just blog, tweet, pin or post often. You have to disseminate words, photos and videos that engage people’s minds and/or hearts. The library that posts on Facebook that it will be closed on Presidents’ Day is making an important announcement, but not one that will generate discussion. Libraries that share photos of events and exhibitions or videos of speakers or poetry readings gain a lot more traction.

These three reasons why some people (and libraries) generate more discussion than others are really just the tip of the iceberg. What would you add?

Tweet Tweet

Could you have ever imagined a library full of tweets? The Library of Congress is one step closer to making this possible.

Last month, Mashable (one of my favorite sites to get my social media news from) published this article describing the Library of Congress’ work-in-progress to archive all public tweets from Twitter’s inception in 2006 to 2010. The thought of Tweeples’ public tweets neatly arranged and accessible for researchers is such an exciting idea to me! What a great resource for studying the way people communicate online.

Concerning our class topics of Wikis and RSS feeds, I have to wonder if there will be future projects concerning the social media archival systems. What about one for blogs that contains a searchable database of public blog entries? Or a tracking system for all edits of public Wikis like Wikipedia? There is potential for this in the corporate and nonprofit library sector as well, as I see that tonight there will be an SLIS presentation concerning records management by SocialArchive for organizations’ and companies’ social media accounts.

As exciting as this is for a research-loving nerd like myself, it’s also a bit frightening when I take privacy into consideration. True, this is all public information, but the thought of my 2006 self’s (a mere college freshman!) tweets on display within the Library of Congress is cringe-inducing. BRB, going to go delete some potentially embarrassing messages 140 characters in length or less…