Sunday, May 10, 2009

Social Software & Intellectual Freedom

Presented by Jessamyn West.

I find Jessamyn West's sessions entertaining and extremely informative. She has graciously posted her slides and links on her website:

Social networking defined:
1. Online location.
2. User can create a profile (unique to you).
3. User can build a network and link to others (friends). For examples, Flickr – levels of privacy. Wikipedia – profile page, not really a social site but network around topics. Delicious – bookmarks of friends.

Why are social networks like Facebook so popular? Facebooks 200 million users.

  • Free
  • No install, no download
  • Attractive for those who don’t have resources
  • It’s social. People collaborate.
  • "Get laid or get paid." Can meet people for a variety of ways.
  • Anticipation is the thing rather than the thing itself.
  • It’s where there friends are.
  • College age people are on Facebook.

The father of social network analysis research, Stanley Milgram, created the notion of 6 degrees of separation.

The spying problem – for profit companies house content. Achilles hill of social networking is privacy. Datamining and background snooping could possibly occur.

ALA’s intellectual freedom champion, Judith Krug, help draft ALA’s quote on intelectual freedom. Libraries take your privacy seriously.

Shall or deep? You can’t get information back. It is our responsibility (librarians) to inform of possible intelectual freedom infringement if teaching patrons how to use social networks.

Opting in vs opt out. Why do for profit companies make it so difficult? How many libraries have a privacy policy for catalog? View Cornell Library’s privacy policy.

Who owns the data? IM going through a different server. Google toolbar.

Computer can do new things with data. We can determine who you are by how you search (AOL fiasco).

Data types: personal, relational/transactional, behavioral.

Policy: take users’ experience into consideration, we allow vs we disallow. Moderation is okay and doesn’t make you a censor. Responsive=good; reactive=bad. It doesn’t make you a censor for guiding users how they should communicate in forum settings.

Millie Gonzalez, Reference and Electronic Resources Librarian, Framingham State College


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