For our group project we looked at the uses for Ning in an academic library setting. Let me just say… I’m addicted! We created a Ning for the fictional L2University Library where we highlighted some of the features that Ning has to offer for the academic library and its users that also ended up including our own collaborative Ning where we did all of our planning for L2University. Now I could focus on the great features that Ning has to offer in this post and you could be reading for days, but what I would rather talk about is the deeper social implications of this social networking tool.
When I would tell my friends and family about the project I was working on the most common reaction was “what’s a Ning?” Well I got tired of trying to explain what Ning is and how it works, so I came up with this simple definition… it’s like MySpace but with a purpose. What I mean by that is while MySpace is one giant social network where the sky is the limit and people only tend to communicate with the people that are “friends” with, Ning however is a bunch of mini-social networks that people join based on a common interest. This is what Henri and Pudelko might call a “community of interest” or a “community of practice.” These people are gathered together in their own little virtual community because they share an interest or a profession.
What does all of this mean for academic libraries you may ask? Well look at why most college students join Facebook. They want to be able to connect with their friends from school virtually. And what is the commonly understood time-waster for most college students? Facebook. So if the academic library offers a virtual meeting ground where students can connect with each other and maybe have the opportunity to tap into some library resources while they’re at it what could be the harm?
As an avid YouTube watcher I have never actually uploaded anything to be watched. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but just never had the time. I sat down at my computer all ready to upload my first video when I realized that I had no way to get my video onto my computer. Once I’ve figured out how to do so I will upload a video and post here about my experience.
In the mean time YouTube has made tech news this week with its new multifile uploader. According to a C|Net article the new uploader will allow users to upload multiple files and has increased the maximum file size from 10MB to 1GB. I also learned something new about YouTube that I had always wondered about. I knew that videos were limited to 10 minutes, but I would always come across videos that were much longer and I always wondered how those people got around the time limit. Apparently YouTube also has a “director” category that people can sign up for. This category is designed for people who create their own content to upload. According to the YouTube help center, however, they are no longer allowing anyone to upload anything longer than 10 minutes but people who had the option previously will still be allowed to.
This video was the second OkGo video to become “viral” via YouTube. This one was much less popular than the treadmill video, but still my favorite!
Every once in a while its good to be able to take a step back, look at your profession, and laugh about the quirks that can create a bond with other that do the same work you do. And I’m not talking about being rude or blunt in anyway. This is the purely humorous kind of funny that I’m finding more and more common as I continue to meet librarians.
The Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette blog is just the pale to go for this type of humor. The blogs tagline alone is enough to get a small chuckle… “A Polite Librarian is a Good Librarian.” Recently the two bloggers who contribute to the site, Sal and J, have had a series of posts related to Library 2.0 and the Internet Librarian 2007 Conference. Four of these posts are “Library 2.0, Believing in,” “Library 2.0, Embracing,” Wikis, and “Conferences, Blogging.”
And of course I have to quote my most recent favorite, as I had an experience with the same situation….
“Unexpected, Expecting the
Librarians should not waste time preparing for library instruction sessions. It is a law of librarianship that a teaching faculty member will always ask something random and unrelated of you in the middle of your guest lecture to the class. With little or no warning, you’ll be asked to spend 30-45 minutes demonstrating how to do mail merge in Microsoft Word?”