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Week 2: Social Networking

What is social networking?

Social networking links organisations and or individuals who have a shared interest. There are as many different social networking sites as there are social groups. Some social networks connected to specific topics include: Mumsnet, Confetti, RavelryGoodreads and The Student Room. Other Social Networks include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, instagram and LinkedIn  to name a few and these are larger, linking people not just by interest but by many different connections. They often interlink, connecting people from existing networks. For example I get notified whenever a facebook or twitter friend joins Instagram.
Many social networks allow you to browse so if you don’t want to sign up you can still see much of what is going on if the material is public.
Why is Social Networking important?
Why should library staff and libraries engage with Social Networking?
Marketing  –  you can promote events, services, workshops

Updating – let people know any changes to services,  database downtime, opening hours
Information – very immediate you can see what is happening before it hits the main news even if you don’t have an account and ask for help or information from other users when you do have an account.
How are libraries using social networking?
We will cover Twitter and Pinterest later but the following are examples of library use of other networks (no login required)
Facebook
Google Plus
Instagram
Note
The terms Social Media and Social Networking are sometimes used interchangably but they are slightly different things:
Social media is a terms for the tools and platforms people use to publish, converse and share content online. The tools include blogs, wikis, podcasts, and sites to share photos and bookmarks.
Social networking sites are online places where users can create a profile for themselves, and then socialise with others using a range of social media tools including blogs, video, images, tagging, lists of friends, forums and messaging.

Often when the traditional media talk about social media they mean social networks.

[Source: A-Z of social media  http://socialmedia.wikispaces.com/A-Z+of+social+media ]

Helen
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Thing 4: Reflect on your own social networking experience

Here are few questions to think about but feel free to blog about any aspect of social networking or share any good / bad examples.
What is your experience of social networks?
Do you use any?
How do you engage with them?
Can you see a professional value to them?
Do you have any thoughts on any of the networks above?

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