Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

Facebook Messages: Where Things Go To Die

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I have a co-authored article up over at In the Library with the Lead Pipe about email management. We would love to hear more about your experience with email and your strategies for dealing with messages in your inbox!

Lindsay and I didn’t really delve into other types of message management—the article is about standard email inboxes. But there are messaging/inbox capabilities built into many social media tools these days. On Twitter you can send someone a Direct Message (DM), a private tweet that acts like a limited character email message. DMs aren’t a problem for me because I really only check them when I specifically ask someone to DM me. Otherwise it’s not even on my radar and I don’t forward these messages to any other account or device. The limited scope has helped me handle my DM inbox.

facebook notifications

Facebook messages are a different story. Facebook messages, for me, are where things go to die. True story. I don’t mind Facebook chat… if I am online, definitely message me in real-time. But for some reason, I have not been able to incorporate the Facebook inbox into my normal flow of checking and responding. For fun stuff with my friends it’s fine because there is no real pressure to reply right away. But I do get a number of Facebook messages related to library/work stuff. Those are the messages that always seem to fall through the cracks. I’m not really sure why this is but I have some ideas:

  • I have a gut reaction to the little red numbers that pop up for notifications, messages, and friend requests, so I click on my messages (but often don’t read them right away) just to get that alert to go away. Seeing it there makes me kind of anxious. Am I the only one or do other people feel this way? Then, I forget that there are new messages and it could be days (weeks?) before I get around to reading them.
  • To a certain extent, I see Facebook as more of a social/fun site than a tool I conduct work within. It’s great for some aspects of work—networking with other librarians, building your online identity, promoting different events, engaging through your institutional page, etc. I go to Facebook to learn things and to connect but it’s pretty casual.

I just always seem to forget about messages that are living in Facebook. I see them and then I forget about them. Maybe this is because I really do use my email inbox as a to-do list (although I’m trying to break that habit) and Facebook just seems more… fleeting? It might come down to having too many places to check for messages. Perhaps it’s not email that is overwhelming me, but multiple inboxes? There are so many different places where my response is required:

  1. Personal email
  2. Work email (including accounts associated with research help, outreach, and the renovation)
  3. Twitter (personal feed + DMs; library feed + DMs)
  4. Facebook (personal wall + messages; library wall + messages)
  5. Blog comments (personal + Lead Pipe)
  6. Voice mail (work + personal)
  7. Text messages
  8. Chat (Facebook + GChat)

I’m probably forgetting some. It’s helpful for me to list these out so that I can think about making a plan for managing my communication. When I don’t reply, people typically reach out to me through another channel but I’m sure I miss people (and opportunities). I want to apologize to anyone whose Facebook message I have missed—it’s nothing personal! And despite this angst, I have contacted people via Facebook message regarding library/work stuff. So, I have not been good at setting expectations for where different type of communication should take place.

This is something I want to reflect more on and potentially share my communication preferences with everyone. I think this would lower my stress and alleviate frustration for people who might not be receiving a timely response. How do you cope with multiple message streams? Any suggestions for me? Feel free to share here or over at Lead Pipe!

Written by Erin Dorney

November 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Social networking: Be an active, responsible user.

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Image by m-c and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License.

I have been thinking about social networking websites lately. I think it’s because things are becoming increasingly integrated/cross-platformy. I wouldn’t say that this is a “manifesto” per say, but I’d like to talk a little bit about my philosophy on said sites.

I try my best to be an active yet responsible user. Let’s break that down into two parts, shall we?

Active.
I think it’s pretty important for me to have a profile on some of these sites. The age demographic I encounter most at work is the “millennial” generation, amongst faculty members, staff and adult learners. Even if the students never know I have a profile on Facebook or another site, I feel like it brings me closer to seeing their way of life. Which in turn makes me a better librarian because I can gauge their wants and needs more effectively. I can catch a glimpse of what issues are riling up the campus (based on student-created groups, pages and posts) and use this information in a number of ways. As the outreach librarian, I coordinate some of the library  events and exhibits – if a group of students create a Facebook page protesting/welcoming a particular guest lecturer, I can design something based on that interest. Heck, maybe we even have some of the visitor’s books to display, or could invite him/her to host a post-event debate in the library.  As a subject liaison, I teach some library instruction sessions – if I notice lots of students tweeting or commenting about a certain news story, I can pull that into my search strategy to try and keep their attention. It gives me a way to create connections between the library and student interests.

In addition to working with millennials, I am a millennial. I have already had three cell phone numbers in my lifetime and more ridiculous screen names than I care to share (Starbeam3? What was I thinking…). I would be on some of these sites regardless of my career because technology is something that is tightly integrated with the way I live my life. I use social networking to keep in touch with friends from high school, college and grad school as well as professional contacts, co-workers, and people I respect. I find support and knowledge in these connections each time I log in.

Responsible.
When doing anything on the Internet, we should try to be responsible. That can range from locking down certain profiles to protect your (and others’) privacy to limiting the frequency of your updates. I have recently found myself un-following Twitter accounts that were posting too many messages because I was missing posts from everyone else. It’s nothing personal and it’s not because the tweets were uninteresting or bad. I simply look forward to seeing a variety of information when I log in to Twitter – posts from my friends, recording artists, organizations and professional contacts all jumbled into one stream of consciousness. I guess this might stem from one of the traits of my generation – many of us enjoy multitasking and jumping from one thought to a completely unrelated topic. It’s exactly this reason that I don’t have separate Facebook or Twitter accounts (one for work and one for personal). It is an idea that seems foreign to me because my online identity is so closely tied to the one I display walking around every day.

Another aspect of responsibility that I am referring to here is the strength to know when enough is enough. A few years ago I deleted my Facebook account for approximately 6 months. I needed a rest because things were getting too intense with a relationship breakup and transitioning from college to something more closely related to real life. And there are still days when I go into work and have to say “Today I will not get on Twitter”. You could engage in endless conversation and having the power to control yourself is very important. If you say something in haste, it might stick around on the Interwebs forever to haunt you.

I try not to post tons of updates so that I don’t tip the scales of my readers. When I do, I send both personal and professional updates because I am both of those things online and in real life. I advocate for being an active, responsible user of social networks. How about you?

Written by Erin Dorney

August 21, 2009 at 10:57 PM

2008/2009 mashup.

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Erin

Donnie: How can you do that?
Frank: I can do anything I want. And so can you.

– Donnie Darko

Reflecting always reminds me that I’m on the right path.
What’s your resolution?

Work Update

  • Finished (survived?) my first post-MLIS semester as a tenure-track librarian at a university. Overall very satisfied and still excited. Is that normal?
  • Millersville University Library just launched its Facebook page (become a fan!), we’re holding a game night in February (poster 1 : poster 2), and I’m working on outreach to students, faculty, staff and community members. Um, loving it! I have my own office with new furniture, a huge desk and an intern helping out for the spring semester: the best part is that she wants to be a librarian!
  • During the course of 2008 I reviewed 14 books, wrote 4 articles, presented 4 poster sessions, did 3 presentations, attended 2 workshops, 2 conferences, 1 unconference and 1 webinar. And only posted 33 entries to libraryscenester… whoops.

Life Update

  • Looking for a new apartment in the city of Lancaster, enjoying what the city has to offer – specifically the market(s), Square One Coffee, the secret alleyways, brick sidewalks, residing in the oldest inland city in the country, and some gems of new friends.
  • 2008 marked the first September since 1989 that I have not been enrolled in a formal education program. For 19 of my 24 years of living, I have been learning in Kendall, Rochester & Syracuse. In 2009 I continue with my first stint in PA: taking my first course towards an MA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
  • Missing my family immensely.
  • Exploring via bike, testing sushi places within walking distance, scouring thrift stores (best finds of ’08 include a brand new french press & a Visions Corningware Cranberry saucepan w/lid) listening to new music (She & Him), podcasts (radiolab) & seeing sweet films (Slumdog Millionaire, MILK).
  • Best show of 2008 = Neko Case in Ithaca, NY.

Ohh 2009… You pounced onto me like a kitten onto a ball of catnip. The things I have in store for you!

(…first Midwinter, first ALA Annual, cross country road trip, Anthony Raneri solo shows, ASHLEYah!… ya know, the norm)

Written by Erin Dorney

January 17, 2009 at 7:29 AM

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Web two point what?

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Welcome to Erin 2.0!

Below I have compiled a list of all the websites/applications that I currently have a profile/account on that might fall under a loose definition of Web 2.0 (interactive, social, collaborative, sharing, login). It was interesting to put together, and I didn’t realize that I had this many user-names and passwords that I (on occasion) remember correctly.

  • Flickr – Photo sharing
    • I have photos listed as private as well as public.
  • Facebook – Social networking
    • I have a profile accessible to friends only.
  • Blogger – Blogging
    • I have a private blog available to friends and family and two public blogs: one that was created for a Syracuse University course and one that was created to describe my SUNYLA Conference experience.
  • WordPress – Blogging
    • I have a public blog (the one you are reading!).
  • Livejournal – Blogging/journal
    • In high school I had a private Livejournal account, which I have since deleted. For a current Syracuse University course I was required to make a new account in order to contribute to a class blog.
  • LinkedIn – Social networking
    • I have a private profile (defeating the purpose?).
  • Second Life – Virtual world
    • I have an avatar and am exploring Second Life.
  • AOL Instant Messenger – Messaging system
    • I have had various AIM screen names (SN) since I was at least 14. I currently use my AIM SN to chat with friends only (and do not typically disseminate my SN to colleagues).
  • MSN Messenger – Messaging system
    • I have a public MSN SN used for internal work communications.
  • Pidgin – Messaging system
    • I use Pidgin to log into my work SN and my AIM SN at the same time, allowing me to talk with friends and peers simultaneously.
  • Inbox – Email
    • I use inbox.com for my email account. It’s free, has lots of cool features (notes, multiple calendars, on-line storage space), and is very good with spam and advertisements (very unobtrusive).
  • eSnips – Web storage
    • I heard about eSnips at the 2007 NYLA Conference in Buffalo, NY. It’s a free, web-based storage site where you can upload and save documents and other important items. I use it to store papers for class that I can then access from home and work without having to email them to myself every time!
  • Google Reader – RSS feed reader
    • I use Google Reader to stay abreast of many blog updates.
  • Roc Wiki – Wiki
    • I am a member of, but have yet to substantially contribute to this community wiki. However, I visit it all the time, mostly to find out restaurant information.
  • Wetpaint – Wiki
  • Webshots – Photo sharing
    • I used Webshots in college to organize digital photos. Because most of them involved rather unprofessional behavior, they are now located in private albums unavailable to the public.
  • LibraryThing – Book cataloging
    • I have a LibraryThing account to share my reading lists with friends as well as keep track of what books I currently own in my personal collection. I recently reached the limit for a free account and am thinking about purchasing a life membership for US $25.00. I also receive occasional free books as an Early Reviewer, which is totally sweet.
  • Del.icio.us – Social bookmarking
    • I have a del.icio.us account with public and private bookmarks saved.

The items in this list (below) are applications/websites where I used to have a profile/account and for one reason or another, no longer do.

  • Ning – Social networking
    • I was introduced to Ning during a summer course at Syracuse University. However, after we used it for class, I deleted my account because I just didn’t like it. It doesn’t seem as intuitive or user-friendly as other social networking sites, and I found myself not logging in for weeks at a time.
  • MySpace – Social networking
    • I used to have a MySpace page, but deleted it because it seemed rather pointless to have both a MySpace and a Facebook account with virtually identical friends. More of my friends are on Facebook anyway, so I just deleted my MySpace account. I also find that Facebook has more options available for privacy settings (compared to the all or nothing of MySpace).

    Hopefully this can give readers a glimpse at what one 23 year old is using on a day to day basis to accomplish her personal, professional, and educational goals. I am using 18 different services, mostly .coms. Boy, would I be lost if the net went down! Eventually, widespread OpenID may let me log into many of them using the same user-name and password, a novel thought!

    How many of these applications/websites do you use? What other services do you use? Which services can libraries utilize? What are your thoughts on Web 2.0?

    Written by Erin Dorney

    February 12, 2008 at 4:00 AM

    Bye Bye Email?

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    So I’ve been trying to make plans to visit two of my friends who live in Boston, MA. We’ve been discussing possible dates via Facebook messages because Facebook allows you to write and respond to more than one person at a time, with your conversation saved so you can see the history of what has been discussed (this is called a thread). Yesterday I received this email from one of the friends (my emphasis):

    “Yo dudes. I can’t get on Facebook so I thought I’d use some older internet tech and actually email a person!”

    Facebook was down for a couple of hours for maintenance. Which got me to thinking… my friend is right. Email is starting to become obsolete. I didn’t even think about the fact that when I initially wanted to ask my friends about visiting, I went to Facebook. I didn’t consider emailing them. It was an unconscious decision on my part. I just assumed that they would have access to their Facebook accounts sooner (and more frequently) than their email.

    Then I started thinking about my own correspondence habits. I contribute to multiple blogs. I comment on my friends’ Facebook walls and message them. I text message as if my life depended on it. I very, very rarely email a friend. I use email chiefly for work, to deal with the administration & bursar at Syracuse University for my graduate courses, my NMRT mentor, and the occasional miscellaneous email to people in my life who aren’t very techno-savvy (i.e. my parents who don’t know how to subscribe to the RSS feed for my personal blog and who can receive but not send text messages). I know many people who use Twitter (micro-blogging) in a variety of different ways to communicate with friends and colleagues.

    What does this mean for library users? What does this mean for library professionals? Is email going to go away? Are more immediate and public modes of communication taking precedence? Are students even using email anymore?

    Written by Erin Dorney

    January 17, 2008 at 8:32 PM

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