Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘social networking

Five Things Friday: iPhone apps

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I’ve added a new blog to my list of Blogs I <3: Stuck in the Middle, written by Megan Baker who hails from my hometown and is a fellow St. John Fisher College C/J alum. She’s pretty rocking and I decided to borrow (steal?) her idea of Five Things Friday, which she was inspired to start after seeing it on the City Year New York blog. I’m not saying I’ll do this every Friday, but I thought I’d give it a shot every now and then.

So, I have an iPhone – my first smartphone. Here are five apps that I am loving:

ZipListZipList by ZipList, Inc (free). My boyfriend and I use ZipList for our grocery shopping. He accesses it over the web and I add things from my phone. Then in the store, I check them off as we go along (plus, then I don’t have to push the cart, muahaha). I really like how it auto-magically sorts items you add into sections – produce, dairy, frozen, etc. You can also designate different stores (Giant, farmer’s market) for different items.

InstagramInstagram by Burbn, Inc (free). The filters in Instagram are really fun to capture and alter everyday moments. My favorites are X-Pro II, Earlybird, and Hefe. I can choose to share my shots beyond Instagram to Twitter, email or Facebook. And, I never carry a digital camera around anymore. More room in my bag for other goodies! Another nice feature is the constant feed of images from people I follow within the app.

FeedlerRSSFeedlerRSS by C.B. Liu (free). I started using this app a few weeks ago to view my Google Reader RSS feeds. It seems to be working well so far – no crashing, etc. It’s also easy to star posts as favorites and use email/Facebook to share a link with friends or family members. However, there does seem to be a lot of clicking (er, tapping?) to get at the actual content though, so I’m curious to know if there are better RSS apps out there that people are using.

Shape ShiftShape Shift by Backflip Studios (free). Are games considered apps? Who knows. I never got into the whole gaming/Angry Birds stuff, but this game is right up my alley. Nothing crazy, just a puzzle of matching boxes, shapes and colors. It feels like a mix between Tetris and Minesweeper. Addicting!

TeuxDeuxTeuxDeux by swissmiss & Fictive Kin ($2.99). A simple, designy, to-do app – what more could you ask for? I use TeuxDeux for my personal task list and love the straight forward design. It certainly does not suffer from the “feature clutter” I’ve encountered with other productivity apps. I love that you can have daily lists as well as “someday” lists. Well worth the price!

Have an iPhone app that you can’t live without? Please share it in the comments.

Written by Erin Dorney

December 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Session notes from PaLA 2011

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Below are my notes and key takeaways from the 2011 Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference. Some of the sessions have posted slides and handouts online and more are being added daily. You can also check out photos from the conference on my Flickr or on the PaLA photostream.

Service-Learning @ the University Library

Featuring Kelly Heider, Education Librarian, Indiana University of PA & sponsored by the College and Research Division.

My takeaways:

  • National Service-Learning Clearinghouse = resources for K-Higher Ed.
  • Libraries could investigate support from/collaboration with advancement and admissions.
  • Key ingredients for service-learning are community service, instruction & reflection. There is an increase in student motivation to learn content because they are putting it directly into practice. Students have the ability to transfer knowledge to different situations.
  • Ideas from attendees (but, always have to remember, what is the library role?):
    • Campus daycare/Early Education students – students read a story, teach a mini lesson, hold a reflection session
    • Local shelters/Social Work students – students teach basic information literacy/computer skills
    • Community center/Art students – students work with children at community centers to create murals or do beautification projects
    • Disaster-stricken communities/Disaster and Emergency Management students – students create and implement plans
    • Community members and historical societies/History students – students work with Archives & Special Collections librarians to learn about preservation, community members bring in items they want to preserve for assistance
    • Retirement home/Computer Science students – students teach basic computer skills

A Safe Space on Campus: Winning Strategies Academic Libraries Can Use to Serve GLBTQ Students and Faculty

Featuring Matthew P. Ciszek, Head Librarian, Penn State Shenango; Kristen Yarmey, Digital Services Librarian, Weinberg Memorial Library, University of Scranton; Tara Fay, Faculty Specialist, University of Scranton & sponsored by the College and Research Division. Link to slideshow.

My takeaways:

  • Although there is a rise in self-identified GLBTQ students, there is still an invisible community with a variety of needs.
  • Libraries should offer an electronic format research guide so that LGBTQ students can access information online rather than have to come into the library and ask for help. The guide should have an actual contact person for follow up, ideally someone who has been through safe zone training. Identify someone as the point person for student organizations, faculty doing research in LGBTQ areas. (TO DO)
  • Encompassing the resources described above under “Diversity” or “Women/Gender Studies” may not be helpful – less intuitive, less findable.
  • Organize GLBTQ training session for all library staff, as everyone working in this space should have a basic knowledge of LGBTQ issues, particularly when dealing with the public (Circulation, Help Desk, etc).
  • Find out what the needs are of LGBTQ students on campus and then ask how we can meet those needs. For example, could ask students/faculty to complete: “as a lgbtq ally/ library user, I feel welcome when…”
  • Invite a representative from LGBTQ/Allies student organization to serve on library student advisory board. (TO DO)
  • October is GLBTQ history month. Library display ideas include connecting to student life, history of LGBTQ groups on campus, hook into archives and special collections for images & ephemera.
  • As a safe, neutral space on campus, the library could host LGBTQ/Allies student organization meetings.
  • Check out Matt’s article: Ciszek, Matthew P. “Out on the Web: The Relationship between Campus Climate and GLBT-related Web-based Resources in Academic Libraries.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 37.5 (2011): 430-436.

Get Off the Bench: Low Cost Outreach Initiatives @ Your Academic Library

Featuring Robin Wagner, Library Director, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College; Jennifer Luksa, Head of Collection Resource Management, Bevevino Library, Misericordia University; Colleen Newhart, Access Services Manager, Bevevino Library, Misericordia University & sponsored by the College and Research Division.

My takeaways:

  • Have the campus theater group do a preview show in the library – free programming for you, practice and pr for them.
  • When communicating with faculty and inviting them to library events, have them bring their best students with them.
  • Look for a balance between formal and informal events to improve visibility.
  • Students love cake in the library. Announce it over the PA system. Making/decorating the cake could also be a staff activity. When you’re serving the cake, hang out near the table and talk to students.
  • Students seem to love cardboard cutout people – presidential candidates, pop culture icons, etc. Can dress them up for special events.
  • Feature the photography of students who have traveled abroad as a rotating art exhibit. Have them write an accompanying artist statement.
  • For artwork, pull line art from old college yearbooks.
  • Paper airplane making/flying contest.
  • If you have a large staircase, have a slinky race.
  • Hand out bags of microwave popcorn with “tickets” to film/AV databases on them to departments. Track usage statistics.
  • Have a make-your-own-valentine table. Ask students to write a valentine to the library, what they love about the library. Collect those and you have great testimonials for annual reports, etc.
  • Create valentine cards, distribute them to staff members. Tell them to mail a card to anyone who has done something nice for them during the semester/year. This helps with visibility and fostering goodwill. (TO DO)

Nature, Nurture, and Pennsylvania Academic Library Managers

Featuring Russell A. Hall, Reference Librarian, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College & sponsored by the College and Research Division.

My takeaways:

  • Hall did a survey of academic library managers in Pennsylvania. He sent out 313 surveys and received a 38% response rate. 62% of respondents were female, 38% were male, and all had MLS degrees.
  • When asked about the most difficult aspect of library management, 64% responded “Personnel/Human Resources.”
  • When asked what management skills students should learn in LIS programs, respondents said: evaluation/ assessment, strategic planning, communication, human resources & budgeting
  • Respondents also called for a “safe environment” to talk about management issues.
  • Survey results showed that the top personal attribute to being a manager was interpersonal skills, then integrity and vision.
  • Survey respondents said personality traits were more important than learned skills in nature v nurture aspect (75/25)
  • Audience members questioned the differences between library leadership and library management. Also asked what instruments exist to evaluate leadership, management, and change within an organization.

Beyond the Library Walls: Community Hot Spots

Featuring Hedra Packman, Director of Library Services, Free Library of Philadelphia; Khaleef Aye, Community Outreach Specialist, Free Library of Philadelphia; Jenn Donsky, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Hot Spot Coordinator; a gentleman from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation whose name I forgot to write down & sponsored by the Library Administration & Management Round Table and the Public Library Division.

My takeaways:

  • Free Library is taking the library out into the community through partnerships. They looked for established community gathering places instead of trying to create a spot of their own. Organizations had to be lockable, open to everyone in the community, closely knit & sustainable.
  • The hot spots also offered technology connected to library resources. 40% of homes in Philly don’t have Internet access. All content at the hot spots is filtered, even wireless.
  • However, there is a difference between access to technology and access to the knowledge of how to use that technology. Some of the people running/working int he hot spots are actually members of the community organization, not library staff. When the grant money runs out, they hope there will be a knowledge transfer. They will leave the equipment and someone within that organization will be trained.
  • Target audiences for this project were job seekers, new Americans, families with young children, the digital savvy, and entrepreneurs.
  • Hot spot partnerships bring vibrancy to neighborhoods and visibility for the library. There has been a lot of demand – they have donors coming to them who want to sponsor a hot spot.

Technology Tools for Assessment Toolkit

Featuring Linda Musser, Head, Fletcher L. Byrom Earth & Mineral Sciences Library, Penn State University; Michelle Belden, Access Archivist, Penn State University; Emily Rimland, Information Literacy Librarian, Penn State University & sponsored by the Library Instruction Round Table.

My takeaways:

  • Before you can assess, you have to know why you’re doing it. With Twitter metrics, pick a few that relate to your library’s goals. Which are most relevant to you?
  • Use analysis = followers, readers, retweets, replies, mentions, clicks. Content analysis = content relevance to mission, composition, tone of writing, number of tweets per day/week.
  • Twitter tools/ideas:
  • Google Analytics
    • Visitors: You can see what browser visitors are using, their screen dimensions (web designers can use this data to meet user needs), if they are accessing the site via mobile, and service providers (can use this to determine on and off campus locations)
    • Traffic: Shows you keywords used
    • Content: Overlays on top of your site and visually shows where visitors go once they’re there.
    • Funnels: The series of pages users would go through to get somewhere. You can find new paths and see where you lose people to design better sites.
    • Use Google’s Conversion University forums for help.
  • Poll Everywhere – Live polling via SMS, web, Twitter
    • Ask: How would you describe your feelings about research? (free text response)
    • At the end of the instruction session, ask: Where I am going to begin the next time I need to do research? (free text response)
    • At the end of the instruction session, ask: How many resources have you found for your assignment?
    • You can use Poll Anywhere to measure pre and post instruction. Emily got IRB permission for this, might depend on your university.
    • Poll Anywhere has a filter that you can turn on or off, she has never had any problems.
    • Reassure the students that it is all anonymous and not connected to phone numbers or names.

Rethinking Information Literacy: Classroom Evidence for Incorporating Students’ Social Media Practices into our Professional Understanding

Featuring Donna Mazziotti, Public Services Librarian, Weinberg Memorial Library, University of Scranton and Teresa Grettano, English Professor, Department of English & Theatre, University of Scranton & sponsored by the College and Research Division.

My takeaways:

  • Librarian and English professor co-taught a course on rhetoric and social media, incorporating ACRL information literacy standards. There were 13 students in the class and the instructors viewed the class as a series of case studies. They started with a research question: What are the effects of social media use in our students information seeking behaviors and processes? Another overarching theme was that “it’s about culture, not technological functions.”
  • Instructors obtained informed consent to use student’s assignments for data and created a private Facebook group to take screenshots. Students were asked to keep a log of Facebook activity for 3 hours per week.
  • They found: That information now comes to users, via customized feeds, RSS, etc. By customizing feeds (like curating their Facebook news ticker settings) students are articulating a future information need. However, this creates a filter bubble. Students don’t know what has been edited out, similar to the idea of the echo chamber.
  • They found: That information recall and attribution are now social. Recall is not based on the source, but the person who shared that link with them (ANDY this is where you were quoted but the slides aren’t up yet).
  • The layout of a post on Facebook contributes to rhetorical strategy and provides clues on what is being privileged: the sharer, not the content. Students were asked to analyze a Facebook profile and determine what assumptions could they make from the information presented on the profile.
  • They found: That “expertise and passion are conflated.”
  • They found: That evaluation is social. Students don’t care about what is being posted unless they know the person. Also, the more engagement an article has (comments, shares, RTs), the more relevant/reputable the information is to the students. If the information is behind a paywall, why? We could relate this to peer review, open comment systems. (FOLLOW UP ON THIS IDEA)
  • They found: That information is now open. Students are creating information on a daily basis on Facebook, contributing to radical transparency on the web.
  • Student log quote: “We won’t feel forced to share, we will simply be terrified of not sharing” (related FB to the idea of the panopticon).
  • Student log quote: “If people are conditioned to be transparent, they will be better people.”
  • Instructors concluded that “Information literacy now situated within a social and decentralized, non hierarchical information environment”

PA Poets Write About Pennsylvania, and Other States of Being!

Featuring Julia Kasdorf, Erin Murphy, Todd Davis and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley & sponsored by the Local Authors Committee.

I can’t write too much in terms of “takeaways” for a poetry reading session, but I strongly encourage you to check these poets out. Their work was reflective of Pennsylvania and hearing them read was very inspirational.I purchased a few of their books in the PaLA store but I unfortunately had to run and check out of the hotel so I didn’t have time to chat with them or have them sign my copies.

Written by Erin Dorney

October 11, 2011 at 3:33 PM

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

So, you’re thinking about becoming a librarian?

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One of my favorite things about being a new librarian is that I now have a little bit of experience to offer to others. I am in constant communication with people across the country who are considering becoming  librarians or who are going through library school. These people find me a number of ways, including:

Other potential librarians find me through mutual acquaintances, Facebook, internet searches that turn up my blog, or Twitter. I have even had faculty members encourage their students to talk to me about my recent experience in library school. These communications are fascinating to me! Sometimes they consist of a phone call, sometimes in person, sometimes off the cuff, via email and even through Facebook messages and chat. I truly enjoy this aspect of now being an “MLIS-toting” librarian – I hope that my honesty can assist these interested parties in making a decision on whether this is the right career choice for them.

I think that this is certainly another area where librarians can utilize their networking skills. Not only do both parties benefit (you get connected to library newbs and get to share your passion while they gain insider information about the field from someone with experience), but you never know when relationships will develop. You might just kindle a friendship or professional working relationship that can last years. It’s also another way to get your name out there and encourage new and innovative people to join the field. Librarianship as a profession is not uber-complicated, but I think the misunderstanding of who we are and what we do encourages a certain level of secrecy that potential newcomers may be intimidated by. When I talk to someone, I try to be as open as possible, sharing  both my positive and negative experiences.

Recently, I was contacted by a student at my undergraduate alma mater, St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. She found my name through the CARD database mentioned above and asked me a few questions about my job. Below are her questions along with my responses. Do you have anything to add? I encourage all librarians to get involved in mentoring newcomers… most colleges and universities already have systems in place where you can enter your information in order to be connected to current students and recent graduates. Not only is it good for networking and information sharing, but the PR effect of having librarians listed in these types of directories can do a lot for the changing image of our profession!

What is the level of schooling needed for your career?
In order to be a librarian, you need to attend graduate school. A list of programs accredited by the American Library Association can be found here: http://www.ala.org/ala/accreditedprograms/index.cfm. It’s important to go to an ALA-accredited school.

Are there any specific courses or classes you would recommend I take?
All of the library programs are basically the same. You will learn stuff like customer service, cataloging, reference and research assistance, collection development, how to use databases, etc. Most programs have a management class as well, and sometimes a marketing class. I would recommend technology-related courses, anything with digital libraries, web design and development, and marketing.

Are there internships or shadow days that I can take advantage of?

It is almost imperative. Many students graduate from their library program with no experience in an actual library. It is very difficult to find an entry-level position with no experience. If you can’t find a position as a staff member (technician, part time, etc) while you are in school, interning somewhere or volunteering is a great way to gain that experience. I worked at Lavery Library while I was an undergraduate, then I worked as a clerk in a public library for a few months and then as an interlibrary loan technician at RIT while I was getting my master’s degree. That experience allowed me to secure a permanent position in an academic library before I even graduated. Most libraries are very willing to accept interns and volunteers, especially future librarians.

Is it important to make the patrons feel comfortable? How do you go about doing so? (I volunteer in a library occasionally, and that always plays a big role in to who visits, and when.)
It is very important. For me, it’s a little easier to do in an academic library setting – the students are close to my age, so I think they feel more comfortable asking me for assistance than the older, more experienced librarians. They won’t ask for help if the perceive you to be busy or unwilling to offer guidance. So it’s important to look approachable. I try to make eye-contact with people as they walk by and ask if they need anything. I think making sure that your lines of verbal and non-verbal communication is beneficial. I’m sure you know this from volunteering, but once people establish a repport with you, they will come back time and time again. This leads to mutually beneficial relationships because the patron feels more and more comfortable asking you for assistance and feedback.

What is the end that makes all the means necessary? Do you want to sell a product or endorse something or do you want to improve someone else’s quality of life?
I think I’ve chosen the perfect profession. I get to go into work every day and help people with whatever they need. Every day is different. In an academic library I get to be surrounded by a culture of learning. I love the fact that I don’t have to work for some evil corporation and especially that I don’t have to meet sales quotas, lie during pitches, or reprimand people. I simply help them have a better experience in the library and hopefully find the information their looking for.

Do you create your own schedule or do the people around you do that?
I have to say, I have a sweet job at the moment. I am at an academic university where the librarians are considered faculty members (people refer to me as Professor, which is a mind-trip!). As such, all library decisions are made at the departmental level, which means 12 librarians. We don’t have direct supervisors and I don’t report up. I simply work for the best interest of the library and the students. I get to set my own schedule, which is amazing. I have never had such freedom and flexibility in a job before. Along with that comes a high level of responsibility, but I think it’s totally worth it!

Do you mentor other people or do you emulate others?
I do both. I mentor lots of people who are considering entering the library profession, including former classmates, student workers and people who ask me for help (such as yourself). Lots of people find me through my blog, Facebook, Twitter, or the Syracuse University website where I am listed as an alumni class leader. So I help a lot of people by just sharing my experiences with them. I try to emulate the librarians and library professionals who I look up to. I read a lot of blogs, participate in conferences and presentation, networking, etc. I think we can all learn a lot from each other.

Is your field growing or staying the same? What are potential opportunities arising in your field? Do you think that, when I graduate in two years, your career will still be open?
There will be lots of people retiring from the library field in coming years. Sometimes that is referred to as “greying of the profession.” At the same time, libraries are changing dramatically. Positions that have been filled in the past are being revamped, updated, and eliminated. New and less traditional positions are appearing. Lots of them are technology related, some are like mine, dealing with public relations and marketing (I am the Outreach Librarian), some are customer service oriented like User Experience Librarian. There are tons of opportunities for newcomers. Everyone I have encountered so far has been helpful and appreciative of new blood entering the field. There are places and people where that is not the case (librarians who dislike the change that is accompanying the generational shift), but for the most part, people are open. I think if you keep your goal in mind throughout school, and participate in activities that bring you closer to that goal, you should be fine. Just realize that the old days of the card catalog and shushing librarian are (for the most part) already far gone.

How do you see your place in the world? Is there anything specific you hope to achieve? (Monetary amount, personal goals)
I see my place as helping students on their educational journey. I want to help them become better, more educated and experiences citizens who can achieve their goals. I want their experience with the library to be a positive and beneficial one so that they will become library champions, utilizing their public libraries in the future and with their children, appreciating literature and reading, using technology to interact with the global community and being knowledgeable about the viewpoints of humanity. These are some of the things I hope to achieve.

Who do you rely on? A personal coach? Friends? Family? Assistants?
I have a huge network of people I rely on daily. I have many professional contacts including librarians from around the country. I have close friends who I attended graduate school with, and friends from every stage of life. Their constant support is imperative to my mental state of mind. They present opportunities for me, help me to make decisions, and support my personal and professional journey. I hope that I offer the same to them.

Written by Erin Dorney

August 1, 2009 at 9:25 AM

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