Saturday, December 31, 2011

Identity, Privacy, Security and Trust

Think about online identity in relation to both individuals and organisations:

what is important in terms of how we present and manage those identities online?

One of Facebook's policies is that identities need to be real. Facebook attempts to identify fake identities and have their profiles removed (Reynes-Goldie, 2010). In terms of what we present to the world we should never hide behind fake identities, however is it safer in terms of our privacy to retain our identity and presume a fake one for our online identity?

I can understand why people use an alias instead of their 'real' self when setting up accounts online. We feel like through this we are protecting ourselves in a sense, saving our privacy. However, this is also letting down the online world and the aim of social networking and social media to break down barriers to communication and create transparency between networks. I think there is always a need to be your 'real' self and not hide behind an alias. In doing this there is a responsibility in respecting your online identity and that of others. Thinking before posting or tagging needs to become a catch cry in schools and educational institutions.

In terms of our privacy I don't believe a fake identity makes you safer or more protected considering many online identities require or allow uploading or photos, networking with friends, colleagues and family and there are many online facilities for internet deep searches that can detect your identity (Davis, 2009).

what can we share and what should we retain as private to the online world?

There is a great need to be a part of the online world. Reynes-Goldie (2010) discusses the great social cost of not having a Facebook account, as Facebook becomes the means to communication about invitations and events, people and places. Further to this, remaining connected with friends and family and having access to the online world brings a great amount of happiness to many people around the world.

In terms of what we share, I suppose its personal. I am probably quite cautious, I don't expose my address, contact details or birthdate, my intimate feelings or photos. I never 'rant' or 'rave' or post when upset or angry. Generally my online world is purely for staying in touch and to keep up to date with what's happening around me. I've never forgotten what Barack Obama said "be careful what you post on Facebook".

There is however difficulties that exist when people post about or tag you. Reynes-Goldie (2010) found through research that most young people were aware of their "Social Privacy" and wanted greater control over what was posted about them before it became public.

There are a great number of deep search facilities available on the net which makes finding information about people, or yourself, easier and this is what concerns me (Davis, 2009). I often think about people who are trying to escape a past life, for whatever reason, and cannot rebuild when there is so much evidence made public by an online presence. I also worry about the youth of today who perhaps haven't got the foresight to see the impact their online profiles can continue to have in their later life.

Shift Happens

5 Shifts or Trends highlighted by this clip that may impact on the behaviour of digital citizens:

1. Unique online newspaper readers is on the up and traditional print purchases on the decline.
2. Digital book scanners can now scan 1000 pagers per hour.
3. Americans have access to 65000 iPhone apps.
4. There are 250 million visitors every month to MySpace Facebook and YouTube
5. 95% of all songs downloaded weren't paid for.

In terms of providing information policy to cater for these shifts...

There are massive implications for society when you consider the impact of these trends. As an employer, or CEO of any organisation (schools and libraries included) information policy needs to be updated and relevant to current trends. If more people are using online newspaper readers does this mean the paper is being read at the office desk, and if so, is this time away from pressing work. Considering the great incline in access to MySpace, Facebook and YouTube as well as the availability of apps for smartphones an employer must be concerned that time at work is spent on online devices rather than engaged with work.

For young people sending thousands of text messages, operating multiple online accounts and profiles, tweeting, posting, uploading, downloading... this must all take time and time away from other pursuits.

Of course all this online activity does support work and learning and collaborating effectively, however where does information policy draw the line and assist people in ensuring correct and appropriate usage for the greatest benefit for all?

  • We need Information policy that endorses greater education of and support for Creative Commons and understanding of copyrighting laws.
  • Information policy needs to address acceptable online usage policies for all work and educational institutions.
  • All people need to be able to gain access to online learning and collaborating through social networks and social media.
  • Information policy needs to address using the Internet safely and ensuring privacy.

Friday, December 30, 2011

3 Library's usage of Social networking and Social media

Comparison of the Social Networking Tools used by three libraries:


Information Service Provision

Educational programs

Networking and connecting with others



State Library of Victoria

Bright Ideas blog

Read blog

Family Matters blog

News blog



Inside a dog blog



Bright Ideas blog




Online chat available 10am-6pm


Phone applications

Melbourne City Library

Online courses in how to use social networking

E-audiobooks available for download




Join online learning teams

Online feedback forms

Scotch College Melbourne

Library Blog

Online age


Links Plus


Library blog

Book clubs

Online suggestions forms

Ask an expert email

List of reasons why libraries should be social networking and on social media:

• Engaging with the modern technology that people are using
Libraries need to utilise the technology that their clientele are using to ensure they remain relevant to the user. The State Library of Victoria has numerous blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts, photo sharing on Flickr and provide E-newsletters. The Melbourne City Library doesn’t have as much of a presence but stills engages with these tools. Scotch College being a school library is gradually joining the ranks of the public library system in using social networking and social media. Their blogs and book clubs are now available for all online.

• Providing information that is current when the need is relevant to the user
We live in a digital world; information needs to be at people’s fingertips, our library information needs to be accessible for users at the point of need. Smartphone applications created by the State Library are ensuring that their platform is being used when people want to find information. Better websites from Scotch College and the Melbourne City Library are ensuring people turn to these when they need to find answer to their questions.

• Promotion of Library services
Libraries need to promote their services via social media and social networking as this is where they will be seen or heard by their users. The State Library has a presence on Facebook and Twitter and uses these platforms to promote new exhibitions, services, and changes to opening hours, events or features occurring at the library or online.

Top 10 social networking tools and trends for libraries

The library that I have been involved with for the past few years is moving towards many of the trends from the 2009 and 2010 list. Twitter is being trialled as a means of communication with year 12 students, a new library webpage has been created using Weebly (, ebooks have been ordered, librarians are using GoodReads, bibme is encouraged across the school, Flickr is used to find shared photos.

In terms of Social Networking, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are banned on the school network. However there has been progress made towards allowing these sites, including the removal of the White List, which only allowed sites that had been approved by a single person.

Change and the implementation of innovations doesn't happen overnight. The school libraryl I am working at in 2012 is a long way behind my previous school library and so I am back to the start in terms of working towards more Library 2.0. I will also need to take time to learn the school, the students and the staff and try to work towards their needs.

Friday, December 23, 2011


The above mind map demonstrates my Personal Learning Network.

Jeff Utecht’s post Stages of PLN adoption (3 April, 2008) on his blog The Thinking Stick identified the following 5 stages of the PLN:

Step 1: Immersion
Step 2: Evaluation
Step 3: Know it all
Step 4: Perspective
Step 5: Balance

At this stage I feel like I am in the "Know it all stage". I am currently undertaking a unit of study that requires me being a part of a number of social networks that I usually am not a part of. I do feel quite overwhelmed and have lost perspective and most certainly balance, as I am spending far too much of my time on phone apps or computer screen. When this unit finishes I will evaluate what parts of the learning I will continue with to help me achieve some Balance.

When I began my Masters I felt Immersed in information and networks of information, I then realised that I needed to evaluate and find what items are most beneficial for me to curate. A colleague and I actually spilt up some of the feeds to half the work load.

I participate heavily in Twitter, I have just recently received a new laptop and have "lost" (until I learn how to work the machine) some of the blogs I follow. I need to participate more with the blog authors and users. I have moved to Melbourne and so I am looking forward to reaching out to networks of TL's down there.

Library 2.0...

The words in the Wordle signify the skills and knowledge a Librarian needs to understand how to assist learners to navigate Web 2.0. Librarians need to ensure they are accessible to library users to ensure they are developing the skills they need to succeed.

Wordle by theunquietlibrary, accessed from Flickr

10 Criteria for evaluating library website design...

Based on my reading of Mathews (2009), Lazaris (2009), McBurnie (2007) and Governor et al (2009) I have developed the following

10 criteria with which to evaluate a library website:

1. Visually appealing (use of coordinated colours and fonts, photos and pictures)
2. Organised and segmented efficiently
3. Search functions included
4. Feedback function provided
5. Ask a librarian feature clearly provided
6. Ensure two click policy utilised where possible
7. Audio features
8. Main traffic areas stand out for user
9. Interaction through games and videos
10. Provide clear access to teacher, student, parent portals

The St.Patrick's College library website:

This website is visually appealing, it's target audience is adolescent males and staff at St.Patrick's College in Ballarat and the photo assists in informing the user of this by showing the school emblem, the consistency in font and colour scheme adds to the visual appeal. The website is also organised and segmented efficiently with a clear tab bar across the top and some quick links on the home page. The site has a search function for both the site and google which is a great addition but is only available on the home page. There is no feedback function nor is there an ask a librarian function which means this webpage is greatly lacking in user participation and interactivity; key features of a Web 2.0 library website design. There does seem to be simple paths to find information meaning not too many 'clicks'. There is some audio features in tutorials and book trailers, but this is not enough, some lib guides or podcasts, tutorials or recordings need to be provided. The main user areas do stand out, the site is clear and efficiently organised. The site is missing interactivity through video or games, however it does have clear areas for students and staff portals. If parents are going to access the site there needs to be accommodation for them also.

Overall the site is clear, modern and usability is high. It does lack in interactivity and Web 2.0 elements such as audio and video need to be included. The site is still in beta mode and the URL will change as the current URL is not appropriate to the name of the school and does not point towards the site being for a library, thus the online profile is not sufficient.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

ASU Libraries

How do the videos created by Anita Perry of ASU Libraries and The Library Channel achieve the 4C's of social media?
(1minute videos, twitter feed, RSS feed, ability to subscribe and comment, chat via IM to a librarian)

Collaboration: the videos and the library channel allow for multiple users to find information, respond to it, ask questions and be guided. The videos allow for users to feel like they are a part of the library and are made to feel welcome and invited to participate.

Conversation: the twitter feed creates conversation, there is also an online poll to respond to.

Community: through developing understanding and informing their users ASU Libraries are ensuring their clientele are connected and feel a part of the community.

Content creation: it would be nice to see some of the video tutorials created by users of the library. There was room for participation in Twitter and response to feeds, as well as commenting on the videos and blog, however it could be worthwhile considering allowing users to take the helm with an online book club. If I could have logged into the individual university pages there may have been more content creation allowances.

The site and videos were really interactive, they were engaging, informative and encouraged a sense of community.


VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and although I had never heard this term I have used some of the services. VoIP is basically Internet telephony, one of the most common forms utilised is Skype. Sype provides free calls using the Internet network rather than telephone networks. There is also the option of using inbuilt or attached web cameras to make the call face to face.

There has been great advances in the technology that supports Internet telephony and many people, especially in business make use of web conferencing. This allows for people across the world to conduct meetings in each other's presence via online tools that include features not limited to face to face, real time conversing, digital collaborative whiteboards and audio recordings.

Tools such as Skype are changing the services that can be provided to people working across distances: they allow for less travel expenses and more on time work, they connect family and friends, work colleagues, university peers and lecturers, guest speakers and celebrities, they allow face to face chats which are more intimate than a phone call and allow body language and movement to be a form of communication.

By providing a service that enables face to face chats people are challenged to read other people, there is no anonymity, people are real and it is occuring in real time. Ohio University provides Skype a Librarian and this service would encourage people to call as often when struggling with a challenge the need to speak with someone and visualise them is vital, also they can see exactly what you are working on if the web camera is pointed the right way.

Ideas for enhancing services via VoIP:
Guest authors to speak to classes via Skype
Web conferencing to network with other Librarians and discuss ideas
Allowing for workers to spend more valuable time at work and at home rather than travelling to meetings
The library should no longer be a place you have to physically be to 'visit'.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Second Life

It was with great trepidation that I ventured into Second Life and I have to admit we had a rocky start. My good friend who works in mental health cursed the day Second LIfe began as a means to creating further complications to the minds of her mentally ill patients. Her experience involved patients misunderstanding the blur between reality and virtual reality, they commonly already find the distinction difficult and online games have only amplified the problem. It was with these thoughts and my own lack of interest in online gaming that I took on Second Life and first impressions were not good.

I spent a whole day struggling with entering Second Life, not it's fault but me and my new computer. I realised that part of the Second Life screen was hidden by items on my desktop and so I had been trying fruitlessly all that time when I needed to login and get into Second LIfe. Then my sound stopped working right as I got into the tutorial, so frustrating to know that people are talking to you and you can't hear or respond to gain the understanding you need in those critical first moments.

As you can see from this snapshot my MAC screen is blocking some of the Second LIfe icons:

What I liked about Second Life:
I did find the conversing great. This was new (not available in the other forms of social media I use) and I loved being able to connect with others via speech, I also liked that your voice was clear and not automated.
I also learnt to sit and stand, fly, run and check my view from a number of angles. With practise these things would be second nature. I should have printed off the instructions and had them right beside me for easy viewing while I was still a "newbie".
The graphics are incredible and I like the music. Quick to load, clear to look at, it is a far cry from any video gaming I have used in the past.

Here I am sitting around having a chat:

I was disappointed when I got to other world like Eduscape that I couldn't find anything and felt it was kind of empty. I felt a great sense of comfort when I first visited Australia. However I then became a bit critical and felt some things weren't accurate representations and if they are being sold as something and people around the world are viewing this, does it need to be more real to life?
Here I am hovering above the Opera House:

In terms of using this it has a lot of potential for providing information and engaging students. However I'm just hearing the warning bells. There is such a level of anonymity that you can enter into this with. There are areas that are risky, it feels very addictive, all the avatars appeared "sexed" up and unrealistic.

Downloading and installing Second Life was reasonably easy, however it used up all my Internet download and that was a real annoyance.

Here I am, with my chosen avatar, at the CSU site:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds can enhance library or information service's ability to meet the information needs of its users in two ways:

1. Through the use of the feed new information is being delivered to the user for as long as they are subscribed.

2. The service can set up feeds that provide relevant information and users can search for feeds relevant to their information needs.


The provision of information can happen in any location. User's don't necessarily need to be at the Library to access the feeds and after subscribing no more work needs to occur.

Most sites and blogs now have the RSS feed icon and so it is easy and quick to set up a subscription. I subscribed to my sister's social commentary and feminist rants blog and a friends fashion blog, I receive email updates and they appear in my google reader along with other feeds. I also enjoy my Virgin updates, with flight and holiday specials to entice while I should be working.

Creative Commons

Youtube clip on Creative Commons.

Site with license details.

QR codes


Folksonomy vs Taxonomy

Folksonomy is when people attribute tags to information they find for the purposes of retrieval.

Taxonomy is when information is tagged using controlled vocabularies by information professionals.

The benefits of folksonomy is that it is more relevant to the individual user and uses current terminology that feels more natural to the user.

The benefits of taxonomy is that it is organised and efficient for many users.

I feel like there is a place for both and finding this combination and respecting both is important.

I can't believe that one of the all time most popular tags on Flickr is "raw".

I also can't believe that Wikipedia has only one paid staff throughout the world. Truly remarkable.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Social media V Social networking sites

Definition to explain the difference between social media and social networking:

"We use the term “social networking” to describe sites primarily designed to facilitate interaction between users who share interests, attitudes and activities, such as Facebook and MySpace. We use “social media” to refer to sites that allow individuals to share content they have created, such as YouTube (video sharing) and Flickr (photo sharing). While interaction occurs on social media sites, the primary purpose of the site is to publish and share content."

Digital Natives

"Sharing Privacy & Trust in Our Networked World"
A report to the OCLC membership

This was some interesting reading regarding the use of the Internet by people surveyed across a number of countries. I did disagree with the information professionals "who saw little merit educational or otherwise in what is happening on these sites (social networking sites)"

I find these sites are being used widely in an educational setting as well as for many other and varied purposes. I work in education and we are constantly trying to implement social networking into the curriculum.

I could relate easily to the levels of engagement with the Internet. I didn't use the Internet whilst I was at school. I did begin to use it at University but only in a 'Browsing/Purchasing' manner. After completing Uni I began to use it for 'Interacting Activities' as I was on email and searching and then later for 'Creating Activities' as I now have webpages, profiles on social networking and social media sites. I engage daily with the Internet and my life would not be the same without it.

I regularly use Commercial sites, especially for purchasing books and clothes. I love that I can buy items from anywhere in the world from the comfort of my living room. I use social networking sites especially Facebook and Twitter for stay in contact with friends and I use social media for sharing information and finding clips on youtube.

I feel like I was an average statistic. I would have loved to see where Australia rated and compared in comparison to the countries surveyed.