Monday, October 15, 2007

12. Explore Myspace and Facebook

Play MP3 Play audio introduction for this task

I'm sure you have heard of Myspace - and not necessarily in a positive light. Myspace has been criticised for security and child safety issues.

Myspace is a social networking website popular among teenagers and young adults. It allows people to set up a personal website featuring information about themselves, their interests and activities. You can browse, search, invite friends to connect and interact, share film reviews, make comments, post mail and blog entries, view videos, post classified ads and much more. Myspace now allows video and music sharing, online chat, and can even be browsed on mobile phones.

Some libraries have used Myspace to connect with their younger patrons. Read through the Discovery Resources links below to get an idea of what different libraries are doing in Myspace and what librarians are saying about it.

According to the statistics company Alexa Internet, Myspace is the sixth most popular site on the web, beating Wikipedia, Blogger, Ebay and Flickr. Over 150,000 new Myspace profiles are created daily.

Discovery Resources

Facebook is also a social networking website. Initially starting as a way for college students to connect with friends, it is now open to anyone who wishes to join. People use Facebook to keep up with old friends, upload photos, share links and videos, and find out information about the people they meet.

Originally, the membership was restricted to students of Harvard University but since 2006 it has been open to all. Users can select to join one or more participating 'networks'. Networks exist for universities, workplaces and geographical regions.

In June 2007, Facebook was ranked in the top 10–20 web sites and was the number one site for photos in the United States, ahead of public sites such as Flickr, with over 8.5 million photos uploaded daily. It is also the seventh most visited site worldwide according to Alexa Internet. Time magazine reported in its 3 September 2007 issue that Facebook's fastest growing demographic consists of people 35 years or over.

Discovery Resources

First, have a look at some of the ways libraries are using Myspace.

In order to explore Facebook, you'll need a Facebook account. Register for an account at and join. It will ask for lots of information about yourself, but remember that it is all optional. You only need to give as much information about yourself as you are comfortable giving.

With a Facebook account, you can now search for people. Try searching for a person you work with. You may even want to browse for Swinburne University's Facebook network and join it.

Write a blog post about your experience with Myspace and Facebook. You could discuss what implications the use of sites such as Myspace might have for libraries, or what benefit they could bring to libraries.

This week's task was originally written by Kat Clancy of Deakin University

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