Can we lead the trend?

Stephen Abram said in his article “How can myspace inform library portal development”, that his daughter called all her friends to discard Myspace and migrate to Facebook, after he spent whole weekend building his Myspace profile. So I am wondering if libraries really want to use social network tools to approach their patrons, which tools they should pick, or they are going to set up account on every single social network site.

So far, we have studied many different social software tools, and I don’t think that any library could possibly implement all these tools or integrate into their website. Because of the limitation of manpower and financial power, libraries have to evaluate each tool and choose the most suitable one. Stephen asked eight questions about Web2.0 and social networking services, and shared some recent initiatives. I was thinking that after carefully studying those questions and initiatives, librarians should come up some ideas to create new models or provide new services, which are most suitable to library setting, instead of using existed platforms. As the information professional, we should lead the trend in the information age, not follow the trend.

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One Response to “Can we lead the trend?”

  1. amanda Says:

    Good question, Qingyi. I think it would be nice to believe that librarians/libraries can LEAD the charge in the arena of social tools, but the reality is that unless you can achieve critical mass, your newly-built social tool will be useless. In the world of online social networks, this is also known as “friends go where friends are”. In the world of tagging (e.g. adding tags to catalogue records), we’d need to make sure that personal value exceeds network value (as Vander Wal suggests).

    I guess the bottom line is that we won’t know the answer until someone builds it!

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