Entry 1: Introduction to INF506

  1. Defining social networking

Before I define social networking, I would like to set some boundaries. Social networking is an ambiguous term.  De Rosa, Cantrell, Havens, Hawk, & Jenkins (2007) explain that the act of social networking is not a new one, we have always developed social networks, but the tools we use to carry out these actions have changed.  For the purpose of INF506 (as I understand it) we are concerned purely with online social networking, mostly through social networking sites and social media platforms.


Social, Flickr image by D Hancock

Social networking (my definition)
A term used to describe the use of social media and social networking sites: online services that are designed to develop and maintain connections between people through participation. The ability to build connections (which creates a web of connections over time) and the ability for any user to contribute are the defining factors of this phenomenon.
Despite the name, online Social Networking is also widely used for professional, commercial and special interest purposes.

2. Social networking technologies I already use

I have broken this question down into:
Social networking technologies I currently use and am active in (contribute content):

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • I have used blogs for my involvement in ALIA New Graduates Groups and NLS6

Social networking technologies I use passively without contributing content or commenting:

    • Youtube
    • Flickr

Social networking technologies that I have used in the past:

    • Delicious (used for previous study)
    • Yammer (at previous workplace)

3. What I expect to learn from INF506

Although I don’t use many social media platforms, I am reasonably comfortable using social networking technologies, but I am looking forward to investing time into using these technologies more thoughtfully and actively. I am looking to formalise my knowledge so that I have some theory behind my use of social media and consider how I feel about their relative benefits and use in various library contexts.
I also want to consider how I can use these technologies (or recommend their use) in my place of work, and to have some theory and experience to back up any proposals I may devise as a result of this subject.
I have set up a wordpress.com blog as my OLJ format as I would like to become more comfortable with this technology.


De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J. & Jenkins, L. (2007). Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC.  [ebook] Available http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing.pdf

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