A. Evaluative Statement
INF506 has five learning objectives: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of social networking technologies; 2. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts, theory and practice of Library 2.0 and participatory library service; 3. Critically examine the features and functionality of various social networking tools to meet the information needs of users; 4. Evaluate social networking technologies and software to support informational and collaborative needs of workgroups, communities and organisations; and 5. Demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, educational, ethical, and technical management issues that exist in a socially networked world, and how information policy is developed and implemented to support such issues. Over the course of the subject, I have achieved these objectives through my experiences with Second Life and Pinterest and by exploring Library 2.0.
In my post Off Topic: If You Pin It, They Will Come, I mentioned that after my initial creation of a Pinterest account to collect Halloween ideas, I used it as a storage space of sorts for things that I found on the Internet that I did not want taking up space on my iPad. This included uploading a number of images that I had saved from the Internet onto my iPad, which of course stripped the images of information regarding their point of origin. When I uploaded them to Pinterest, they were displayed as having been saved by me as the origin of the content, which is of course patently false.
I was rereading Dudenhoffer (2013) whilst working on my final OLJ post, and one of the subjects in that chapter regards the issue of copyright on Pinterest. Now, I had always meant to go back and add sources on all of the things I had uploaded, but as someone who is frequently busy with school and work, it naturally fell by the wayside (to my eternal shame). And in the interim, other people had saved and repinned the pins that I had uploaded.
I created a Pinterest account in the autumn of last year (2015) for the sole purpose of finding and saving Halloween craft ideas (I get really into Halloween, okay). After Halloween had come and gone, I used it sporadically, mainly as a place to save things I found on the Internet so that I didn’t have to save them to my iPad and lose space. Eventually I quit using it entirely, though I kept my account so that if necessary, I could log in and look at other Pinterest user’s boards.
While being enrolled in this subject, I have been revisiting social media platforms with which I have accounts but, for one reason or another, do not use often, with the goal of incorporating them more fully into my own personal social media world. I have even managed to make friends with Twitter, which is nothing short of amazing. I have also found success with Pinterest, along with a surprising (to me, at any rate) piece of wisdom, namely: If you pin it, they will come.
In my post about Web 2.0, I made an allusion to Web 3.0, i.e. the Semantic Web. Now, I am interested in Linked Data, and the project of which my work for Assignment 3 was a part has Linked Data and the Semantic Web as an important piece of what I am exploring with the project. I say this by way of introduction and disclaimer that when it comes to Web 3.0, there is no doubt in my mind that Web 3.0 is the Semantic Web, Q.E.D.
So when I read David Stuart’s Web 3.0 promises change for libraries, Research Information, (February/March 2010), I was not exactly favorably disposed towards the other contenders (pretenders, says I) to the title of Web 3.0. However, after reading the article, I must admit that I am intrigued as to the possibilities offered by the 3D Web and the Real World Web. As someone who has in a past life been involved in the 3D art world, I find the proposition of a 3D web particularly fascinating and am eager to see what may develop in this area. The Real World Web I am not so keen on though I will grudgingly admit that it does indeed offer some very useful and interesting technologies for libraries to incorporate into their services.
Because of my bias towards the Semantic Web, I am of course throughly incensed at the statement that the Real World Web is most worthy of the Web 3.0 title, and would be quite prepared and willing to argue that the Semantic Web is the true heir to the throne of Web 3.0. However, to paraphrase the old Latin maxim, de gustibus et interretialia tertia non sunt disputandum.
“Not just data: Privacy in the digital age” (de Souza 2014) and “Empowering patients through social media: The benefits and challenges” (Househ, Borycki, & Kushniruk 2014) both highlight an important implication of the lack of privacy in social media, confounded by corporate tracking of internet and social media use, that is specific to the context of health information-related use of the internet and social media. De Souza identifies this broadly as “a danger that interested parties may form judgments about us based on conceptions of our online personas rather than our real selves” with the specific example of a “log of one’s online searching…be[ing] used as the basis to deny medical insurance coverage.” Househ, Borycki, & Kushniruk identified a study that “reported that discussing their condition presents a risk for teenage patients, as it may impact their ability to establish relationships or obtain jobs or insurance.”
This presents a conundrum for users of social media who are using or would like to use social media platforms as a space to connect with others who share similar experiences–to talk about their experiences and day-to-day existence, the things they find challenging and the small triumphs they accomplish. Having such a space is particularly critical for people who have rare or uncommon diseases/disorders, stigmatized diseases/disorders, or disabling diseases/disorders that inhibit their ability to find others like them in their own geographical area or their ability to even leave their home to try to find others like them. For patients like these, the internet and social media offer what may be the only option for connecting with others for support with their illness. The lack of even a moderate guarantee of privacy for their interactions on the internet and social media presents them with a choice between remaining isolated but with their privacy intact, or sacrificing their privacy and potentially jeopardizing their future economic stability in order to have some small measure of human contact. It is a choice that I do not think is fair to ask anyone to make, yet the current state of privacy on the internet and social media forces them to make it.
In my third entry, I talked a bit about my use of Twitter. Or rather, my lack of use of Twitter, and how much I disliked using Twitter. However, as I said in that post, I have been trying to make friends with Twitter and log in more than once every few months. That was 21st March, and today, on this the fourth day of May, I am happy to report that–to my surprise–this effort has actually been going rather well. I will never be a Twitter super-user, but over the past month or so, I have gotten on Twitter at least a few times and scrolled through my news feed and retweeted some things. I have yet to tweet something of my own, but all things in due course.
I said in my earlier post that “[t]here’s something about [Twitter] that I can’t put my finger on that doesn’t mesh with the way I use social media.” I think what has helped me make peace with Twitter is finding a way to use it that incorporates it into my social media life and interests without forcing it or myself to be something we aren’t. For me, this has been using it as a space to see health-related infographics and graphics in general that can serve as a source of inspiration and learning for me. I also retweet other things that I find that are interesting or that I like, of course, but visualization of health information gives me something to focus my use of the platform around. I would even go so far as to say that I enjoy scrolling through Twitter now, which is not something I ever thought I would say.
And they all lived happily ever after.
I think one of the biggest (and arguably most important) parts of creating a social networking strategy that I identified in this module is the necessity for each social networking/media platform used to have a specific purpose. (Though of course, one must also be able to measure the success of the platform’s implementation, e.g. using SMART goals.) Using the UNC Hospitals Patients’ Library (mentioned in Entry 6) as my setting, I have drafted the following marketing strategy implementing the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms.