Pa n d o r a i s NOT a Scary Box...(and u can do 2.0 2!) A guide to the wild andwonderful world of web 2.0. presented at NYLA 2008 by Ken P etrilli Teen Servic es Librarian New Rochelle Public Library
WHAT IS WEB 2.0?“Web 2.0, through its numerous deﬁnitions, encapsulates the idea of theproliferation of interconnectivity and interactivity of web-delivered content.”(from Wikipedia) Boy, that’s a mouthful!In plain english, Web 2.0 simply refers to the many and varied ways thatthe internet connects people with other people, either in a general way, orthrough speciﬁc ideas, interests or niches. WHY 2.0?Because we work with teens, and something like 90% of them are onlineevery single day. Kids today communicate with each other online, and thevirtual space they occupy is part of the fabric of their life. If we don’t at thevery least understand this world, we risk losing them as patrons. A WORD ON SAFETY I’m not going to get into a lengthy discussion on Internet safety; there’senough information out there to smother a small country. What I will say is this: if you’re nervous about you and your library jumping into Web 2.0.don’t be! Just use some common sense. I highly recommend having a setof guidelines in place. Have it approved by your board and follow it always. I’ve included the one I wrote for my library in this packet - feel free to stealit! I’ve also included a terriﬁc article from the New York Times which takes a pointed look at the reality of internet dangers. In addition, I highly rec- ommend you watch the PBS Frontline special “Growing Up Online.” It’s available in its entirety here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kidsonline/ So - with all this in mind, let’s look at the major players in the Web 2.0 world!
General Social Networking Sites:MySpace (www.myspace.com)You may have heard of this one. MySpace is the most popular social net-working site on the internet. boasting nearly 250,000,000 users in countriesall over the world. MySpace pages are customizable and the site includesfeatures as wide ranging as blogging, bulletins, groups, forums, classiﬁeds,news, video sharing and game applications. In addition, MySpace providesspecialized proﬁles for musicians and ﬁlmmakers. After six years, the siteis still extraordinarily popular with teens, especially those in urban areas.Users must be at least 13 years of age.Facebook (www.facebook.com)Created in 2004 as a college-only site, Facebook has quickly become thenumber two social networking site, boasting more than 120,000,000 users.Facebook does not allow page customization, and has a cleaner feel. Fea-tures include news feeds, photo and video sharing, classiﬁeds, groups, bul-letins, and of course, “The Wall” and “The Poke.” Facebook has becomeextremely popular with many teens, especially those in more suburban orwell-to-do areas. As with Myspace, users must be at least 13 years of age.Facebook also offers specialized pages for everything from businesses tomusicians.Why you need to know them:These are the Tokyo-stomping monsters of the social networking world. Ifyour teens aren’t on MySpace, they’re on Facebook, and they might be onboth. Want to reach teens? This is where they are. PERIOD.How to use them:Creating a library MySpace page is easy - just create an account and usethe Library’s name. The system is pretty wide open; i would suggest youlearn a bit about html or css if you want to customize the page. With Face-book, it’s a bit more complicated; you need to click on ‘advertising’ to ﬁndout how to make an institutional page. You will be guided on how to createa page for your library.
Book-related social networking sites:We’re libraries, and we love books - and so does web 2.0! There are sev-eral book-themed social networking sites (often called ‘social cataloging’) tochoose from.Librarything (www.librarything.com)Originally started in 2005, Librarything boasts over 400,000 users. Users(informally known as thingamabrarians) can catalog personal collections,keep reading lists, and meet other users who have the same books. Userscan browse the entire database by searching titles, authors, or tags gener-ated by users as they enter books into their libraries. Books are automati-cally cataloged on the site by data from booksellers and libraries, and Li-braries can integrate Librarything into their own OPAC’s.Shelfari (www.shelfari.com)Shelfari was launched on October 11, 2006. Users build virtual book-shelves of the titles they own or have read, and can rate, review, tag, anddiscuss their books.Goodreads (www.goodreads.com)Goodreads was started in December 2006 and now boasts more than650,000 members. The website permits individuals to sign up and registerbooks to create their library catalogs and reading lists.Why you need to know them:Because we love books, and this is a new and wide-ranging way for us toshare them.How to use them:I recommend signing up for Shelfari or Goodreads - they’re easier to use,and both have widgets that allow you to place a “bookshelf” on your MyS-pace or Facebook page. What better way to advertise the newest booksyou’ve received?! Music-Related Social Networking Sites
Anyone into music (like, i don’t know....teens, for example!) loves to shareit, and it’s the perfect niche for social networking.Last.Fm (www.last.fm)Last.fm is a UK-based Internet radio and music community website,founded in 2002. It claims over 21 million active users based in more than200 countries. Last.fm builds a detailed proﬁle of each users musical tasteby recording details of all the songs the user listens to, either on thestreamed radio stations or on the users computer or some portable musicdevices. This becomes part of the users proﬁle. Users can also createcustom radio stations and playlists from any of the audio tracks in Last.fmsmusic library, and are able to listen to some individual tracks on demand, ordownload tracks.MoG (mog.com)MOG is a social networking site where computer users who listen to theirmusic primarily on their computers or iPods can set up personal pages withtheir musical interests and listening history. Users can then connect withother similar users. MOG is similar to Last.fm, but it ﬁrst uploads a listing ofa users digital music collection to their MOG page, then it keeps track ofwhat music is played on the users computer. Other features includemusic-focused blogging, dedicated pages for artists, albums and songs,tagging of music items, and direct links to iTunes and Amazon for musicpurchases.Pandora (www.pandora.com)Pandora is an automated music recommendation and Internet radio servicecreated by the Music Genome Project. Users enter a song or artist thatthey enjoy, and the service responds by playing selections that are musi-cally similar. Users provide feedback on approval or disapproval — whichPandora takes into account for future selections.Why you need to know them
As media delivery changes, we need to change the way we think abouthow we provide non-book services. Plus, teens love music (and so dowe!).How to use themI will readily admit that I’m not sure how you could integrate any of theseinto your library’s web presence, but I still think it’s important to know them.Pandora does have a Facebook application that allows you to place thePandora player on your Facebook page. Media-Related Social Networking Sitesﬂickr (www.ﬂickr.com)Flickr is an image and video hosting website, and also an online communityplatform. In addition to being a popular Web site for users to share per-sonal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo re-pository. Its popularity has been fueled by its organization tools, which al-low photos to be tagged and browsed by folksonomic means.YouTube (www.youtube.com)Another one you may have heard of. YouTube is a video sharing websitewhere users can upload, view and share video clips. YouTube was createdin February 2005 by three former PayPal employees. The service usesAdobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generatedvideo content, including movie clips, TV clips and music videos, as well asamateur content such as videoblogging and short original videos.Why you need to know them
More video content has been uploaded to YouTube in the last couple ofyears than the entire history of television. Teens are at the forefront of thisrevolution.How to use themﬂickr is an obvious need if you a) take pictures at your programs and b)want to share them. The possibilities for YouTube are endless, from simplevids of your programs to ﬁlmmaking. Other Social Networking OdditiesNing and Twitter are two of the funkier cousins of the Social Networkingworld. They both have great upside, however in our library work. Twitterespecially is a potentially great way to update patrons about programs andall sorts of library goings-on.Ning (www.ning.com)Ning is an online platform for users to create their own social websites andsocial networks, launched in October 2005. Ning’s idea is to compete withlarge social sites like MySpace and Facebook, by appealing to users whowant to create networks around speciﬁc interests or have limited technicalskills. The fun thing about Ning is that anyone can create their own customsocial network for a particular topic or need, catering to speciﬁc audiences.Twitter (twitter.com)Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows itsusers to send and read other users updates (otherwise known as tweets),which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Tweets aredisplayed on the users proﬁle page and delivered to other users who havesigned up to receive them. Users can receive updates via the Twitter web-site, SMS, RSS, email or through an application such as Twitterriﬁc orFacebook. Second Life
(www.secondlife.com)Second Life and its sister site Teen Second Life are Internet-based virtualreality environments launched June 23, 2003. Second Life caters for usersaged over 18, while Teen Second Life is restricted to users aged between13 and 18. A free downloadable client program called the Second LifeViewer enables its users, called "Residents", to interact with each otherthrough motional avatars, providing an advanced level of a social networkservice combined with general aspects of a metaverse. Residents can ex-plore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group ac-tivities, and create and trade items (virtual property) and services with oneanother.Although the uses of Second Life are limited, it’s worth knowing about.Teens are limited to Teen Second Life and adults are only allowed there ona limited basis, for educational purposes (and after passing a backgroundcheck). Many universities are using Second Life as an educational tool,and there are future possibilities for us as well. So....I hope you’ve gotten a bit of a clearer idea as to some of the main socialnetworking technologies out there, and are thinking about using them inyour library work. A couple of things to remember:1. The best way to ﬁgure out these sites is to use them. Sign up for an ac-count on one or more and fool around with them.2. As with anything we do, your teens are your best resource. Ask themwhich sites they use, and organize a web team. I’ve included the survey Iused in my library. Feel free to steal it!Resources
Thankfully I don’t have to type out a big long list, because YALSA alreadydid it for me! Visit their Web 2.0 and Libraries page at:http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Web_2.0_%26_LibrariesAlso, there are a TON of books available on how to customize, tweak, hackand otherwise use most of these sites - browse the computer section atBorders and I guarantee you’ll ﬁnd one you like. Now, get out there and be social! Ken Petrilli is the Teen Services Librarian at the New Rochelle Public Library. In addition he is a musician, sci-ﬁ nerd, Otaku and all- around pop-culture junkie. He has a love/hate relationship with his computer, and still thinks the best social networking involves the local bar and a few pints of Guinness you can contact him @ planetﬁre@hotmail.com ! ! ! Ironlibrarian@gmail.com ! ! ! myspace.com/ironlukesound