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Cataloguing your friends and neighbours


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Personal metadata and the opportunities and challenges of working with social networking sites, presentation by N. Osborne, SUNCAT Assistant Project Officer, given at CIGS Web2.0 metadata and issues seminar, Fri 30 Jan, 2009.

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Cataloguing your friends and neighbours

  1. 1. Cataloguing Your Friends and Neighbours Personal Metadata and the Opportunities and Challenges of Working with Social Networking Sites Nicola Osborne SUNCAT Assistant Project Officer [email_address]
  2. 2. Before I Start… A little Live Twittering is required… Post or search with the hashtag: #CIGSWeb2
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><ul><li>What are Social Networking Site (SNS)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many of them are there? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are some of the most popular SNS? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bebo * </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace * </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ning * </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Orkut * </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iGoogle * </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Who Uses Social Sites <ul><li>According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project January 2009 : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>75% of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social network site. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>57% of online adults 25-34 have a profile on a social network. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Ipsos Mori Poll quoted in the Guardian, September 2008 : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>95% of British undergraduates regularly use social networking sites. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Who Uses Social Sites TNS Market Research Digital Life, Digital World Survey - December 2008
  6. 6. What do Social Networking Sites Look Like? <ul><li>However the users want them to! </li></ul><ul><li>They usually have ads. </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of random noise: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Silly applications. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jokes and comments. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Change relatively frequently: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Appearance of apps change. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Apps may disappear or work differently. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Users may migrate due to changes. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 17. Why Should Libraries and Information Services Use SNS? <ul><li>SNS are used for personal and professional networking. </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic “Word of Mouth” with added benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trusted personal networks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatic “news feeds” of activities in many spaces. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal information sits alongside ever changing social data. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Links & Tinyurls allow for passive(ish) distribution of information and navigation to services, libraries etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Serendipitous discovery tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Free and intrinsically targeted marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows you to find out more about your users and engage with them in an informal space. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone else is there! </li></ul>
  8. 18. Clusters of Contacts MSc e-Learning Contacts (2007-) University Friends of Friends… Generated Using Nexus Facebook Application: Work colleagues - UoE University & University Societies Contacts (1999-) EDINA colleagues Year In Industry contacts (1998/9) Sister’s Friends Family Friends Work colleagues - BP Work colleagues – Microlab Conference Contacts Former Flatmates (1999) School Friends (1991-8) Film Festival Contacts (2000-) School Friends (1984-91) Belly Dance Friends Partner (2004-) Partner’s Friends Fringe Festival Contacts (2000-)
  9. 19. Personal Data <ul><ul><li>What (meta)data is available? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What restrictions are placed on this data? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Storable Data. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Requestable Data. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What data do you want to use? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you going to use it for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What data will your users be happy to share with you ? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 20. Cataloguing Your Friends... Name: Jane Doe About: Female, Single Hometown: Glasgow, UK D.O.B: 1 st June 1983 Friends and colleagues News/Activity items: relationship status, published notes, blogs applications added etc. Edinburgh Students Durham Alumni Glasgow Group Memberships Blog Posts Love life Status Actions! Comments, images & feeds from other services Status Updates User ID, Info, Location, etc.
  11. 21. Human Metadata <ul><li>Every SNS collects different data such as: </li></ul><ul><li>User Info: name and/or nickname and/or ID </li></ul><ul><li>Factual Context: location; gender; relationship status </li></ul><ul><li>Group Membership: professional; educational; hobby; leisure groups etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Links to other SNS: friendfeed; flickr; twitter… </li></ul><ul><li>Interests: hobbies; “pages”; “fan of”; apps added etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Connections: friends; partners; people commented on; colleagues etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioural data: comments; tags; bookmarks… </li></ul><ul><li>Live updates: microblog feeds, feeds from blogs and SNS etc. </li></ul>
  12. 22. From Web Social Architecture: The Mad Science of Online Community blog
  13. 23. Accessing Human Metadata from SNS <ul><li>Social Platforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook Platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenSocial </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specific Data Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SocialGraph API </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ning Platform; Yahoo!; MySpace; iGoogle (all use subsets of OpenSocial) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FOAF, SIOC, SKOS (semantic web vocabularies and formats) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook Connect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Authentication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OAuth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenID </li></ul></ul>
  14. 24. Design Considerations <ul><ul><li>Criteria and rules of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) can be quirky: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook won’t allow applications called “Face… “ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ning requires your application to “add something useful” and be suitable for deployment across all Ning networks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information available through APIs varies even when using standards (Ning and MySpace use OpenSocial differently) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs of audience/users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which, if any, spaces are your users in? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which spaces do they have access to? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality and limitations of medium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is a social application really going to be the right thing to use? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What information can you mash up with the social data? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy and Preferences of Users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How will this work with other services and tools – will it connect or be standalone or..? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data Protection. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 25. Cultural Issues <ul><li>Libraries have set rules and expectations, social networking sites are semi-controlled spaces with all the problems you’d expect: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fake profiles. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interlopers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spammers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncomfortable crossing of personas. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People can be lax with information on SNS but expect trusted organisations to behave appropriately with their data. </li></ul><ul><li>Spurious emails, overtly pushy recommendation tools, marketing and rewards for referring friends will turn your presence into spam. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how you will you support and interact with your users in this space and ensure time and processes are in place to make this happen. </li></ul><ul><li>How important is accessibility and what is the comfort levels of your users - and your staff - with SNS technology. Are you adding value for some or disenfranchising others? </li></ul><ul><li>Does your application and/or page have any relevance to what else your users are doing on this SNS? </li></ul><ul><li>Does your purpose actually suit this medium? </li></ul>
  16. 26. Access, Permissions and Privacy <ul><ul><li>Trust is a real issue - developers sell applications and databases regularly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users may be happy to find you but may not want to be automatically sought. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will your app allow your users to protect their privacy and to change settings for feeds and information shared with friends? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where will you be holding data? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What terms, conditions and privacy information will you provide for your app users? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you ensure your app looks authentic and official - will you back it up with physical marketing in your library? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you respect the power that comes with access to users profiles? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation & longevity: what you do if the SNS loses funding and closes down? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who owns the SNS - are there political, commercial or other concerns? </li></ul></ul>
  17. 27. APIs and Personal Data <ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can cache FB information for 24 hours only (except for basic ID info ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You have to collect any additional data directly from users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You can't show any ads or web search functionality on user profiles, but this restriction doesn't apply on application &quot;canvas&quot; pages. The Facebook Platform Application Guidelines have more details.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You can talk to the press and your users about your Facebook Platform application, so long as you do truthfully and without implying that your application is created or endorsed by Facebook (or otherwise embellishing your relationship with Facebook). However, you must get signoff from us before releasing any formal press releases. Check out the Facebook Platform Developer PR Policy for more info.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You can't use the word &quot;face&quot; in the name of your application, or the word &quot;Facebook&quot; before the top-level domain in your URL.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OpenSocial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google run </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared API across multiple sites including:; iLike; Orkut; Flixster; Linkedin; Ning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses OpenSocial Data Structure but supports subset only so for example: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot transfer information about: pets; phone number </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can transfer: gender; your smoking status ; profile picture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes requirement for applications to “fail gracefully” for anonymous users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OpenID </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses authenticated logins from other Social networks (e.g: AOL; Blogger; Flickr; LiveJournal; Wordpress) to share basic user information (name, email address, profile picture and little else) and login information between multiple services . </li></ul></ul>
  18. 28. Technical Issues <ul><ul><li>API variance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each API requires specific consideration and small technical adaptations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation is technical and designed for those with programming experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terms & Conditions of use, including data usage restrictions, are not consistent across Platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenSocial is widely used by many sites BUT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook is the biggest SNS in the UK and runs as a “walled garden” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whatever SNS and API you choose you need to decide : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who has the skills to build an application - are they available in house? (services like Amazon Mechanical Turk offer alternatives) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How much time can be dedicated to this work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your review points and measures of success? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you maintain and develop your application? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where will you store your application? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Own server needed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OR use of online service such as Amazon Web Services </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 29. Don’t Panic! <ul><li>Find out what your users want and where they hang out online </li></ul><ul><li>If mainstream SNS are blocked by your site look at other app spaces like iGoogle, VLEs, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Start small and manageable - a page, a profile, a feed </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be too ambitious - work out what will work for your organization </li></ul><ul><li>A basic presence is still useful </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: There are loads of libraries working in social spaces with expertise, programming and ideas to share - contact the developers of your favourite apps and mashups for help! </li></ul>
  20. 30. A Few Predictions… <ul><li>Social Networking Sites will split further into personal and professional functionality. </li></ul><ul><li>Some smaller SNS will disappear completely, others will buy each other as the credit crunch hits funding and advertising. </li></ul><ul><li>A few major data structures will emerge for human metadata based APIs making it easier to create apps. </li></ul><ul><li>Open standards for social data will continue to emerge so keep an eye on developments from OpenSocial, W3C, Dublin Core, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The role of apps and distributed services in social networking sites will become clearer as sites redesign, re-launch and refocus. </li></ul><ul><li>Existing sites will become more connected as people move towards single connected online identities. </li></ul>
  21. 31. Conclusions <ul><li>SNS have lots of potential but offer complex challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Consider why you want to be on your chosen SNS? Is it to look cool or is it to do something useful? </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you know what you want out of your application before you build anything. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how to make your application useful, “social” and relevant to users. </li></ul><ul><li>NEVER spam! </li></ul><ul><li>Listen and respond to feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your application and/or profile up to date or ditch it. </li></ul>
  22. 32. Thank you! <ul><ul><li>This presentation is available on Slideshare: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The SUNCAT Facebook Application is here: / </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful links: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any additional questions or comments? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e: [email_address] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>t: 0131 651 3873 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 33. Questions? <ul><ul><li>Any additional questions or comments? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e: [email_address] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>t: 0131 651 3873 </li></ul></ul></ul>