Monday, 15 March 2010

Thing 13: Facebook

The Music Library already utilises Facebook and, though I have no need to use the library, I became a 'fan' in order to experience how such a page might work for a Facebook user. I received occasional updates in my news feed about opening times, holidays and other information. This could be useful but, if you have a lot of Facebook friends, then such newsfeed updates might get overlooked. I've visited other academic Facebook pages which have plug-ins giving direct links to academic e-resources; I thought that was pretty neat.

I can see how various commercial and academic enterprises would see the Facebook environment as offering a captive audience and an opportunity to make their presence felt where many people devote a good deal of their time. But commercial overtures feel intrusive and an academic presence feels slightly incongruous and superfluous. Personallly, because I see Facebook as a place for fairly frivollous social interaction with friends whom one cannot see physically and nothing else, there will be other more appropriate places where this kind of academic information might be better accessed or disseminated. I can see how others might see more potential in the site. RSS feeds from libraries or SMS alerts would be more fitting for me, if anything.

That said, perhaps a library of department 'fan page' might engender a sense of community among users and establish relationships that wouldn't necessarily occur otherwise.

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