Welcome to iHCPL. This site was created to support Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 Things. The program is adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Week 8: #18 Social Networking: Making friends in the comfort of your own home

If you aren't able to view the embedded video, click here.

Social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, and Ning, are changing the human fabric of the Internet. With these services, anyone with access to the Internet can create their own pages and profiles, including personal information, photos and videos. Often the services that host the social networking sites provide several different ways for people to communicate with one another, including blogging and instant messaging features.

People can use these social networking sites to connect with someone halfway around the world or with someone in their own city who shares common interests. Many of the social networking sites have their own theme or personality that initially attracts visitors to join the community. MySpace is a popular social hub, Facebook was created for college students and still has that feel, Yahoo users can log in to Yahoo!360, LinkedIn is aimed at professionals and Xanga is a haven for bloggers. These are just a few of the general social networking sites out there.

Other online communities have grown out of special interest groups. Do you have a flair for decorating? Join the "Rate My Space" group on the HGTV site. Do you like designing or wearing different t-shirts? Here's a site where you can create, vote, and even have your designs sold to others. Maybe you're more interested in NASCAR? Try Infield Parking. Devoted pet owners can even create profiles for their dogs and cats at their own friend making sites. No matter what your interests are, there's probably a social networking site out there for you and others like you.

Remember the lessons learned in Week Four when using social networking sites.

Discovery Resources

  • Watch this video -- Social Networking in Plain English
  • Take the Facebook tour
  • Newsweek article on the growth of Facebook

Discovery Exercise

  1. Take a look around several of the social networking sites and make note of your likes and dislikes.
  2. Post your thoughts about social networking in a blog post. Were there any particular sites that appealed to you?

    MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/

    Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/

    Ning - http://www.ning.com/

    Yahoo!360 - http://360.yahoo.com/

    LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/

    Xanga - http://www.xanga.com/

    Rate My Space - http://ratemyspace.hgtv.com/

    Threadless - http://threadless.com

    Infield Parking - http://www.infieldparking.com/

    Dogster, Catster - http://www.dogster.com/ , http://www.catster.com/

    Create an account for yourself with the social networking site of your choice. (optional)

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