This Week (week 7), we're investigating Social Networking, and we were given the option of creating a mySpace page. I chose not to, for two reasons:
1. I think MySpace is annoying, and more than a little bit creepy. Besides the minor annoyances, like people who cover their pages with videos and music that all starts playing at the same time, and the top friends hierarchy* -- this example from YA author Ned Vizzini sums up the creepiness of MySpace (capitals and italics all his!):
"I received a friend request from someone who I suspected was a porn site--you know how porn sites try to friend you a lot on Myspace. I wasn't sure it was a porn site, so I clicked it.
.... But it was a real page too, with a profile and interests, except there were NO interests in music, NO interests in movies, JUST interests in my three books.
... So this meant that there are now AUTOMATIC BOT MYSPACE PAGES THAT PRETEND TO BE FANS OF YOUR BOOKS/MUSIC/MOVIES TO HACK YOU."
And, 2) I don't really need another
social-networking site distraction, and I'm already on Facebook** (talk to me if you want to hear why Facebook is better than MySpace).
For this exercise, however, we were supposed to consider how these sites could be used by libraries. Honestly, I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I think it's a great idea to put our library resources where the students are, but at the same time, many teens (and college students) really resent the intrusion into what they consider to be "their"Space (pun intended). The best solution then, would be to talk to our teen customers and find out what they really want from us, and whether social networking could be a part of that.
*Though this spilling over into facebook -- and I don't like it! Also, talk to me if you want to know how to make all these annoying Facebook applications go away!
**and Ravelry, a social-networking-ish site for knitters that is unbelievably wonderful!