What are Social Networks?

Today’s web users are prolific creators of content, and they upload photographs, audio, and video to cloud-based social networks, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and many others by the billions. While the initial emphasis of social networks was placed on producing and uploading media to these popular sharing sites, as the notion of social media has evolved it has ultimately become more about the conversations started and relationships formed via this media. For educational institutions, social media enables two-way dialogues between students, prospective students, educators, and the institution that are less formal than with other media. LinkedIn, for example, is a professional networking platform that is particularly useful for the education sector because it facilitates communities of practice and special interest groups. TThe rise of Snapchat may also cause learning organizations to consider how they will incorporate a fast-paced network where the media shared by users are temporary. As social networks evolve and add new features, the hope is that education leaders will continue to harness them for teaching, learning, and collaborative activities.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • Social networks have been a trend topic many years ago. For me it is relevant how mechanisms of social network have intruded many other aspects of life and communication, also academic communication. So, liking and following have become very common principles also in academic context. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 8, 2016 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Nov 8, 2016
  • The concept of interaction, i.e. web 2.0 concepts, are also used in scholarly communication. There are academic networks like ResarchGate or platforms like Mendeley that use these concepts in an academical context.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 8, 2016
  • As mentioned, platforms like ResearchGate, Mendeley et al, facilitate content sharing of academic material. - erik.stattin erik.stattin Nov 13, 2016
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • Archiving and preserving this real time media content presents ongoing challenges. - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Nov 8, 2016 How are academic libraries archiving and preserving their social media content or are they leaving it to state and national cultural institutions / archives? - SueH SueH Nov 10, 2016
  • Information literacy about the differences between the social platforms. Which platforms can be used to achieve a certain goal. What are best practices. Do and don'ts. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 12, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016Certainly. social networks are ubiquitous, we use them to commuincate, educate, to pay, etc. For library services, social networks have changed users' experiences, when we design new programs we first think how we use social networks to reach our goals. especially in academic libraries.

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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