You can create your own social network with Ning, a website that incorporates grouping by interest, with members developing personal profiles that include photos, blogs and comment space; members of groups are invited participate in forums, post video and photos, share a calendar, and more.
Bill Drew used the application to start Library 2.0, a network for librarians and other interested in library 2.0; since February 2007, the network has grown to over 1,000 international members, sharing resources for RSS feeds, Flickr photo projects, how to use a wiki, and even passing along job postings that incorporate 2.0 concepts.
Bonnie Peirce, children’s librarian at the Dover (MA) Town Library, has started a similar site specifically for youth services librarians. Check out Library Youth Services 2.0 to connect in a whole new way to colleagues from all over the world interested in incorporating 2.0 concepts into the their work with children and teens.
Setting up your own network on Ning is easy to do! What applications could you use this for in your library? Anime club? Book discussion?
If myspace has no appeal, you don’t utilize social networking features of amazon.com, and you just read the YALSA blog and never comment 😉 maybe it’s time to lean into your discomfort zone and see what all this social networking hoopla is about 🙂 When I teach classes in using wikis and blogs, I always try to hook people with their hobbies or interests, and only then do they start to “get it.” If you play with it on your time, you can make mistakes and get comfortable with it before implementing it in your library. Being familiar with a variety of web 2.0 applications also better positions you to defend them.