Lesson 6: Social media policies

The lesson for this week was on the topic of social media policies in the workplace. With the clear advancement and new developments of many social media means of communication companies, workplaces, and libraries are having to start considering how to deal with the use of them for personal use and for company use. If companies, or in my case, libraries, want to take advantage of some of the many social media avenues out there then they have to develop policies to make sure that they are used properly in the workplace. This lesson covered many examples of what other companies have done and I did some research on my own to see if I could find further advice. One list of policy advice that I found was a list of 11 tips for the public sector that included some tips such as: social media should support the organizational mission and overall communication strategy; make decisions on what would be appropriate content; assign workload and decision responsibilities and distribute them equally among a social media ringmaster, content creators, curators, account administrators, and content providers with knowledge about the issues; understand your audience; make access to social media content available through alternative mechanisms; make clear what appropriate “netiquette” is;  decide on what social media avenue to use (Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter, etc.) and who will set it up and administer it; set up daily routines; measure and interpret how successful the use of the social media is; and provide training so other co-workers can understand the social media being used (Mergel, 2012).  

An  article by Ogneva outlined 9 Best Practices for Social Networking in the Workplace. Nine key rules that Ogneva lists includes: 1. Understand company policy, best practices and culture (be professional and know the do’s and don’ts); 2. Company communities evolve best practices and policies (cultures are constantly changing so must the policies as well); 3. Mixing personal and professional (remain professional in your social media communication but add your own “personality” to it while keeping it respectful); 4. Public vs. private spaces (if you have a message to communicate, decide if it needs to go to a specific group or if it can be sent to a general group); 5. Be mindful in private (keep “trash” talk out of company emails, even if it is in a private email); 6. The New York Times test (would you be comfortable if what you are posting would appear on the front page of the New York Times? Think of this before posting); 7. Become an expert (if you know an answer to a question, answer it!); 8. Respect privacy (do not repost threads without permission of the author and respect the privacy of others in email groups or in private threads); and 9. Remember the golden rule (Treat your co-workers how you would want to be treated at work). (Ogneva, 2012). 

From these two articles above I think that if these policies or rules are carried out then social media can be used and be very helpful in the workplace and libraries. However, with the constantly evolving state of social media, attention would have to be paid to keep these policies current and relevant. 

Mergel, Ines. (2012). 11 Social Media Tips for the Public Sector. Retrieved Feb. 18th, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/07/30/public-sector-social-media/. 

Ogneva, Maria (2012). 9 Best Practices for Social Networking in the Workplace. Retrieved Feb. 18th, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/01/23/social-media-workplace/. 

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Lesson 5: Response to mashups and “non-text” user-generated content

This weeks lesson was on the topics of “non-text” user-generated content and Mashups. The first concept of “non-text” user generated content was one that I understood a little better then Mashups. “Non-text” user generated content is basically YouTube videos, photos, Pintrest pins, etc. I can relate to this type of content as I am an avid user of creating Instagram photos, posting photos on Facebook, repinning “Pins” on Pintrest, and watching YouTube videos. This concept of this kind of content being “information” or portraying a message is correct as this “non-text” content holds true to the fact that “a picture is worth 1000 words”. I enjoy using pictures to show what is going on in my life as they are a simple (visual) way of showing the world what can sometimes be complex things or something that I do not feel like writing about. I think that this kind of information would be something interesting for a library to try and catalogue as it would be a very interesting process of what a picture or a video means to one person (when the interpretation of it could be different to another). 

The second concept covered this week was Mashups. I found the idea of it to be quite simple but when I read more in-depth about what it was I realized just how complicated or “layered” a topic it can be. I found playing around with the “Google Map Builder” in Google Maps to be a fun and interesting task and reading about all of the available map Mashups for libraries was interesting as well. However, as I mentioned before, it seems like this area could get very complicated as you would have to know how to combine or to edit these websites and I am not very knowledgeable in the technical areas that would be required to really play around and edit these programs. I would have to spend a lot of time learning about how to do it or play it safe and learn how to use the “Mashed-up” website that has already been created. Either way, this is a very useful topic to know about to better serve library patrons as you can use so many programs that they can utilize.

Lesson 4 Response: Wikis and other collaboration tools

This is my response to this week’s lesson on Wikis and other collaboration tools. As in the past couple weeks, I again find this topic to be interesting and I can relate to the topic of Wikis and using other such tools to collaborate with other users.

My personal experience with Wikis themselves in the past has only been with Wikipedia. Before this lesson, I did not know that there were other “Wikis” out there and had not even considered that there was anything similar to Wikipedia out there. I have only used Wikipedia as a means to find information quickly and easily. What I normally do, if I have a question in mind, is go into Google, type in my inquiry and choose the Wikipedia article as it is most commonly in the first couple results and it is the source that I trust the most when I am not looking at databases. However, this being said, I only use Wikipedia as a starting source and if I want to be sure that the information is credible I then go and find peer-reviewed articles on the topic. All throughout my undergrad, my professors have warned me and my classmates to never use Wikipedia in our papers as main sources. I never really questioned this “rule” of theirs but just went with it and trusted their advice.

My incomplete trust of Wikipedia was supported by this week’s reading, “How and why do college students use Wikipedia” by Soom Lim. Lim did a study of undergraduate students on why, how and what motivated them to use Wikipedia. The results found that most of these students used Wikipedia to find quick information but they did not have a large amount of trust in the credibility (as is the same for myself) of the information in the articles. Furthermore, this study found that these students used Wikipedia more than they used their own libraries database. This and the lack of trust in the information were addressed as problems and possible solutions included having more credible sources included in the articles and to include library information in the articles to promote the use of the library.

The second article called “A Wiki Way of Communication” by Carol McGeehon discussed how the Douglas County Library system used wiki software for their employees to “disseminate information, create and store electronic documents, track problem tickets for technology and cataloging questions, host staff discussions around various topics, summarize conferences and workshops and track usage of equipment, vehicles, and meeting rooms” (2010). This sounds like a very good method to run a library and I like this idea in working together with co-workers. I have a little bit of similar experience with working together, not with co-workers, but with other students in using Google Drive to create papers and handouts for specific classes. These are extremely useful and I wish I had discovered them earlier as they allow me to work from home or even on my Smartphone. This way I am much more productive and it cuts down on meeting time.

Overall, my experience with reading about Wiki’s and editing Wiki’s online was very informative and I look forward to hopefully using these skills in the workplace in the future.

Those are my thoughts for the week! Thanks for taking the time to read!

Rebekah

McGeehon, Carol. (2010). A Wiki way of communication. OLA Quarterly, 16(3), 7-10.

Sook, L. (2009). How and why do college students use Wikipedia? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(11), 2189-2202.