Eight Qualities of a Social Media Expert

This article tries to distinguish between someone who is an active user of social media, and one who has a level of expertise in this area. A social media expert:

  1. Forms Part of a Community of Practice
  2. Invests Time in Continuous Learning
  3. Inspires Colleagues to Experiment
  4. Models Best Practices
  5. Creates Platforms, Tools and Opportunities for Colleagues
  6. Is Focused on Team and Department Metrics and Objectives
  7. Pushes A Social Media Agenda Outside of Department or Unit
  8. Makes Lots of Mistakes

I like the fact that this article focuses on the conceptual aspects of social media, rather than the technicalities.  It is true that so many people are very skilled in their personal use of social media, but that they do not think much beyond the application of social media outside their personal domain. Given my research interests and my advocacy for the use of social media,  I hope that I exhibit at least some of the qualities described above 🙂


Managing my film collection

I’m an avid film buff; I saw my first black and white film at an early age and was hooked instantly.  Keeping track of the films I own and, more importantly, the films I’ve watched, has been a rather painful process over the years.  I’ve tried Access databases, but they are simply too cumbersome, as so much data about a film must be entered manually.  I was using a social media tool to manage my films, but was not impressed with the quality of the metadata (namely, title, date, and image); furthermore, the tool was discontinued earlier this year.  I came across Eric’s Movie Database yesterday and  am thrilled with it so far.  It’s a programme you download to your desktop, so you’re not sharing your films in a social forum which, to be honest, I prefer.  The best feature of this programme is that it downloads records from IMDB; I simply enter the title of the film, and IMDB provides me with a list of matches from which I can choose.  The record downloads very quickly, and contains a lot of very important metadata for a film buff and amateur historian.  You can choose how to sort and filter your films.  I like the option of viewing the films by the image on their jewel case. Below is the metadata downloaded for one of my favourite Warner Brothers gangster films:

I can add my own metadata to the record but, as you can see, it’s already very complete.  I value the feature that allows me to specify whether I own the film, wish to see it, or have already seen it.  Considering the considerable number of films I have seen in my life, so want to distinguish between the films I actually own and those that I’ve seen but do not own.


It’s been how long?

I attended the annual conference of the ARMA Halifax chapter (now the Nova Scotia chapter) on Thursday. I met an old school chum from my MLIS programme whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. I was shocked when she reminded me of how long it’s been since we graduated. I am not the best correspondent, so I am particularly grateful for the social media tools we now have to stay in touch.

The conference was very useful; it is designed for working records managers and provided me with a lot of information I can take to my records management class. The session on privacy was particularly helpful, especially since I think that many, if not most, Canadians, are unaware of their privacy rights, or may even overestimate them in some cases.


Dublin City University provides students with Chromebooks

This article discusses how Dublin City University is providing first-year students with free Chromebooks.  No details are provided about how this venture is funded, or what, if anything, Google expects in return.  I’ve been tempted to purchase a Chromebook, but I am concerned that it requires an Internet connection to work.  Public WiFi is not always free, so access can get a little pricey, which is, of course, a limitation of table computers, too.  Unlike tablets and netbooks, however, the Chromebook cannot be used offline, since all apps must be used in the Cloud. Given the price of a Chromebook, this limited functionality makes me hesitate, as I don’t like the idea of not being able to use a computer in offline mode; this can be particularly problematic when you’re travelling.


Social media and libraries

I had a wonderful discussion today with an academic librarian whose primary responsibility is to communicate and promote the library system’s services. My interest is in the use of social media to accomplish this goal. We talked about using social media to help break out library services beyond the confines of time and space (sounding very Star Trek here). What impressed me was my colleague’s enthusiasm for the possibilities in expanding the scope and perception of library services. This was so much more than a simple jumping on board the Library 2.0 bandwagon, but a genuine reflection on how social media can impact these services. I look forward to a continuing dialogue.

Education, Teaching

Could Professors’ Dependence on Turnitin Lead to More Plagiarism?

Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The article is timely, given that my university has cancelled  its subscription to Turnitin.  The article presents a different perspective in that it suggests that the software “needs the help of instructors who are willing to investigate suspicious papers; otherwise, greater reliance on Turnitin could lead to more plagiarism.” In other words, the software alone may not be sufficient, and thus creates a false sense of security.  I think this is a very valid point.  I’ve heard some colleagues tell students “we will submit your work to anti-plagiarism software, and you will get caught,” or words to that effect, but I think the cautionary note raised by this article is worth bearing in mind.

Social discovery tools

Workers See Social Networking Risk to Personal and Corporate Security

Workers See Social Networking Risk to Personal and Corporate Security.

This article discusses the perceptions of organizations in the UK and their employees about the potential risks of using social networking within a corporate environment.  The major perceived risks, unsurprisingly, are:

  • Potential leakage of sensitive information
  • Unintentional upload of Trojans or viruses to employees’ computers
  • Increased targeting of individuals who are associated with the company for social engineering attacks
  • Individuals falling prey to fraudulent scams

Employees believe that organizations need to provide clear guidelines and policies pertaining to the use of social networking sites within the corporate environment.  This is a point I make countless times in my Records Management class; it’s rather astonishing how many organizations do not, in fact, have such guidelines and policies, and are often in the position of closing the proverbial barn doors after the cows have already escaped.

Research, Social discovery tools

Amazon steps up social media efforts

Amazon steps up social media efforts | Reuters.

This article discusses Amazon’s latest effort to increase its social media presence.  It’s rather ironic, given that Amazon was an early adopter of social features such as user tagging, reviews and ratings; in fact, Amazon has been one of the models for my research into the use of social features in library catalogues (admittedly, not in the same league as LibraryThing).  The article suggests that Amazon has not made full use of these features; yes, clients can post content to the records, but they cannot interact with one another, exchange wish lists, interests, and so forth, which is what I’ve been advocating that library catalogues should allow people to do.  Whether such communications will be outsourced, so to speak, via Facebook and Twitter, as is the case with Kindle, remains to be seen.


9 New Skills You Need To be a 21st Century Educator

9 New Skills You Need To be a 21st Century Educator | Online Universities.

This article discusses the following skills that educators need to help make the learning environment relevant to today’s students.  As discussed in the article, some of these skills are not new concepts; rather the intent is to reinforce their importance:


1.  Blogging

2. Social media

3. Interclassroom communication

4. Cultural literacy

5. Socratic seminar

6. Community engagement

7. Information literacy

8. Networking

9. Computers