Social networking and research

I’ve been busy over the last few days including joining a number of social networking sites as part of this project, including Ning which allows you to create your own social network. Jenny Delasalle at Warwick who is also researching web 2.0 for libraries invited me to join the Library 2.0 network and I now have several friends through this group! I’ve also been working on a proposal to submit for the Web 2.0 social science event at the University of York in September later this year. I’m currently reading a great book to review for the Journal of Information Literacy by Allan Martin and Dan Madigan, Digital Literacies for Learning, published by Facet. I read a really interesting chapter this morning by Paul Gilster called Digital fusion: defining the intersection between content and communications which essentially talks about how important communication is in the research process, but how content is merging with communications in the web 2.0 (my word not his) world. He argues that it’s a fallacy that the internet is a ‘digital library’ and that researchers must ‘adapt our research skills to this communications-rich, not content-driven internet.’ (p.49). It started me thinking that a new class in our E-literacy programme of training for LSE staff might be on social networking for researchers. Just a couple of things that came up over lunch (lovely fish and chips in Covent Garden!) with Sarah and Marie was issues of privacy around social networking. What people reveal in their profiles and who has access to it and the use of term ‘friend’ when you get invites to link up with people you don’t know. I’ve been using Linked-in for a while which is much more about professional networking, but so far my network is small. Anyway just a few random thoughts for the end of the week.

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