How do the concepts and findings in the ‘Introduction’, ‘Our Digital Live’ in Section 1 and ‘Our Social Spaces’ in Section 2 of the 2007 OCLC report reflect your view of the socially networked world in 2011?
It has been 4 years since the publication of the 2007 OCLC report, and over that period, I am certain that the divide between digital natives and digital immigrants would have narrowed much further especially due to greater adoption of digital technologies by the generation of users born before the internet generation. I am a case in point, a digital immigrant who has a keen desire to learn and apply Web 2.0 tools in order to bridge the divide with her students. More importantly, to see how the school library can remain relevant and better serve the needs of the current and future generation of students who are no longer just ‘information consumers’ but ‘information producers and creators’ In the socially networked world of 2011, there is a definite trend where the focus of internet activities has moved from information search and exploration towards information creation and mass contribution. This is made easy by new and friendlier social network sites such as Facebook, which has overtaken MySpace since the publication of the OCLC report.
It is interesting to note that the popularity of social networking sites rise and decline quite rapidly. In Section 2 of the OCLC report entitled ‘Our Social Spaces’, it was interesting to learn that prior to 2008, MySpace was the most popular social network site by country and by various age groups. However, after 2008, the popularity of MySpace started to decline while that of FaceBook and Twitter became more popular. I appreciated the recommended readings as it provided useful history and background to understanding the various social networking sites. As I only started exploring FaceBook and Twitter recently, I did not realize that there are so many other social network sites. Examples of SN sites new to me are Classmate.com, Xanga, Bebo (Blog easy, Blog Often), Mixi etc. From the report, I realized that the social network sites have a certain lifespan, the duration of which depends very much on whether it appeals and if it can meet the requirements of the savvy social networkers of today. To remain popular, new and innovative features need to be constantly included.
Through the readings, it is useful to note the difference between social network sites and social media sites. Interesting to note that since 2007, YouTube is the most popular social media sites by country and by age group. As a newbie, I have not even heard of Snapfish, the 2nd most popular social media site in 2007. Was a new revelation to me that Snapfish is a web-based photo sharing and photo printing service launched in 2000 and owned by HP. Because of my late entry into the world of Web 2.0, I had only been exposed to the social media world of Facebook and Flicker.