Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Social networking sites

I have a Facebook page, but not MySpace. There's something about MySpace that I just couldn't trust fully. As the guy from Symantics said on the Sunrise video - you don't trust everyone in your normal community, and you shouldn't in online communities either. Part of my job is to teach kids about online safety - and social networking spaces are really significant in that teaching. Kids are trusting, and are not fully aware of the possibilities of what could happen to them through their networking spaces. It's really about educating them. If they know what to look for, they will be safer. These sites will not go away and, I think, will become more prevalent and important in their lives. I can understand why libraries would want 'in' on the act - but it's not really for me.

Drupal looks interesting. I have to admit I didn't watch the presentation to the end, but the site certainly has features that I could see used in a school setting like mine. I have bookmarked the site and will look into it closer later on.

I have had a Facebook page for a while because a friend got engaged whilst overseas, and the only way I could 'see' them was on her Facebook page. So I joined. What amazes me is how GOOD it's been. Several friends I haven't heard from for years have caught up with me (I have NO idea how they found me ... I guess they searched????). My daughter recently got engaged, and some of her old friends contacted ME to ask about pressies etc. How cool is that???? That part has been great. But, I must admit, the 'gifts' are driving me crazy - they can become a bit overwhelming after a while. I now choose to ignore them (and I hope the friends who send them don't get upset).

I had heard of Nings, but didn't know what they were. I found, and joined, the Quilting Librarians Ning. I'm also a member of a Yahoo group of TL quilters who 'met' on the oztl_net list. Maybe librarians are attracted to quilting because of the 'order' ... dunno ... but there seem to be a few of us around!

Second Life TOTALLY freaks me out. I MUCH prefer a 'real' life to one online. Amazing as it might be to 'attend' a Jane Austen tea party and discussion, I think I would rather 'attend' one in real life. The same applies to the other sites ... a Second Life university campus ... pLease!! As exciting as they are, and as much fun they might be 'being there', I believe that, as humans, we need to integrate with others in person. The kids I teach who spend a lot of time online often experience problems relating to others in real life - social skills are vital, and too much time on sites like these can be mentally and physically damaging. They look like fun, the kids would probably ge a real kick out of doing a course I had developed online, BUT they are a worry to me.

The bottom line with all of these is ... who has the time to do it all??? I don't ... I'd rather be quilting!

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