May 2007
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Month May 2007

meebo rooms

Too bad I’m swamped at the library right now. I’d like to give Meebo Rooms a proper write up. Evidently what’s old is once again new…with a twist. Meebo Rooms are user created chat rooms that allow easy integration of media from YouTube, Flickr and probably other places. To include media for all chatters to see, all a user must do is type a URL in the chat box. Also, Meebo Rooms can be embedded into a web page ala the MeeboMe Widget.

Just to try it out quickly, I created a room called Library Fun. I used “March of the Librarians” to try out the video feature. Click through to see if anyone is playing around.

One other thing. There’s a “Search for Rooms” feature so I had to do a quick search for ‘library.’ A few rooms came up. One for Huddersfield University, one from Johnson County, and one already filled with chatting librarians called Library Society of the World.

the librarian in black in _Everything is Miscellaneous_

Ok so maybe I’m going to embarrass her, but I think it is so great that my friend Sarah is quoted in Everything is Miscellaneous. It is a killer quote about Gormangate where the phrase “irresponsible leadership” is used. Also in the discussion is a quote from Free Range Librarian Karen Schneider. Way to go, ladies!

facebook blocked on ontario gov computers

UPDATE: Jennifer Peters-Lise of the Seneca College Libraries wrote in to tell me that the Facebook ban in Ontario has trickled down to the city of Toronto.

I can’t remember if I mentioned that towards the end of April I was up in Vancouver, BC giving a talk about social networking sites in the context of intellectual freedom. Since then, my great guide to Vancouver, Heather DeForest, and now another Canadian librarian have emailed about a Facebook controversy going on in Ontario. Shannon LaBelle sums it up well so I’m just going to publish part of her email here!

Last week, Facebook was blocked on Ontario government computers. Here’s the story that appeared in the online edition of the Globe and Mail about it on May 3, 2007:

Interestingly, shortly after the blocking was reported, the Globe and Mail had a story about how Canadian Members of Parliament in the federal government are using Facebook to connect with their constituents:

Today, Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, shared his comments on this issue on his blog:

There seems to be a disconnect similar to the one going on in the head of Illinois Senator Matt Murphy (R).

Thanks for the heads up, ladies!

a PDF of my 4/30 EI presentation

Yesterday I gave a Education Institute webinar titled Facebook and MySpace: Pros and Cons for Libraries. Here’s a big honkin’ (10MB) pdf of my slides.

One of the questions that came up during the Q&A session was about curricular uses of MySpace (particularly in a high school setting) in which students can remain anonymous.

The basic idea is to have students use MySpace as a tool to get their content on the web. In doing so, they can create profiles for many other things besides themselves. Here are some ideas:

  • Characters from a novel, or different novels. Blog posts and listing “likes and dislikes” must be made in the voice of the characters, and the characters must interact through comments. Maybe even dialog from the book should be expressed in the students own language.
  • A historical figure. Same deal applies.
  • Elements of the periodic table. Get creative with listing body type and the “About” section.
  • Math equations. Students must use the blog posts to help teach others about the equation. When completed, the class will have created an online reference source.
  • Same goes for parts of speech, vocabulary words, inventions, etc.

Do teachers ask students to do similar projects on paper? You bet. Might students forget the fact that their doing *school work* when completing projects framed in a social networking setting? I think there’s a pretty good chance. Some students might not care if their teacher thinks they’re slacking, but when their online reputations are at stake they might step it up. I’m sure they’d like to link to the funny and useful profile of the quadratic equation that they created.