Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not quite convinced about Facebook "Pages"

(This post is crossposted from my scratch pad, Maverick Librarian's Alchemical Thoughts. After some thinking, I decided on posting it here as well so I could connect it better to previous posts on FB, like here and here, I have written, thus adding to my reflections).

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A few librarians are excited that Facebook is now offering a "pages" option. Personally, I am not convinced yet. While I can see some potential to marketing the library and doing outreach on Facebook, I am just not convinced about this new feature. It seems like a bit too much work on our part (the libraries) for any pay off. What makes me question right away is the fact that a "page" is linked to an administrator's profile. In other words, you can't set up a library page by itself. You have to have it tied to someone's actual profile. Now, I do have my own Facebook profile, but it does not follow that I want my library's page tied to it. Why? Because my Facebook profile is my personal profile. It's my own space.

Now, there is a "Librarians Using Facebook Pages" on Facebook (I am not linking since you need to log-in into Facebook to see it anyways. If you have an FB account, just search for it). Librarian groups in FB have proliferated it seems. Anyhow, digression aside, from what I see in this particular group, there are still some limitations to work out when it comes to "pages." But it also seems that a few librarians have made "pages" for their libraries, including ones that had lost their page when FB shut down profiles that were not individuals a while back.

On an additional note, I am not terribly thrilled with FB as of late. If I get one more e-mail telling me so-and-so added the "I am drunk again" application or the "I like ponies" (names made up, but you get the idea), I will not be happy. Yes, I know I can probably go in and change the settings to stop getting the messages. Problem is I really do not care much if so-and-so added the "what's my hoe name" application (and no, I do not mean the farming implement). The point is that Facebook is pretty much becoming something pretty banal and light. I have managed to find some old friends through it, but apparently, they have a liking to some of the more silly apps on FB, and when they add one, I get the memo. Or worse, when they want to show me something on their application, I have to install the app on my profile to see whatever it is they want me to see. So, in the last few days, I have been actually purging some of the apps out of my profile, trying to keep the profile somewhat clean and uncluttered. In fact, excessive clutter is what has kept me out of MySpace, and I am starting to wonder if maybe it is time to shut down the Facebook profile. I have a pretty good presence on the web already. As for reaching students, which is part of why I got the FB profile in the first place, there may be other ways. Anyhow, right now I am just thinking about it and asking myself some questions. I think at this point, I am not ready to shut it down, but I need to go on a major cleaning spree, so to speak.

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