a) Definition of Social Networking
Social networking is a way of allowing individuals to connect with friends, colleagues, famous personalities and organisations for purposes of entertainment, collaboration and the sharing of ideas and creations. With the advent of modern technology and prevalence of smartphones in society, social networking has become an integral part of the daily lives of many individuals, remaining with them wherever they go and giving them live updates to the world around them. Social networking can take many different forms, with different sites containing different media to be shared and allowing individuals to be present in different ways. Sites distinguish themselves by their differences in what they allow individuals to do, with sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify each dominating the respective netspaces of video, short text, photography and music. More general sites such as Facebook and Google+ are intended to act as a hub for an individual’s online presence, allowing for all of the above media to be shared. These also allow for the creation of groups and events and let individuals instantaneously communicate through IM (Instant Messaging).
b) Social networking technologies and sites
As a non-smartphone user, the majority of my social networking experience is through my computer. I have a Facebook account which I use to connect with a small group of friends and colleagues and have experience using Pinterest, Moodle, Weebly and WordPress. Having a Gmail account I also by extension have accounts in YouTube and Google+, however I have not been using either of these sites to their full extent. I have not subscribed to any channels on YouTube and like most others have seen the functionality offered by Google+ already fulfilled by Facebook.
c) Learning outcomes
Through my participation in INF506 I hope to develop my understanding of the scope and capabilities of social networking technologies and sites. It is my aim to increase my confidence and skills in using a variety of technologies and to be able to compare and evaluate their features and usability. As a method of interacting with the library community I hope to be better informed to enable me to successfully navigate the use of social networking tools in a positive and ethical manner to best serve the informational and collaborative needs of library users.