LIS Lady, Stephanie Roach, explores social media use by groups of info pros in poster session at CLA conference

Social media use infographicNovember 3, 2012 I presented a poster session, Social Media Use in the Bay Area Library Student and Professional Community, at the California Library Association’s annual conference in San Jose, CA. The session felt like a success. The survey results and data analysis as well as the poster infographic are available on the LIS Lady website.

Abstract

Social Media Use in the Bay Area Library Student and Professional Community explores the use of social media by San Francisco Bay Area professional networking groups. Social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest will be evaluated for social media presence by library professional groups. Specific strategies in use by group administrators will be identified, and use of platform specific tools such as timelines, events, hangouts, etc. This poster session establishes a baseline for use of social media by San Francisco Bay Area library professional groups, and serves as an exploratory study providing data revealing directions for future research.

The poster session includes figures quantifying use of social media by San Francisco Bay Area library student and professional groups. Group administrators were surveyed to discover strategies and methods for utilizing social media platforms, and group profiles were evaluated to discover which tools are being utilized.

Poster Session Proposal Accepted by California Library Association – Social Media Use Among LIS Groups #CLA12 #defygravity

Aside

Good news!

My poster session proposal was accepted for the California Library Association‘s 2012 annual conference. I’ll be doing research on use of social media by San Francisco Bay Area student and professional groups in the library and information science community.

More details to come soon!

Conference Logo - Defying Gravity - CLA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2012

Grapes of Wrath, Technology, Research, and Dramaturgy

My dramaturgical project at Chabot College’s Department of Theater Arts is keeping me quite busy. Since the beginning of the project, I’ve observed auditions, met the company, attended a few rehearsals, begun research, and am putting together a “look book” for the use of the director, cast and crew. What a wonderful opportunity to bring together my love of theater and literature with my professional ambitions as a researcher/librarian. Further, I get to put it all together in a blog format, for which I’m creating a taxonomy that keeps it organized and easily searchable in ways that relate specifically to the production of the play, and hopefully make it more useful and accessible as a company resource.

One of my goals with this project is to bring the information I find to the students involved in the production of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath where they play out their virtual lives and in formats they will use online. Most communication outside of the rehearsal process is via Facebook. In addition to posting information on the Grapes of Wrath blog, information goes up on Twitter (#ChabotTheater) and of course, on the company Facebook group page. YouTube and other video sources have also proved valuable.

Fortunately, many wonderful images are available from the Library of Congress, as part of the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) images found in the American Memory Collection: America from the Great Depression to WWII: Black and White Photographs from the FSA-OWI 1935-1945. This is an excellent resource that is primarily in the public domain because most of the images are government documents photographed by government employees. And of course, so many of the images from this collection have become iconic, such as the image below by Dorothea Lange.

Dorothea Lange. 1936. Migrant Mother Series. Reproduction number: LC-USF34-9058-C (film negative).

"Destitute peapickers in California; a 32 year old mother of seven children. February 1936." (retouched version)

Slacktivists Unite: Does Your Facebook Profile Picture Matter?

So, many of my Facebook friends have taken up the call to raise awareness about domestic violence against children by replacing their profile picture with an image of their favorite cartoon character from childhood. This act is supposed to evoke the childhood memories lost by child victims of domestic violence. It is a noble cause and should be supported.

However, my twitter stream has shown that some recognize a problem with this type of social activism via the weak ties social network that is Facebook. It is one thing to agree with the message of a cause, and spend ten seconds changing your profile picture or status message. However, it is entirely another thing to feel incentivized to donate time or money, or even take bigger risks for the sake of a worthy cause. Here are some examples of tweets pointing to this:

@BookishJulia Julia Skinner
Not changing my FB picture. Raising awareness is only helpful if it transfers to meaningful action, rather than an excuse for inaction.
@pnkrcklibrarian Punk.Rock.Librarian. [Lisa Rabey]
Just posted on FB why I think the change your profile pic is dumb. How many guesses how many people will de-friend with that statement?
Both tweets got a lot of responses. Lisa Rabey elaborates in the following exchange with Ian Clark:
LR: @ijclark ANd I get irritated when people “support” a cause but don’t acutally do anything to SUPPORT a cause. Also: http://on.fb.me/e9bUVu
LR: @ijclark Because most, actually a lot, assume profile->cartoon pic swap “teehee let’s remember childhood” not “swap to stop child abuse!”
IC: @pnkrcklibrarian I’m right with you there….changing your photo isn’t on its own going to achieve anything. At least if they donate as well
I was discussing this topic with friends last night, and it put me in mind of a couple of articles that I’ve read recently: The first, Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted, by Malcolm Gladwell, compares strong ties social network triggered activism like that seen in the 1960s civil rights era with that of weak ties social network triggered activism on Facebook and Twitter; and the second, How to: Turn Slacktivists into Activists with Social Media, by Geoff Livingston, is about taking “slacktivism” and transforming it into activism.
The worry seems to be that people who engage in slacktivist tactics will believe they are doing enough just by changing their profile picture or status. And there is undoubtedly truth to that. Although not based on research, and only an observation, it is completely possible that the idea young people have of what activism is and can be, what it can achieve, has changed.
I think what is important to remember is that not everybody is an activist, and not everybody who is an activist is an activist for all causes. However, this does not mean that massive low level engagement, or “slacktivism” won’t spread the word and trigger a few people who are more engaged with an issue to a higher level of activism, or at least spark a conversation (this instance on Facebook with cartoon profile pictures certainly has triggered a conversation on Twitter, although it isn’t a conversation about child abuse or domestic violence). Still, might not this be worth it, if one person more is inspired to act?
So, what can you do? Visit one of the following websites, and learn about domestic violence against children. Contribute your time and energy to the cause. Or, if all you can manage is a tweet or status update, let others know where they can go to make a real difference.
Children’s Defense Fund: http://www.childrensdefense.org/
Child Welfare League of America: http://www.cwla.org/
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: http://www.ncadv.org/

 

Twitter At A Glance

Apologies for the delay in posting! This last semester of grad school is keeping me extra busy, and this last week has been a doozy. I’m back on track now, though, hoping to post once a week again.

Today on Twitter I found this lovely “Twitter At a Glance” as retweeted by @ShannonMMiller via @GwynethJones aka the Daring Librarian. Anyhow, it is a great “how to” twitter guide in comic form, so I’m sharing it here.

Twitter at a glance how to guide

Image courtesy of  The Daring Librarian on Flickr, posted under a Creative Commons License.