Blackboard comes to Facebook

This doesn’t make me like Blackboard anymore, but it’s worth mentioning that you can now access Blackboard via Facebook with a new app.

Let’s face it. You would live on Facebook if you could. Imagine a world where you could manage your entire life from Facebook – it’s not that far off! Right now, though, one thing missing is your academic life. You have to access a different system to get your course information and you don’t always know when something new has been posted or assigned, so it’s difficult for you to stay on top of your studies. We get it. That’s why Blackboard is offering Blackboard Sync™, an application that delivers course information and updates from Blackboard to you inside Facebook.

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Yoono

I’m about to install a new-to-me Firefox add-on called Yoono. I’ve also signed up for the private beta for the new version.

This via TechCrunch:

Yoono’s main draw at this point is its “Friends” widget, which offers all the features you’d expect from a social network aggregator. The widget compiles all updates from Twitter, Facebook, Piczo, Flickr, and Friendfeed, and displays them in a scrollable list. After clicking a person’s name, you are presented with direct links to their profiles, photo albums, or messaging pages, which cuts out a lot of tedious navigation. The widget also features integration with most of the major chat clients (AIM, MSN, etc), along with the ability to send out status updates to any profile.

If I’m impressed I’ll be posting more about Yoono as I use it.

Library Bans Social Networking

I’m sure it’s not the first, but this picture from Michael Stephens is so sad. This is why I love that my job lets me go out to libraries and educate librarians.

Today I went to my new public library – yes, I’m a bad librarian who hasn’t stopped in since moving – and was relatively pleased. The reference librarians were much friendlier than at my last library, the circulation staff looked happy to be at work (another difference from my previous public library) and they had a really neat sign at the reference desk that said “Please disturb” :)

All that, and I only used the computers for database searching, so I’m not sure what’s blocked – if anything – but the lady next to me was shopping on Ebay – so that wasn’t blocked.

New Facebook Privacy

I logged into Facebook this morning to see the following:

Now you can use friend lists to control exactly who can see what. We’ve also added the option to share information with “Friends of Friends”. For more details, check out the Privacy page.

Your Limited Profile is now a friend list on your Friends page. All of the same restrictions apply to the people on it.

This new addition is pretty neat. I was getting annoyed with the limitations I had before. I like to see who my friends have as friends because it helps me find people I didn’t know where already on Facebook.

Facebook Privacy

Anyway, a neat new addition from Facebook that I wanted to share with you all.

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Facebook Apps

My Facebook Apps

There are constantly new apps added to Facebook. I’m finding it hard to keep my list manageable. I am constantly turning down zombie and vampire invites (what do I need those for), but there are also some very useful apps in Facebook.

iLibrarian has three parts listing great apps for librarians:

In addition to these, Worldcat now has a Facebook app that you might be interested in.

My list of apps is on the left here – it’s not all professional – but there are some good apps in that list that you might be interested in.

Add to all of this that you can now become fans of library pages on Facebook and you now have an amazing social networking tool for librarians!

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Social Networking – Good or Bad?

There was an interesting article in InformationWeek about how social networks are built to self destruct. Then over at CrunchGear there was a funny comic strip and some additional comments on the topic. Cory writes:

Emails from Facebook aren’t helpful messages, they’re eyeball bait, intended to send you off to the Facebook site, only to discover that Fred wrote “Hi again!” on your “wall.” Like other “social” apps (cough eVite cough), Facebook has all the social graces of a nose-picking, hyperactive six-year-old, standing at the threshold of your attention and chanting, “I know something, I know something, I know something, won’t tell you what it is!”
. . .
Having watched the rise and fall of SixDegrees, Friendster, and the many other proto-hominids that make up the evolutionary chain leading to Facebook, MySpace, et al, I’m inclined to think that these systems are subject to a Brook’s-law parallel: “Adding more users to a social network increases the probability that it will put you in an awkward social circumstance.”

And the comic on John’s post has a character telling a “real-life” friend that he’ll get his online friends to lend him money and help him move.

This is funny for me because Facebook has served some great social purposes for me. Through Facebook I was able to see that a friend was in need of a ride to my neighborhood and was able to lend a helping hand. Because of IM and Facebook – and social networking in general, I met a friend who helped me move before we even met in person.

Yes, I agree that Facebook leads to uncomfortable situations – people asking to be your friend when you don’t know them – or don’t want to be found – but I think it also has redeeming qualities. It’s a great way – the only way – I can keep up with librarian friends from across the world without running up a $200 phone bill.

I have no problem hitting ignore when someone sends me a friend request without explaining who they are – I also have no problem ignoring people’s invites to install applications that I don’t think are going to add to my online experience. Think of these sites as communication tools – ways to keep up with people you don’t get to see on a regular basis – and ways to meet new people who might actually be able to help you move or give you a ride when you need it :)

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More on Social Gaming

If Meebo isn’t your thing – there’s also doof. A social gaming site that I’ve been meaning to try out – but just haven’t had the time yet.

doof is all about playing games and meeting people, we like to call it Social Gaming.

Bursting with games and cool ways to meet and beat others, doof is a cutting edge social web application wrapped up in a visually stunning package.When combined properly, the fun and excitement of casual gaming together with the friendship and rivalry experienced in social networking makes for a truly explosive cocktail"¦..which doof knows exactly how to make!

Meet and Beat at doof.com, the home of Social Gaming.

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New Pages on Facebook

This is from a new post on the Facebook blog:

You now have a way to connect with things you are passionate about. We’ve launched Facebook Pages, which are distinct, customized profiles designed for businesses, bands, celebrities and more to represent themselves on Facebook.

We noticed people wanted to connect with their favorite music, restaurants, and brands; but there was no good place for these types of affiliations to exist. Now, there is a place for them and you can become a fan of whatever pages you choose in order to interact with your passions in new ways.

Does this include libraries? I know there was some fuss a while back when library accounts were deleted from Facebook – maybe now there is a way for us to have pages for our libraries.

[update]

Stacey Greenwell comments at Tame the Web

I created a Facebook Page for the University of Kentucky Libraries this morning. This has absolutely made my day, as I was one who complained loudly when Facebook removed all the library profiles.

Get this–when you create a Facebook Page, one of the categories is “Library/Public Building.” Woo-hoo!!

It gets better–you can add your hours and videos as well as the usual photos, wall, and discussion board. My favorite part–your “friends” are FANS! Consider being a fan of UK Libraries:

http://utk.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14376935028

To create a Facebook Page, when logged in, click on the Business link across the bottom of page. That page will give you a link to Facebook Pages.

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No more MySpace

Well, no more MySpace for me. I gave it a whirl and have decided that I do not need an account on more than one social networking site and Facebook is the winner. I know that some people think that Facebook is becoming noisier and noisier – but for me, it still hasn’t reached MySpace levels. Lastly, most of my friends are already on Facebook and Facebook has Scrabulous!

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More on Google Presentations

I mentioned how nifty Google Presentations was a couple of weeks ago, but last night I found a flaw. I was on a conference call with a few colleagues who I’ll be presenting with later this month and we were using this tool to edit our presentation. One of the people on the phone wanted to send us a link so he posted it in the chat window attached to the presentation when you’re playing it – but we couldn’t click or copy this link. In the end we had to type it out the old fashioned way – but that seems like a bit of a downside if you’re using this tool to host a webinar of sorts.

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