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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Weekly Post

Librarian blogger Meredith Farkas ponders social networking software etiquette in this post. Farkas frequently gets friend requests on Facebook, LinkedIN, Flickr, and Twitter from people she doesn't know. She wonders if she'll be offending them if she declines the requests.

I’m curious about how other people deal with this. Do you add everyone who adds you regardless of whether or not you know them? Do you add people you don’t know? If someone doesn’t add you, does it hurt your feelings? Do you think the term “friend” in these social networks has meaning if you add people you don’t know at all? I don’t know that people add certain people because they’re a “status symbol” to have on your list, as Sarah suggested. I assume it’s because they are interested in the person or think highly of them. It’s like subscribing to someone’s blog. Only it really does complicate the whole vetting process if you really don’t know the people who you’re affirming as your friend.

I really do think that these tools will stop being meaningful if people friend folks regardless of whether they know them, respect them (in the case of LinkedIN), or find them interesting (in the case of del.icio.us). But I, too, feel the draw to add everyone who adds me because no one wants to hurt someone else’s feelings. Oh what a tangled Web!

Here's one question that didn't come up — how should companies or media organizations use social networking services? Seven Days has a profile on MySpace with 500+ friends. But how exactly do we use that network? I don't want to use it to spam people with stupid comments or bulletins, but I feel like there has to be a way to use it to let people know about important stories they might have missed.

Any suggestions?

May 29, 2007 at 04:49 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink


I commented on Meredith's post already so I won't repeat myself. While I am not a fan of Twitter, and think mySpace is bush league (I do have an account, but I subscribe to everything), I think there are good uses for services like Twitter for media outlets. I subscribe to BBC's Twitter service for "important stories." I am not sure how a weekly falls into that area, but perhaps Seven Days can use such a service to alert to articles that will appear in the next issue? It is harder to find a Seven Days down here (especially now that the Randolph Coop has closed its doors), so I would be more likely to hunt it down if I was able to subscribe an alert that would let me know what was coming up in the next edition. I assume this would have to occur after you have put the paper to bed.

Do the articles of Seven Days have RSS feeds? Forgive my ignorance.


Good luck.

Posted by: scully | May 29, 2007 7:09:04 PM

No RSS feeds yet. Coming soon.

Interesting idea about Twitter. I've tried twice to sign up and so far have been unsuccessful. The site keeps timing out on me.

I just signed up for facebook yesterday. Still figuring out how it works. Looks like it's just a bunch of kids. Anybody use it and have any recommendations?

Posted by: cresmer | May 30, 2007 8:01:18 AM


So there's two questions here...how would a business use social networking sites like MySpace, and does anyone use facebook...

I've got some answers, but as with anything on the web in the world of Web 2.0 and social media, um...well...blink and it will change!

So for the first. How might a business use a social networking site? Well first off, if your target market is in there, you should be in there. It's not just about "friends" it's about being able to communicate with those friends quickly in a place they check. For the younger audience (teens and early 20 somethings) they are more apt to check the facebook/myspace for messages than email. So a business could, in theory, throw out the spam-caught email newsletter and invite people to their MySpace page. They could then post special information, invite people to events, and just plain interact.

Now for Facebook. I'm on...so you should "friend" me. There is a large grouping of college students on facebook. Also a bunch of high school students. It works great for me -- but as a college prof, it would. Just like MySpace, you post information and communicate with others. In this case though, Facebook has just launced a series of applications worth checking out -- including anything from music and photos to causes to raise money.

See you in Facebook!


Posted by: Elaine Young | Jun 4, 2007 8:53:49 PM

Ok...so here's a quick P.S.

In Facebook, Microsoft is marketing their instant messaging software (formerly called MSN Messenger) "Live". They are running a cause-related marketing campaign - download their software and every time you use it, proceeds from the ads they are running will go to a cause. "You are the one who's going to make this work. The i'm initiative depends on you getting involved. Tell your coworkers, family, and friends - and tell them to tell people. The more people you get to start i'm conversations, the more money gets raised. You can make a difference, one conversation at a time."

How's that for using social media to get people to use your product?


Posted by: Elaine Young | Jun 4, 2007 9:00:51 PM

Thanks, Elaine! I see you friended me first.

I joined Facebook this week and like it soooo much better than MySpace.

As with all of my social networking endeavors, I started out by friending a bunch of younger cousins. They know much more about how to operate in the online world than almost anyone else I know.

Posted by: Cathy Resmer | Jun 5, 2007 8:43:29 AM

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