Social Software in Libraries has been a hot topic for many a month. Like most of the technologies that we discuss on the Library 2.0 Gang, Social Software covers a broad range of individual components, and can mean differing things to different people.
Our guest for this show is Meredith Farkas, Author of the book “Social Software in Libraries”. A couple of years after publishing her book, Meredith has become a little jaded about the way libraries are using social software, with some libraries seeing it as a magic wand for community building and engaging with their users. This chimed well with the thoughts of the Gang, who were drawn to the conclusion that like most software, it is just a tool. How you use a tool to communicate with your users, is far more important than the tool itself. Librarians wondering why their blog posts are not receiving comments, should be checking their content for comment-ability.
The Gang this month consists of John Blyberg, Char Booth, Marshall Breeding, Nicole Engard, and Carl Grant. After exploring the two main categories of social software, the recommendation/tagging/commenting systems and the Facebook/Twitter/blogging, the gang coalesced around the notion that it is people that interact socially. Speaking with a corporate voice, or just relying systems to do it for you, will probably not be enough.