I found this exercise quite interesting. Gather, WebJunction, and Ning are all neat places to visit. I like the literary links on Gather such as the MPR groups, and I added an RSS feed for one of these. I had heard of WebJunction but had no idea what a resource it is for library staff. I emailed an article to myself about sustainability issues within the library setting. Ning was my least favorite, but I did go ahead and post a photo and put a badge on my blog. My concept of social networking has expanded, and I feel more encouraged now that I realize there's a lot more going on than just Facebook and photos of pas (people acting stupid). I thought Steve Campion's writing articulated well how these ideas can be used in a library setting, so I pasted the text below.
"Let's say, for instance, the library hosts an author visit. We already have a book blog, so we can review the author's latest book. We have podcasting abilities, so perhaps we can arrange a short telephone interview in advance. The same publicity that advertises the program can now mention the review and the podcast. That magnifies the vitality of the library: not only have we arranged for the author to visit, but we’re showcasing his work, linking to the catalog, and providing avenues for his readers to talk back, share their thoughts, and get excited about the upcoming program. The event host should mention the blog and podcast and announce that photographs from the evening will be available on the library's Flickr page. Patrons visiting those photos later in the week might leave their thoughts, discover pictures from other library programs, and partner with the site or subscribe to the blog so they don't miss the next event. Coordination helps every social web tool reinforce what we already do, and the tools themselves add an online interactive dynamic we've never had before."
Steve Campion - "Building a Social Networking Environment at the Library"