In between reading and sending emails, researching and analyzing data, and writing and editing reports, I try to make the time to keep abreast of happenings in the blogosphere by browsing through my RSS feeds and reading my favorite blogs, current news and events websites, or social networking websites.
But, honestly, I barely have the time to read these blogs and websites even after trimming the excess and reducing my reading list down to the most essential. The fact is, I have very little time at work to engage in, let alone cyber socialize with, the social Web that so many are hyping constantly.
This morning, I followed the pathway to The Irreverent Archivist whose post "Is This the 21st Century," which is actually quite good, links to the OCLC CAPCON conference website where I found several PowerPoint presentations on social networking, including one presentation by Roy Tennant. Being familiar with Roy Tennant's name through the blogosphere, I downloaded his presentation and was impressed by what he had pulled together in terms of social networking in libraries and the various web technologies offered (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Last.FM, LibraryThing, Second Life, etc).
But as the presentation pages passed me by, I became overwhelmed by the number of social networking websites out there and wondered who has the time at work to both set-up and maintain an account on all these social networking websites? Who has the time to travel around Second Life when a report is due? Who has the time to update their Facebook account with the latest applications, or produce a YouTube video, or catalog books on LibraryThing when a boss or supervisor wants that report ASAP?
I think we should be very cautious when we collectively--librarians, archivists, fence-sitters, don't know how I got here people--promote the Social Web because the Social Web requires time and that means time away from work. Maybe for some lucky souls work is the Social Web. But there are many, many more souls whose work is predominantly defined by daily outputs and servicing real people in the real world.
While I agree these social networking websites are wonderful tools when used efficiently in various information-centric environments, they are clearly aimed at those who have the time or have been given the time at work to use them.
Even on the Social Web, there are haves and have-nots. So while there are those whose time is spent in Second Life, there are many more in real life getting the real work done.
Friday, November 30, 2007
about the author
- David Kemper
- I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.
I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.
I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.