Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Talking to the students about user behaviour

During questions following Clare Duddy's session, Clare notes that she:
* prefers not to set up "My accounts" on multiple resource platforms. "I prefer to take the information away from you [with social bookmarking or bibliographic reference manager]".
* doesn't use Facebook for information needs - "it's purely social - and so last year - I've moved away from doing any [social networking]". If there's a pre-existing community of users, it can work for a library to engage with them there but you won't create a community that's not there just by putting yourself on Facebook. "It's just one more thing to log in to".
* exchanges information with other students using email and Google Documents.
* likes facets for search but "it requires a lot of getting used to ... and sometimes they're a bit off".
* "doesn't really" use instant messenger - "my mum uses it". In fact, "I know a lot of people whose mums are on Facebook and it's another driver for the Facebook exodus".
* "cannot for the life of me see the point" of Twitter.
* is into RSS - "my whole life is ruled by my reader". Uses RSS over email alerts "just because it's easier".
* is writing her dissertation about next-generation catalogues and tagging ("the fact that hardly anyone wants to tag in the library catalogue .. but I love it"). People don't have the sense (in social tagging) that they're contributing to a pool of information for use by others - they think all tags are individual and will take care to distinguish their tags from others'.
* might want to receive information through mobile phones in future but dependent on how phones evolve - "if it was really cheap and really good".
* "I read on screen a lot more now than I used to when I was an undergraduate, maybe because I can't afford to print anything out. I don't mind it as much now I have a nicer computer with a nicer screen for reading on."



Anonymous Rob said...

I would agree that libraries don't necessarily need to engage heavily in Facebook, however to think that it's "so last year" would miss the point that Facebook doubled in size from 100 million to 200 million users within the last 8 months.

1:20 pm  
Blogger Charlie Rapple said...

Agreed - I should have made it clearer that Clare was being flippant. But I think her point about the kids moving on now their mums are in town was less flippant and is worth noting.

10:36 am  
Anonymous CharS said...

We're seeing a marked increase in IM for reference here. Our students appear to like it much better than face-to-face transactions.

And I completely agree with Claire's thoughts on RSS. It doesn't clog my email inbox and allows me to read posts at my leisure.

10:21 pm  

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