With the rise of Web 2.0, people have continued to compare these two social networking giants. Facebook and Myspace are social networks that support conversations between users and between organizations. Libraries need to jump into the conversation. Some libraries have embraced the idea of building presence and providing services via social networking sites while others are just joining the party. Whether you the former or the latter, here are a few suggestions to decide which social network direction you should go with.
For libraries building a presence on social networks, Facebook is the better choice. I hate to leave someone out of the party, but MySpace has evolved (or de-evolved?) into a whole other entity. It is still considered as a social network, it no longer serves the same purpose of Facebook. MySpace doesn’t consider themselves equal or better to Facebook either. The ever present “like” button from Facebook is present on every page on MySpace. If libraries were to choose to only build a presence on MySpace, they would be shooting themselves in the foot. Don’t do it. Whether you like it or not, Facebook is the way to go.
For libraries to successfully build an online presence, they must create conversations about their events and services! They must promote via links, word of mouth, flyers and through other social media sites! Facebook has many features that promote discussion. For instance, Facebook allows users to choose between representing their organization with a group or with a page. Each has its limitations, but also its benefits (Mashable, 2009). After reading the limitations for creating group vs. a page, I think a page would serve the library’s purposes best. Pages will allow you to post as a library rather than from an individual representing the library. Also, choosing group will limit your member base to 5000. In a large city like Las Vegas with a population of 2 million in 2010, a 5,000 limit will not work. Group pages allow for more user control and allow for mass emails to the group. Pages can host applications and only send messages via status updates. With applications, libraries have the opportunity to offer services via their pages. Status updates aren’t so bad especially when accompanied by event photos to show off library happenings to the World Wide Web (not to mention the local community). Moderation is a problem for both types of accounts, but I think we see which way the scale is leaning toward.
Myspace (2012) describes itself as “leading social entertainment destination powered by the passion of fans. Music, movies, celebs, TV, and games made social.” It has become a place for streaming media with a corner for us fans. I have used both MySpace and Facebook. To tell you the truth, no one uses MySpace anymore. I don’t know if it’s because it’s taken a new direction or if it’s no longer popular, but it’s obvious its golden days have long past. Nowadays it’s all about Facebook. You can find everything and everyone on Facebook. Libraries could fit in on MySpace, but if we are to choose one or the other. I think the answer is clear.
Burkhardt, A. (2009). “How to Grow Your Library’s Social Media Presence.” Information Tyrannosaur.
Fienen, M. (2010). “Facebook Hates Your Brand.”. .eduGuru
Love,D. (2011). Where are they founders programmers?
Multiple authors. (2009). The Facebook Guidebook” Mashable.
Myspace. (2012). Myspace About Us