This is part 5 of my Inviting Participation in Web 2.0 series of articles.
So far, I’ve introduced both active and passive forms of inviting
participation using web 2.0 tools, and explained how to do both using
blogs. This time, let’s examine MySpace.
MySpace is like a closed web 2.0 free-for-all, complete with blogs,
shared calendars, “friends,” videos and photos that can be commented
on, music (some can be downloaded), customized webpage “skins,” and IM
– and most of this can be searched or browsed. And the kids that
frequent my library absolutely LOVE it. This post will point out ways
to invite participation using MySpace.
First, for active types of invitation – asking, of course! But one can ask using some cool MySpace-specific tools, like:
- Event invites: Up at the top of your MySpace user account page is a
menu bar that includes Events. Events allows you to post your event
(think cool library event here), including all the juicy details like
time, location, and event description. The active part comes when you
send the Event – because that Event is sent to all your MySpace Friends
(ie., everyone included on your Friends list who hasn’t blocked
Events). It pays to make a lot of MySpace Friends!
- Bulletin Board: Bulletins are messages that are sent to all your friends at the same
time. Think of them as a group email. Yet another tool that allows
direct communication with everyone on your Friends list.
- Blog: Blogs show up on your profile page, and other MySpace users can subscribe to them.
- Invites: Why not invite local MySpace users to be your friend? MySpace
allows you to search by zip code – go ahead, check it out. How many
MySpacers can you find in your zip code? There are over 3000 in mine.
Passive types of invitation:
- Make an attractive MySpace skin. Better yet, allow your teen advisory
council to make the skin for you. They might take more ownership of the
page that way (which, in turn, invites them to participate)
- Allow users to be your Friend without having to take extra steps
(like knowing your last name). That immediately cuts down on the number
of friends you’ll get.
- Allow comments
- Use MySpace Forums and Groups (think discussion boards, listservs, and chatrooms) to start interesting conversations.
- Take inviting photos (and repost to Flickr)
- Take inviting video (and repost that video to YouTube)
- Include direct links to your catalog to new books, videos, and music at your library.
- In blogs and something called “Blurbs,” point to things your target
audience would be interested in (and link to those things!).
- IM – use MySpace IM and also allow anyone to IM you. Also post your AOL IM name on your MySpace page.
- Share your calendar.
This is certainly not everything you can do using MySpace! Does anyone
have some ideas to add? I’d be interested in hearing them.