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David Lee King

Inviting Participation, Part 5: Specific Tools – MySpace



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.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=143019023 Janice Banser

    Wow, this is so timely! I have just begun building a My Space presence for our regional library. Yeah!!! :)

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=143019023 Janice Banser

    Wow, this is so timely! I have just begun building a My Space presence for our regional library. Yeah!!! :)

  • http://tehlibrarian.blogspot.com/ Kelley

    We’ve made a MySpace page for our teens so far, since we see them on it constantly in our computer area. We do most of the things that you’ve mentioned and really making sure you market it and make it look like your audience designed it is very important. Showing that you know and at least acknowledge what they’re into is a big step as well to get them to respond. We do that by having a popularmusic playlist and a well known anime character on our page.

    Interesting enough, one local teen on our friends list sent us a message through MySpace asking us if we had a specific book in our library. Needless to say we were surprised. Someone who might never have dared to call or come up to the desk asked us a question. If they were comfortable enough to ask then I think we must be doing something right.

  • http://tehlibrarian.blogspot.com/ Kelley

    We’ve made a MySpace page for our teens so far, since we see them on it constantly in our computer area. We do most of the things that you’ve mentioned and really making sure you market it and make it look like your audience designed it is very important. Showing that you know and at least acknowledge what they’re into is a big step as well to get them to respond. We do that by having a popularmusic playlist and a well known anime character on our page.

    Interesting enough, one local teen on our friends list sent us a message through MySpace asking us if we had a specific book in our library. Needless to say we were surprised. Someone who might never have dared to call or come up to the desk asked us a question. If they were comfortable enough to ask then I think we must be doing something right.