Notes of a Binge Thinker

Thoughts from NTLP's Executive Director

Using Social Networks to Allow Patrons to Find Each Other

There’s a new concept for social networking services taking root, and it’s not about re-creating your offline social graph on the Web, like Facebook does today. It’s about discovering the people who are nearby you now – the ones you probably would like to meet.


This article is an interesting read and forced me into a binge thinking session about its implications for libraries.   The basic idea behind using location services in a social network framework is to discover individuals that are in close proximity to you that share common interests.  There are many different sites available for this purpose as illustrated in the article.  Foursquare seems to be the one everyone is most familiar.  I have to admit.  I often find myself wondering why people do not reach out more often from their virtual world of online social networks into the physical world.  It would be really neat to be able discover individuals who share common interests to met up.  The example the article gave is two individuals in a gym that are both looking for someone to play a quick game of basketball.  If the person is part of your online social network, why not see if they are in the gym with you to play that pick-up game. 

As libraries, we are facing a transition period where we need to extend our services to the online world while at the same time maintain what we have been traditionally doing in the physical world.  How do we mix the two together?  I think this might be one way to do it.  Why not have a social networking meetup at the library so people can network each other online while meeting face-to-face at the same time.  In this way, whenever the two people are in the library together, their social networking app will let them know.  It is a wonderful way for the library to show their ability to participate in the online world while embracing the advantages they bring to the community through the physical one. 

What do you think BTC?  Is there an opportunity here for libraries?


Written by amwlkaw

September 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Misc

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