Tenn-Share Learn & Discover: Social Networks (Tenn-Share 1) (36)

June 23, 2008

Welcome to the Tenn-Share Learn and Discover community!

Over the next eight weeks, you will be learning and playing with cool tools on the Internet. If you can commit about 30 minutes a week to experimenting with our exercises, we can show you the best of the World Wide Web!

Maybe your friends talk about new web sites, but you cannot seem to navigate them. Or maybe you are excited about new technology, but are overwhelmed by the number of toys. Or maybe you are a techie at heart who fiddles with new Web tools every day, but you don’t know how to share what you learn with co-workers and friends.

Sound familiar? No reason to be scared, stressed, or sad. As library workers, we routinely depend upon each other as a community of knowledge to help each other through challenges. Sharing and learning together is what Tenn-Share Learn & Discover is all about. Today, you’re going to sign up for the Tenn-Share learning community – and you’re going to learn online social networking along the way!

What’s a social network?

Facebook and MySpace are two very popular social network sites. Many people are moving away from email in favor of social networking as a way to keep in touch. You can communicate with your friends quickly and easily using email, but it is hard to get to know people outside the circle of friends you already know. It’s also hard for a group of friends to share pictures and thoughts without piling up dozens and dozens of group emails! With social networking, you can share photos with your friends, send messages, write on their “wall” for everyone to see, and more. Unlike email, you can see who your friends are friends with and meet new people who share the same interests as you. Social networks help folks meet and talk with each other – they help build communities.

Tenn-Share Learn & Discover uses the social networking program Ning. Each week, a new post will appear front and center on the Tenn-Share Ning. Read the post, complete the activity, and use forums to learn about social networking by talking to other librarians in Tennessee.

What’s a Forum?

A forum (aka message board, discussion group) is more than merely a place for debating topics online. They are also used for tech support, sharing photos and videos, and connecting friends in social networks. In Tenn-Share Learn & Discover, you will use the forum to share your experience each week. Use the forum to ask and answer questions, add links, or share tips.

Welcome/Social Networking Activity:

1. Sign up for Ning – click the Sign Up link and fill out the form.

2. Sign in. (You’ve signed up, but you have to sign in to comment in the forums.)

3. Once you’re signed in, say hello to everyone in the Welcome Forum.

4. Explore the Tenn-Share Ning. Make new friends and connect with old friends and co-workers.

Contributed by James Staub

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