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Myspace and Facebook:Reaching our students with their technology of choice

Yvonne Nalani MeulemansSciences and Health & Human Services [email protected] State University San MarcosMelanie ChuOutreach [email protected] State University San Marcos

LOEX National ConferenceMay 5, 2006


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What areMyspace and Facebook?


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Myspace/Facebook as Computer-Mediated Communication

  • CMC’s strengthen existing ties.

  • Strong ties will often use more CMC types.

  • Weak ties tend to use a single type of CMC.


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Myspace/Facebook as Computer-Mediated Communication

  • Bulletin boards facilitate beyond classroom communication.

  • May support student social life beyond classroom.


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Myspace/Facebook as Computer-Mediated Communication

  • Bulletin boards allow for “determination of self-presentation”

  • Myspace/Facebook can be significantly customized; a means to determine “self-presentation?”


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First-year student usage survey

  • 3608 Myspace pages by current CSUSM students (appx 7500 FTE)

  • Of 89 responses:

    • 49 had both

    • 38 had Myspace page only

    • 2 had Facebook page only


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First-year student usage survey

  • A fair, positive correlation between number of visits per day and time spent per visit was found (r(89)= .4).

  • Many use their pages to communicate with people they already know offline.


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First-year student usage survey

  • Of those who reported they had both a Myspace and Facebook page, 90% said they use it to communicate with others about school, professors, or courses.

  • Of those with only a Myspace page, 50% said they use it to discuss school professors or courses.


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Focus group

Discussion points:

  • First contact

  • Typical session

  • Benefits/problems

  • Academic use

  • Role at CSUSM

  • Recent press coverage


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Focus group

  • Demographics:

    • 2 first year, 1 junior, 1 senior

    • Variety of majors

    • All have Myspace, 2 have both

    • Typical usage: “20 times a day”


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Focus group

  • Benefits

    • Keeping in touch with friends

    • Learning about new people

  • Drawbacks

    • “Melodrama”

    • Time-consuming

  • Myspace/Facebook v. WebCT


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Focus group

Findings reiterated survey results:

  • CMC literature

  • Academic potential

  • Usage


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Practical integration

  • Make your own page.

  • Post bulletins with search tips, create an anonymous comment box, or start a blog on research.

  • Can support “just in time/point of need” reference.


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Practical integration

  • Add to existing outreach efforts.

  • Promote and create awareness of library services and events.

  • Create profile for library with multiple librarians contributing.

  • Support learning communities.


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Concluding points

  • Analyze user population

  • Determine learning objectives

  • Assess impact

  • Further research

  • Myspace v. Facebook


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Yvonne Nalani MeulemansSciences and Health & Human Services [email protected]

Melanie ChuOutreach [email protected]


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