The Two Faces of FacebookMarianne Hebert, College Libraries(In collaboration with Jenica Rogers)Alumni Weekend July 11, 2008SUNY PotsdamPresentation online at: http://www2.potsdam.edu/hebertm/
What is Facebook? • An online social networking site • Facebook says: • “About Facebook: Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.”
Who uses Facebook? • Founded February 2004 • Started at Harvard, quickly expanded to Stanford, Columbia and Yale. • Then it was opened to anyone with a college or university email address. • Then, ANY email address. • 80 million people have registered • Still mainly college students and alumni. • Includes high schools, companies and geographic networks.
Facebook is a great way to: • See what’s going on with friends on and off campus • Students and alumni can connect with friends from high school and college • Find out interesting things about new people • See who has similar interests • Parents can see what their kid’s friends are like and what they are doing • Prospective employers can check out candidates • Network and plan within campus groups • Tools for an online presence on campus and the global community • Everything from academic, to goofy • Make sure that everyone stays connected to what’s happening on campus • Parties, movies, events, games, etc. • Effective way to get students attention
Helps you stay connected • Personal profiles • Contact information • Networks • Groups • Friends • Photo albums • Notes • Gifts • Bulletins • Wall posts • Everything is searchable, edit-able, and customized to each user. • It’s the best of the social web for students and alumni
Facebook works because it’s a social site, with lots of people contributing stuff all the time And when Facebook works, it works really, really well… But… how it’s working depends on what people are posting… So… what ARE they posting?
Things they might regret • And good stuff! Lots of good stuff. But. • Also some things they might regret. • Stories (both language and content), relationships, gossip, pictures, videos, interests, hobbies, etc. Many people do not understand who their audience is… Or the consequences of their public face?
Who can see Facebook content? Anyone who joins a network can see at least a portion of every network profile. This view is not limited to just a person’s friends, or their campus, or even just college students. ANYONE
Public Search Listing Facebook has made it possible for user profiles to be indexed in Google and other search engines… unless you specifically tell Facebook to keep yours private.
If anyone can see what’s in Facebook… • “Do you really want to post…” • Your name and phone number? • Your calendar and work schedule? • Where you go and when? • Your address or dorm room number? • Pictures of yourself doing fun (but possibly indiscreet) things? • Online chatter with friends about personal things?
Privacy Settings! • Profile – Who can view it • Search – Who can find you within Facebook and beyond • News Feeds and mini-feeds • Poke Message and Friend Requests • Third Party Applications Facebook Best Practices • http://www.sophos.com/security/best-practice/facebook-applications.html
REMEMBER… • The Internet NEVER forgets. • Content from your profile could end up on some other site, even after you delete your account.
We suggest students think about: In those photos you posted… Are you drinking beer or smoking pot? What are you posting on your wall? • Parents can use Facebook to check out your friends, hobbies, habits, and relationships. • Prospective employers routinely search Facebook for information on newly-graduated job applicants. • Authorities looking for a character reference can check your Facebook photos to see what kind of ‘interests’ you have • A professor writing you a letter of recommendation for graduate school or a great new job can check Facebook, too.
Is this the image you want to present to your friends, parents, professors, employers, and the world?
Bottom line: Be responsible. We encourage students and alumni to use Facebook. It’s great. Really! But use it wisely. Present yourself well. Be careful, and be smart while you have fun.