Video Of And Materials From Social Networking Services Pre-conference Session

I’ve finally made the time to encode the video from a 3-hour pre-conference session I ran at this summer’s ResNet Symposium. Although the session was entitled “The Impact of Social Networking on ResNet Users,” it was broader than the title indicates (the title changed several times as the it was being put together).

In many ways, the session was a follow-up to and a successor to NCSU’s Facebook Phenomenon. Leslie Dare, my co-chair in the NASPA Technology Knowledge Community and the person as NCSU who hosted their event, told me that some of the feedback from attendees at their event asked for more “advanced” material and discussion. I watched their event as it was streamed live and I agreed with that feedback. So my session focused not on “introductory” topics such as “What is Facebook?” but assumed that knowledge. I hope that those who attended and participated in this session walked away with a foundation of knowledge that applies not only to today’s Facebook but to the SNSes of tomorrow.

The session was organized in three parts:

  1. Foundation and generalities (132 mb Windows Media Video file): Introduced the foundational concept of Web 2.0 (or at least the concept of user-generated content and greatly increased usability of web-based tools), a group activity to work towards a definition of “Social Networking Site,” an overview of some definitions used by scholars and researchers, boyd’s properties of SNSes and thesis regarding youth’s use of SNSes, and Suler’s Internet Disinhibition theory.
  2. Facebook (133 mb Windows Media Video file): Review of research about Facebook and users, including basic stats, how many undergrads use it, how often, numbers of friends (and relationship with Dunbar’s number), group activity to list some common uses of Facebook, and what the research says about uses of and motivations for using Facebook.
  3. Practical Implications and Practice (94 mb Windows Media Video file): Hodgepodge of issues and discussion including Digital Divide, Participation Gap, group activity about the use of SNSes in hiring decisions, how NYU addresses Facebook during orientation, institutional monitoring, and Facebook apps.

The PowerPoint file for the entire session is also available. In both the video and the PowerPoint, I removed the videos that were shown as part of the session. However, I’ve provided links to the videos (they’re all available online) so you can view them. I noted the removed videos and group activities in red text in the PowerPoint. I also added some notes to the presentation but obviously there is a whole lot more in the video. I also made an editorial decision to remove the group discussions as the participants were very candid and open and I am not comfortable sharing those conversations openly on the Internet; they knew that they were being filmed but I am not comfortable assuming they remembered that during some of our discussions.

I hope that someone will find these resources useful and interesting. In conjunction with the materials that NCSU provides on the Facebook Phenomenon website, these materials should provide one with a very solid foundation and understanding of how and why undergraduate students use SNSes, particularly Facebook, and how institutions can use these tools.

Thank you to Judi Rennie for inviting me to present this Professional Development Seminar. A special “thank you” goes to our hosts at UCSD, particularly Erik Strahm and Arianna Pilram, who helped find a room suitable for this session and a video camera to record it.

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