Sunday, September 19, 2010

Collecting, not Connecting?

Army of Barbies by Senor Codo, CC SA2.0
I had a great Skype session tonight with Buffy Hamilton and Michelle Simon Fromme, two of the 4 people with whom I am presenting at Internet Librarian next month in Monterey, California (we are actually in the Internet@Schools track). As we brainstormed about crowd-sourcing, we did some crowd-sourcing of our own. My fabulous colleagues helped me sort through my thoughts about connecting with people online, and although now I have more questions than answers, our conversation will guide me when I choose to friend or follow somebody new.

When strangers follow me on twitter, I don't think twice about it, but when people I have never met friend me on Facebook, I often debate whether to  confirm or ignore the request. A well-known librarian whom I had never met friended me recently and after some thought I confirmed his request. Soon after that I saw him at a conference and I introduced myself, he was indifferent. I told him that he had recently friended me, and still, he didn't seem to know who I was.

People are collecting "friends" or "followers," but are they really connecting? Do you ever engage with your FB friends who aren't really friends?  Do you really read the tweets of your hundreds or thousands of followers? Do you attempt to meet them in person at events? How can you truly connect with these people? Isn't social media about connecting? Or is it just collecting? Do you collect? or connect? or do you manage to do both?


  1. I love this... collecting vs. connecting. I also love the picture of the Army of Barbies. And I really like the look of your blog! It's perfect.

  2. Thanks, Michelle! I redesigned the blog a bit this summer so it looks similar, but better.