Social Networking

Skeleton Hand and MouseI’m a night owl.  I mean I am truly one of those people who comes to life at night. So while others are sleeping, I’m either on the computer or watching reruns of my favorite shows on TV Land.  And when I do finally crawl into bed, my brain is still going at about 200 MPH. Seriously, I have some pretty wild thoughts in the wee hours of the morning:

  • How come politicians haven’t figured out that a great cup of coffee and a red velvet cupcake  really does make things better?  Seriously, it’s impossible to stay angry when eating a cupcake, try it.
  • Why do Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna have a reality show?  Yeah, he was hawt back in his LA Law days and, well, it’s hard not to look at her for  a variety of reasons but do they really warrant a 1/2 hour of TV time?
  • Who would notify my online friends if I died?  See, I think about you guys too Or maybe I’m thinking too highly of myself, who knows?

I told you my thoughts are wild, they’re also completely random but what are you gonna do?  I figured the best thing to do is solve the one problem I can and work on the demise of global hostilities and useless reality shows later.

So the first thing I wanted to know is how would some of my favorite social sites handle my passing?   Twitter’s Deceased User Policy essentially states that a family member has to notify Twitter of the account owner’s passing and they’ll either delete the account or help the family to preserve a backup of the public tweets.  Facebook provides a form for family members to submit in order to remove the deceased users account from the public stream and turn the account into a memorial page (although relatives can opt to have the account removed).   For more information about how to close a deceased family member’s accounts, read this post on Une Belle Vie.

The company policies are good but what about the personal side?  The notification, who tells my online friends what has happened?  I assume my husband would do the notifying but the question is how? My husband doesn’t know the usernames or passwords for my accounts nor does he know everyone in my online community.  In fact, I don’t even think he knows all of the sites that I use on a regular basis (and, chances are, neither do your loved ones). I also have a host of face~to~face friends that I’m sure he’s only met in passing.

As more of our relationships with people grow and develop online, I think this is an important topic for family members to discuss.  I  talked over my social media conundrum with my husband and this is the plan we developed:

  • I’ve identified key people from each of my communities with their names, email addresses and phone numbers for him to contact
  • All of my social media sites have been listed along with the usernames and passwords for him to delete or turn into a memorial as he sees fit
  • Special friends have also been identified as people who will notify others within my social circles in both my online and face~to~face worlds

All of this information is kept in a file on my computer as well as in hard  copy format in a fireproof safe.  Excessive? Probably.  But I know that if something happened to one of my online friends I’d want to know about it, just the same as if I’d want to know if something happened to a family member or a face~to~face friend.

What about you, have you ever thought about the notification process if something happened to you?  Would your loved ones know which accounts to close?  Do they have access to passwords and usernames?

This is reposted from my blog Living Outside the Stacks

Many moons ago, I asked why archivists aren’t as active in the social networking world as, say, librarians and a lively discussion ensued but I never really followed up on my question.  One of the drawbacks of my AD-Oh Shiny condition…I’m easily sidetracked and amused by what can sometimes be the most insignificant things, like television shows, purple butterflies flitting outside my office window, music on Pandora…  Um, what was I talking about again? 

Oh yeah…

So imagine my surprise when I was catching up on my blog reading and I stumbled across this little nugget on Archives*Open courtesy of Twitter for Archivists.

Now I can follow my fellow archivists on Twitter…Woo Hoo!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked our new library director about putting some of the pictures from the Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle Archives on flickr and she told me to present the idea at the next managers’ meeting.  I put together a little slide presentation to show to the managers and gave a brief speech showing how other institutions (both public and private) are using flickr to promote their libraries and archival collections.  Without much debate, I was given the go ahead pending clearance from the marketing department.

I’m happy to report that the Siser Mary Carmel McGarigle Archives at Misericordia University is now on flickr.  I used  the Library of Congress as the model for setting up our flickr account and setting up the format for the pictures.  Currently, there are only 3 photographs but I plan to start adding more next week.   We’re using free access, with the option of upgrading to pro should we find it necessary.   

My hope is that people will look at the pictures and be able to fill in some of the missing details such as the stories of the people behind the photographs.  Right now, my plan is to use group shots from the mid-1920s when the college was founded to the early 1970s when the college was used as an evacuation point during Agnes Flood.

I’m incredibly happy to have this opportunity to share pictures from the archives with the public.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

As usual, I’m a little late on the draw.  But, hey, as long as I make it to the party, who cares what time I get there?  Or as Miss 11, my incredibly self confident daughter, says “Nothing starts ’til I arrive.”  So here it is, my Archivist Trading Card:

Thank you to ArchivesNext for the information.  Want to see other archivist trading cards?  Go here.  Feel the need to make your own?  Then go here.  Have fun!

One day I happened to be working at the Reference Desk when I was called away to help a student with a printing problem.  Normally, when I walk away from the desk, I close my email and just throw everything else to the bottom of the screen.  I do this as a professional courtesy.  If someone else needs to use the computer, I don’t want them wondering if they are interrupting something important or whatever.  Anyway, this particular time I didn’t do any of the above as I was just walking less than two feet away from the desk and the other computer was not in use.  When I returned to the desk, two of my co-workers were reading what I had left on the computer.  I did a quick mental inventory to see what could possibly be so interesting that my privacy would be invaded in such a bold manner.  Yes, I know, there is no privacy on a company computer.  But, sheesh, how about a little common courtesy.

Anyway, when I arrived back at the computer, my co-workers sheepishly walked away and I opted not to say anything.  My bad.  Anyway, a few minutes later, one of my co-workers asked “What’s Twitter?”  That was what was on the screen.  Twitter.  I was happy that she asked actually, because I saw this as an opportunity to encourage my co-workers to try something new.

I told her that Twitter is a social networking site that encourages people to share in 140 characters or less what they’re doing.  She sort of rolled her eyes, which was my reaction when I first heard of Twitter too.  I started laughing because I remembered thinking Who has that kind of time?   But it’s not like you have to post every minute, just whenever you feel like it.  My other co-worker asked me how I use it and how I find it relevant to library use.

Well, let me list the ways:

  • Because our library doesn’t pay for conferences, I use Twitter as a way of keeping current on what other librarians / archivist’s are learning about at the conferences they attend
  • I find out who is posting something that may be of interest to me for my position as a librarian and archivist
  • Networking, again, this goes back to not being able to attend conferences.  I don’t get the opportunity to mingle with other librarians, so this puts me in contact with people I would never have met otherwise
  • Keeping track of new technologies like Jott (thank you, David Lee King)  

I’m sure there are many other uses that I’m forgetting about, perhaps, you can list some?  I did, however, find this best practices guide helpful and I will point it out to my co-workers.

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Ok, I think I’ve already admitted to being a big fan of Michelle’s because she has forced me out of my social networking comfort zone, but now she has pushed me over the edge!  🙂  Her take on how the founding fathers would have used social networking to distribute information about the Declaration of Independence is a riot. 

Although not a web 2.0 app, but could you imagine the crawlers on the bottom of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News?!  And, oh my gosh, we would be at orange on the Homeland Security Advisory System.

TwitterNow I’m feeling au courant because I can now use my cell phone to update Twitter.  I don’t know why, but I was having the dangdest time trying to figure out how to use my phone.  Which was really irking me since my husband insisted upon getting me one with all sorts of texting capabilities, web browsers, etc.  And it’s pretty to boot.  🙂  So anyway, you’d think as a librarian I’d just be able to locate help. 

Well, it took me 3 weeks to google “How do I use Twitter on my cell phone?”  And I found the answer.  It’s not brain surgery or anything but I’m just happy that I can now take Twitter with me.  I doubt I’ll ever tweet anything important like an arrest or an earthquake, but if something funny happens, you’d best believe I’ll tweet it. 

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