October 22, 2007

New OCLC Report about Sharing Online

It’s taken a long time for them to release this, but OCLC has finally made their Shar­ing, Pri­vacy and Trust in Our Net­worked World report avail­able for free on the web.

New OCLC report on sharing, privacy, trust, and social networking

The prac­tice of using a social net­work to estab­lish and enhance rela­tion­ships based on some com­mon ground—shared inter­ests, related skills, or a com­mon geo­graphic location—is as old as human soci­eties, but social net­work­ing has flour­ished due to the ease of con­nect­ing on the Web. This OCLC mem­ber­ship report explores this web of social par­tic­i­pa­tion and coöper­a­tion on the Inter­net and how it may impact the library’s role, including:

  • The use of social net­work­ing, social media, com­mer­cial and library ser­vices on the Web
  • How and what users and librar­i­ans share on the Web and their atti­tudes toward related pri­vacy issues
  • Opin­ions on pri­vacy online
  • Libraries’ cur­rent and future roles in social networking

The report is based on a sur­vey (by Har­ris Inter­ac­tive on behalf of OCLC) of the gen­eral pub­lic from six countries—Canada, France, Ger­many, Japan, the United King­dom and the United States—and of library direc­tors from the U.S. The research pro­vides insights into the val­ues and social-networking habits of library users.”

I’ve heard OCLC staff say they don’t believe they asked the right ques­tions for some of the top­ics, which I agree with, so I think we have to take the data with the prover­bial grain of salt. You’ll be able to order a 280-page paper copy start­ing Octo­ber 28, which is how I’ll read this if I can get my hands on a copy. I couldn’t totally resist, though, so I did jump ahead to the con­clu­sion (PDF) and already I’m intrigued.

In the 18 months since the pub­li­ca­tion of the Per­cep­tions of Libraries and Infor­ma­tion Resources report, the use of search engines and e-mail has grown by more than 20% over what were already enor­mous par­tic­i­pa­tion lev­els. User par­tic­i­pa­tion in basic Inter­net ser­vices, such as search­ing and e-mailing, is approach­ing total par­tic­i­pa­tion. More than twice as many respon­dents are using blogs now as then.…

Inter­net use has not sim­ply increased, it has infil­trated our lives, offer­ing more and more ser­vices at more and more ser­vice points. Use has grown for almost every Inter­net ser­vice we mea­sured in this survey—well, almost every service.

The per­cent­age of Inter­net users that have used a library Web site has decreased. Library Web site use declined from 30% of respon­dents in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. in 2005 to 20% of the gen­eral pub­lic in these same coun­tries in 2007, a 33%
decrease.…

The more intrigu­ing ques­tion is—what are the ser­vices and incen­tives that online libraries could offer users to entice them to come back or to visit more often or even devote some of their own time to help cre­ate a social library site?…

If con­ve­nience does trump qual­ity, then it is the librar­i­ans’ job to make qual­ity con­ve­nient. If shar­ing will trump pri­vacy on the social Web, it is the librarians’

On the social Web, the library brand must go from insti­tu­tional to personal.…

The social Web is not being built by aug­ment­ing tra­di­tional Web sites with new tools. And a social library will not be cre­ated by imple­ment­ing a list of social soft­ware fea­tures on our cur­rent sites. The social Web is being cre­ated by open­ing the doors to the pro­duc­tion of the Web, dis­man­tling the cur­rent struc­tures and invit­ing users in to cre­ate their con­tent and estab­lish new rules.

Open the library doors, invite mass par­tic­i­pa­tion by users and relax the rules of pri­vacy. It will be messy. The rules of the new social Web are messy. The rules of the new social library will be equally messy. But mass par­tic­i­pa­tion and a lit­tle chaos often cre­ate the most excit­ing venues for col­lab­o­ra­tion, cre­ativ­ity, com­mu­nity building—and trans­for­ma­tion. It is right on mission.…

The new Web is a very dif­fer­ent thing. Libraries need to be very dif­fer­ent, too.”

Now, I give full credit to OCLC for run­ning, ana­lyz­ing, and pub­lish­ing (espe­cially freely) this report (I so wish MPOW pub­lished this kind of won­der­ful data this freely), but I have to dock them points for the way they invite feed­back on this report. On social net­work­ing. And shar­ing online. And pri­vacy concerns.

OCLC - thank you for sending us your one-way comment

Where do the points come off? The only way to sub­mit feed­back is via a form that has your name and email address as required fields and which sends the mes­sage off into the ether instead of post­ing it online. No dis­cus­sion at all on the report’s site. Given the social efforts OCLC is mak­ing else­where (World­Cat, Web­Junc­tion, etc.), I have to believe they have some­thing in the works that just wasn’t ready yet, but this cer­tainly does fill the belly of the irony beast.

Update: And indeed, the online com­mu­nity is now live via open com­ments on what appears to be a blog. Dis­cuss away.

Be Socia­ble, Share!

8:43 pm Comments (8)

8 Comments

  1. […] der Blog­gerin  Jenny Levine ist der Umgang fon OCLC mit eben diesem Thema — keine öffentliche Diskus­sions– oder Kommentar […]

    Pingback by OCLC Report zur vernetzten Welt « Globolibro: das internationale Bibliotheksblog — October 23, 2007 @ 2:17 am

  2. I thought it was inter­est­ing that out of 4,000 post­cards mailed to U.S. librar­i­ans, only 382 com­pleted the sur­vey. Of course, I real­ize this is fairly typ­i­cal for sur­vey response.…

    Comment by Talking Books Librarian — October 23, 2007 @ 8:06 am

  3. Open the library doors, invite mass par­tic­i­pa­tion by users and relax the rules of pri­vacy.” LOL… We would need a PSA!

    The mes­sage below can be the disclaimer:

    NOTICE: WE BELIEVE INFORMED DECISIONS ARE MADE ONLY WHEN FULL-DISCLOSURE IS PROVIDED. SUBSEQUENTLY, IF YOU ELECT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS AMAZING NEW SERVICE, ANY INFORMATION THAT YOU SHARE MIGHT BE USED AGAINST YOU. WE HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN IMMEDIATELY!

    CHECK THIS BOX [] TO CONFIRM THAT YOU HAVE READ THE ABOVE STATEMENT:
    [CLICK HERE TO JOIN]

    Comment by Woeful — October 23, 2007 @ 9:59 am

  4. […] The Shifted Librarian’s commentary […]

    Pingback by Shifted Librarian: New OCLC Report About Sharing Online « UW-Madison SLISIT — October 23, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  5. […] blog­ger 的報導:Jenny Levine、Michael Stephens、 Stephen Abram […]

    Pingback by Library Views 圖書館觀點 :: OCLC 最新報告出爐 - 「Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World」 :: October :: 2007 — October 26, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

  6. Yes, the com­ment­ing page for the report is live. I com­mented on this OCLC report and asked for more infor­ma­tion about “Online Activ­i­ties” by age. They answered my ques­tion and even posted an addi­tional pdf with a chart of “Online Activ­i­ties by Age”! I really appre­ci­ate that the staff at OCLC went to the trou­ble of mak­ing this data public.

    Comment by Isabelle Fetherston — November 1, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

  7. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

    Pingback by internet service » New OCLC Report about Sharing Online — November 29, 2007 @ 5:15 am

  8. […] New OCLC Report about Shar­ing Online (The Shifted Librarian) […]

    Pingback by The OPLIN 4cast » Blog Archive » 4cast #77: IL2007, OCLC Report, Twine, Catalogs — December 12, 2007 @ 10:12 am

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