It’s Like MySpace, but for Old People!

I did a presentation on social networking last night for RRLC. We had some good conversation, which made this particular class a lot of fun.

Last week as I was preparing for the class I was poking around on the internet, bookmarking useful sites that I wanted to be sure to point out. My usual mode of doing this sort of thing consists of me sitting on the couch with my laptop while watching tv. (I’m a two-screen person, almost always.)

I was listening to one of the news channels — I don’t recall if it was local or national news — and heard them talking about a new social networking site. As it turns out, this new site was created by a young man (he looked to be college-age) who decided to build something similar to myspace, but which would be easy for people his parents’ age to use. What he came up with is If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a quick look. All the buttons have mouseover definitions so that you know exactly what that button leads to. The site has a clean look that won’t drive you crazy the way MySpace will, with it’s “too easy to be ultra-creative” benefits. (Kids love to put purple text on black backgrounds, barely-readable text on way-too-busy backgrounds, and animations everywhere.) Your profile can be either public or private. You can find other people with similar interests. (Reading brought up a lot of people. Caving brought up zero. Must be an age thing.)

It’ll be interesting to see if this site catches on with the “mature” generation the way MySpace did with the kids.

It’s a Library Thing

A co-worker just turned me on to, a great website for anyone who loves books. As stated on the site, LibraryThing is a place to “Enter what you’re reading or your whole library—it’s an easy, library-quality catalog. LibraryThing also connects you with people who read the same things.”

It’s a great way to keep track of titles you’ve read, or to list titles that you haven’t gotten to yet.

Signing up at this free site is easy, and once you’ve logged in you can type a title or author into a search box (and it’s very forgiving if you don’t remember exact name) and select your book from the list that comes up. The book is added to your library and you can rate it, write a review and add tags to decide for yourself how to categorize it.

The fun thing is that you can then find other users who have read the same book and look at their libraries, or find other books that are tagged similarly to your own.

I highly recommend creating an account and exploring. It’s fun and it’s easy! For years we’ve had patrons at our library asking for a way to keep a list of what they’ve already read. Now they have it. And for the books I haven’t gotten to yet, but which I want to keep track of and get to eventually, I’m going to tag as “unread.”