UKOLN: Supporting the Cultural Heritage Sector
Why The Interest In Facebook?
Facebook has generated much interest over recent months. Much of the interest has arisen since Facebook announced the Facebook Platform  which enabled third party developers to build applications which could be used within the Facebook environment. Since Facebook was developed initially to support students it is not surprising that student usage has proved so popular. This interest has also spread to other sectors within institutions, with researchers and members of staff exploring Facebook possibilities. What Can Be Done Within Facebook?
Social networks such as Facebook can provide a range of benefits to members of an organisation: Connections with peers: The main function of Facebook is to provide connections between people with similar interests. Friends can then send messages to each other (either closed messages or open for others to read). Groups: Facebook users can set up discussion group areas, which can be used by people with interests in the topic of the group. Creation of details of events, which allows users to sign up to, is another popular use of Facebook. Sharing resources: Many of the popular Facebook applications are used for sharing resources. Some of these replicate (or provide an interface to) popular social sharing services (such as Flickr and YouTube) while other applications provide services such as sharing interests in films, books, etc. An environment for other applications: The opening of the Facebook Platform has allowed developers to provide access to a range of applications. ArtShare , for example, provides access to arts resources from within Facebook. Web presence: Although originally designed for use by individuals since November 2007 Facebook can be used as a Web hosting service for an organisational page. It should also be noted that organisational pages in Facebook were redesigned in 2009 so that...
References: 1. Major Facebook Announcement Thursday: Facebook Platform, Mashable, 21 May 2007,
2. Artshare, Brooklyn Museum Blog, 8 Nov 2007,
3. New Facebook Pages: A Guide for Social Media Marketers, Mashable blog, 3 Mar 2009,
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