People tend to be loyal to one social-networking site, though that relationship is often fleeting, says Martin Weller, educational-technology Professor at the Britain-based Open University.
He points to no particular reason for this — just that one site will get old and people will move on to another. He asserts that this is happening to Facebook, but gives an analysis of the lessons academics can take away from the phenomenon. In particular, he writes:
“…in order to understand web 2.0 you have to act 2.0. I think too many academics are guilty of seeing social networking, or any popular tool, as something to be researched, but not something to be experienced and used. This is both rather a snobbish attitude and also misses the point. Signing up for an account, dropping in for a couple of weeks, doing a survey and then disappearing does not gain you an understanding of how these things are really being used.”
So, while librarians “chase the white whale” of social-networking with students, is Facebook old news now? Are academics too removed from Web 2.0 to really understand it? —Hurley Goodall