INF506 Evaluation and Reflection

Assessment item 4 – Assignment 3: OLJ/Evaluative report – Value: 50%
Due date: 09-Feb-2015 Return date: 02-Mar-2015 Length: 1500 words (+/- 10%)




The learning experiences in INF506 have provided opportunities to redefine my approach to the social networking [SN] technologies used in a professional capacity because of developments in knowledge and skills that assist in evaluating and creating tools that facilitate online participatory cultures. The use of social media in our society is becoming ubiquitous among young people and technology is playing an increasingly important role in their socialisation (Ahn, Bivona and DiScala, 2011). Foth, Forlano, Satchell and Gibbs (2011) highlight that there are in turn, more opportunities available for information professionals to foster cultures of community participation through engagement and INF506 has provided opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills needed for a pragmatic application of social networking and innovative information policies in my profession. An evaluation of social networking applications and related literature has highlighted the ubiquity of social networking technologies in learning environments and their affordances of co- creative, collaborative educational settings for workgroups, communities and organisations such as those central to Library 2.0 (Hay, 2010). INF506 has provided valuable learning experiences for me as an educator who seeks to provide learners with online resources that are adaptable, viable and sustainable for their digital identities during technological change.

When critically evaluating the information skills demonstrated in this course it is clear that significant improvements have been achieved. The first OLJ Assessment Item 1 – Social Networking (Hocknull, 2014) outlined the benefits of social networking for the informational and collaborative needs of diverse groups, communities and organisations that share interests over the Internet through social networks. Further research and study of the literature related to social networking facilitated the development of innovative social networking tools on an internally hosted project (Assignment Two) using features and functionality afforded in the Mahara Web 2.0 e-Portfolio application within my organisation. Seeking to address the aim of providing a social network environment for Year 9 and 11 students to collaborate and co- create meaningful historiographical discussion was a valuable learning experience. The creative use and effective evaluation of Mahara’s social networking features in Assignment Two has also been identified as an area for further development so that new social media technologies and Web 2.0 tools can be integrated and allow greater theoretical applications that are guided by participatory policies.

Another significant component of the learning process in INF506 was developing a knowledge and understanding of Library 2.0 because researching the course literature for the Designing Effective Library Websites OLJ (Hocknull, 2015_a) provided another valuable opportunity to evaluate the significant relationships that Web 2.0 tools have to play in the future of library and education environments. Coherent evaluations were made of Library 2.0 websites that sought to cater for different audiences through segmentation and the development of participatory cultures through the affordances of Web 2.0 tools such as blog and social networking/ media applications. Further independent research beyond the core subject materials also provided an opportunity to investigate the use of innovative Open Source Library 2.0 resources such as SociaLib (Governor, Hinchcliffe and Nickull, 2009; Mitropoulos, Dimitrios Baltasis, Rodios and Douligeris 2014).

Information professionals need to have a practical understanding of how social media policies are implemented and how they relate to their organisation’s future (Arendt, 2009; Odden, 2012). When critically evaluating the level of understanding about information policy demonstrated in my OLJ’s there is evidence of improvement in the practical aspects of guiding policy toward a participatory direction. An understanding of the social, cultural, educational, ethical and technical policy management issues has been demonstrated within a participatory context in the Social networking and information policy OLJ (Hocknull, 2015_b).  Bryson (2007) argues that information professionals have an important role to play in creatively resolving problems arising from technological change through the use of innovative approaches. The learning process in INF506 has focused on creative and innovative uses of social networks in education environments and Library 2.0 but it has also been guided by constructive theories of social capital (Bourdieu, 2011) and participatory culture (Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison and Weigel,2006).

As the ubiquitousness of technology increases and change becomes more apparent to older generations, the knowledge and skills that have been developed during the learning process of INF506 will provide a framework for navigating toward positive and constructive outcomes for social networking use in my organisation. I look forward to applying new social networking technologies and their features with equitable and ethical approaches to enhance and redefine classroom experiences toward a more socially engaged future.



When researching the history and future direction of Web 2.0 for my second post in INF506 What is Web 2.0? (Hocknull, 2014_b) there was a moment of social enlightenment. The story of Aaron Swartz’s experiences with authority is something that every information professional should be cognizant of when addressing issues within their organisation (The Documentary Network, 2014). The legal matters of Aaron Swartz’s case may never be resolved because of the complex nature of overlapping international, national, state, local and human boundaries, however the implications of his experiences should not be ignored. I was determined to keep the story of Swartz in the back of my mind as I undertook the INF506 learning process and I feel that it has help me significantly to contextualise the knowledge and skills that have been learned in a more considered and ethical direction. So with this new principle I set forth determined not to let my desire to boycott JSTOR academic articles hinder my research efforts on social networking for information professionals.

After reviewing the literature in INF506 Modules, I became interested in the developments of Web 3.0 technologies that concluded Module 6 because Aaron Swartz wrote several articles about the semantic web and Wikipedia (Swartz, 2002, 2006, 2013). An immediate challenge for me at the time was to relate Web 3.0 technologies to the social networking features of the Mahara Web 2.0 application that was the focus of Assignment Two. Integrating Web 3.0 features into Mahara’s social networking functionality was too difficult to achieve technically, but suggestions for future investigation were proposed and the learning experiences assisted in developing ideas and principles relating to social constructionism and the participatory culture that is afforded by Web 2.0 technologies. Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison and Weigel (2006) outline the stories of Richardson, Lawver, Ross, and Meeter who as young technology enthusiast achieved similarly amazing feats to those of Aaron Swartz. Examples of participatory Internet culture are growing because of the ubiquity of social media, however the variety of social media technologies does pose a challenge for information professionals and policy development. It is difficult to navigate a path forward as an information professional when young people can demonstrate such affinity with technology and in the case of Swartz an impressive combination of social justice. In fact the case of Swartz has forced me to question my philosophies regarding truth in my role as an information professional.

One of the most rewarding learning experiences in INF506 was the research into and reading of literature about authentic information in a socially networked world because it is often an issue with students who are seeking to carry out research at school. It is easy to get caught up in the technicalities of information policy that seemingly regard corporate commercial interests over the common good of freedom of information. Arendt (2009) highlights the international complexity of information policy issues when overtly referring to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to define privacy policy issues for organisations using social media. In this complex multi jurisdictional environment, it is always too tempting to copy another organisation’s social media policy in detail to avoid the considerable effort needed to construct one’s own. Understanding the issues surrounding Swartz’s social advocacy for information freedom may help information professionals in their quest to develop innovative policies with regard to local and foreign entities while remaining authentic in ethical integrity. The Open Library project’s collaborative policy developments with the Internet Archive (2014) are an example of innovative solutions to complex issues related to information policy.

I feel strongly that local organisations have an important place for information professionals to work as part of a team in guiding policy development related to social media and networking. This localised culture is fundamental for the stability of cultural and social capital (Bourdieu, 2011; Bryson, 2007) that young people need to activate the meaningful reality of their participation in digital environments such as social networking. Social capital can be valued and rewarded through participatory digital knowledge networks such as those found in social networks. A more open culture of knowledge sharing and creative problem solving may help to resolve complex social dissonances resulting from a lack of information.

The convergence of social and cultural issues, technical knowledge and skills with the story of Aaron Swartz during the INF506 learning process has made this subject so much more meaningful for me this summer. The number one point for my next policy document is: #watch The Internet’s Own Boy (The Documentary Network, 2014) where at the age of 12 Swartz designed one of the first information social networks called and the story starts there … (See figure 1).




Ahn, J., Bivona, L. K. and DiScala, J. (2011). Social media access in K‐12 schools: Intractable policy controversies in an evolving world. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 48(1), 1-10. Retrieved from:


Arendt, A. (2009). Social Media Tools and the Policies Associated with Them, Best Practices in Policy Management Conference. Utah Valley University, November. Retrieved from:


Bourdieu, P. (2011). The forms of capital.(1986). Cultural theory: An anthology, 81-93. Retrieved from:


Bryson, J. (2007). Chapter 10: Policy making. Managing information services: A transformational approach (pp/125-130). Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate e-Book.


Foth, M., Forlano, L., Satchell, C. and Gibbs, M. (2011). Preface in Foth, M. (Ed.). From social butterfly to engaged citizen: Urban informatics, social media, ubiquitous computing, and mobile technology to support citizen engagement. MIT Press.


Governor, J., Hinchcliffe, D. and Nickull, D. (2009). Capturing Web 2.0 Knowledge with Patterns and Architecture. in: Web 2.0 architectures (1st ed.). Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media.


Hay, L. (2010) Shift happens. It’s time to rethink, rebuild and rebrand. Retrieved from:


Hocknull, I. (2014). Social networking. Retrieved from:


Hocknull, I. (2014_b). What is Web 2.0?. Retrieved from:


Hocknull, I. (2015_a). Designing effective library websites. Retrieved from:


Hocknull, I. (2015_b). Social networking and information policy. Retrieved from:


Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. and Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved from:


Mitropoulos, S., Dimitrios Baltasis, G., Rodios, M. and Douligeris, C. (2014). SociaLib: a collaborative digital library model platform using Web 2.0. The Electronic Library, 32(5), 622-641


Odden, L. (2012). Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing. John Wiley and Sons.


Swartz, A. (2002). The semantic web in breadth. Retrieved from:


Swartz, A. (2006). Who writes wikipedia. Retrieved from:


Swartz, A. (2013). Aaron Swartz’s A Programmable Web: An Unfinished Work. Synthesis Lectures on The Semantic Web: Theory and Technology, 3(2), 1-64. Retrieved from:


The Documentary Network (2014). The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (CC available). [VIDEO] Available:


The Internet Archive. (2014). Internet Archive’s Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Copyright Policy.  San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from:

Social media/networking policies for organisations

Social media/ networking policies are important documents for organisations that have members involved in online communications in our Web 2.0 environment where the growing ubiquitousness of mobile devices and social media are resulting in even the slowest adopters of these technologies becoming caught up in complex connectivity. Organisations can take the opportunity to develop their use of social media in equitable and ethical directions through social media policies such as IBM’s (IBM, n.d.) that are designed to anticipate further innovations in future technologies. Organisations’ social media policies should inform all employees of the public nature of even private online communications and that their policy is designed to encourage equitable and ethical behaviours in preference to restrictive punitive measures, although there may be those consequences if inappropriate incidents are evident (Fleet, 2009).
Arendt (2009) highlights the varied nature and features of social media that information professionals should be considered when developing an organisation’s policy. An increased participation in social media by information professionals can be seen in the growth of educational and business related YouTube channels, social bookmarking groups, social networking groups, wiki groups, twitter follows and their related Web 2.0 platforms such as learning and content managements systems (MOODLE and JOOMLA). The Webmaster at Oregon State University (cited in Ardent, 2009) suggests that social media sites are essential because that is where users are initiating their search for information about organisations.
The need for social media policies to guide the development of procedures and rules related to online individual and organisational identities is a significant social issue. The issues are complex and overlap international boundaries in such a significant manner that governments are seeking direction from the United Nations (Assembly, U. G., 1948). Bosco (2014) argues that social media policies need to be more than just a document and organisations seeking to achieve best practice can develop a culture that can move forward with a responsible and effective use of new technologies. The NSW DEC (2011) have developed a Social Media Policy that provides clear direction and support for the community to engage with new social media technologies to facilitate their safe and responsible use in public education settings. The five key areas of this document include Objectives (Policy statement), Audience and applicability, Context, responsibilities and delegations and Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements.


Anderson, J. (2009). Social Media Policies & Museums, Indianapolis Museum of Art blog (8 April). Retrieved from:

Arendt, A. (2009). Social Media Tools and the Policies Associated with Them, Best Practices in Policy Management Conference. Utah Valley University, November. Retrieved from:

Assembly, U. G. (1948). Universal declaration of human rights. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 10(12). Retrieved from:

Bosco, J. (2014). Should Your School Use Social Media? Second Thoughts. Friday, February 21, 2014 – 1:00pm. Retrieved from:

Fleet, D. (2009). Social Media Policies E-book (2009). Retrieved from:

Kelly, L. (September 14, 2008). Developing a social media/social networking strategy. Retrieved from:

IBM (n.d.). IBM Social Computing Guidelines. Blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds and social media. Retrieved from:

NSW Department of Education and Communities (2011). Social Media Policy. Retrieved from:

The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world

Information professionals need to approach research issues with Internet sources openly yet cautiously if a participatory culture in our society and knowledge networks is to be achieved. Social constructivist philosophies that underlie participatory culture should not be an excuse for factual errors or misinformation, but instead an opportunity to develop the skills needed to verify and create authentic information. The affordances of Web 2.0 applications that record the publication of participatory mistakes is in itself reason for the implementation of open policies toward publications such as Wikipedia. Here the cost of free, easily available and verifiable information is that it should be verified by the reader and Wittenberg (2007) further suggests that young people are capable of utilising their peer networks in this process. Wikipedia policies have developed to include verification of the source of information as part of the publication process and it is a simple matter of checking the version history of the article to ascertain the nature of the source of that information (Garfinkel, 2008). These new steps in a research process are not second nature to adult educators who may be migrating their skills from traditional print text to Wikipedia when learning, teaching or managing digital information.

Challenging questions about the authenticity of Internet sources such as Wikipedia can be difficult to contextualise for educators when deceptive practices by some online identities such as those identified by Sessions (2009), Yardi, Romero, Schoenebeck and boyd (2010), may damage the reputable nature of other Internet sources. Developments in information policies of some education institutions have sought to cater for such shifts occurring in new digital environments and provide ‘contained’ spaces for learning (Hay 2009; Lorenzo, 2007; Wittenberg, 2007). While in a somewhat opposite shift, some education organisations are moving toward a wider conception of connectivist pedagogy and investing in MOOCS (Rodriguez, 2012; Wittenberg, 2007).

The affordances of Web 2.0 technologies have also helped to redefine constructivist approaches toward evaluating the authenticity of Internet information through the creation of connectivist social bookmarking applications such as Diigo and Delicious (Lorenzo, 2007; Starkey, 2012). Tagging and annotating websites and Internet resources is as beset by as many challenges as Wikipedia authenticity issues, however, these technologies can potentially assist academic knowledge networks to verify information quickly and strengthen the philosophy of a high quality participatory culture. Garfinkel’s (2008) frustration with correcting errors relating to his biographical information on Wikipedia are significant examples for educators seeking to promote an authentic participatory culture because here we can see and learn from the errors that prevention is better than the cure.




Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the meaning of truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84-86. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database. Retrieved from:


Hay, L. (2010) Shift happens. It’s time to rethink, rebuild and rebrand. Retrieved from:


Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for change: Information fluency, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the new education culture. (March). Retrieved from or


Rodriguez, C. (2012). MOOCs and the AI-Stanford Like Courses: Two Successful and Distinct Course Formats for Massive Open Online Courses. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Retrieved from:


Sessions, L. (2009). “You looked better on MySpace”: Deception and authenticity on Web 2.0, First Monday, 14(7), 6 July. Available


Starkey, L. (2012). Teaching and learning in the digtial age. Oxon: Routledge.


Yardi, S., Romero, D., Schoenebeck, G. & danah boyd. (2010). Detecting spam in a Twitter network, First Monday, 15(1), 4 January. Available

Social networking and information policy – Privacy

Social media participation in our society has resulted in a positive integration of technology with education curriculum and pedagogy, however there are also further challenges that must be addressed in relation to equity and privacy (Cheston, Flickinger and Chisolm, 2013). Madden et. al. (2013) suggest that despite filtering some personal information, teenagers lack concern about their online privacy when participating in social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Tumblr (See figure 1). Privacy concerns related to the growth in personal information that is shared online is often self- regulated by young people as they co- create identities and utilise the affordances of Web 2.0 as policy makers struggle to keep up with the ubiquitous nature of new technologies (Mallan and Giardina, 2009).
Despite the affordances of Web 2.0 technologies allowing for the filtering of personal information and even anonymity, only 40% of 2007 OCLC survey respondents reviewed website privacy policies before supplying personal information (De Rosa et. al., 2007). While change is occurring, it may not be because of policy direction or regulations and Raynes-Goldie (2010) argues that Facebook users have in fact demonstrated a shift toward ‘privacy pragmatism’ where the benefits of online identities often outweigh the privacy costs. Pearson (2009) further argues that anonymity is ultimately counterproductive to users ability to build an online reputation (and even our next soon to be Prime Minister pragmatically releases personal information) that is socially beneficial.
Organisations that are seeking to develop relationships with their digital communities need to develop and maintain policies that help to navigate through the challenging issues of privacy and trust. When addressing the online identities of both staff and patrons policies need to provide guidance and boundaries that can be enforced if there are violations. While restrictive policies are often needed, it may be more beneficial for organisations to develop more open minded and constructive policy wording to develop more equitable and ethical approaches to what information about identities are shared online and how these directions are enforced.



Cheston, C. C., Flickinger, T. E., and Chisolm, M. S. (2013). Social media use in medical education: a systematic review. Academic Medicine, 88(6), 893-901. Retrieved from:

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J. and Jenkins, L. (2007). Section 3: Privacy, Security and Trust. In Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. [ebook] Retrieved from:

Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Cortesi, S., Gasser, U., Duggan, M., Smith, A., and Beaton, M. (2013). Teens, social media, and privacy. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from:

Mallan, K. and Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites, First Monday, 14(6), 1 June. Retrieved from:

Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog: Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77.

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15(1), 4 January. Retrieved from:

Social networking and information policy

The development, maintenance and implementation of policies that coherently move participants forward in organisations that are increasingly corporatised such as libraries and schools need to address changes that are occurring with technology in our society (Bryson, 2007; Dearnley and Feather, 2001). For policy documents to remain relevant throughout increasing technological change, information professionals should seek to initiate research into future scenarios that will involve new technologies, occupations and problems for their employees and clients (Odden, 2012). Information policy documents should be free of political bias and seek to create creative and collaborative cultures within organisations that are inclusive (Bryson, 2007). Fisch and McLeod (2013) have sought to highlight the need for policy developments in their education system that is failing to maintain the standards set in other countries such as China and India during technological shifts. Shifts in technology have also led to increased focus on the pedagogical and curriculum implications for education organisations such as the popularity of Mishra and Koehler’s (2006) TPACK framework for classroom integration.
Schools need to go beyond the development of pedagogical and technological integration with the curriculum and seek to develop policies that address the needs of the community in a holistic way (Hay, 2010). The collaborative efforts of technology enthusiasts who have co- created videos like “Did You Know” (Iowa Future, 2011; McCann, 2012; Sandifer, 2008) can help to motivate organisation stakeholders to identify and prepare for the significant shifts that have been and will occur in the near future. Hay (2010) argues that stakeholders’ teams need to converge and deliver a synergistic approach to 21st C learning built on strategic policy that addresses technology, pedagogy and curriculum in a balanced way.
Bertot, Jaeger, and Grimes (2010) have also discussed a shift in government policies related to information and transparency where the affordances of Web 2.0 technologies are playing an increasingly important social role. The success of Obama’s 2008 Iowa presidential campaign was attributed to the co- creation of the blog where supporters added comments to the blog and contributed to a public movement (Harfoush, 2009). Shifts can also be seen in government information policies that have sought to evolve in line with Web 2.0 developments that redefine the way elections and even governments now participate in digital environments (Bertot, McClure, and Jaeger, 2008; Bertot, Jaeger, McClure, Wright, and Jensen, 2009). Public libraries are now challenged with the redefinition of their traditional social role of providing books and the need to develop Library 2.0 approaches with an increase in public Internet provision.
Jenkins et. al. (2006) suggest that policy-makers need to address equity, transparency and ethical challenges so that the use of Internet technologies in schools can be integrated as a paradigm shift toward digitally responsible and creative classroom environments.


Bryson, J. (2007). Chapter 10: Policy making. Managing information services: A transformational approach (pp/125-130). Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate e-Book. [ebook]

Bertot, J., McClure, C. and Jaeger, P. (2008). “Public libraries and the Internet 2007: Issues, implications, and expectations,” Library & Information Science Research, volume 30, number 3, pp. 175–184.

Bertot, J., Jaeger, P., McClure, C., Wright, C., and Jensen, E. (2009). Public libraries and the Internet 2008-2009: Issues, implications, and challenges. First Monday, 14(11). Available

Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., & Grimes, J. M. (2010). Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies. Government information quarterly, 27(3), 264-271. Retrieved from:

Dearnley, J., & Feather, J. (2001). Information policy. The wired world: An introduction to the theory and practice of the information society (pp. 60-93). London: Library Association.

Fisch, K. and McLeod, S. (2013) shifthappens. Retrieved from:

Hay, L. (2010) Shift happens. It’s time to rethink, rebuild and rebrand. retrieved from:

Harfoush, R. (2009). Yes We Did! An inside look at how social media built the Obama brand. New Riders.

Iowa Future. (2011), Iowa, Did You Know? Retrieved from:

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved from:

McCann, G. (2012). Shift Happens (2012). Retrieved from:

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge framework (TPACK).

Odden, L. (2012). Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing. John Wiley & Sons.

Sandifer, S. (April 22, 2008). Shift Happens — Now What? Retrieved from: