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“a degree in MySpace?”

Heidi Go Seek on the new University of Michigan SI specialization:

"I hate to be cynical…but the truth is that since I’m less pessimistic than I used to be, I’m now forced to be cynical. What kind of job would I be able to get with a degree in MySpace?"

Not that the concept isn’t cool…a class or two on the subject might be nice (and even interesting), but a whole specialization? I’m not so sure about that."


"Of course, I also think that some of the best ideas in social computing are not coming out of the academic setting either…they’re coming from average people with a few friends and some time to kill."

8 Responses to ““a degree in MySpace?””

  1. Eric Berlin
    March 25, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    Well, MySpace is the leading social networking blogosphere!

  2. Hope Leman
    March 26, 2007 at 12:25 am #

    Rather, the question is increasingly becoming what kind of job can you get with an MLS? I don’t have one and I don’t really see a good business case for getting one at this point. Most of the tools many of us use at work are those we picked up by reading tech blogs.

  3. heidi
    March 26, 2007 at 8:16 am #

    I wasn’t saying that MySpace was a passing fad, I was just thinking that for the sake of the profession, maybe we need to be more flexible in our curriculum. Understanding, of course, that Michigan’s program is unlike the school I currently attend. I don’t think we should completely abandon librarianship to move information science into the age of the internet.

    Hope, I do see value in the MLS. I’m quite happy I decided to get mine and I’m satisfied with the program I chose too. Sure we get a lot of information from tech blogs, but people have to be motivated to read tech blogs to get information from them…not everybody does. I’m not exactly sure that “reading tech blogs” is something that counts as experience on a resume either.

    People who engage themselves on the internet are also engaged in other ways offline. I really think that libraries have the benefit of engaging patrons both ways, creating a stronger communities in the long run.

  4. Lissa Lord
    March 26, 2007 at 4:38 pm #

    This is the most exciting of news! Bringing Social Computing into its own academic discipline is so forward into WOW. The possibilities do not end and the study of information is certainly open and ready. Gentle Men&Women, start your engines ’cause we’re taking off and nobody nowhere knows where this will take us. Good luck, UM-SI in this stunning endeavor.

  5. Hope Leman
    March 26, 2007 at 9:09 pm #

    Hi, Heidi. Good point “…I’m not exactly sure that “reading tech blogs” is something that counts as experience on a resume either.” But one doesn’t write that on a résumé. One writes something more like, “Created a web site consisting of sign-up boxes for email alerts so that patrons can…” That is the sort of skill one picks up by reading blogs, not by getting an MLS.

  6. Elizabeth Lawley
    March 27, 2007 at 11:15 am #

    I posted this on Heidi’s site, as well:

    Um…since when did MySpace constitute the entire field of social computing?

    MySpace is one implementation of one type of social computing–other examples include blogs and wikis, recommender systems and chat environments, groupware and calendaring, and more.

    Isn’t this a bit like saying “Library Science”? What would anyone do with a degree in shelving books?

  7. heidi
    March 27, 2007 at 8:13 pm #

    Well, since you’re reposting comments on different sites I will do mine:

    My point was that I felt social computing as a specialization was a little too narrow given the degree of change in technology related fields.

    I am completely aware of the other forms of social computing, I’m a big fan of all of those. Your point is taken though…

  8. Philip 410-560-3346
    May 17, 2007 at 9:22 pm #

    What a bunch of losers!! Degree in myspace? Get a life!!

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