OLJ 11 – Module 5 – Social media policy and online behaviour

xplanevisualthinking (2009). Did you know 4.0. . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

This video from 2009 shows some of the technology trends and ensuing behaviours relating to the use of online tools and media. It shows that people are seeking their media and news from sources that differ from the traditional news-media organisations. People are choosing the read online rather than in the traditional print news media. TV also has felt the effects of this change as more people choose their TV shows, movies, and alternative sources online. Therefore advertising has declined in the traditional media also, while online media has seen advertising skyrocket. Back in 2009 mobile phone use was growing and this trend has continued with more and more people owning and using their mobile phones for things they once did using their PC.

“The computer in your cell phone is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful and about a hundred thousand times smaller [than the one computer at MIT in 1965]…” (xplanevisualthinking, 2009)

This change in media consumption has created some behaviours that need addressing and organisations approach this by creating policies to guide and protect their employees in this environment. This list is by no means comprehensive but here are some behaviours that organisational policy seeks to keep in check and in line with the organisations functions and responsibilities:

Behaviour Policy to address
Security concerns Firewalls; designated administrators; password change schedules
Illegal downloads Firewalls; acceptable use of internet at work statements; staff code of conduct; social media policy;
Access to media Firewalls; approval process for software applications; acceptable use of internet at work statements; social media policy;
Rise in texting Staff code of conduct; social media policy; approval process for software applications;
Incorrect use of Social Networking Social media policy; social media procedures; staff code of conduct; acceptable use of internet at work statements; designated administrators; password change schedules; approval process for software applications;

The use of online media has become so much a part of our everyday lives that organisations are struggling to keep up. Organisations can look to the industry standards to get some guidance. For libraries the Australian Library & Information Association offers advice about how to be safe online as well how to be Cybersmart. The National Library of Australia has published their Social Media Policy online and differentiates the use of social media within the organisation: official use; professional use; private use; and inappropriate use. The Australian Communications and Media Authority is the official organisation that represents Australia’s communications, and offers guidance about spam, digital literacy, online abuse, personal rights and safeguards, and a lot more.

In this article from Government News in 2010 a Municipal Association of Victoria representative stated, “that a social media policy was required to help councillors and council staff develop best practice and engage with communities that were already using a diverse range of social media outlets to communicate.” In trying to get government organisations on board, the Department of Justice Victoria released this video in 2011.

A range of guidelines, policies and documents relating to social media for government is now available on the eGovernment Resource Centre website.


Australian Communications and Media Authority (n.d.). ACMA Home page. Retrieved from http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/HOMEPAGE/PC=HOME

Australian Library and Information Association (n.d.) ALIA guide to online content regulation. Retrieved from http://membership.alia.org.au/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=ALIA/ccms.r?pageid=10577

Department of Justice Victoria (2011). Social Media Policy. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iQLkt5CG8I

eGovernment Resource Centre (2013). Social media policies and standards. Retrieved from http://www.egov.vic.gov.au/policies-and-standards/web-services-policies-and-standards/social-media-policies-and-standards.html

National Library of Australia (n.d.). Social media policy. Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/policy-and-planning/social-media

O’Brien, R. (2010). MAV developing social media policy. Government News. Retrieved from http://www.governmentnews.com.au////article/MAV-developing-social-media-policy/IKQUGUSSQL.html

xplanevisualthinking (2009). Did you know 4.0. . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8


OLJ 04 – Module 1 – The Technium

Reading the thoughts posted by Kevin Kelly about the adoption of technology and technology as an organism was interesting and although first posted in 2009, the theories still resonate today in 2013, as technology continues to grow as a “self-organising living force.” (Kelly, 2009b)

Some of the points that interested me are: that technology is a “cosmic force” that precedes the Big Bang; that the adoption of technology is not always obvious and is even rejected despite clear demonstrated benefits; that people make definite decisions to not use particular technologies “simply because” and this is often based on how we want to “signal our identity”. (Kelly, 2009a)

Applying these ideas to the world around me I observe the love of gadgets and new technologies in some of the people I know. I share their excitement when obtaining a new toy such as a shiny new electronic notepad, or tablet. I share the enthusiasm of others in my sphere when we try to tell our customers, friends and family about the fantastic opportunities in libraries today especially via our digital resources. I love to try out new online technologies and agree with Kevin Kelly that “the only way we can determine whether something is good or bad for us, is through use.” (Kelly, 2009b)

But equally I observe the “Luddites” around me. You won’t find them on Facebook or Twitter or blogging. They might have an email address and a mobile phone but that’s it. You are more likely to find these people gardening, or cycling, or fishing, or out in the community somewhere doing practical things. I am generalising here of course and not suggesting that there is anything wrong with this at all. But thinking of those “dis-connected” people I know; those who define their identity within a technologically driven and connected society by choosing to not use any particular technology. As Kelly says ” You define yourself by what you don’t use.” (Kelly, 2009b)

Image: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎), via Wikimedia Commons

Image: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎), via Wikimedia Commons

There is no right or wrong here, only personal preferences, but I notice that with the fast-paced evolution of internet-based technologies, these people get left behind and the gap grows increasingly wider. Being immersed in a technology like online social media allows you to get swept along on the wave of development, whereas if you are not in it to begin with, there are more skills to learn if and when you do dive in.


Kelly, K. (2009a). Ethnic technology, The Technium. Retrieved from http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/03/ethnic_technolo.php

Kelly, K. (2009b). Penny thoughts on The Technium. The Technium. Retrieved from http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/12/penny_thoughts_2.php