Identifying the Components of International Social Cataloging Sites in users and experts perspective.

Author:Mohammadbeigi, Fatemeh

Introduction & Statement of Problem

The advancement of technology and machine life have changed the people lifestyle and increased their need for information as well. Thus, information has turned nowadays into a valuable commodity and is considered as a superiority criterion of countries than to each (Safavi, 2013). The history of reading dates back to the fourth millennium BC. Reading is the only way to access information. Reading is a multi-dimensional cognitive process and decoding of signs to build and extend the meaning of the text. There are no complicated rules for reading; however, reading allows the readers to generate and regenerate their own ideas. In fact, reading is a semantic method of communication and distribution of information and thoughts. By the end of 2000, many people might not have the ability to buy mobile phones, computers and today's technologies; but today, these tools are widely available to everyone. Information technology has changed the today's human life and made changes in the quality of study and the study habits of individuals. Such changes have played a major role in the developments of reading, thinking, quality and quantity of study. Ultimately, they have led to lifelong learning and, as a result, an open revolution in the society (Shimeri, Keerti and Rama Yeh, 2015).

Studying needs books, which may not be available to millions of people around the world. However, today technologies such as mobile and Internet sites have solves this problem. The current study approach is different from the past as well. Nowadays, with the development of modern technologies, people have tend to digital and electronic books and use modern tools. Thus, one can say that digital content creation has eliminated the physical boundaries of the home, school and workplace. In the current world and with the growth and development of social networks that have crossed the borders and increased the communications dramatically, the users play an essential role in the production and transmission of content.

Social cataloging sites are a subset of social media, which are web-based applications allowing the users to digitally catalogue books, movies, music, etc. and simultaneously share their opinions and ideas with others. The social cataloging sites applications allow the users to catalogue their collections and collaborate and interact with the social networks. The social catalogues are very helpful for librarians, as they enable them to organize their resources. These sites are also useful in developing the collection and provide the possibility of complete description and review of the books. They can serve as a good tool in hands of the librarians for library acquisition. Finally, it is a tool to give consultation to the readers through which the librarians can communicate with their users and suggest appropriate books to them (Cho, Giustini and Hooker, 2009).

Social cataloging sites have simplified the discussion on books and critique in online environments. In these sites, the description of users on the sources are provided. The users also rate the books they have read. Indeed, these tools can be considered an extension of the second law of Ranganathan: Every reader his/her book (Social Cataloging Sites, 2015).

There are numerous social cataloging sites in the world; however, the most popular examples used widely around the world can be mentioned Goodreads, Librarything, Shlefari and aNobbi, which respectively ranked as 293, 16211, 68239, and 25571 on the Alexa website with visitors from the US, Canada, England, Italy, India, etc. The Alexa website is owned by the American company Alexa that ranks the social networking websites based on 4 indicators of number of visits, number of users, number of site updating, and the number of pages on the site. Based on the survey made, there is no social cataloging sites in Iran, or if any, its activity is limited. This suggests little progress in this regard. The reasons for the failure of this network may include the failure of membership of other countries due to single-language, lack of apparent attractiveness, system slowness and lack of user-friendliness, failure to create added value for users, lack of trust, non-disclosure and proper advertising, insecurity of information and non-confidentiality of the information. Thus, evaluating the components of the sites mentioned in the world, a native model with a global image and standard can be provided. The present study aimed to identify the criteria and components of social cataloging sites that upon identifying the structural elements of these sites, the opinions of users and experts on the proposed components would be considered. Finally, using the intended components, the features of a proper model for a native social cataloging site were described.

Research questions

  1. What are the components of the international social cataloging sites?

  2. How are ranking of components of social cataloging sites in users and experts perspective?

    Research background

    * Research background in Iran

    In their article entitled as "The typology of Iranians use and satisfaction with the book-oriented Goodreads Social Network, Mahboob and Mirtaheri (2015) examined and categorized the Iranian ways of using the book-oriented Goodreads Social Network. They utilized the theory of "use and satisfaction" as a theoretical framework for their research. The target community of the study included the Iranian users who were active in these networks. The factor analysis categorized 25 questioned variables into 6 factors as follows:

  3. Information seeking (9 variables)

  4. Socializing (6 variables)

  5. Escaping from everyday life (4 variables)

  6. Being with books (2 variables)

  7. Job sustainability (2 variables)

  8. Recognition of the famous (2 variables)

    Another goal of this study was to detect the determinant factors in the network activation. Three activities on the network, including reviewing books, rating the books and finding friends by users requires a conscious action, which is needed to enhance the activity within the network. On one hand, these three factors are strengthened, and, on the other hand, those with such factors are considered as the main assets of the network.

    In his article aimed at the study of book-centered internet social networks, Eskandaripour (2010) has first discussed the concept of the internet social networks platform and then defined the thematic social networks and their specific type, the book-based social networking, which is intended in this paper. Then, with the aim of understanding the features and functions of book-centered social networks and modeling of the top examples of this area as well as identifying the status and position of Iranian users in such networks, he has reviewed the case studies of "Shelfari", "Book Crossing" and "Librarything" as popular examples of book-oriented social networks around the world. Finally, summarizing the set of the characteristics of these networks, some suggestion were made accordingly based on the experiences of social networks as applied and operational recommendations in the form of different groups of people involved with books, namely, publishers, writers, bookstores, professional readers and libraries, with the ultimate goal of promoting reading culture.

    Akbari Tabar (2010) has introduced the purpose of his paper to recognize the book-based group activity in virtual social networks. To this end, he has selected and studied the "Social Network of Iranian Specialists (U24)" from three main categories dealing with book-related group activities in these networks (book-based social networks, book publishing and distributing companies on social networks, and the subset groups of different social networks, which topic of formation and activity is book- related. The results showed that among 1941 groups active in the social network of Iranian specialists (U24), eight groups have been involved with book-related activities. Among these groups, based on the members' number measure, the "Short Story" group and the Translation of Some New Books" group have had the largest and smallest number of members, respectively. Based on the index of the number of messages, the "Short Story" group and the Translation of Some New Books" group have shared the largest and smallest number of messages, respectively. Based on the average activity of the group (average time of group updating), the "Short Story" group and the Translation of Some New Books" group have had the maximum and minimum amount of activity, respectively. Based on the average number of comments (comments on posts), the group of "Interesting Topics" has had the most comments, and as a result, the maximum rate of attractiveness of the notes and the highest rate of feedback, while the Translation of Some New Books" group has had the lowest average rate of comments.

    In his article, Yazdan Panah (2010) describes the "Book" as one of the main pillars of the cultural system both due to its more...

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