23 April 2006

MySpace Banned. And the point is?

Del Mar Community College has blocked computers from accessing MySpace.com. And this story made the AP wires? It must be a boring day.

It's not unusual for colleges and schools to ban MySpace. Del Mar banned MySpace because:

An investigation found that heavy traffic at MySpace.com was eating up too much bandwidth, said August Alfonso, the school's chief of information and technology. Forty percent of daily Internet traffic at the college involved the site, he said.

"This was more about us being able to offer Web-based instruction, and MySpace.com was slowing everything down," President Carlos Garcia said.

And, you know, he's right. The college where I work bans MySpace for what I would imagine is similar reasons. There's been discussion about the usefulness of MySpace. The Librarian in Black has had several posts devoted to the topic.

While I like MySpace, I don't know if it's as useful for working as is, say, Yahoo Messenger or AOL Instant Messenger. I see the possibilities, but what happens may not be what is intended, or have consequences that, though they may be unintended, may negatively affect student learning.

Reaction from students at Del Mar is mixed. While Paul Martinez is understanding:

"The library is pretty much full with people on MySpace, and with them banning it you won't have anything to distract you," he said.

Another student, Zeke Santos, is perhaps more disagreeable:

"We pay for school and the resources that are used... It's our choice, we're the ones paying for our classes. If we pass or fail, it's up to us."

Yeah, but it's the college's role to help prepare people for the future. And while MySpace may be cool, if the consequences of high MySpace bandwidth use means that people aren't being helped by the college, then MySpace has to go.


At 24 April, 2006 12:50, Anonymous Sarah Houghton (LiB) said...

I was actually close to Del Mar this weekend and talked to some of the librarians in the area. Most of them feel it's the wrong solution. However, the bandwidth argument for blocking a site is much more reasonable than the "we just don't like it" argument.

At 24 April, 2006 17:09, Blogger The Library Guy said...

Yeah, that's why I'm of two minds about MySpace. I like it, but if it eats up too much bandwidth and affects what colleges are supposed to do, then we shouldn't have access to it at work.


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