Archive for the 'Convergence' Category

Libraryman

hi-fi sci-fi library: The Presentation

(Maybe) You’ve heard the song and seen the video. Now you can see the presentation that inspired them both!

-Hi-Fi-Sci-Fi-Library: Technology, Convergence, Content, Community, Ubiquity and Library Futures.
LITA National Forum – keynote – October 18, Cincinnati, OH

Description:
So you think its an interesting time to be a librarian now? Just wait! Through an examination of past trends, current tech, emerging tech, academic futurism and a dash of pop culture, well take a realistic peek at where library technology is headed. Well then take this information and start planning what we can do now to ensure that libraries not only continue to offer our vital service, but that our role and positive contributions to society increase – perhaps quite dramatically.

The presentation is stuffed full of multi media, special effects and lots of realistic, yet fun and thought provoking surprises designed to get your mind chugging along as is contemplates the future of Libraryland. A future populated with hi-fi sci-fi libraries!

These two intro slides will be running at as people are filtering into the room (they are slightly clipped here, click to see the whole slide):
hi-fi sci-fi library: LITA 08 Intro Slide #1

hi-fi sci-fi library: LITA 08 Intro Slide #2

Hope to see some of you there!

Libraryman

Tomorrow’s NEBASE Intro Slide

Designing PowerPoint presentations is FUN! And this is one I’ve wanted to work on for years. For almost ten years now, actually. It is the first time I’m presented the session and it a new direction, so *fingers crossed*. If nothing else, it will be unexpected, fun, entertaining and I *really* think, thought provoking. If you happen to be near Lincoln, NE tomorrow, why not swing by? A more *ahem* “refined” and adjusted version will be used at my LITA keynote session in October too.
hi-fi sci-fi library, baby! :)
NEBASE Annual Meting Keynote Intro Slide-2008

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Now playing: David Lee King & Michael Porter – hifi scifi library

Last week, during an amazing trip to Kansas to speak at the NEKLS Tech Day 2008 (more about that in another post), David and I took a day to record a song that we had been working on together for a couple of months via phone, email and the interweb tubes. We started pretty early and had a happy, long day of fun, creativity, meeting family and, well, making music about the most exciting things out there when it comes to library futures.
The song is called “hi-fi sci-fi library”, and is intended for use around the time I do my keynote session at the 2008 LITA National Forum in October, but I doubt we’ll be able to resist sharing it for that long. We even shot some nice HD video to turn into a music video. lol! It was really fun work and my deepest appreciation to David and his family for their kind welcome. I think we might all still have the chorus knocking around in our heads three days later. Oh, and speaking of the chorus, the song is actually pretty good! It is catchy, fun, quick, (hopefully) inspiring and the lyrics are tight! David and I will both blog about it when we get the mix and the finishing touches completed. In the meantime, here area couple shots of us in the studio:
Me Singing Small

we r recording our song

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Now playing: David Lee King and Michel Porter – hi-fi sci-fi library

This still is taken from a promotional video about facebook*:
built by the people...for FACEBOOK

REALLY?
Well…maybe not so much.
You see, as things continue to evolve in relation to social networking and information access online, this premise starts to become something startlingly close to propaganda. And it is a premise I am beginning to disagree with more strongly. Why? Simply because facebook is a for-profit company. Their motivation as a business both officially and in practice is to make money. While I am positive there are many lovely people working there that are generous, kind and philanthropically minded, the bottom line is that facebook is a company that is very simply most interested in getting people to use their product; not so they can be useful to society, but so they can make money. And they will use they information they get from you to do just that. With no obligation beyond laws (largely constructed to facilitate money making in business) to guard your privacy. And they are under absolutely no obligation to return anything back to the community. Even if the *say* they are nice and want to do good, they are, in fact not formally bound to taking any actions in this regard.

Now, it is very true that facebook is an amazing service that many of us use, appreciate and are grateful to have access to (myself included). But society needs the opportunity to use these sorts of tools and features in a venue that both understands and guards privacy while at the same time protects information access rather then sells information paths of choice (through ads). An institution that is designed to build up the community it nurtures…you know, like libraries and schools.

And it goes beyond facebook-like tools (for community futures). I would suggest that Google-like tools (for search/basic information discovery) should have the same non-profit, ad-free (for the most part), purely motivated capacity as well for the greatest public benefit.

Problem is, when it comes to the future of libraries, and modern/connected civilization’s access to electronic (and physical) community and information access this is blatantly missing from the too dominant tools in electronic search (arguably, Google) and electronic community building (arguably, facebook). And what is missing is starting to feel more dramatic and chasm-like with each passing month.

Libraries need to continue (and significantly grow) their work as professional guardians of community access to information. This means we (libraries and library professionals) need to be the most highly trained facilitators the world has when it comes to information access, community connections, community interactions, privacy protection and electronic tools. You know, the things at the root of the popularity of tools like facebook and Google. The things libraries have been best at for decades (sans the electronic tools part, which is our only real achilles heel in this scenario).

I wish both information professionals and society at large would really seriously think about this. And then act on it in an organized fashion. College professors, primary school teachers, parents, politicians, students and anyone else concerned about the positive growth of humanity should think about this. The “market” does not always dictate what works best for society and this is an instance that requires larger forces than “the market” to intercede. If that doesn’t happen, because of Google-ish and facebook-like tools, our free, unbiased access to information and community stands at risk. There is a potential crisis brewing here and there are not enough people talking about solutions to this crisis in the context mentioned in this post.

It becomes more clear to me with every passing month: some amalgam of social networking tools (like facebook) and for profit search tools (like Google) should be a non-profit that helps people along in their community and information access journeys. All the while guarding their privacy in ways facebook and Google would never dare. Perhaps opt-in’s for users to accept ads could be built into that system to generate revenue to support the system, but in a less integrated way that didn’t affect workforce in the manner it currently does, particularly on facebook at the moment.

So far, facebook has been thumped on here, but Google is in the same boat. Like almost all of you, I use Google almost every day as well. And I am grateful for Google. But words like “Don’t be evil” as a corporate “Code of Conduct” legally means NOTHING (as opposed to a library’s mission statement and governance structure) If you do believe Google cares about ideals more than money, ask who controls their purse strings. Or look at the official Google URL the describes their code: http://investor.google.com/conduct.html. investor.google.com tells us quite clearly where their corportae priorities exist. And what their official mission and business plan entails. Compare Google’s “Code of Conduct” to ANY mission statement** at a Public Library and ask yourself: “Who do YOU want to control and steer you along as you seek information?” Which point of view would most people choose to support given this information?

Misleading content like that in the facebook video above and things like the Google Librarian Librarian projects hold more potential threat than it would first seem. At recent ALA conferences the Google booth was a very popular stop. Many librarians eagerly made videos about how great Google was for libraries…and then *poof* Google disappears from Libraryland for almost a year on their project blog and are nowhere to be found at this years ALA conference. It is that we aren’t importnat enough customers to get Google to stick with us? Did they get what they wanted from us (support) until they didn’t need it anymore? Each side has it’s perspective, but I assure you, Google attends the conferences it feels it needs to. They certainly aren’t staying away because they are short on funds. It most certainly is, at the very least a curious case of unexplained absence. Not the thing to do in the electronic information and community access environment we find ourselves today. It seems that if Google clearly understood this and did have their mission at the front of their minds, they would have thought this through more carefully and acted accordingly.

To this information professional and electronic community activist, it comes down to this: Google and facebook are both businesses, out to make money. Libraries exist to serve their community with information access and community connection opportunities. If individuals or corporations like Google, facebook, etc, really want to get good things done with community, and if you truly care about community and information access, I would implore you to work with library and information professionals, library schools and organizations like OCLC and ALA. Give them resources, support their work with what you are good at, bind yourselves intimately to their success. THAT would do no evil! Most importantly I would ask you to support your local library. And do so in a way that guarantees that participation as long as your company thrives. THEN I will think about giving you wider support and endorsement and not just think of you as a case study in what Libraryland needs to do to succeed without being taken advantage of and potentially usurped by you. Technology is a tool, and we simply mustn’t allow libraries to become a tool that gets less and less useful as it is usurped by a tool that is guided simply by money, with no permanent obligation to give back. That is one of the deepest societal tragedies I can imagine and its consequences would truly be severe and horrible.

*facebook image taken from this video. It appears you are required to be a registered user to view this video.

**Yep, that is a Google search result link.

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Now playing: Beck – Youthless

If you’ll be in Vancouver, Washington at the OLA/WLA Joint Conference feel free to swing by the presentation I’m doing with my good buddy, Chris Peters (from TechSoup). We’re talking about trends in computing, deepening/impending ubiquity of said computing and what it all means, and might mean, for libraries. Cool stuff!
UbiComp WLA-OLA 2008 Intro Slide

Truncated version of the presentation with notes is up on Slideshare here (What’s up with the pics not showing up on the first slide, Slideshare?):

Libraryman

You Got Your WorldCat In My facebook?

I try hard to keep work separate from this blog. Very rarely though, there is some spill over beyond me saying “I did this at work”. And now is one of those happy times. Actually, it’s more of a “I know these great folks from OCLC who shared a sneak peak and now I am allowed to share a bit of the juicy stuff as well”. At this point it is mostly informative and less participatory. And it is very beta. A test. What is it?

It is the WorldCat application for facebook! It is NOT listed in the application directory on Facebook so you have to receive an invite to get it. It may change, it may stick, it may not. Regradless, as a dutiful beta tester, I’ve included a couple of screen shots here for the curious. Click any image to got to it’s flickr page and be able to see it much larger:

Logged in view of the facebook WorldCat app:
facebook WorldCat app

If you get an invitation to beta test it will show up looking like this once you are logged in to facebook (I circled it in red so it would stand out):
facebook worldcat invitation

When you click the invite, you get something like this explaining the app:
facebook worldcat invitation details

This bug has gone bye bye (I was an early beta tester, lol). You really likely won’t ever see this, but it was funny:
facebook worldcat error

And again, a view logged in to the app. I know, I know, it gets cut off, but this time its bigger (Go away giant MONK ad!:):
facebook WorldCat app

I am very grateful to be looped into the testing and am also happy to share that I generously told:

If you want to, you could blog it. But your readers will need an invite to get the app so that could create some overhead for you.

Ok. I can handle that. I think. :) How about this, if you have a facebook account and want to give this a beta run, drop me a line. Email or on facebook is fine. Feel free to friend me on facebook while your at it. :) If possible, you will get an invite to test based on speed of response. I’ll pass the info along as quickly as possible given the holiday weekend. Assume though at this point that you’ll be put on a list of potential beta folks and that if you get an invite then you get to test. This is a very informal get the word out a little bit of community sharing, not an official work initiative by any means. I am doing this ’cause I like it and it is pretty darn neat in theory. Not really for work (though from work I know) Ahhh.. overhead reduced (and level of my tertiary involvement revealed).

Does the title of this post make anyone wonder about our information creation and consumption environment? Wouldn’t it be good to be able to have a WorldCat that would allow us to flip it and say “You got your facebook in my WorldCat?”

PS-If you look at the pics and ask yourself “Who is Bob Robertson Boyd?”, I would guess you might expect to ask yourself that question a bit more in the future. Bob works with a team of folks on “social stuff” at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio and does some fine work. And just to clarify, I work on the team at WebJunction in Seattle that works on “social stuff” and, as most of you know, WebJunction has some nifty connections to OCLC.

Libraryman

Kindle

ebooks kindle amazon

*link*

Libraryman

One Laptop Per Child: Give One Get One

One Laptop Per Child
These are the fabled “$100 laptops” we’ve been hearing about for some time now. While they do cost more than $100 (twice that in fact) the concept is no less fascinating. Now, for two weeks only, you can buy one and give one in a sort of “donation bundle”. Not saying to plop down your $$$ here, but at the very least it’s an interesting initiative. Lots of potential for library reach here. At the very least a nifty gadget, right?
One Laptop Per Child: Give One Get One

Libraryman

Google MyLibrary

Mmmm hmmmm….

Google MyLibrary

Do a SWOT, y’all!

Tim?

I’ll be there (along with my colleagues Chrystie Hill and Rachel Van Noord). You can come too, as they still apparently have a few open slots. Some big/interesting names will be there AND it is at the Computer History Museum (!!!) so if online community is your bag, you love them ‘puters and can swing the $$$, you might seriously consider it!

The Online Community Unconference is a gathering of online community practitioners – managers, developers, business people, tool providers, investors – to discuss experience and strategies in the development and growth of online communities.

Those involved in online community development (and social software in general) share many common challenges: community management, tools, marketing, business models, legal issues. As we have found with our past events, the best source of information on all of these challenges is other knowledgeable practitioners.

The Online Community Unconference is inspired by the emerging “open space” conference format. (For an excellent description, see this News.com article on a past MashUp Camp.) There will also be plenty of time for networking.

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View is a unique venue with plenty of parking and WiFi. Lunch and snacks will be provided, and the Museum exhibits will be open to the group during the breaks.

Price: $195 ($175 before May 12). Space is limited. Fee is fully refundable prior to May 24, not refundable after (but admission is transferable).”

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