Archive for the 'flickr' Category

With the developing program that Getty and flickr are building to allow users to sell invited pics on Getty, it seemed importnat to give a heads up to libraries. It likely goes without saying, but if you are a library and you get an invite like this, you’ll likely want to decline the invite for myriad reasons (payment, copyright and privacy issues primarily). This would seem to be ESPECIALLY true if there are patrons in the pics (though they require model releases for individuals in pictures).

I do wonder how common these invites are and if this will become more common in the years to come. You can check out the links for more info, but bear in mind that you participate you will give up copyright control and Getty can sell your (now their) pictures to any company that pays, even if the make a product you wouldn’t endorse. I know that for many that isn’t a factor at all, but for me personally it means I’ll very likely decline the invite. And if these were my library or company pics it would be an instant total no-brainer.

Invite to Sell Pics On Getty via flickr
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Now playing: Simple Song – The Meters

    Video is up and linked below!

Song available for download very soon through a link on
David Lee King’s web page
!

There is a slew of Libraryland folks singing along in the video (mostly in the second half). Thank you guys!

Here is “hi-fi sci-fi library”…behind the music!

Several months ago LITA asked me to be one of their keynote speakers at their upcoming National Forum (October 16-19). This made me happy, proud, excited and, well, a little nervous. It also left me wondering…what should the theme of my presentation be? Hmmm… LITA, eh? The Library and Information Technology Association of the American Library Association? Well, lets see…I travel all over the place talking about libraries, library futures and emerging technology, right? And I believe we are in the midst of a sea change in library, culture, community and info services. And I am convinced there are things libraries need to do *right now* to ensure our relevance going forward. And while we are generally smart enough, we surely don’t get rich from our jobs…yet we keep at it. So we need some inspiration AND amusement! We all work so hard and we keep on believing that libraries will and MUST endure as society evolves. So why not talk about libraries present and future in light of current tech, future tech, academic futurism and, yes, science fiction! But what might get people’s toes tapping before the presentation? Yep! A groovy library song! A song that shares the same name as that upcoming presentation :”hi-fi sci-fi library”!

As far as I am concerned, what the world needs is a collection of “hi-fi sci-fi libraries”. And I was so excited about this idea that I just had to sing it out loud! But alas, I know how to play only the most basic of notes on the most basic of instruments. Soooo, I approached my most helpful and generous Libraryland buddy (and joint author of the “Internet Spotlight” column in each issue of Public Libraries Magazine), David Lee King. You see, before he worked in Libraryland, David worked in Nashville, in the music industry. And as you might imagine, David is also a fairly accomplished musician and producer (though he is far too humble to admit that to most folks despite his great talent and ability).

So I said to David: “David, I want to make a song and a video for this LITA presentation I am doing in the Fall. Something that both you and I could do together and can both believe in and get behind. I’m slightly nervous about this presentation for some reason, but I also see it as a GREAT opportunity to help get the word out about what we both believe in when it comes to society, library futures and technology. I have some basic song ideas and all the lyrics ready. Would you like to help me make a song and a video?”

And David, being the generous and thoughtful friend that he is said “Of course!”. Actually, he said something like “Well I like the idea for sure. Why don’t you write down your ideas and lyrics, send them to me and we might be able to work on it once things settle down a bit.” And, of course, things never did settle down, for either of us. So, slowly but surely we worked on it like a hobby for a few months.

Over the course of those months David and I sent musical ideas and lyrics and rhythmical concepts back and forth. Then, I arranged to spend a day with David in Kansas recording our song. No, it wasn’t easy. But yes, we actually DID IT! And lo and behold, one day of recording later….we had our song. AND a few goofy video files! So..we were really on our way!

With the song complete, it was time to make the video. And since David had done 85% of the musical work, it seemed only fair that *I* (non-Mac owner that I am btw) handle the video making responsibilities.

So I dove in. And, well, it took a couple of weeks. Actaully, it took almost a month. And it took contributions from librarians all across the planet. Literally! BUT…we now have a video. And it is, in my opinion, a pretty decent video. Sure, it is goofy! But it is also just as hopeful and honest as it is goofy.

And let me tell you…it was quite a project. A project involving weeks of editing and nearly 100 different video and audio files. Is it perfect? Nah! Is it a labor of love for Libraryland? Completely. And heck, some of you folks reading this might even be in the thing,lip syncing along to the jaunty little “hi-fi sci-fi LIBRARY!!” chorus.

So, on behalf of David and I, THANK YOU! Thank you so much to the folks that contributed to this video! We both hope it provides some inspiration and energy to the quest we are all on as library professionals as we strive to help libraries realize their unparalleled potential in this crazy, cool and even sometimes scary, hi-fi sci-fi world we all now live in.

Rock on, Libraryland! We hope you enjoy it!

-Michael

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Now playing: David Lee King & Michael 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

DK and MP Fake Rock
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep…..This just in…. Jenny Levine, Aaron Schmidt and I will be hosting an Open Gaming Event after the Sunday preconference on, well, gaming, that Jenny and Aaron are doing. We’re happy to say that this is being brought to you, in a fairly informal way, by ALA and WebJunction, courtesy of Information Today. Cooperation is Goooood. :)

Here are the details:
This Sunday, Oct 28, starting around 4:30 p.m. in the Colton I room, we’ll have Guitar Hero (PS2), Dance Dance Revolution (PS2), and Wii Sports going for open play. This is your chance to beat your favorite blogger at any one of these games. I have been honing my Guitar Hero chops and will be happy to take on all comers, though Jenny, Aaron and I are mostly there to watch help and watch you all have fun.

We’ve got the room until 7:00 p.m., and as Jenny says: “I can pretty much guarantee a lot of laughter, finger wagging, trash talking, and general merriment.” Oh, and Flickring, too, since we’re also counting this as a Flickr and Twitter meetup. Heck, why not throw video in there too? You know it goes without saying that we will be hitting the town after the session, right?

I’m bringing a prize for the greatest Guitar Hero of the evening. Rock!
You have new Picture Mail!

Libraryman

Yeaaargh Mateys!

It is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Funny how flickr and social tools connect beyond their intent, eh?:
flickr Pirate Logo
Avast! flickr be boarded by pirates and we be made interesting!

What an amazing day for the Libraries and Librarians Group on flickr! Today we passed both the 1,500 member mark and also now have more than 10,000 images in the pool. It’s all authentic and It’s all you, libraries, librarians and library lovers! Link:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/librariesandlibrarians/

The screenshots below document the happy events, both of which happened today:

1,500 Members:
1500+ Members In The flickr Libraries and Librarians Group Today!

10,000+ Images:
10,000+ Images In The flickr Libraries and Librarians Group 10000 images

Thanks to everyone that has joined and contributed to this amazing global community

PART I:
365 Library Days Project
Woo Hoo!!! This weekend, the 365 Library Days Project (tag: 365libs) turned two months old! Amazingly (library folks are truly amazing), there are 297 participating libraries and already a library was written up in it’s local paper! All the person running their 365 Library Days Project did was call the paper and tell them they were working on it and they wrote it up! Wow! It works!

PART II
This an uplifting story for sure, but in ten months (or any time we like, really), the goal is to be able to start using the 365 Library Days Project as a more formal advocacy tool. Along those lines, an initiative has just begun to develop a Press Kit that we can give to media outlets and also a set of instructions/hints we can use to get the most value out of the historical document you are making as you participate in the 365 Library Days Project. Here is a link to the page where you can contribute to this phase of the project. Text of the original post is included too, so you can see what’s up:

Time To Write Our Press Kit and Instructions *this is a link*
“This weekend I started to write the press kit that libraries could just print out and give to their local newspapers, tv and radio stations to get attention to their 365 Library Days Projects. THen I thought, hey, there are almost 300 member libraries participating here, why don’t we make this a community project.

So, let’s do it! It seems that we will need to write:
1. A document we can give to media outlets.

2. A document we could give to library boards/governing bodies explaining the project and it’s value.

3. An brief, concise instruction sheet for librarians/staffer that explains how to use the two docs above most effectively.

So how should we write these? Perhaps we should start a wiki and do it there? Anyone have ideas or want to set that up for the group?

Also, if you need more proof of concept for the 365 Library Days Projects, as of this weekend we are just two months into the launch and there has already been one participating library that has received a write up in a local paper!

Please chime in here. You are the experts! :)

PART III
Finally, for the past two months, every time the 365 Library Days Projects got a legitimate plug from a participating library or a blogger, I’ve saved it in my del.icio.us feed. It’s grown to be an impressive collection of 38 links from folks on at least four continents with posts in five languages (if my count is correct). AMAZING! Here is a screenshot and a link to those posts:
365 Library Days Project Press So Far - Two Months In

Thanks everybody! Please contact me if you have any questions or if I can help you move your project along! Keep snapping these valuable photos in your libraries, keep having fun with this, good luck and see you around the 365 Library Days Project page!

Libraryman

What Is You Internet Spotlight?

Do you have one or two Internet tools/sites that you *really* love?

I’m writing an article about Library folks that have found an Internet tool (or two) that has really captured your imagination and attention. I need to gather 5-10 stories. If you share you idea for the article I’ll cite you and give you and your library a happy little plug in a major Libraryland publication (unless you would rather be anonymous of course).

My paragraph long “Internet Spotlight Tool” write up looks like this:
“My “Internet Spotlight” would have to be flickr (obvious to lots of you, I know:). Flickr helps me communicate visually, which I enjoy greatly, allowing me to record and share highlights and beauty from everyday life. This same visual communication tool also helps me share Libraryland info. For instance, I use pictures I’ve uploaded to flickr to populate my blog with photos. Perhaps most importantly though, flickr lets me connect with other people in Libraryland. One huge way flickr does this is though groups. Flickr lets me participate in and even create interest themed groups. In these groups I can connect with like minded people to communicate, share, inspire and work toward mutual goals. The Libraries and Librarians Group and the 365 Library Days Project Group (an ongoing library advocacy project that you too can join in on) are the best examples of this for me.”

That took me about 10 minutes to write and will now be put in print. Why not take 10 minutes yourself and send me your story too? Purty please? Feel free to leave your story in the comments and/or email the story too at michael.libraryman *At Sign* gmail *Dot* com.

Thanks everybody! :)

Libraryman

Libraryman on Ikea Hacker

Have you heard about the Ikea Hacker web site? It is themed around real projects people have completed that creatively use IKEA products. There are some pretty interesting projects posted on occasion and it can be a really fun and inspiring diversion if that sort of thing is your bag. While this isn’t *exactly* library related, if you count the fact that I finished my recent decorating project at the new place specifically for a party I hosted for WebJunction folks, well then it counts. Regardless, I am pleased as punch that the folks ’round Ikea Hacker way decided to post one of my very own Ikea hacks. There are actually several hacks in the single image posted, which makes it sort of like a “Where’s Waldo” for the Ikea dork set. If you are so inclined, here is a link to the post. Enjoy!

PS-Added value to this story: The connection to the image and the Ikea Hacker site was made through a group on flickr. Social software in action again, y’all!

Seriously, this blog post includes six or seven individual things (some fairly unusual) that I really wanted to post over the last two weeks. Strap yourselves in! (or hit your back button I suppose). Here goes:

One big cheer for reliable web hosting. Yeee Haaa!

Thanks very much to the folks at the Santiago Library System and MCLS for hosting the impressive “Generation Tech” day at the Nixon Memorial Library. Just because I know my mom is going to read this, here’s a very generous quote from the conference blog:
“The heart of the Generation Tech conference was the animated presentation by Michael Porter… . Vital decisions are being made today, he stressed, ones that will impact the patrons of the future. Porter acknowledged that “technology is not always the right answer” to every problem but that libraries are misguided if they simply let private organizations provide the kind of information services they are used to offering.”.
Rest assured, my mother will scold me for a lack of humility for including the above. :) There are a bunch of pictures here, though this is one of my favorites:
My Best Nixon Impersonation
Thanks also to my flickr/Libraryland friend Sarah Mae, who was kind enough to drive to Yorba Linda and have a meal with me before the “Generation Tech” gig. It was great to meet you in person SMRML! :)

There are also a bunch of shots up from my trip last week to NYC for the Brooklyn Public Library’s Emerging technology Conference. I want to thank all the folks who worked so hard to put this together and also to Nick and his library pals for hanging out over bbq afterwards. Thanks also to my portrait averse though very pleasant and fun flickr friend Norma for spending Sunday afternoon with me. Don’t we both have good taste, Normah? :) I heart NYC, Giant Robot and Pressed Toast.

Shifting gears, if you are going to be looking for an amazing job any time soon, check out Chrystie’s recent post to BlogJunction, where she drops some interesting hints. *ahem*

Now in the home stretch of this ultra-mega blog post, for those who care and didn’t notice it, I took part in the 24 hours of flickr project last week. Quite simply, the goal was to document an entire 24 hour period in pictures. During my 24hrs of flickr I went to bed too late, got up too early, flew from Seattle to NYC via Cincinnati and ended my day in Times Square. It’s a project I’ve wanted to tackle for years and while it was a lot of work on a day when I was pretty wiped, it’s nice to have the document, all of which you can view by going here. It’s pretty PG stuff, but there is a picture of me in the shower. Run away! Run away! ;)

And another thing! On a completely unlibrary related subject, I can’t stop listening to this song. I know, I know, it isn’t high art, but doesn’t it make you want to dance?

Let’s see… what else… Oh! I have a bad cold. *ahoo!*

Finally, I am very happy to drop a big ole’ hint here that it looks like I may have a very happy professional announcement to make here on the libraryman web site within the week. It may be time to break out the champagne and the pencils!

PS-I have listened to the song linked above 1,2,3,4…six times while writing this post. “Perfection!”

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