Archive for the 'social' Category

When I write, talk about and present on social tools, media distribution and library futures I ALWAYS talk about functionality. Brand names are important but *functionality* is what really matters. It has always been my strong opinion that LIBRARIES need to be creating the spaces where people interact with each other the way they do on facebook/Twitter etc. Why?

Facebook, and a dozen other for profit orgs, reaches too deeply into our REAL lives and connections to be held responsible to business principles/concerns only. Meanwhile, library orgs understand community and the deeper issues of privacy and democracy more than any company tasked with making profit ever could. But quite frankly, we (the entire library industry) generally stink at software development. Happily though, for thoughtful (and talented) software development companies, library folks get privacy and the sacred trust of protecting information (and therefore democracy at large) in ways that would escape most any other professional. The understanding libraries have here is built into our mission statements and policies. These aren’t vague promises or “statements” to “not be evil” that have no teeth when it comes to how we operate in our communities. No, these policies and practices demonstrate understanding of and commitment to protecting privacy all the while focusing on developing communities for the benefit of the community at large. Once a company like facebook get the critical mass it has now, this sort of consideration must be part of its operational intent. If not, there will be dire consequences for our society.

So will we make the next sea change as an industry or will we get cast about by the whims of info fads, social buzz, and shiny tools…at the cost of our core democratic principles? Or, just maybe, can we find a work together for the betterment of all involved…

And to Twitter, facebook, etc, I would personally challenge you to approach us, and work with us. Step up and be more than a business. You have a powerful impact and your promise is inspiring…in much the same way libraries are inspiring (after all we are both all about information and community, aren’t we?). In many ways you already are fulfilling your promise, but you are treading on dangerous ground for society at large if you don’t guard information based on a higher set of principles than business success. We want to work with you, honestly. Please get in touch with us. Heck, start with me here! I can get a slew of us together to help you and we’ll all be better organizations for it.

Libraryman

Public Service Reminder 1: facebook

Oh facebook! You big sillies!

“You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses.”

I mean, we *knew* this, and we do *trust* them. Riiiight?

built by the people...for FACEBOOK
Read this for more:
http://webtechlaw.com/what-facebooks-revised-terms-use-mean-your-content

And, well, just read this guy too regardless. Sensei Rheingold!
http://www.rheingold.com/

Lyrics:
song: hi-fi-sci-fi Library

Here-in contains collected thoughts from our brains
when it comes to the subject of: wow!
Like: Wow, it’s amazing that for thousands of years
libraries have survived at all
The razing, book blazing, techno staff crazing
fighting competition new tech and how
to emerge like a rocketship, speedy and fast
that is demanded in our world right NOW!!!

Chorus:
Hi-fi, sci-fi, library!
Hi-fi, sci-fi, library!
S. R. Ran-ga-na-than ‘long with Benjamin Franklin,
Dewey, Kilgour and good people like YOU
Learnt that Mashed up with currents and a whole bunch of circuits
info went to many not just the few.
Now we wrestle with techno, money and limitations,
that might sometimes make a good man go “ewww”
But we’re telling you brothers, sisters, ladies and others
that we’re near a massive “Wow!” breakthrough.
it is your:
Chorus

To prepare our libraries we must be informed, explore lots
and have fun learning how to evolve.
Learn about things like gaming, social software and being
just where our users are: that brings us HUGE Wows.
Look at open-source software and the creative commons,
look at netfilx and itunes and learn how
We can take competition, turn it into fruition:
THE LIBRARY FOR TOMORROW AND NOW!
It will be:

hi-fi-sci-fi-libraries!
hi-fi-sci-fi-libraries!

Now we sometimes might wonder how to succeed not blunder
since we’re underneath the specter of “how?”
It’s a do or die sea change and we cannot just remain, what we
were before or we’ll just sink down.
Take time daily, read lib blogs, build community, and
slog the through the learning, practice, wisdom and “pow!”
It will be fun we promise, you’ll work hard but will harness
and endow your libs tomorrow with “WoW!”
The wow of:

Chorus repeated

spoken over the chorus

We can do it.
We just need to be wise
and explain the situation
in a way that’s fun and savvy

Be informed
and connect with our communities.
We must engage with em all
from the kids to my mammy

banter over chorus
*fade*”

hi-fi sci-fi librarians:

Kathryn Greenhill
Murdoch University
Fremantle, Western Australia.
librariansmatter.com

Steven Lawson
http://stevelawson.name/seealso/
Tutt Library, Colorado College

Michelle Boule and Gideon Smith
wanderingeyre.com (Michelle’s site, not Gideon’s;)

John Blyberg – Darien Library
blyberg.net

Jessamyn West
librarian.net

Nebraska Library Commission Staff:
Michael Sauers
(as himself AND an alien and sock puppet)
Allana Novotny
Susan Knisely
Christa Burns

Joanna Axelrod – Escondido Public Library
Donna Feddern – Escondido Public Library

Cindy Hickey – State Library of Kansas
webjunctionworks.org/ks/blog/

WebJunction Staff (l to r):
top:
Chrystie Hill
Michael Shapiro
Allison Severinghaus
Laura Staley
bottom:
Emily Inlow-Hood
Jennifer Peterson
Emily Warren
Laura Zingg

Chadwick Seagraves
InfoSciPhi.info

Steve Miller
Allen County Public Library

http://goateedlibrarian.blogspot.com/

Jason Griffey
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Eliza Griffey
Future hi-fi sci-fi librarian?
jasongriffey.net

Katie Dunneback
younglibrarian.net

Blake Carver
lisnews.org

Christopher Parent

Cindi Trainor
And her two lovely and talented girls. 
Thank you very much, ladies!

Images:

Circuits:
Oliver Ingrouille

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82705724@N00/119490271/

Zombie37

circuit board

quapan

labyrinthine circuit board lines

lungstruck

Red Circuit Board

Todd Cliff

Urban Nightscape

maury.mccown

Custom Boost PCB

MarkyBonn

Electric Piano

diluvienne

I ♥ techno

BotheredByBees

green circuit board II

green circuit board I

oskay

Cylon circuit close up

geerlingguy

Circuit Board

PAUL

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marxalot/378898700/

uLe@Dortmund

mnsc

HDDDetail (Art)

MathiasM

Electric city :) - TTL graveyard

endolith

Top of the keyboard PCB

Dano

Quantum IC

oskay

555 LED flasher 1

Classic

Synthesis Studio

iPod Sport Kit Receiver Unclad - Front

social software:
b d solis (via flickr)

ear buds:
aloshbennett

radio debian

kitty cat cowbell
Chicken Stock

I Gets You More Cowbell

creative commons:

http://creativecommons.org/presskit

drm:

http://www.eff.org/

Thank you all so much for being a part of this project!

-Michael & David

Michael Porter
libraryman.com

David Lee King
davidleeking.com

—————-
Now playing: David Lee King & Michael Porter – hifi scifi 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.

—————
Now playing: Beck – Youthless