About Danbury and LibraryThing for Libraries, from the post – “I wrote a sidebar to John Blybergâ€™s must-read article on open APIs (go, now, read it)… I asked for and received permission to post the unedited version here:”
Archive for the 'web 2.0' Category
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I am interested to see how this spreads. Could libraries use this method? From the site: “Have you ever wondered what a group of highly talented and motivated people could accomplish in a weekend? Could they start a company from concept to completion?”
Blog for the first Startup Weekend.
The product/company birthed at Startup Weekend: “VoSnap is a social voting tool that reduces time wasted on decision-making, makes sure everyone in the group has a voice, and gives instant feedback on fun or serious decisions.”
For session 2, I attended “Sex and the Death of Advertising”. From the wiki:
My name is Martin Smith firstname.lastname@example.org and I learned to sell soap for P&G and candy for M&M/Mars. Selling soap was harder by the way. Sex & The Death of Advertising will discuss what we, as marketers, do when tried and true market creating strategies cease to work. What are the implications of the death of the Advertising Industrial Complex? Will new tools such as search engine marketing (SEM) eventually end up in the same tangled mess due to pressure from advertisers fleeing now unsuccessful channels such as TV, Radio and Infomercials? Is there something fundamentally different in new â€œpullâ€ ad models that will prevent SEM from losing reach like television and print? We will discuss selections from The Attention Economy by Davenport and Beck, Gonzo Marketing by Christopher Locke and All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin. If you have a favorite marketing author or new marketing theory, please bring it to our discussion. Our sessionâ€™s draft goal will be to brainstorm key elements of our new marketing paradigm and identify whatâ€™s next.
Martin did a good job of leading a discussion. He began with a brief introduction to his theory. Essentially traditional push advertising no longer works because people have become numb to the overabundance of messages they are exposed to. Generations raised with TV and the Web are great at blocking things out.
Another problem faced by advertising in general is what Martin demonstrated with the example of infomercials. When everyone starts using a certain method of advertising, the price for said advertising goes up while the effectiveness goes down.
After the introduction, he asked other participants to share their current experiences with advertising. We talked about Google AdWords for a little bit. During this part of the discussion, I feel that we hit upon a lot of the major points of the discussion:
- “Word of Mouth” is extremely important. Martin discussed his experience with magnetic poetry. That was a product that largely sold itself through word of mouth. Martin pointed out that what took him 5 years of marketing then could probably be accomplished in 6 months now.
- “The Long Tail“: We spent a lot of time discussing the importance of being able to reach niche markets. Why pay for AdWords if you hit the top of the rankings anyways. This also lead to a discussion of ->>
- “Purple Cows“: Is it purple enough? Am I explaining it in a purple enough way?
In addition to these major themes, the discussion covered a number of other ideas. I am going to outline a few below:
- Martin was a fan of the saying “Live by PR, Die by PR.” He used a number of examples from his career where a product was successful due to positive editorial press. For example, the magnetic poetry was picked up by the Washington Post. He also gave some examples of how bad PR, or no PR, can then destroy a brand.
- We talked about the idea of a “Free Prize Inside”. Martin pointed out how the practice of giving away web services and product trials is similar to giving away a free prize in a Cracker Jack box, in that everyone expects a certain ammount of free. A lively discussion about free trials ensued. One interesting point someone brought up was that after six months with one software trial, it was integrated into his life. It seemed that there was a general concensus that we were all at least partially in the “business of giving away”.
- Customer service is extremely important. Given the speed customers can share bad experiences, wer are only as strong as our weakest link. This is also really important because of so many products are now free that the service is what keeps customers. Furthermore, barriers for new competitors to enter are low. In a later talk on Social Browsing, we discussed how it will become easier to export settings and information from one service to another. This will make customer service event more of a defining factor.
- We discussed the importance of inventory. This related to the last point: If Amazon and its competitors both have all the books, then customer service is what sets them apart.LIBRARY ASIDE: This made me think about how libraries need to market our inventories better. Everyone at the session seemed surprised that most of the Barnes and Noble and Borders books only sell one copy a year. Libraries have much larger stocks than your typical bookstore. It was pointed out that Amazon has 11 million or so books for sale. We have over 5 million in the libraries at UNC. Of course that doesn’t count what we can interlibrary loan. We need to promote WorldCat more than we do. Open WorldCat at least should help publicise our services a little. If inventory and free are this important, then libraries should be able to perform considerably better against our competition.This discussion of book inventory also tied in well with the ideas behind Lulu.com‘s philosophy (an event sponor) and the discussions of alternative publishing at a later session (I will post on this session later).
KickApps is a hosted platform that allows webmasters to quickly and easily deploy user-generated content and social networking functionality directly on their websites. Our company provides a “white label” solution, with all elements precisely matching a website’s existing look and feel. The KickApps platform is highly customizable, scalable and enterprise-quality.
With highly customizable solutions like KickApps becoming more common, it is becoming easier for libraries to develop vibrant online communities.
The site discussed in this post on TechCrunch seems to be one of the more innovate services devoted to trading media.
Swaptree will allow users to swap media items (books, CDs, DVDs and video games) with other users without the use of cash. Swaptree will not charge a transaction fee, relying instead on contextual advertising revenue that will be placed on the site. For a new user, the idea is that you type in a few items that you own and are willing to trade (using the UPC or ISBN code) and youâ€™ll see thousands or tens of thousands of items that people are willing to trade for your stuff.
Have any libraries or library contortia tried to host anything like this on a local level? Have any college or university libraries tried to host something like this for textbooks?
One of the primary characteristics of Web 2.0 is that it involves trusting one’s users. As librarians, we have always placed immense trust in our users. As defenders of intellectual freedom we have defended freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to meet, and so on. We have collected the most unpopular and crude materials alongside those that are popular and beautiful. We collect political commentary from all sides of an issue. It has always been my belief that we do this because we trust in our patrons to be curious, intelligent, and compassionate readers. Our democracy is founded on the idea that, given both sides of an argument the majority of people will be able to distinguish what is good and true from what is bad and false. We have always trusted that this majority of our readers will be able to distinguish the good from the bad. Moreover, we have trusted our patrons to use the knowledge they have gained outside of the walls of the library. Like the press, libraries expose people to all ideas and expect them to use this knowledge in political, academic, and social discourse. Towards this mission, we not only collect different points of view, but open our meeting rooms. We let all groups use our meeting rooms, but allow all patrons to attend, whether in support or protest. As librarians we are neutral. At the reference desk, we attempt to give our patrons whatever resources they need to discover the true answer to their problems. We let them decide for themselves. This is extreme trust. How then is Library 2.0 different?
Traditionally, excluding our meeting rooms, we expected our patrons to use the knowledge they gained outside of the library. Eventually ideas would trickle back in through traditional media sources such as newspapers and books. The read/write web has sped this process up. Now it is possible for readers to feed their knowledge back into the system in real-time. Libraries have always been considered places of reading. Library 2.0 is a place of both reading and writing. I would argue that it was always our idea that patrons would write their ideas down and that they would eventually reenter our libraries as part of the historical record. We always trusted that the majority of our writers strive to distinguish that which is good and true. Library 2.0 now requires us to maintain this trust in the majority. We must continue to trust that most readers are curious, intelligent and compassionate. The only difference is that the evidence of this will now be created and stored on our servers. It has always been easier to put hate group propaganda in the stacks than it has been to host hate groups in meeting rooms because the first can be obviously lost among the true and good arguments around it. In fact, it is only noticed when we search for it. In the meeting room or on our blogs, that hate speech is in your face. However, I guarantee that if any such bigotry is posted to a political discussion hosted on our blogs, it will quickly be drowned out by the voices of more responsible patrons. Moreover, those citizens will cite other sources on the web and in our collections. They might even make a compelling enough argument that the minds of a few lurkers are changed. This is what democracy is all about. This is what libraries have always been about. Web 2.0 has just changed the dynamic of how intellectual inquiry and democracy operate. In this way Library 2.0 speaks to some of the best of traditional library values, and, in so doing, defends the library as a cornerstone of democracy in a networked world.
To me Library 2.0 is not revolutionary, but instead evolutionary. As my Academic Library 2.0 Concept Model suggests, I believe the main goal of Library 2.0 is to figure out how to carryout the librariesâ€™ traditional roles in a read/write world.
I was just about to post this and noticed that Barbara Fister has touched upon these ideas in a post titled Gathering Intelligence on the ACRLog. She proposes the following in a discussion of Wikipedia:
Wikipedia could be a useful and familiar metaphor for the collective intelligence in the library – and for the social networking that has gone on for centuries.
I also noticed Learning is essentially a social activity by Judy O’Connell:
Ultimately, it’s not just about skills and competencies in isolation, but about skills and competencies within the greater context of our global society. The reality is that the web environments of social networks are very empowering when utilised to develop ideas, share resources, hone knowledge and empower creativity.
In my next post, I am currently planning to explore how we might use the principles of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Web 2.0 to harness the collective wisdom of our patrons.
I have not yet been able to read all of the comments for “The Central Problem of Library 2.0: Privacy” by Rory Litwin, but would like to share my current views on this very important issue. I have previously blogged about my recent use of social networking software and blogs, but I haven’t yet touched on the idea of privacy. Like community, I became very interested in privacy issues while working at the Northborough Free Library. While there, I dumped all of their interlibrary loan records, helped rewrite their computer use policy to reflect the recent passing of the USA PATRIOT Act, and changed the settings on the public access computers to eliminate patron browsing records. When I came to graduate school I did not exist on the web and was proud of it.
I am still very concerned about patron privacy and I remain slightly paranoid about my web presence. However, given my profession, it is important to have a web presence. Furthermore, I want one. I am tired of being paranoid about what potential employers may think when reading my blog or googling me. This doesn’t mean that I don’t expect them to google me. In fact I encourage it. However, I do my best to maintain a professional presence and to control the amount and type of information that is available about me. ClaimID was created with this function in mind and is the type of tool that everyone will need in the future.
As Rory mentioned, many millennials (which by some definitions I am, though I think of myself as GenX), lack the concerns for privacy needed to responsibly manage their personal information. However, while Rory chalks this up to immaturity, I would argue that it is more a lack of proper education. While we would all like private corporations to take responsibility for educating their users in responsible use of their services, this is not realistic. It is for this reason that information literacy training is fast becoming one of the most important services provided by a library. Under the Library 1.0 model, library patrons were consumers of information resources, now they are also contributors. Consequently, I have come to believe that we, as librarians, need to educate our users to be responsible contributors to Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 services. So then what does one need to know to be a responsible contributor?
There are three issues that I think librarians need to educate their users on.
The first two Rory touched on, but I would like to add a little. We need to teach our users that it is their responsibility to control their personal information. Library 2.0 involves “radical trust” of our users. This radical trust means a significant loss of control. As much as we would like to protect them, we can’t always. With our Library 2.0 services, we need to be clear about what information patrons will be sharing and give them control. We also need to educate them on how to use commercial services. As Rory mentioned, this gets into the second issue, ownership.
We need to educate our users about copyright. The read/write web makes everyone an author. Thus far, the education system has failed to teach people about intellectual property. Librarians are all about providing information for free. Not many other people are. Information is a very valuable commodity and librarians have to remember this when educating their patrons.
We need to have excellent security measures in place. I am more afraid about my credit card company getting hacked for my data than I am about the information I choose to share about myself. It is important that we build secure systems so that we can keep our patrons information safe.
All this being said, I often worry about whether what I am about to post will cost me a job someday. Yesterday, my mom and stepfather both commented that I looked kind of scraggly in the picture I had in my sidebar and that I should chose a different picture if potential employers might be reading my blog. The picture is down now. It is still all over the web however. I have tried to separate my professional and personal online lives the best I can. I don’t try to hide my personal life, but I try to make sure that potential employers will recognize the differences between my serious LinkedIn/ClaimID side and my social Myspace/Friendster side. That is the type of distinction we need to get our users thinking about.
You can view my new Flickr account here:
So far I have added pictures from my trip to Spain and the Academic Library 2.0 Concept Model.
I developed the above model for a paper I wrote for INLS 342: Academic Libraries Seminar. This is very much a work in progress. I hope to explore this area further for my Master’s Paper.
The paper was titled Defining Academic Library 2.0. However, in it I argue for a narrower definition of Library 2.0 than the broader definitions proposed by Michael Casey and Michael Stephens. My narrower definition is as follows:
The application and adaptation of the Web 2.0 model to the library environment (both virtual and physical).
Consequently, the above model proposes a way to look at the libraries role in students lives in a Web 2.0 world.
Below is a slightly edited excerpt from my paper:
One approach to adapting Web 2.0 technologies to academic library services is to examine how these technologies already fit into student life and then determine the libraryâ€™s role in this picture. Figure 2 introduces one conceptual framework that applies this method. This model analyzes the libraries’ position as a physical place in student life and then draws parallels with libraries’ possible position as a virtual place. The model is based on the concept that most of student life is divided between the social and the academic and that physical libraries have traditionally provided a unique location that mixes the two. A more precise model would show a spectrum between social and academic places with libraries falling near the middle. At one end is the strictly academic formal classroom. Here the professor is an authority to the student. At the opposite end is a party, a purely social occasion. Libraries have traditionally provided a place where students could collaborate on school work without the pressure of being watched by an authority figure, thus allowing them to socialize while they work. Of course, this space also provided students with whatever research materials and reference assistance they might need. Towards this end, librarians have traditionally tried to maintain strict patron confidentiality so as to keep the library a safe haven from authority. Furthermore, many academic libraries now provide popular materials collections to provide residential students with materials for pleasure reading, thus further blending the line between social and academic space. Recent trends in academic libraries have moved closer to blending this line by adding coffee shops, WiFi access and Information Commons. If one accepts that the physical library provides students with this blended environment, then one might ask, â€œHow might the library provide a similar virtual space?â€ To find an answer to this question, this conceptual model creates a parallel spectrum describing a student’s virtual life. At the academic end of the spectrum, lies course management software such as Blackboard. Similar to the classroom, this space is controlled by the professor and has the same authority structure. On the social end of the spectrum, is Facebook. Students traditionally think of this as a safe social place devoid of authority figures. This is demonstrated by the fact that students have recently been punished for information they post to Facebook. To examine this phenomenon, one need only Google â€œfacebookâ€ and â€œdisciplineâ€. Stutzmanâ€™s research demonstrates this feeling of safety (2005; 2006). Given this spectrum, what virtual place might the library provide for students? One possibility would be virtual group study rooms. Such a place might provide the tools to enable students to collaborate remotely and asynchronously on course projects. This space might also provide resources and links to live reference help to assist students in their work. This place would be different from Blackboard because professors would not be able to review studentsâ€™ discussions. This proposal is just one possibility; hopefully this conceptual framework suggests others. This conceptual framework only suggests one way to examine how academic libraries might apply Web 2.0 concepts to their mission. Another way is to examine what data academic libraries have available.
To learn more about my vision for Academic Library 2.0, you can view a copy of the accompanying presentation here ()