ALA2007’s Most Attended Program

Guess what ALA2007’s most attended program was? Was it Julie Andrews? Was it Peter Morville? No.

This is only my guess, because I don’t have all the numbers… but my guess, based on one set of numbers alone, was … the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase UnConference!

What? There were only 30 or so people who attended! How can that be, David? That’s just the physical attendees. But so far, my twitter presentation for the showcase has been viewed 953 times. That’s a bunch of attendees!

How about some of you other BIGWIG presenters? How many people have viewed your screencasts (those of you whomade screencasts)?


ALA2007: Ambient Findability: Librarians, Libraries, and the Internet of Things

Peter Morville – very fun to hear! Good stuff, too.

Lead-off quote: Information that’s hard to find will remain information that’s hardly found.

organize websites so people can find what they’re looking for – that’s how he explains his job to his mom

provide multiple paths to the same information

What does usable mean? His honeycomb… :
useful, desirable, accessible, credible, findable, usable, valuable

You can do a “credibility audit” instead of a full-scale redesign…

desirability – takes us to brand and visual aspects

findable: ask 3 questions
1. can our users find our website
2. can our users find their way around our website
3. can our users find info on our site despite our website

perceived credibility – people trust nice-looking, well-designed sites

users tend to trust the first hits of google – think they’re the experts

Findability = credibility for people… came up first with cancer – but not first with specific types of cancer

we’re designing the legacy systems of tomorrow

ambient findability: the ability to find anyone or anything from anywhere at anytime

the degree to which a system or environment supports wayfinding, navigation, and retrieval…

a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention… (quote from Herbert Simon)… designs stuff that changes when certain things happen… ex: ambient pen: changes color when user-defined associates voicemail the user… it’s an alternate interface to digital information

mentioned the iPhone… we have the promise of having the real web in our pockets

Cisco Wireless Location Appliance – using rfid, you can find things wirelessly – wheelchair example… you look at a map to find the exact location of a wheelchair instead of hunting them down.

Book: The Transparent Society, by David Brin: will technology force us to choose between privacy and freedom? Sounds cool

rumsfeld quote – very funny – unknown unknowns…

Morville wrote a response to the Everything is Miscellaneous book… check it out

He quoted the book – the old way was a tree, now we are raking leaves… Morville then said that’s a great way to describe it… because leaves rot, turn into soil, and helop grow new trees!

John Battelle: search has become the new interface of commerce.

said don’t focus completely on web 2.0 – most of the work being done today isn’t web 2.0… ?

He likes Endeca – it works the way users work – it provides lots of possible next steps for search

harder to do, but public search engines (clusty, google, flickr) are experimenting with faceted search ideas)

everyzing – takes video and podcasting audio and translates it to text for search

delicious library – tag your stuff?

book: Everyware, by adam greenfield


Change Starts With You

Cindi at the Chronicles of Bean blog just posted a must-read post. Very cool to see someone jumping in with both feet! Also cool to see someone who wants to change – wants to actually LEAD change, and is actively seeking ways to make that happen.

To all my way-cool geek friends in libraryland – what are YOU doing to lead the way in the 21st century? Complaining? That’s ok… I’ve done that, too. But we need to take it one, maybe two steps further. For example, at my last job, I absolutely hated the annual staff day program the library held. I complained about it… but I also asked to be on the staff day committee so I could attempt improving it (I was told we succeeded).

That’s one of the reasons I’m an ALA member again – I don’t want to just complain about ALA (though you’ll probably hear me do that from time to time). I want to change it. I don’t want to have to sit in a program about “transforming your staff” and hear the speaker tell me that an innovative, new idea for libraries is roving reference (yes, someone on the podium actually said that). I want to see libraries be as cool as Amazon and Facebook… provide awesome experiences for their users, in both the physical and the digital library space… I want to see MySpace come to US when they have a question about community networking.

And that starts with US – we have to want to change, want to be here for the long-haul (because this won’t happen in a day), and want to kindly show others HOW to change.

Social Software Showcase Rocked

Click To Play

Yesterday, I participated in the LITA BIGWIG Social Software Showcase. It was very cool! The Showcase had more of an “unconference” feel, which was nice. So rather than doing a formal presentation with a brief Q and A at the end, I created a screencast of my presentation (linked above) about cool Twitter add-ons, and then at the Showcase David Free and I sat at a table and had good conversations with interested attendees. We talked about a range of things, from Twitter to Facebook to other techie topics.

I think ALA could use some more of these… my guess is the interest groups and poster sessions are supposed to cover this type of ground, but I’m not sure they’re achieving that. The Showcase DID achieve it. So let’s definitely have more!

ALA2007: Libraries as Conversations with Gamers

Eli Neiburger,

– Showed stats – gaming is a major part of the content industry
– there are more adult women gamers than teenage boys
– teens say “email is how you talk to old people”
– Pokemon the game has more text than some school curriculums do – it requires significant text literacy
– video gaming is like a gateway drug for libraries – gaming programs are creating lifelong library users
– remember – Princess Leia had a bun! Libraries can be cool