Great little article on bad IT practices

Go read the whole article at techrepublic… but here are two of their “10 dirty little secrets” about the IT department:

3. Veteran IT professionals are often the biggest roadblock to implementing new technologies

A lot of companies could implement more cutting edge stuff than they do. There are plenty of times when upgrading or replacing software or infrastructure can potentially save money and/or increase productivity and profitability. However, it’s often the case that one of the largest roadblocks to migrating to new technologies is not budget constraints or management objections; it’s the veteran techies in the IT department. Once they have something up and running, they are reluctant to change it. This can be a good thing because their jobs depend on keeping the infrastructure stable, but they also use that as an excuse to not spend the time to learn new things or stretch themselves in new directions. They get lazy, complacent, and self-satisfied.

2. Some IT professionals deploy technologies that do more to consolidate their own power than to help the business

Another subtle but blameworthy thing that some IT professionals do is select and implement technologies based on how well those technologies make the business dependent on the IT pros to run them, rather than which ones are truly best for the business itself. For example, IT pros might select a solution that requires specialized skills to maintain instead of a more turnkey solution. Or an IT manager might have more of a Linux/UNIX background and so chooses a Linux-based solution over a Windows solution, even though the Windows solution is a better business decision (or, vice versa, a Windows admin might bypass a Linux-based appliance, for example). There are often excuses and justifications given for this type of behavior, but most of them are disingenuous.

Ouch! I’ve seen library IT departments that do everything on this list. Heck, I’ve worked in them! Do your IT departments have any of these tendencies? If so, what’s your plan to stop them from happening?

Lee County Library System Presentation

sanibel beachOn Monday, I spoke about Web 2.0 and emerging trends at the Lee County Library System’s staff day in Fort Myers, Florida. The day before, I worked extremely hard, as you can tell from the accompanying photo :-)

Anyway… here’s the pdf of my presentation. And an FYI for those of you who are thinking “where have I heard of that library before?” You might have recently read about Lee County and their License to Play / learning 2.0 program in a couple of places.

Keep an eye on them!

Tracking words with Twitter

Twitter recently added a Twitter Tracking feature that lets you track keywords and phrases that twitterers use while twittering. Just for kicks, I tracked the word library for 24 hours – every time someone entered the word library into twitter, I received the update… Here’s what I got back from Twitter:

First, my own test updates:

  • testing something out – library
  • Cool – I’m playing with twitter tracking. I’m tracking library – and it took like 10 secs from enering the word to getting the notification

Before you read the twitters, think about this – have you ever wondered what your customers think of you? Ever wondered what people think about [fill-in-the-blank]? This Twitter Tracking tool allows you to get a small, rather random glance at people’s thoughts on a topic.

{fyi – this isn’t all of them – not even half. And I removed most of the references to things like iTunes Library, JavaScript Library, and I think one World of Warcraft Library reference. Oh, and two library thing references and a library elf reference, too}

So – here’s what people twitter about libraries – I found this fascinating:

  • met stefanie at the library by chance meeting. she picked out a book for me.
  • @ the library with jay, testing netwerx
  • The girl across from me at the library kind of has man-hands.
  • heading home.. maybe a quick stop at the library?
  • Sooo we’re back. It was okay. Bought some yummy bagels since I had a craving for ‘em…got new library card and took out my book for 4MP!
  • back to the library for the 4th time in 2 days 3rd time today if i dont get at least a c on this test ill die
  • I really hate the campus library. No, I hate researching a topic I care nothing for.
  • late night meeting with a client at the local library
  • Yahoo! Hack Event today at the University of the Philippines College of Engineering Library and Computer Science Building Lecture Hall.
  • finally started studying. law library.
  • back at the library to file away to videos before hopping on a jet plane south
  • Guy who hasn’t checked out a library book in 30 years. I totally introduced him to the art of calling us to put things on hold. He’s happy.
  • library is surprisingly crowded
  • More cellphone rudeness I wasn’t aware of: apparently it’s ok to take phonecalls in a public library now. Happened 3x in the last hour.
  • All alone in a smelly corner of ASUs nerd library.
  • Getting ready to read my new book from the library and going to sleep after. Have a good night!
  • sunbathing outside state library. Wanna join us?
  • Workers divided in vote on deal to end civic strike: Vancouver’s library workers have rejected a proposed…
  • It’s just gonna take too much time for it to download before I can watch it. Gonna have to go to the library again.
  • Yay Harry Potter 7 CDs are in at the library!!! I’m still on book 5, oh well, still exciting!!!
  • Another awesome thing about the restaurant: it’s across a public library. I just got my first SF library card!
  • this evening has flown by — busy, busy!  but that’s the way I like it when I work late!  I wish I worked for a library with wi-fi!
  • getting irritated at this guy walking all about in the library, IT’S SO DISTRACTING!
  • I found our Scienrtific library a great place to catch up on sleep. Much to the amusement of the security guard! :-)
  • Am back at Gotham Library for the morning, doing my old job. It’s very amusing, have caused a lot of double-takes.
  • Amending my article about NZ music for the Radio Journal. Need a few more references – but they’re sitting in a library in Auckland. Damn.
  • stalking people in the library for Research Method class… What a stupid assignment?
  • What is the nicest library I can see in Rome/Vatican?
  • just emerged from the “library.” draft one done. editing now.
  • Time to get Gretel ready for story time at our local library. Must. Remember. Camera.
  • I love finding an older picture on Flickr & seeing that it’s been viewed once. Like finding that library book that’s never been checked out.
  • back from library forum, there are some really great ideas floating around the library
  • I love my kids mondegreens. Kaya this morning – “dad, we have to take this library book back today or it will be over dude”
  • I might have to start dropping elbows on these kids in the library that won’t shut the hell up.
  • working from library today – walk through downtown and the sound of commerce ringing clear
  • Back in the stinking library.
  • Listening to a preschool story group reciting “Diddle Diddle Dumpling My Son John” with a teddy bear at the library.
  • Library has ALL of the Thin Man movies! Thin Man Marathon! (with cocktails!)
  • “The library isn’t good for books” Wow. Gwan UCC!
  • off to the library to get some intense work done before dreamweaver/CSS class this evening (mix in some Game database work on the side pls)
  • Research at the UM Map library on consumer water usage in Israel and Palestine
  • sitting in the library missing my lesbians.
  • sorry thelonedrifter, the library sucks
  • @addisontodd that’s ’cause you’re illiterate… not the library’s problem
  • Headding to the library
  • Technically, you’re not supposed to use the reference computers for MySpace, but maybe if you to add the library’s page to your f-list …
  • Library is packed with noisy beings, other languages and exposed underwear.
  • in a library that’s not mine, leeching wifi and writing

Another Twittering Library

From my comments on this post… try this on for a cool way to use Twitter. Here’s what the library is doing, to the best of my knowledge (Julie, correct me if I get it wrong, please!):

  • posting real-time reference questions to twitter.com/askusnow
  • using the Twitter feed to update “the ‘currently being asked’ section of our internal AskUsNow! staff website.”

Is that a cool use of twitter, or what? Going just a little further out from that, why not post those questions on the public website? They’d be anonymous, so that shouldn’t be an issue. But I’m thinking posting real-time questions in your library’s digital space is a great way to show real live conversations taking place. Those tweets might just start more conversation, etc etc.

Cool service – thanks Julie for mentioning it!

My LITA Forum 2007 slides

my presentationLast Saturday morning, I gave a keynote at the LITA Forum – very fun crowd! So, as promised, here’s a pdf of my slides.

But wait – there’s more! Why not browse through the slides while listening to the podcast version of my talk? If you think that’s fun… we can even go one further… how about listening to the Q&A time at the end?

The LITA folks put on a great conference, and also obviously do a great job at capturing that conference for members who couldn’t attend and other interested dudes.

Enjoy!