Sunday, July 13, 2008

Conclusion (Learning 2.0 feedback)

I started off with a quote so I thought I'd finish off with one. "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change"--Charles Darwin.

Things I liked about Learning 2.0:

  • That you can do the course anywhere any time (I did most of mine at home).
  • That the library has set aside 15 minutes out of it's busy schedule to do this course.
  • All the help from Mylee and Ellen. Good on ya guys.
  • The opportunity to learn about daunting I.T. subjects.
  • A chance to keep abreast of subjects vital to our profession.
  • Being given tools that help us to provide innovative services to our clients.
  • It was really interesting and relevant as well.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Knowledge and Networks (week 14 postscript)

In a not unrealated aside I would like to talk about the presentation we had from IBM's Petar Bielovich entitled ‘The IBM Learning & Knowledge Journey – lessons, challenges and insights’. He really blew my head away with his talk of knowledge management and how forming social networks is great business; it sounded such a human idea. Of course with computer systems like FaceBook, Myspace and Flickr (etc. etc. etc.) you can form communities all over the world. What a great idea for the State Library.

Here are some of the other things he told us about knowledge and networks that I thought interesting:
  1. You always know more than you can say, you always say more than you can write down.
  2. Knowledge can only be volunteered never conscripted.
  3. I only know what I need to know when I need to know, when I need to know it.
  4. My knowledge is unique to me.
  5. The knowledge that people build up in their minds over years by experience is called “tacit knowledge” is difficult to access.
  6. Downloading this knowledge needs extensive contact and trust.
  7. You have to build an environment where people are valued not just because they have knowledge but because they can share knowledge with others.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How can libraries use social networking services? (Explore week 14)

The sites connected to week 14 of this course were very interesting. Those libraries are really getting out amoungst the clients. Social networking services are a great way to "sell" your service in a subtle way. In my oppinion the low key approach is what I think would be the best way.

The thing about social networking is that they are social first; as the title suggests. In that context the State Library is your pal on the block, not a pre-eminent cultural institution. At the risk of creating a tautology, the opportunity is to create a two-way dialogue between our clients and us.

Some of the ways we could use social networking in the State Library are:
  1. To get unsolicited client feedback.
  2. To trawl for information about how our clients see us and what they would like from a library service.
  3. To advertise events.
  4. To promote regular library services.
  5. To connect with the library users of the future.

Second Life where "Meatspace" meets meet-space

I have to risk sounding a Luddite here because I think Second Life is a total cop-out. January 2008, residents spent 28,274,505 hours there (that's about 166, 467 person weeks, I didn't get up to years, because I didn't have a calculator).

What if all that energy and creativity were channelled into the cause of fixing the real world we all live in? I hope we all live in. We could fix cancer, the hole in the ozone layer and have some time left over to beautify own surroundings (and ourselves).

With all the problems in our world: global warming and childhood obesity to name but two, I think its the first life we need to give our efforts to. There are a many tools outlined in this course that will deliver what the State Library and its clients need in a timely, accessible and fun way. Second Life is just a diversion. (Check out the guy in the picture, he's in virtual reality).

What is "Social Networking"? (Discover week 14)

I didn't realise there were so many social networking sites till I looked at the map. I've been using and contributing to FaceBook for some time for my outside interest of stand-up comedy. It's really good for keeping in touch with a group of people with a similar interest.

But you do get some weirdos interloping on the group. Every comedian does a joke about their horror at finding their mum is on FaceBook. Why, you ask yourself? Because one of the cheif reasons most people (including comics) get on a social network is to make friends with the opposite gender. No one wants the grown-ups cramping their style.

But what is a friend? Is it someone you have spoken to, is it someone you just know about or have a business connection? You might find you want different networks for different areas of your life (back to Seb Chan here, he might have one for his library interests and one for his interest in DJing dance parties; not to mention his love of fresh fish).

Seb Chan and "leveraging" "knowledge management"

Recently I saw Seb chan speak in the Metcalf Auditorium about what he and his colleagues had been doing with their web site at the Powerhouse Museum. The museum has been using various forms of links to “bridge the semantic gap” so that even if you don’t know what the exhibit in the Museum is called you will be directed to it anyway.

They are also getting into client tagging of the Museum’s catalogue, “harnessing user energy” as Seb put it, to add value to the information they already have on their web site. Clients put on free form descriptions of the items and add meaning to the record on the web.

Seb drew our attention to all the pictures of exhibits in the Museum that the clients put on Flickr and all the hits that the Museum gets on its web site for things that they think are interesting. I liked this because it answered the question I keep on wondering about, “how do you know what the client wants?” The full-on knowledge management trip.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Googledocs and Zoho (My Adventure)

I had a few questions relating to the document sharing applications:
  1. Will you always want to share a document? I don't know about you, but my first draft is very much my own affair.
  2. How do you control the fate of your files up on the web? Anyone who has lost files due to computer failure knows the importance of backing up. How do you do this now? And I don't mean in another building, possibly another state (did you ever hear about the company that had their files backed up in the second building in the World Trade Center?). And everyone has heard of the disaster.
  3. What about security? Heard the old joke about how you should never put anything up in an email that you wouldn't want on the front of the Sydney Morning Herald? I should think that Googledocs and Zoho are pretty much the same. I wonder how huge organisations with trade secrets go about these things.