On the radar

March 15, 2009 at 11:27 am 1 comment

  • Jessamyn has posted (librarian.net) a link to a video that came out of a “Smithsonian 2.0” 2-day conference which is intentionally provocative.  It depicts a certain  pattern of administrative reaction to suggestions of institutional change of the Web 2.0 variety:

“Web tech guy and Angry Staff Person: An Exaggerated Tale”

Jessamyn also refers to the Metafilter discussion about it (FlickTubeFaceSpacecom), which I admit I didn’t have the patience to read much of.  But I think I may understand her mixed feelings about it:

There are valid points on both sides.  Portraying your partner in dialog as an adversary doesn’t help the conversation or get us any closer to a “2.0-friendly” world.   In a sense both sides are caricatured here, as some of the Metafilter comments show.  The video is a reasonable approximation of what often happens apparently, but it does not do justice to the actual perspective of either side.

Designed to “be provocative,” the video is hoped to spark more constructive dialog about these issues.  Because, of course, what’s needed is more articulate dialog about the actual policy/legal/pragmatic/financial issues involved with this kind of change.  What, precisely, are those concerns, and what, exactly, are the specific benefits to be gained?

  • The actual discussions about these things in real places (not on MyFlicTubeFaceSpace) might benefit from the perspective of the field of information architecture (IA), to which Elyssa Kroski (ilibrarian)has pointed us to an  informative and user-friendly guide:


A snippet:

To understand how an IA affects a project, you might imagine assigning a traditional architect to a building after it’s constructed. It’s a laughable proposition, and yet it happens to this day. Even after the most well-engineered buildings are constructed they are still prone to change. Stewart Brand details this fascinating aspect in his book, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built. Again, as preposterous as it sounds, we typically place today’s Information Architects in a similar position—assigning them to web sites after some other self-imposed IA has prototyped the site.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Topeka Library Controversy KLA/MPLA Conference SLK ‘Unsession’ [SLK=State Lib of KS]

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Michelle  |  March 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Very thought provoking stuff Ben. Re: the lack of privacy: Our family has benefitted so much from online communities that we risk the lack of privacy for the benefits, all while telling the kids that they are to be very cautious of telling anyone anything over the net and never to meet anyone in person. Re: the libraries and museums’ missions: Won’t there always be people who need to touch and see the real thing, while putting things online still gets it out to the rest who might not ever see it?

    Waiting anxiously to see how this all plays out. . . .


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