SLA president Abram reviewed a bit of where we find ourselves these days. His first premise—librarians and information professionals need to be ahead of the curve. And we have social software that can lift up our intranets and aid our efforts to provide access to valuable content within the enterprise.
He cautioned though-you can’t wait for everyone to change at once. Just get moving and others will come along. We’re experiencing a social graph platform war (Facebook, vs MySpace vs LinkedIn…)—and we’ll see an increasing shift in where people ask questions and find answers.
With really only two search engines left, librarians have an opportunity to offer a third way to find content (not ad based, SEO…)—we can offer intranet users a way to get to the “good stuff.”
He says he’s having to rediscover old friends and connections—while our kids will never lose contact with their connections. They’ve grown up keeping in touch with their circles of trust. Now we need to face “crowd-sourcing” our entire organizations. We’re moving to the “sharing economy”—sharing of all kinds of things, documents, contacts, etc.
Some specific recommendations:
- “Be where your users are”—whether Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, orkut, bebo, etc. He gets requests for interviews from reporters because of his presence in LinkedIn—where the reporters check.
- Get good at The Cloud—using apps in the cloud, like offered by Zotero, Aoho, Google, etc.
- Look at how/where we influence the people we work with—the top 2.0 influencers for the 2008 U.S. elections were YouTube, Second Life, MySpace, etc.
- Browser plug-ins -Build links for the private enterprise
- Build intelligence into your toolbar
- Use 23 Learning 2.0 Things – available through SLA
- Make your intranet a “sandbox”
All the tools you see in the public space for free are available in interesting versions for the enterprise space—make the leap and grab the tools and play within them in side your firewall. Be prepared for an increasingly mobile focus. Implication—what does your library look like via an iPhone?
Search “white label social networking” and “Stephen’s Lighthouse”—to retrieve a list of the many apps available.
Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, Information Today, Inc.