Remember when everything and everybody had to be 2.0? That was the phrase that defined a library as being modern, cutting-edge, and “with it.” But is there life beyond 2.0? Meredith Farkas started this session by saying she wasn’t going to talk about the “Rah Rah” stuff, which is more the exception than the rule. When she asked the audience how many were not getting the ROI they expected from their 2.0 projects, every hand in the room went up! Now that tells you a lot. She listed several reasons why 2.0 projects fail: People get into it because it’s “cool,” not because it actually fills a need. It’s not as free as you think when you consider staff time. To be sucessful, get to know your users, build things they want, give staff time, plan your projects, align projects with library goals, and assess the impact the project has. Lori Bell described libraries and library services in Second Life, although she admitted Second Life isn’t for everyone. She thinks virtual worlds will lead to the 3D web. Michelle Spirnger talked about the Library of Congress’ projects using Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes University, and FaceBook. She thinks that 2.0 is no longer cutting edge and recommends both quantitative and qualitative assesments. It’s not just how many people visit your site, it’s how they engage with it. Do they comment, retweet? Summing up the session was Helen Blowers who noted that Learning 2.0 and 23 Things, although very popular, are technology driven, approached from a tools perspective. However, 2.0 should really be about attitude and conversation. It should have an engagement model. She quoted Clay Shirky saying that tools get socially interesting when the technology gets boring. She concluded that social media, as a term, has supplanted 2.0.
Marydee Ojala, Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals