What Uses for New Digital Technologies?


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Slides for talk on "What Uses for New Digital Technologies?" given by Brian Kelly, UKOLN at the "CILIP Digital Information 2009 conference" on "What Future For Digital Information: order or Anarchy" on 17 November 2009.

See http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/cultural-heritage/events/cilip-digital-information-2009/

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What Uses for New Digital Technologies?

  1. 1. What Uses for New Digital Technologies? Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath, UK UKOLN is supported by: This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) Acceptable Use Policy Recording of this talk, taking photos, discussing the content using email, Twitter, blogs, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. Resources bookmarked using ‘ cilip-dig-info-2009 ' tag http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/cultural-heritage/events/cilip-digital-information-2009/ Email: [email_address] Twitter: http://twitter.com/briankelly/ Blog: http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/
  2. 2. About Me <ul><li>Brian Kelly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Web adviser to UK Universities and cultural heritage organisations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management and located at the University of Bath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved in Web since January 1993 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 300 presentations given since 1997 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current area of interest include Web 2.0, Web standards and Web accessibility </li></ul></ul>Introduction
  3. 3. Contents <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Broader context </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 and Social Web: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network as a platform  Syndication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture of openness  Trust users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software that gets better with more users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always connected  Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Let’s be realistic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Postdigital perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A managed approach to ‘The Cloud’ </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Using Tools I Talk About <ul><li>Use of Web 2.0 technologies & approaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds for structured information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geo-location data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploitation of 3 rd party services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Openness of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment / management approaches </li></ul></ul>Talks given in 2008 covered Web 2.0, accessibility & standards. Introduction Note also use of blogs, video blogs, YouTube, Twitter, …
  5. 5. Web 2.0 <ul><li>What Is Web 2.0? </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing term (derived from observing 'patterns') rather than technical standards - “an attitude not a technology” </li></ul>Web2MemeMap, Tim O’Reilly, 2005 <ul><li>Characteristics Of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network as platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always beta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean URIs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remix and mash-ups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Syndication (RSS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture of participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs & wikis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking, tagging & sharing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits of scale (Social Web) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust and openness </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0
  6. 6. Beyond IT and the Techies (1) <ul><li>Need to consider implications of the “ The Edgeless University ” report: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The forces now confronting higher education have been called 'a perfect storm’. They are serious challenges. [HEIs] can no longer depend on ever-increasing allocation of funds” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ This seminar feels a bit like sitting with a group of record industry executives in 1999 ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Universities need to respond by reaching out – they are becoming ’edgeless’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A renewed commitment to openness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimentation and investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New tools to support teaching </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Beyond IT and the Techies (2) <ul><li>A need to consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implications of the “ Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World ” report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What ‘network as a platform’ / Cloud computing means to the institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How Universities should respond to changing user expectations </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Benefits of Web 2.0 <ul><li>Delivery Mechanisms (“network as platform”): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global outreach : maximise impact of and engagement with ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outsourced services : allowing organisations to focus on their strengths and small institutions to engage on more equal terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploits infrastructure : the standards (e,g. RSS) & services (Google, Amazon, ..) now in place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User can create content and comment on content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users no longer passive consumers of content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content can be accessed and used in user’s preferred environment </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Blogs at Imperial College <ul><li>“ As a whole our blogs have been very successful – they are all getting used. They enable us to raise our profile as liaison librarians within the departments we work with, and provide our users with a resource that is specific to their areas of expertise.” </li></ul>Background to use of blogs at Imperial College since 2006, Jenny Evans, UK Web Focus blog, Oct 2009 http://physmaths.wordpress.com/
  10. 10. Web 2.0 at Wolverhampton Uni <ul><li>University of Wolverhampton provide 5 blogs to support academic departments </li></ul><ul><li>An Electronic Resources Newsletter is driven by blog software. The information is available via: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Academic Library Example <ul><li>A Facebook page provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief factual information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to resources on main Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic content embedded via RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendars embedded via Google calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability for users to become ‘fans’ </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. National Library Example (1) <ul><li>National Library of Wales “ Shaping the future: The Library’s strategy 2008-2009 to 2010-2011 ”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We propose taking advantage of new online technology, including … Web 2.0 services … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is expected that the Library itself will provide only some specific services on its website. Instead, the intention is to promote and facilitate the use of the collections by external users, in accordance with specific guidelines.” </li></ul></ul>Example of use of Web 2.0 services embedded within a Welsh Assembly Government funded project
  13. 13. National Library Example (2) <ul><li>Use of Web 2.0 at the National Library of Wales including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of YouTube </li></ul></ul>Examples from guest blog post by Paul Bevan on UK Web Focus blog / Bridging Worlds 2008 paper, National Library of Singapore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykCAxSqziFY
  14. 14. National Library Example (3) <ul><li>Use of Web 2.0 at the National Library of Wales including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of Flickr </li></ul></ul>http://www.flickr.com/groups/cymru-wales/
  15. 15. National Library Example (4) <ul><li>Use of Web 2.0 at the National Library of Wales. Wales, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of Flickr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of a community Wiki </li></ul></ul>http://www.ourwales.org.uk/index.php?...
  16. 16. Beyond The Institution <ul><li>It’s not just about the innovative institutions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals taking control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding institutional inertia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessing risks for themselves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using familiar services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Firewalls & institutional policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work/life balance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise, support, … </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Mobile World <ul><li>Mobile access to content, communications and community is changing things </li></ul>Japan to lead mobile twitter
  18. 18. My Library is my Community <ul><li>Using Twitter I can get personalised suggestions from friends who know my tastes </li></ul>
  19. 19. What Can the Library Offer? <ul><li>What can the Library sector offer? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Challenges <ul><li>The challenges we need to address: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The risks of using services in the cloud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Terms and conditions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The risks of in-house provision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The same? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Challenges: In-house <ul><li>If we build it will they come? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Demise of the AHDS <ul><li>Organisations funded in the public sector cannot be guaranteed to be sustainable </li></ul>This has been an important year of change for ADS. Over ten years of partnership with AHDS came to an end on 31st March 2008, when that body was formally wound up, and its achievements celebrated at an event to mark the occasion in King´s College, London. Future funding in public sector looks uncertain.  See “Is It Really A Good Time To Be Asking For More IT Money?”
  23. 23. Recognising The Barriers CyMAL (Newport) workshop Sep 2009 Concerns identified in discussion group sessions at various UKOLN 1-day workshops for the cultural heritage sector CyMAL (Bangor) workshop Sep 2009
  24. 24. The Challenges Challenges Resources Expertise Time Money Understanding Legal Issues IT Services Colleagues Management Accessibility Sustainability Reliability Cultural issues Technical Issues Interoperability Privacy, DPA, FOI, .. Council OK, there are barriers. Does this mean we don’t do anything?
  25. 25. Beware The IT Fundamentalists <ul><li>We need to avoid simplistic solutions to the complexities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Standards Fundamentalist: we just need XML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Source Fundamentalist: we just need Linux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership Fundamentalist: must own everything we use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor Fundamentalist: we must use next version of our enterprise system (and you must fit in with this) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility Fundamentalist: we must do WAI WCAG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User Fundamentalist: must do whatever users want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Fundamentalist: it breaches copyright, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perfectionist : It doesn't do everything, so we'll do nothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplistic Developer : I've developed a perfect solution – I don't care if it doesn't run in the real world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 : It’s new; its cool! </li></ul></ul>Organisational culture
  26. 26. The Librarian Fundamentalists <ul><li>Librarians who have failed to evolve: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think they know better than the user e.g. they don't like people using Google Scholar; they should use Web of Knowledge (who cares that users find it easier to use Google Scholar & finds references they need that way?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think that users should be forced to learn Boolean searching & other formal search techniques because this is good for them (despite Sheffield's study). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't want the users to search for themselves (cf folksonomies) because they won't get it right. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They still want to classify the entire Web - despite the fact that users don't use their lists of Web links. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Want services to be perfect before they release them to users. They are uneasy with the concept of 'forever beta' (they don't believe that users have the ability to figure things out themselves and work around the bugs). </li></ul></ul>Organisational culture
  27. 27. The Council Firewall <ul><li>The reality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful Web services do get blocked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is dodgy/illegal/ dangerous material on the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It may be simple to have a blanket ban </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggested approaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We accept certain risks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More sophisticated responses are needed (cf Childnet and Digizen ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We should share the approaches we’ve taken </li></ul></ul>New Internet access policy for children From December 2008, children will be able to enjoy improved Internet access in all Portsmouth Libraries. The current “Walled Garden” arrangement will be discontinued. The Internet access offered will be similar to that provided in Portsmouth schools but we will also be allowing access to games, Web chat and social networking sites. For further information, please contact Patricia Garrett on … Should librarians (a) welcome bans to dodgy places or (b) seek to open access and educate users? Organisational barriers
  28. 28. Support Issues <ul><li>I don’t have the time to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand it all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed technologies in daily working practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Train my colleagues </li></ul></ul>Common Craft video clips <ul><li>You can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>View them at work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to the podcast on the Tube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use them in training </li></ul></ul>Training & staff development
  29. 29. Deployment Strategies <ul><li>Interested in using Web 2.0 in your organisation? </li></ul><ul><li>Worried about corporate inertia, power struggles, etc? </li></ul><ul><li>There’s a need for a deployment strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing business needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-hanging fruits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraging the enthusiasts (don’t get in the way) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain experience of the browser tools – and see what you’re missing! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff training & development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address areas you feel comfortable with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact analysis and assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk and opportunity management strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Risk Management <ul><li>JISC infoNet Risk Management infoKit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ In education, as in any other environment, you can’t decide not to take risks: that simply isn’t an option in today’s world. All of us take risks and it’s a question of which risks we take ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples of people who are likely to be adverse stakeholders: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People who fear loss of their jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will require re-training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who may be moved to a different department / team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People .. required to commit resources to the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who fear loss of control over a function or resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will have to do their job in a different way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will have to carry out new or additional functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will have to use a new technology </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Critical Friends <ul><li>JISC U&I programme is encouraging establishment of “Critical Friends” </li></ul>See <http://critical-friends.org/> Phil Bradley’s post provided a critical role – and CILIP responded accordingly 
  32. 32. Being “Postdigital” <ul><ul><li>David White’s “provocative post-digital thoughts” at F-ALT 2009: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Learning technologists are obsessed with technology more than learning, which is why elearning will never make the mainstream.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ We are purveyors of the worst kind of spin: ‘This new thing will solve all your problems’.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The speed of the change has left us with the mistaken belief that social change was somehow ‘created’ by the digital rather than simply played out on the canvas of the digital. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>There’s a need to avoid the temptations of technological determinism </li></ul>
  33. 33. Towards a Framework <ul><li>“ Time To Stop Doing and Start Thinking: A Framework For Exploiting Web 2.0 Services ”, Museums & the Web 2009 conference </li></ul>Biases Subjective factors Intended Purpose Benefits (various stakeholders Risks (various stakeholders Missed Opps. (various stakeholders Costs (various stakeholders <ul><li>Sharing experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Learning from successes & failures </li></ul><ul><li>Tackling biases </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li>Critical friends </li></ul><ul><li>Postdigital critique </li></ul><ul><li>Application to existing services </li></ul><ul><li>Application to in-house development </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  34. 34. Using The Framework <ul><li>Use of approach in two scenarios: CILIP use of Twitter & Facebook </li></ul>Note personal biases! Intended Purpose Benefits (various stakeholders Risks (various stakeholders Missed Opps. (various stakeholders Costs (various stakeholders Community support Rapid feedback Justify ROI Org. brand Community- building Low? Twitter for individuals Organisational Fb Page Marketing events,… Large audiences Ownership, privacy, lock-in Marketing opportunity Low? <ul><li>Critical Friends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phil Bradley / Brian Kelly blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email list discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many blogs (e.g. Jo Alcock) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaging with a Twitter community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Papers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Preventing Anarchy? <ul><li>Is this: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bringing order to the digital environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foolish, over-the-top reaction </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Mosman Twitter policy </li></ul>Or Bringing Order? Simple lightweight policies can ‘bring order” to the externally-hosted environment
  37. 37. Order or Anarchy? <ul><li>Do we want order if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nobody’s there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s quiet – too quiet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t we want: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active user engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be were the users are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be respond to changing times </li></ul></ul>A managed approach can be applied to ‘stuff out there
  38. 38. What About Jo The Librarian? <ul><li>Let’s not forget the librarian of the future. </li></ul><ul><li>What can we learn from what is already happening? </li></ul>Has a blog, shares ideas, engages in discussions Shares bookmarks Communicates, shares, supports, … on Twitter
  39. 39. Conclusions The future is exciting - but librarian professionals will need to engage in help manage the Web 2.0 environment Acknowledgments to Michael Edson for the Web Tech Guy and Angry Staff Person post / comic strip