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Widgets and Bundles and Web Apps - Oh My!


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Presentation for librarians at the Midwest Chapter, MLA 2008 annual meeting about the state of current awareness tools and techniques. Yes - a re-working of the Medicine 2.0 presentation, with a little more editorializing about levels of evidence and our profession.

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Widgets and Bundles and Web Apps - Oh My!

  1. 1. Widgets & Bundles & Web Apps – Oh My! <ul><li>Allan R Barclay, Rebecca J. Holz, Christopher Hooper-Lane, Stephen M. Johnson, Rhonda Sager, Ryan Schriver, Erika Sevetson Ebling Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison </li></ul><ul><li>Midwest Chapter MLA/MHSLA 2008 Conference Troy, Michigan  October 20, 2008 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Current Awareness – Not Just Tables of Contents Anymore <ul><li>Journal literature is nice but slow, limited </li></ul><ul><li>Its only what gets published or vetted </li></ul><ul><li>What about all the stuff before and after publication? </li></ul><ul><li>Its only a small part of what goes on in a field </li></ul><ul><li>Its what controls tenure, hence controls faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Its largely controlled by content publishers, not content creators </li></ul><ul><li>Oh yeah, now there’s audio, video, notebooks, etc </li></ul>
  3. 3. Range of Information Available <ul><li>“ Fixed” Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Practice Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing Education </li></ul><ul><li>Moves slowly </li></ul><ul><li>Formative Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Clinical or bench research </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis of existing info </li></ul><ul><li>Moves faster </li></ul><ul><li>More scattershot </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Discussion & Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Editorials </li></ul><ul><li>Blog posts </li></ul><ul><li>Information Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Moves faster still </li></ul><ul><li>Even more scattershot </li></ul><ul><li>Can encompass other forms of information </li></ul>
  4. 4. A Brief Historical Digression… <ul><li>The current publishing and distribution model is a historical aberration from the Industrial Age </li></ul><ul><li>The facilitators are often now the bottlenecks </li></ul><ul><li>Their business model and your awareness model are largely incompatible (scarcity vs. plenty) </li></ul><ul><li>Passive consumption of your own creative works is perverse (and copyright law keeps getting worse) </li></ul><ul><li>Performance is the new eminence - reputations need to be retooled regularly & anyone can be a star </li></ul><ul><li>Read Glut, Small Pieces Loosely Joined, Cathedral and the Bazaar for more </li></ul>
  5. 5. Levels of Engagement with Information <ul><li>Awareness (“its out there, it exists”) </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisition (document delivery, bookmarking, easy retrieval) </li></ul><ul><li>Assimilation (reading, watching, listening to the damn thing) </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment (was that a valuable use of my time?) </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing and synthesis </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians can help with some of this, individuals must do the rest for themselves (as always) </li></ul><ul><li>Are you an information consumer, producer or both? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Information 2.0 – Shared Knowledge <ul><li>“ Canonical” information on level playing field with everything else </li></ul><ul><li>Can be infinitely flexible in distribution, arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Signals intelligence, “big data” metaphors </li></ul><ul><li>If this info-singularity gives you heartburn check out the Long Now Foundation for some perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Plays on existing strength of social networks (i.e. “one’s colleagues”, “peer pressure”, “keeping up with the Jones’”) </li></ul><ul><li>Can also be very iconoclastic </li></ul><ul><li>Group and individual tools work together </li></ul><ul><li>Have I mentioned lately how tired I am of “2.0”?  </li></ul>
  7. 7. Does Current Awareness Need to Look Like This?
  8. 8. No, it doesn’t have to be that bad!
  9. 9. What We Did (and why) We started with our existing Online Journals list
  10. 10. What We Did (and why) We divided the feeds by subject/discipline
  11. 11. What We Did (and why) We created OPML bundles and working links for “top” journals in a field/discipline
  12. 12. What We Did (and why) The really sexy part – custom processing of the feeds to add formatting and social tools using SimplePie
  13. 13. Why OPML Bundles? Use them wherever you prefer – Google Reader, Bloglines, Thunderbird, etc. No product or site lock-in here!
  14. 14. But Wait, There’s More! While we’re at it why not add news feeds?
  15. 15. But Wait, There’s More! And perhaps some podcasts while we’re here?
  16. 16. What about non-text content? The UW School of Medicine & Public Health provides access to many videos for free
  17. 17. What about non-text content? You can subscribe to those too!
  18. 18. Where We’re Going Next <ul><li>Custom bundles, maybe a shopping cart </li></ul><ul><li>Smart feeds using Yahoo Pipes </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds are fine but gadgets make us giddy </li></ul><ul><li>Toolbars are a great community tool </li></ul><ul><li>Scripts can add functionality even to other people’s sites </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile makes sense for many types of content and communication tools </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of group tools, individual tools and hybrids </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding the “Epic 2014 trap” </li></ul>
  19. 19. Gadgets! We provide a selection of gadgets we’ve created and other select health gadgets (NLM, CDC, etc)
  20. 20. Gadgets! Create your own portal, and let your content mix and mingle with other people’s
  21. 21. Toolbars! Organize your most popular resources for a specific audience and pull together disparate things in one tidy package EBM Toolbar General Library Toolbar
  22. 22. Levels of Evidence 2.0 <ul><li>Have I mentioned lately how tired I am of “2.0” lately?  </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed knowledge, formative knowledge & knowledge discussion/sharing have different speeds, bandwidths and usefulness </li></ul><ul><li>They all contribute to awareness and tools can let you mix and match them, allowing for constant re-evaluation and assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s work on redefining what it means to be “on top of” or “ready for” a field and let individuals decide how much, how little and what’s best for them </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s work with vendors and each other to make more, better tools – for individuals and groups </li></ul><ul><li>Small nimble tools and über-portals of death can complement each other nicely </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t isolate your evidence – give us feeds and APIs! </li></ul>
  23. 23. That’s all - thanks! <ul><li>[email_address] (me) </li></ul><ul><li> (feeds page) </li></ul><ul><li> (feeds project) </li></ul><ul><li> (toolbars, gadgets, plugins) </li></ul><ul><li> (Long Now Foundation) </li></ul>Images courtesy of: PBS (Clockwork Orange - )