I admit it! I like bright shiny things!<br />I admit it. I like bright shiny things, especially bright shiny web tools. I love them! I scour blogs, listservs, and library journals for the latest and greatest sites! And I get sucked in fast. I see so much potential and get frustrated by how little time I have to master them. It’s probably for this reason that a couple of lines in Betha Gutsche’s article “Coping with Continual Motion” really struck a cord with me. She was talking about the struggles we face trying to remain focused on competencies and how easy it can be to get off target. <br />“Technologies easily lure people into focusing on the features of a system and all the cool things it can do. If it doesn't enhance the mission and objectives of the institution, then it probably is not worth pursuing. Toward this, all technical competency statements should end with an explicit “to better meet the needs of the user.”” (2010, Gutsche, para. 15)<br />She pinpointed a real problem. So many times we see something “cool” or “shiny” and want to add it to our collection or website but we have to slow down. Will it better meet the needs of the user? How? These are questions we have to ask, before investing too much money or (perhaps more importantly) time. I can think of many instances in which I invested a ton of time in a “cool” “shiny” web app only to find it doesn’t meet our patron’s needs. (Google Wave – anyone, anyone? – Maybe some day, but definitely not now.) <br />So… how do we determine if a new technology will “better meet the needs of the user”? I think answering a few questions can do this. <br /><ul><li>Is there a place for it? (a need it can meet)
Can it work with our current technology set-up?
Is it user-friendly?</li></ul>Admittedly, these questions can’t be answered without first spending some time using the technology. However, remaining focused on these questions while playing… I mean investigating can speed the process along. <br />So back to my problem, there’s actually a name for it B.S.O.S (Bright And Shiny Object Syndrome.) According to David Armano (2007) it affects all of us. <br />“You're kidding yourself if you think it doesn't. There's so much pressure to stay up to speed, things change so quickly—that we've become obsessed with the new, newer, latest, greatest, shiny, sparkly, dangling thing. But don't be fooled—It's just as bad to dismiss a trend that we may know very little about just because we're sick and tired of hearing about it.You don't get brighter or shinier than "2.0". There are so many possibilities—so many opportunities that it's intoxicating. Hence the addiction to it. So what do we do? (para. 5)<br />He’s right, it’s a double-edged sword; we have to fight to control the addiction because you can’t just dismiss a trend (facebook!!!) and you can’t jump in headfirst. <br />I am currently in recovery.<br />References<br />Armano, D. (2007, September 12). A Prescription For Marketers. Logic Emotion. Retrieved October 15, 2010, from http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2007/09/a-perscription-.html<br />Gutsche, B. (2010). Coping with continual motion. Library Journal. Retrieved from https://www.whitelib.emporia.edu:443/articles/1667217.5000/1.HTML<br />