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The Social Web and the Information Professional: Risks and Opportunities

Rehearsal of a talk on "The Social Web and the Information Professional: Risks and Opportunities" given by Brian Kelly, UKOLN at a CILIP Council meeting on 29 April 2009. The recording took place on 24 April 2009.


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The Social Web and the Information Professional: Risks and Opportunities

  1. 1. The Social Web and the Information Professional: Risks and Opportunities 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, instant messaging, blogs, SMS, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. Resources bookmarked using ‘ cilip2 ' & ‘ cilip-council-2009 ’ tags Email: [email_address] Twitter: Blog: Rehearsal
  2. 2. Academic Library Example (1) <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. Information is available via: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul>Examples from guest blog post by Jo Alcock on UK Web Focus blog / / Bridging Worlds 2008 paper, National Library of Singapore
  3. 3. Academic Library Example (2) <ul><li>A Facebook page provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief factual information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to key resources on main Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic content embedded via RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar information embedded via Google calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability for users to become ‘fans’ </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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>
  7. 7. 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>
  8. 8. Renaissance West Midlands workshop, Feb 2009 MLA East of England workshop, Nov 2008 Concerns identified in discussion group sessions at various UKOLN 1-day workshops for the cultural heritage sector
  9. 9. 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?
  10. 10. Take-up Of New Technologies <ul><li>The Gartner curve </li></ul>Developers Rising expectations Trough of despair Service plateau Enterprise software Large budgets … Early adopters <ul><li>Chasm </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to go beyond developers & early adopters (cf Gopher) </li></ul><ul><li>Need for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listening to users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deployment strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>This talk looks at approaches for avoiding the chasm & reshaping the curve
  11. 11. 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>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>Ownership Fundamentalist: must own everything we use </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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. From ‘Librarian Coelacanth’ to ‘Librarian Sapiens’ <ul><li>Librarian Coelancanth:   </li></ul><ul><li>Rarely spotted in the wild (sometimes found in the depths of the library). “ almost worthless ” - species that failed to take risks & evolve. </li></ul>How should the profession evolve? Librarian Raptor:   Terrifying beast, rapidly destroying many of its competitors. However destruction of   IT Servitus proved its own undoing. Species in grave danger of becoming extinct following an inability to respond to the rapidly changing climate.  Librarian Sapiens:   Not as intimidating as its predecessor but has the agility & mental capacity to respond quickly to changing environment 
  14. 14. Let’s Be Realistic (1) <ul><li>Ning allows you to set up and manage your own social network. Sounds great, doesn’t it? </li></ul>Over-hyping expectations <ul><li>But: </li></ul><ul><li>Will it have the momentum to support thriving discussion? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Might it not just be an automated aggregator of content </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Let’s Be Realistic (2) <ul><li>A lack of interest, sustainability can apply to the in-house blogs, too! </li></ul><ul><li>There might also be issues on whether public sector/small organisations : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should seek to provide services which are provided for free elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can provide the functionality of globally-provided service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can attract the audiences of global service (if that is the aim) </li></ul></ul>Over-hyping expectations
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. Some Concerns <ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>What happens if Library 2.0 services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are unreliable? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change their terms and conditions (e.g. start charging)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Become bankrupt </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul><ul><li>What happens if Library 2.0 services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t get the data back out? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You only get the unstructured or poor quality data back out? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t get the comments, annotations, tags out? </li></ul></ul>Sustainability / Interoperability
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. Deployment Strategies <ul><li>I want to do use the Social Web but: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The IT Services department bans it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The council bans it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>My boss doesn’t approve </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Area of interest to UKOLN: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Just do it” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subversive approach – ‘Friends of Foo’ if Foo can’t use it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage enthusiasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t get in the way </li></ul></ul>UKOLN briefing papers available with Creative Commons licence. (over 40 docs published) Training & staff development
  20. 20. 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 </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>
  21. 21. 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>
  22. 22. Critical Friends <ul><li>JISC U&I programme is encouraging establishment of “Critical Friends” </li></ul>See <> See < A2=ind0903&L=MCG&T=0&F=&S=&P=19929> Phil Bradley’s post provided a similar role – and CILIP responded accordingly  Paul Walk (UKOLN) was described as a ‘critical friend’ of JISC See < 02/10/five-minute-interview-paul-walk/>
  23. 23. 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>Application to existing services </li></ul><ul><li>Application to in-house development </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  24. 24. Using The Framework <ul><li>Use of approach in two scenarios: 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>
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. Towards A CILIP 2.0 Manifesto <ul><li>CILIP 2.0 will provide an environment in which: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only quality information resources are used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A safe and secure environment is provided </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tradition doesn’t get in the way of innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A supportive approach to innovation is provided </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members may be prepared to be neutral concerning the backend policies and processes (e.g. ownership) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members are willing to make mistakes and learn from them on an open fashion </li></ul></ul>Is this a useful starting point for discussions?
  27. 27. Conclusions The future is exciting - but Librarian Sapiens will need to address the challenges. Let the debate begin! Acknowledgments to Michael Edson for the Web Tech Guy and Angry Staff Person post / comic strip