Monday, December 06, 2004

Stephens's proposal to study blogs as virtual communities

I love Michael Stephens's blog, Tame the Web, (Thanks, Michael for posting the info on teaching RSS feeds to librarians!!) and I was thrilled when he posted the powerpoint he used to propose a study about libraries, blogs, and virutal communities. He's still working on the details of his study, but the powerpoint alone includes excellent information about the history and current state of blogs and libraries, and I can't wait to see the results of his study once he's done....

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Information, understanding, & stories

I know The Cluetrain Manifesto is an old book now, but I'm still re-reading it and getting excited about the possibilities now that the hype of the Internet has long since waned, and the Internet is now integrated into our daily lives.

~More from David Weinberger...

"We don't need more information. We don't need better information. We don't need automatically filtered and summarized information. We need understanding....And understanding is not more or higher information. If you want understanding, you have to reenter the human world of stories."

Seven Ways to Tell Stories (from D. Weinberger, too...)

1. Begin your next presentation by saying, "Let me tell you a story..." and then recount what made the market the way it is, what got your company to come up with such an incredible product, and what obstacles particular customers faced and overcame by using your product.

2. Make sure the forms you use to "collect knowledge" have big empty boxes in them so the story can be told.

3. Every meeting with a potential partner, every exciting sales meeting, every important encounter with customers can best be told as a story. Do so.

4. Turn your next white paper into a narrative.

5. Collect the stories of your business and publish them on an intranet site. (I love this! I want to do it right now!)

6. Reward the tellers of good stories. They're the people everyone's listening to anyway.

7. Rewrite your mission statement as a corporate story, and write your annual report as a narrative.

The link above gos to Powell's, the best bookstore in the world. Because, like many, I never check-out books I really want. I need to interact with my texts which means circling and starring phrases, not worrying about spilling wine on the pages, and writing notes all over the margins.

Passion: why sites work

A nifty quote from David Weinberger (He's up there on my list of people who write what thrills me.....Edward Tufte, Roy Tennant, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Herman Melville (of course).)

“Sites that work make manifest their passion.” (from Small Pieces Loosely Joined--which I love, love, love...)

How can libraries make manifest their passion? Well, one is not only allowing, but encouraging the authentic voice of our staff & patrons on our Web sites. I about jumped up & clapped at Internet Librarian when Jenny Levine (The Shifted Librarian) said that libraries should care about & use RSS and blogs because they humanize the library and that that libraries should not refer to themselves as "the library" but as "we."