April 17, 2007

Computers in Libraries: Day 1 Opening Keynote

Opening keynote: Web 2.0 & the Internet World by Lee Rainie.

Rainie is the director of the Pew Internet & American Life project; he talked about the information they have been gathering about the use of social software amongst internet users, both young and not-so-young.

An interesting point that he made is that data is the new "intel inside" of the internet, in other words, the thing that supercharges the applications and services. The web is a platform, harnessing collective intelligence, software as beyond the level of the individual device, rich and free user experiences. This was a very interesting way to start off the conference, getting us to think about how the millennial generation and others are using the social web, how it's evolving and changing, how we're changing it and it's changing us.

The 6 hallmarks of Web 2.0 for libraries:

  1. The internet has become the computer: rise of broadband and wireless which makes the internet a richer, more social destination
  2. Millions of people creating sharing content: the social web as switchboard for teen and other social life
  3. More people are accessing content created by others
  4. People sharing what they know and feel: sites like Ratemyprofessors and Amazon book reviews
  5. People contributing knowledge and processing power to the world: peer to peer, open source, projects like SETI@Home
  6. People customizing content: customizing news sources with rss.

The 5 issues libraries and all other participants in the social web must address:

  1. Navigation must go from linear to non-linear, need features like breadcrumbs
  2. Context, learning to see connections
  3. Focus: find a way to continue practicing reflection & deep thinking in a multitasking world, find a way to manage continuous partial attention and still be creative and profound
  4. Skepticism: learning to evaluate information
  5. Ethical behaviour: understanding the evolving rules of cyberspace, privacy vs. disclosure, private needs colonizing the public sphere, public spaces

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