Marketing

  • Discovery vs discoverability ... January 02, 2013 – I have been interested in the different dynamics of the inside-out and outside-in library for a while (see here for example). One especially interesting characteristic is the quite different approach to discovery in each case, even though this distinction has not yet crystallized in clear service categories. I was struck...read full entry...
  • The enterprising librarian ... June 30, 2012 – I participated in an interesting event at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC a while ago. It was a symposium to consider the 'information professional' of 2050. Yes, that is 2050 :-) There was a mix of people. Some in LIS education; some in libraries; and some...read full entry...
  • Academic reputation enhancement ... reduxMay 12, 2011 – Two things prompted this note .... First, there is an interesting report in the current issue of Nature on the 'online image' [editorial] or 'online reputation' [article] of researchers and what their attitude is to it and to managing it. More of this later. Second, I have recently returned from...read full entry...
  • Advocacy: public library as amenity and necessityApril 29, 2011 – Downward pressure on the cost of public services creates issues for public libraries. A growth in advocacy is a natural response, and this in turn creates pressing questions about value, and in particular about how different stakeholders potentially perceive value differently. Who one is addressing, and with what message, has...read full entry...
  • The amplified event ... March 14, 2011 – I introduced the phrase The Amplfied Conference several years ago to describe the way in which a conference experience might be shared by people who were not physically present, through the amplification provided by a range of network tools. On reflection, of course, such amplification is also a way of...read full entry...
  • Influencing how you are seen in results ...October 10, 2010 – Two websites I regularly look at are the The Guardian and Times Higher Education. In my lazy way I will often just pop the names into Google when looking for them. I have been interested in how they are characterised in Google results, based on what they put in the...read full entry...
  • Information management on campus: CRIS, IR, CERIF, CRM, PIPALSeptember 05, 2010 – One of the consequences of our network world is that more and more activities are 'informationalized': they generate data and the management of data is an important part of their operation. We will increasingly see applications which want to mix information about researchers and publications with information about projects, organizations,...read full entry...
  • Recommendation and Ranganathan - retreadAugust 08, 2010 – [I have been quoting the distinction made by Gavin Potter, a participant in the Netflix competition, about how our emphasis is shifting from sorting out supply to sorting out demand. I thought it might be useful to re-present this entry, the one where I first noted the distinction. I could...read full entry...
  • Bookstores, curation and managing demand/consumption ...July 25, 2010 – I have just returned to the US from a couple of weeks vacation in Ireland and England. I was more than usually struck by my bookstore (aka book shop) experiences, and this prompted the curation entry I have just written. First of all, an interesting note that I have quoted...read full entry...
  • Institutional researcher pages: an exampleJanuary 02, 2010 – I have written a couple of times recently (here and here) about institutional and indvidual reputation management. Think, for example, of faculty profiles: the managed disclosure of expertise and research activity. This has often been an informal personal or departmental activity. However, there is now a variety of institutional initiatives...read full entry...
  • Choice is hard work: an anecdatumDecember 06, 2009 – We got an iMac for family use in the Summer. I never liked the keyboard and the mouse keeps sticking as crumbs and so on get lodged in it. Myself and my son headed off to Micro Center the other evening to explore replacements. They had sold out of the...read full entry...
  • Reputation enhancementSeptember 29, 2009 – Reputation management on the web - individual and institutional - has become a more conscious activity for many, as ranking, assessment and other reputational measures are increasingly influenced by network visibility. In particular, it raises for academic institutions an issue that has become a part of many service decisions: what...read full entry...
  • The library website: a unified service?September 13, 2009 – I mentioned the reworked University of Michigan Libraries website a while ago. Although it is still a layer over various other resources, I liked the way that the site aimed to project the library on the web as a unified service not as a set of unrelated opportunities. This extended...read full entry...
  • Library and beehive ...July 20, 2009 – JISC has produced a short video about the library of the future ... This is part of its Libraries of the Future initiative, and is about nine and a half minutes long. Two quick things. First, I wish that the card catalogue was not used so much as an image...read full entry...
  • Visible peopleJuly 07, 2009 – I continue to be amazed at how difficult it is to find the name or contact details of the library director on many library websites. And in some cases to find the names of other relevant library contacts. This is especially the case given the emphasis on the human touch...read full entry...
  • Ranking, rating and recommending July 05, 2009 – We are now accustomed to being able to rank or recommend on websites. More importantly, we are accustomed to seeing resources ranked, related or recommended. To the extent, I suggested in a recent talk, that when we don't see these features on a site it is as if as if...read full entry...
  • Data flows in the book worldJune 14, 2009 – One of the recommendations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control was that ways should be found of harnessing publisher data upstream of the cataloging process. The rationale was that this would make data about materials available earlier and reduce overall creation effort. OCLC...read full entry...
  • BloggingMay 03, 2009 – I seem to spend less time looking at blogs, library or otherwise. I don't know if this is just me or if it is a general experience. The demands of work, life and Twitter perhaps. No doubt Walt will inform us in due course whether the volume of library blogging,...read full entry...
  • Entrepreneurial skills are not given out with grant lettersMay 03, 2009 – Ithaka produced a report last year - Sustainability and revenue models for online academic resources PDF - for the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA), a UK collaboration of cultural and educational organizations. They followed up with a series of case studies (scroll down the list of SCA publications to the sustainability...read full entry...
  • Web scale library management servicesApril 23, 2009 – OCLC has just released a press-release about its Web scale library management services. For some context see Andrew's note: OCLC is extending the WorldCat Local platform to include circulation and delivery, print and electronic acquisitions, and license management components. A quick start version of WorldCat Local--available at no additional charge...read full entry...
  • National libraries on YouTube April 19, 2009 – While looking at the Library of Congress presence on YouTube the other day, I was curious about other national library presences. A very quick search for national library 'channels' revealed the following ... The European Library The National Library Board of Singapore The National Library of Wales The National library...read full entry...
  • Amazon remembersApril 09, 2009 – I noticed this feature on the page for the Amazon Blackberry App. I haven't yet tried the app or seen the feature working so I do not know how well it works. Perhaps we need an application which allows you to take a picture of a book cover and find...read full entry...
  • What's on your mind ...March 31, 2009 – Ohio State, our neighbors to the South, have a nice tag cloud feature on their home page. I am not sure how they are generating it, but they have clouds based on the behavior of different classes of audience. Here are students ... Here are faculty/staff ... Update: I see...read full entry...
  • The intrusion of adsMarch 30, 2009 – We are now used to seeing ads on web pages, and it seems quite normal. In fact, occasionally, they are even interesting or useful. And Google is certainly working hard to make them even more so. Tom Wilson has published Information Research for many years ... Information Research, is an...read full entry...
  • QOTD - those library users!March 16, 2009 – From Derek Law: It is also something of a paradox that academic staff, who almost by definition work at the leading edge of their discipline and thrive on change are library and in many cases IT conservatives, seeking investment in back runs of journals and support for long since superseded...read full entry...
  • Indiana tags, books, cloudFebruary 27, 2009 – Indiana University Bloomington Libraries has a nicely produced Annual Report on the web. We are growing used to seeing tag clouds used in various contexts. I was interested to see this page in the report ..... The report focuses emphasizes change, asking in its title "when does change become transformational?"....read full entry...
  • Books about universitiesFebruary 16, 2009 – Many of the pages in Worldcat Identities are for corporate authors, Ohio State University, for example. It is interesting in these cases to see what the most widely held items about the institution in question are. Here are some examples from universities ..... So, the list of most widely held...read full entry...
  • Stock ideasJanuary 30, 2009 – I was looking at iStockphoto earlier for something and on a whim searched for 'library'. If stock photographs capture stock ideas about things, then it is clear what people still think about libraries .... Incidentally, I liked the 'flame' coming out of the top of the images: it indicates how...read full entry...
  • MLA welcomes ObamaJanuary 24, 2009 – The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in the UK welcomes the inauguration of Barack Obama, quoting from his speech at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 2005. Here is how the piece opens .... During an especially historic week, the MLA, and its Chief Executive Roy Clare, would like...read full entry...
  • Holiday note 3: knitting a web presenceJanuary 01, 2009 – I find website appearance both more and less important, as I suggested in a post a couple of years ago (although it seems only like a couple of months ago ;-). Less important because I now experience many sites as part of the feed-based universe which makes up much of...read full entry...
  • QOTD: putting book info in the flowDecember 17, 2008 – Mike Shatzkin writes about the changing environment for publishers in Publishers' Weekly. There are some familiar themes ... Network concentration (Amazon) and diffusion (recommendation and referral from social sites, widgets, ...) ... Print book review media and subscription book clubs are fewer in number and, most critically, bricks-and-mortar retail shelf...read full entry...
  • Sustaining the digital investmentDecember 17, 2008 – The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access was launched last year by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in partnership with the Library of Congress, JISC, CLIR, and NARA. It is jointly chaired by Fran Berman of the San Diego Supercomputer Center...read full entry...
  • SEODecember 14, 2008 – I have mentioned SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a few times as an increasingly important area of interest for librarians. However, as I have suggested, I come across resistance on the grounds that this is some sort of base or mendacious activity. We are very interested in interoperability, however, and for...read full entry...
  • Centering the decentralized identity ...December 08, 2008 – Andy Powell, network resident, has an interesting post about his 'fractured' network identity. How does he define identity? "Digital identity is the online representation of an individual within a community, as adopted by that individual and/or projected by others. An individual may have multiple digital identities in multiple communities." [Andy...read full entry...
  • In Borders earlierNovember 23, 2008 – I was in our local Border's just now, forlornly looking for a weekend Financial Times. Not finding one, I was looking around aimlessly. A couple of things caught my eye, where one mode influences another. One of the nice things about Border's is that you can look for items on...read full entry...
  • BL webNovember 20, 2008 – I notice that the British Library has revamped its website. They have also launched a new catalog in beta, using Primo. Currently it searches over 13M records for books and other materials, a major scholarly resource. They also point to the just launched Europeana portal which has been remarked in...read full entry...
  • Amplification around a tagNovember 02, 2008 – My former colleague and network resident, Andy Powell, advocates strongly that public events should publish a conference tag, a virtual venue to which event amplifying network activity like blog posts, tweets, images and so on can cluster. It's easy to forget, but I'd go as far as saying that the...read full entry...
  • Who we are ....November 01, 2008 – I was pretty interested to see this panel on the home page of the Kelvin Smith Library at Case. In recent presentations I have been noting that while we are increasingly used to seeing 'signed' network resources, library websites are often very anonymous. Think of reviews, ratings, social networking profiles,...read full entry...
  • Optimal disclosure of published materialsOctober 01, 2008 – Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner released an interesting report a little while ago on How scholars navigate to scholarly content. This is a followup to a similar study carried out in 2005 [pdf], and one of the interesting strands of this report is an account of changes in that period....read full entry...
  • Public library valueSeptember 17, 2008 – I wrote a blog entry from the fine public library in Cheyenne last year. I was interested to come across an article mentioning this same library in this week's Economist. Laramie County’s libraries are the best of an excellent lot. Their flagship is a three-storey, zinc-clad edifice in Cheyenne, a...read full entry...
  • Up front repository workSeptember 15, 2008 – Mark Leggott has an interesting post on how they plan to construct and populate their institutional repository.With a minimum of training our hope is that the presentation of a 90% complete IR record will encourage faculty to complete the process. Some future enhancements will include parsing the Sherpa-Romeo record to...read full entry...
  • Helicopter parentsSeptember 06, 2008 – A recent story in The Guardian about helicopter parents points to a earlier fuller discussion of the topic. The five types of helicopter parent, identified by Paul Redmond in the Guardian involve themselves not only in the application to university, but in every aspect onwards – open days, choice of...read full entry...
  • QOTD: responsibly open and openly responsibleAugust 27, 2008 – Marin Weller of the Open University has an interesting paragraph in a blog post about his new role as director of the SocialLearn project. He talks about a desire to be open in communicating the progress of the initiative and soliciting input .... which prompts this thought: ... it's easy...read full entry...
  • Metrics and visibilityAugust 22, 2008 – I was interested to come across the Service Level Definitions page at the Library at the London School of Economics. Additionally, we have a number of Service Targets which we monitor on a monthly or termly basis. You can see our general service standards and the full results for our...read full entry...
  • The future of media?August 20, 2008 – As we have been traveling I haven't been watching a lot of TV, I thought I would go and have a look at a few videos of discussed Olympic events. The BBC is usually my first port of call for things like this, but of course, as noted previously, they...read full entry...
  • Stuck in the middle ....August 03, 2008 – Much of our current model of network information and communication behavior is in the middle ground, it is based on the personal computer (desk- or lap-top) as a consumption target and the organizational website as the delivery target. In other words, the library website is the front door to network...read full entry...
  • We enjoy visiting with our users while there is no place like homeJuly 10, 2008 – How libraries reach into the flow of their users has been one of the recurrent themes of this blog. Recently, I have been interested to see libraries begin to systematise this and to understand the issues around particular approaches. I mentioned the National Library of Scotland's presence on YouTube the...read full entry...
  • QOTD: The cornerstone of the UniversityJuly 01, 2008 – Consider the following quote ..... The role of the library in the university is being transformed. Information technology is shaping both the practice of scholarly inquiry and the daily routine of students and faculty, while library services are becoming more client-focused and more integrated into teaching, learning, and research activities....read full entry...
  • Pictures from reusable pixel objectsJune 16, 2008 – I like the FooBar picture from EbOY and have used it in presentations as a hook on which to hang a discussion of network trends. EbOY is three artists based in Berlin. What do they do? We create re-usable pixel objects and take them to build complex and extensible artwork....read full entry...
  • RLUKMay 30, 2008 – RLUK (Research Libraries UK) is where research libraries in the UK address shared issues. The organization has a new name (previously it was CURL), website, blog, strategic plan [pdf], and vision/mission. The plan identifies six strategic themes: Theme 1 Developing the research library workforce Theme 2 Building the new research...read full entry...
  • Candidate 2.0 and crowd-fundingMay 22, 2008 – It seems clear that the current US primaries represent an important political watershed. I am not talking about race or gender. I am talking about the use of the Internet in campaigning. This was prefigured last go around in Howard Dean's campaign but this time it is central to Obama's...read full entry...
  • The heart of the UniversityMay 13, 2008 –  Recently, it seems to me I have heard the sentiment that the library is no longer the 'heart of the university' expressed several times. If not the heart, which organ? I wonder .... Photo credit: taken by my colleague Günter Waibel at Sterling Memorial Library, Yale....read full entry...
  • Computational advertisingMay 08, 2008 – I was very interested to read this brief piece about the 'new discipline' of 'computational advertising': Web advertising is the primary driving force behind many Web activities, including Internet search as well as publishing of online content by third-party providers. A new discipline - Computational Advertising - has recently emerged,...read full entry...
  • Libraries of the futureApril 21, 2008 – I spoke at the JISC conference in Birmingham last week. It was at a session related to the JISC's Libraries of the Future initiative. A special supplement on academic libraries is appearing in the Guardian Newspaper to accompany the initiative. A range of topics is covered; the treatment is high...read full entry...
  • Information also wants to be expensiveApril 18, 2008 – I bought [i] a New York Times yesterday in our local Borders and, over coffee, was interested to open up a large two page spread advertising the newly named Thomson Reuters, A new name and a new logo. I was interested to read the following in the business pages (under...read full entry...
  • Search University research outputs here?March 21, 2008 – I mentioned iSoton a few weeks ago, an exploratory twopointification of a University of Southampton web presence (and see the follow-up conversation on Brian Kelly's blog). As many readers will know, Southampton is the home of major R&D, advocacy and support activities for open access (see the eprints.org page). I...read full entry...
  • Book bag blog, book bag blog, book bag blogMarch 20, 2008 – And talking about University College Dublin, check out the Book Bag Blog if you want to see pictures of the library book bag in far flung places - and why wouldn't you ....? Here is an entry on their reader services blog describing it: What have Antarctica, Paris, Munich, Prague...read full entry...
  • You're so vain ... you probably want to look at your h-indexMarch 16, 2008 – And speaking of Elsevier, several colleagues and I received an email invitation from "the Scopus team" to look at our h-index [Wikipedia entry] on our very own Scopus profile page. Here is some of the text from the invitation: The h-index * can help you evaluate and benchmark your research...read full entry...
  • An interesting university web presenceFebruary 20, 2008 – iSoton is an interesting web presence from the University of Southampton. I wonder how well it is being received and used. There are six panels. One displays a (short) list of university podcasts; another displays standard virtual tour stuff. The other four are more interesting. One displays the University's wikipedia...read full entry...
  • Let me be open with you ...February 03, 2008 – 'open' is a word that usually needs to be qualified to be of any use in our conversations. Simply standing on its own it is not clear what it means. Unless qualified the word is like 'home made', 'new' or 'natural', a widely applied promotional label with little informational value....read full entry...
  • QOTD: a lifted study-storehouseFebruary 01, 2008 – I mentioned the other day that the Times had nominated Philip Larkin, poet and librarian ("the toad work") as the greatest British writer since 1945. Through the wonders of resource sharing I have got hold of a copy of his history of the library at the University of Hull, updated...read full entry...
  • JargonJanuary 23, 2008 – Library jargon explained: a resource at Swansea University Library and Information Services. Good that they have provided this? Bad that we need it? Call number - The call number, the number placed on the spine of a book, is a code which provides information about the subject of the book...read full entry...
  • QOTD: a new class of librariansDecember 01, 2007 – It is always interesting to read about libraries and librarians when the writer comes from outside the library environment. I have just come across the December 2007 issue of the Canadian University Affairs. It contains an article intriguingly entitled The new librarians. A new class of librarians is emerging: forward-thinking...read full entry...
  • Library website analyticsNovember 01, 2007 – Our activities in the network world leave traces. The analysis of these traces is now a major undertaking as organizations mine this data to understand behaviors, to improve their systems, and to refine their offer. Tony Hirst has a series of posts about 'course analytics': In contrast to the academic...read full entry...
  • HBR interviews LB of the BLNovember 01, 2007 – Well, this must be a first! The current issue of the Harvard Business Review carries an interview with Lynne Brindley, Director of the British Library. Do you have a favorite piece from the collection? I never answer that question. I want people to understand that we’re not a museum. We...read full entry...
  • Processes and repositoriesOctober 16, 2007 – I find it convenient to think about current library systems activities in terms of support for three materials workflows: bought/print materials, licensed/electronic materials, and digital/digitized materials. This is being pragmatic rather than pure, and is open to challenge on many grounds. I have discussed these at more length here, and...read full entry...
  • Liberals, againOctober 15, 2007 – So here is a chart showing the choices made by those of my Facebook 'friends' who chose to disclose political preferences in their profiles. As I suggested the other day one would expect a 'liberal' emphasis in the library community. Although I wonder what the distribution is among those who...read full entry...
  • The amplified conference, againSeptember 16, 2007 – Following my remarks about the 'amplified conference' the other day, I was interested to read this from Andy Powell:A large part of your event's impact will come from the collective writing, images and videos by the people who attended. The only effective way of tying all this material together after...read full entry...
  • Discovery happens elsewhereSeptember 16, 2007 – I have been using the phrase 'discovery happens elsewhere' in recent presentations. I think it captures quite nicely an increasingly important part of how we think about our services. No single website is the sole focus of a user's attention. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in...read full entry...
  • Ambient fulfilment and on-demand spaceSeptember 06, 2007 – The iPod hookup with Starbucks has had a mixed reception. I thought that it was intriguing as one of those little newsflashes from the future. From a story about how the current iPod form factor will be replaced by one based on the iPhone. In a curious marketing twist, Apple...read full entry...
  • And speaking of value ...September 04, 2007 – I quoted Eleanor Jo Rodger a while ago in these pages: News stories like this and the ongoing Amazoogle discussion prompt us to think about the value of libraries. In that context, I recommend that everybody read Joey Rodger's article on value and vision:Valuable is not about our professional values;...read full entry...
  • Intentional data again: Super crunchingAugust 31, 2007 – The current issue of Newsweek discusses a new book on the use of aggregated user data: Super Crunchers: why thinking-by-numbers is the new way to be smart. As more activities move online, we have more data about intentions, choices, attention. The punchline of the story is that service choices are...read full entry...
  • The academic library and its usersAugust 30, 2007 – I mentioned Jim Collins' book on the social sectors the other day. I have just acquired Susan Gibbons' book, The academic library and the net gen student: making the connections. I was interested to see her make use of Collins' material in the opening chapter where she suggests the following...read full entry...
  • Syndicating moiAugust 22, 2007 – I was looking at Macenstein earlier. And was slightly surprised after a while to notice that amongst the Amazon ads appearing on the right were some for very familiar stuff. Turns out that Macenstein is feeding me my own personalized Amazon data. And it looks as if other people might...read full entry...
  • Narnia, memory organizations and public diplomacyJuly 12, 2007 – Cultural diplomacy is a report from the UK think tank Demos which I finally read on a plane ride this week. It talks about the role of cultural institutions and manifestations in international relations and,while charting international differences of approach, notes that cultural diplomacy is sometimes underappreciated as a 'soft'...read full entry...
  • ImageJuly 07, 2007 – That image thing again ... ON a Sunday night last month at Daddy’s, a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, more than a dozen people in their 20s and 30s gathered at a professional soiree, drinking frozen margaritas and nibbling store-bought cookies. With their thrift-store inspired clothes and abundant tattoos, they looked...read full entry...
  • What does the boss think?May 30, 2007 – Attitudes of presidents and provosts on the university library is the title of an interesting article in the current issue of College & Research Libraries [68(3), May 2007]. The authors found that, although leaders recognize the symbolic value of the university library, it is the functional role of the library...read full entry...
  • In the flow - Washington and WikipediaMay 24, 2007 – In recent presentations I have been referring to the University of Washington's initiative to systematically put links to its digital collections in relevant Wikipedia entries. I use it as an example of putting library resources 'in the flow' of their users's behavior. If Wikipedia is where many folks end up...read full entry...
  • Academic Library OrganizationMay 04, 2007 – One of the reasons I liked Key Perspectives' report on Researchers' Use of Academic Libraries and their Services [pdf] is that it highlights a variety of important questions for libraries, and for the institutions which they serve. I hope to come back to some of the specifics of this report,...read full entry...
  • Libraries, books and network level servicesMarch 03, 2007 – The growth in variety and volume of sites for personal collection management is fascinating to watch, especially those where addtiional value is created by pooling choices and preferences across users. Sites for music and books especially. Typically these sites display network effects, they improve as more people connect and share...read full entry...
  • Using intentional data becomes routineFebruary 28, 2007 – I notice that IMDB has had a facelift. We use it a lot to see what folks think of movies - before renting or borrowing DVDs. We have a rule - rarely enforced ;-) - that we only watch movies with a score of 7 or over. A part of...read full entry...
  • The British Library websiteFebruary 23, 2007 – I notice that the British Library has redesigned its website. It now highlights a search for BL resources: allowing a single search across the website, catalogues, journal articles for delivery, and digitized collections. This is an interesting high profile example of the desire to offer readers more unified access across...read full entry...
  • Worldcat RegistriesFebruary 19, 2007 – I wrote about registries a while ago.But this is exactly the situation we are in with higher level network services where we have no such directory services. Increasingly, library applications need to know about a variety of entities. We are used to thinking about information objects (books, journals, maps, etc)....read full entry...
  • Self disclosureFebruary 18, 2007 – In several venues recently I have suggested that it would be useful to do some content analysis on various documents to see how institutions are describing themselves, their priorities, their relationships and so on. I am thinking of strategy documents, annual reports, but also things like websites, organizational charts and...read full entry...
  • ScapesFebruary 01, 2007 – Google announced a while ago that they were 'deprecating' their SOAP Search API in favour of an Ajax based search syndication strategy [as reported by Brady Forrest]. One motivation for this, it was speculated, was that the SOAP API-based syndication of search did not support their ad-based revenue model. Why?...read full entry...
  • AmapediaJanuary 26, 2007 – Here is something to watch. Amapedia is from Amazon:Amapedia introduces an exciting new way of organizing products we call "collaborative structured tagging". In a nutshell, it makes it easy for you to tag products with what they are and with their most important facts, and for others to search, discover,...read full entry...
  • ERAMSJanuary 23, 2007 – One of the more interesting discussions I had at ALA was with Martha Whittaker of Serials Solutions. She was talking about their use of the expression ERAMS (Electronic Resource Access and Management Services). Here is some blurb from Serials Solutions leaflet describing ERAMS:Now that the nature of library collections has...read full entry...
  • QOTD: second lifeJanuary 15, 2007 – Given the general interest in Second Life I was interested in this one of Michael Cairns' predictions for 2007. EBay will buy Linden Labs (Second Life). Within six months they will integrate Ebay selling tools into SecondLife enabling virtual store fronts, sales assistance and virtual trading. Will launch program with...read full entry...
  • Airplane reading: smelling the wineJanuary 13, 2007 – A busy week with a trip at the end meant little posting. Here is a note on travel reading. I received When red is black by Qiu Xiaolong over Christmas and finished it on the way back from New York City yesterday evening. Chen, the detective with literary interests is...read full entry...
  • QOTD: getting in the flowJanuary 07, 2007 – Niall Kennedy argues that 'search is not a zero switch cost'. Even if a strong competitor emerges for Google they will have to do quite a bit of work given the steps Google has taken to embed itself in various user flows:Google is spending billions to integrate its search products...read full entry...
  • Intentional data, and book salesJanuary 06, 2007 – I wrote about intentional data the other day. Here is a small example I have just come across. Tim O'Reilly is talking about Asterisk, an open source PBX solution. he wonders why it is not more discussed. It seems a bit like the early days of things like Perl and...read full entry...
  • Emergent knowledge and intentional dataDecember 31, 2006 – I have written about 'intentional' data on and off, data recording user preferences or choices. Such data has a variety of uses in our domain: we are all familiar with Amazon's 'people who bought this also bought this' feature. One of the major lessons of Google is to show how...read full entry...
  • London displayedDecember 29, 2006 – The British Library has an exhibition on London and its maps. There is a 'curator's blog'. And there I read:Just a quick note to let you know about a fantastic new Google Earth layer based on London: A Life in Maps that a colleague in our web team has put...read full entry...
  • QOTD: hiding things on the library websiteDecember 10, 2006 – Libraries struggle with how to present multiple digital materials on their websites. Here is The Oldie magazine on the rewards and frustrations of using public library websites.First, get to know the catalogue; the entire regional catalogue is available for you to look at from home. You can search for a...read full entry...
  • Keywords and informationOctober 29, 2006 – Steven Johnson - who has featured in these pages before - has an interesting piece in the New York Times Book Review. He plays on the senses of 'Key words'. He notes the well-known work by Raymond Williams called Keywords (first edition in 1976, revised and expanded in 1983) as...read full entry...
  • The power of demand aggregationSeptember 02, 2006 – There are a couple of interesting recent posts on Hitwise. First, they note that Flickr is the UK's number one photo site. When they last looked at this in the Spring Flickr was still behind Photobucket. They attribute its improvement to good search engine optimization and searches for what they...read full entry...
  • Moving to the network level: MicrosoftAugust 17, 2006 – Of the big Internet age companies, Microsoft is in many ways the most interesting. It has to find a way of straddling its desktop legacy and the new world of web services. In this context, the recent presentation by Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's newly elevated Chief Software Architect, at the MSFT...read full entry...
  • The library makes a differenceJune 22, 2006 – The Times (of London) has released its Good University Guide 2007. It has university rankings on its web page. As usual, Oxford and Cambridge tussle for top spot. Why, somebody asks, is Oxford in top place when Cambridge seems to do better in most of the assessment categories. The response:On...read full entry...
  • Yet another public library perceptions reportJune 20, 2006 – A Research study of 14-35 year olds for the future development of public libraries [pdf]has just been made available. This is work commissioned by several UK bodies in the context of UK public library policy development and was carried out by a group called Define: research and insight. The study...read full entry...
  • Starbucks and perceptionsMay 26, 2006 – I finished off my presentation for the Celtic Connections conference last week in a local Starbucks with a wireless connection. This was in the middle of Cardiff. It was buzzing. Stuck for several hours in Newark airport on my way back from Cardiff, I was interested to read the cover...read full entry...
  • Sites: a pattern of expectationMarch 19, 2006 – On recent travels, I have been reading Malcolm McCullough's Digital Ground, an architectural consideration of interaction design in an age of pervasive computing. I was interested to come across this mention of public libraries:... A livable city is made up of types. Some of these, such as the sidewalk cafe,...read full entry...
  • QOTD: "Break glass and blog"February 14, 2006 – The Economist has a brief article about blogging and how corporations are taking notice. Steve Rubel, of CooperKatz, a public-relations firm, reckons that companies should also have a ready-made plan for influencing bloggers if a crisis does occur. Mr Rubel runs the firm's Micro Persuasion practice, which helps companies improve...read full entry...
  • EngagementFebruary 02, 2006 – Every now and again I take a look at the MIT website. It is always interesting. For those that don't know, it changes based on a user contributed idea. The MIT spotlights answer the question, "What interesting and wonderful things are happening at MIT?" The spotlight images and headlines change...read full entry...
  • Circulating intentional dataNovember 27, 2005 – I have posted a couple of times recently about intentional data, data that records choices and behaviors. I mentioned holdings data, ILL records, circulation records, and database usage records. One could extend this list to any data which records an interaction or choice. We are used to looking at transaction...read full entry...
  • CalendarNovember 15, 2005 – The University of Edinburgh has published a calendar with images from its special collections ......read full entry...
  • Gordian cluetrainOctober 30, 2005 – One of the themes of the Cluetrain Manifesto was that the conversation between customers was more important than managed unilateral communication from a company to customers. It then follows, it argued, that companies should enter the conversation with customers in helpful ways. Markets are conversations, it said. In that context,...read full entry...
  • Looking at the siteSeptember 23, 2005 – I find web-site appearance both more and less important. Less important because I look at a lot of things through RSS. For some sites, I now do not know what they look like as my only exposure to them is through their RSS feed. More important because I find that...read full entry...
  • StoneDSeptember 17, 2005 – An article in the current D-Lib Magazine describes StoneD, a bridge for moving content between DSpace and Greenstone instances. They must have decided against the attractive alternative - GreenSpace?...read full entry...
  • Standing and brandingAugust 13, 2005 – In an article in the current Wilson Quarterly the author refers to London's University College. This formulation is perhaps a symptom of the branding problem that University College London faces and is trying to overcome. The topic is discussed by John Sutherland in the Guardian. And it is interesting to...read full entry...
  • From sucks to rocks: FlickrAugust 04, 2005 – The Flickr Blog apologies for recent hiccups, and earns plaudits from users for so doing:We'd like to apologize. The last few weeks have been pretty brutal for the Flickr team. Switching hardware platforms on a live site with hundreds of moving parts that's serving thousands of requests each second (literally)...read full entry...
  • University websitesJune 20, 2005 – There is an interesting short piece in The Guardian about [high] school student responses to university websites. Too many clicks and you've lost them. Nowhere is the culture clash between today's sixth formers and the universities trying to recruit them greater than in academic websites....... Students were given exactly a...read full entry...
  • The recordJune 20, 2005 – I was interested to see a link to a story about Stanford on the Sun website: Building a digital library: digitizing 8 million volumes. The story is available as video in the Sun Feedroom. The Stanford story is the Sun News item for 06/03 (I couldn't immediately see how to...read full entry...
  • A Friday afternoon message ...June 20, 2005 – Yes, I know it's Monday ... From the website of web-hosting company TextDrive:We have no photographs of our CEO strutting past server racks, or of women in telephone headsets ready to take your call, but we hope you'll consider joining us all the same. [TextDrive]Now, I am not in the...read full entry...
  • Reputation managementJune 05, 2005 – I notice that The University of Birmingham has a prominent link to information about brand developments on its website. In order to maintain our competitive position against other UK and international universities we needed to communicate the University's key values more clearly, values that refer to our tradition as well...read full entry...
  • Landscape and brandscapeApril 28, 2005 – Information landscape was a term used in various conversations some time ago to refer to the idea of a set of resources organized around user interests rather than around the characteristics of supply. For example, an information landscape might be a personalized selection of information resources delivered within a metasearch...read full entry...
  • The University of Sunderland's web presenceApril 27, 2005 – The home page of the University of Sunderland made an immediate impact on me. Part of the text says that it is a 'dynamic modern university'. The immediate web impact is in line with that message. If that is what they wanted to convey, they succeeded - with this reader...read full entry...
  • eBrandApril 21, 2005 – The BBC reports a study which shows that eBay is the most popular brand on the web, followed by Google, Yahoo, Sony, and HP. The least popular brands, according to the study, are McDonalds and Coca Cola. The news report does not make it clear what population was surveyed: it...read full entry...
  • Pumping up the valueMarch 03, 2005 – As we move through changes value becomes a critical word. The values of libraries are important; the value that libraries create in a changing world must be promoted and demonstrated. If libraries are not valuable to somebody, then talking about their values does not get us very far. Discussions of...read full entry...
  • The sound of words: Amazoogle and GooglezonJanuary 29, 2005 – Amazon, Google, eBay: massive computational and data platforms which exercise strong gravitational web attraction. I coined the expression 'Amazoogle' to have a handle to talk about this phenomenon in our space. It seems to me that Amazoogle has a slightly uplifting sense; it evokes a smile. The Museum of Media...read full entry...
  • Data and musicJanuary 17, 2005 – Another example of how data guides behavior. This time in the music business, where apparently record companies are getting automated help in predicting the likely success of tracks. The magic ingredient set to revolutionise the pop industry is, simply, a piece of software that can "predict" the chance of a...read full entry...
  • The words of things entangle and confuse ...January 16, 2005 – I was in a meeting during the week where publishing was being discussed. After a while it became clear that we would have to qualify what we meant by publishing for it to be a usable word in the conversation: people had different views of what was and was not...read full entry...
  • Cornell brandNovember 07, 2004 – There was a snippet in today's NYT about Cornell's new logo. Searching further:"We feel -- and Cornellians have told us -- that this new logo reflects the university's rich history and academic identity, while providing a modern, clear and meaningful identifier for use in today's diverse media," Bruce said. [New...read full entry...
  • MLA survey on museum attendanceOctober 24, 2004 – From the UK, another survey of use.The most comprehensive survey in five years of museum satisfaction rates and visitor numbers, published today by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), shows that more people visit museums each year than go to live sports events, theme parks or the theatre. [MLA...read full entry...
  • National access to EEBOSeptember 11, 2004 – JISC has secured long-term access to Early English Books Online for the UK community. They are looking at an interesting approach to further development of the resource by soliciting candidates for digitization from academics. Now JISC, as part of a deal struck earlier this year with ProQuest to make EEBO...read full entry...
  • Olympic iconsAugust 28, 2004 – Like many others, I have been intermittently watching the Olympics. The Munich Olympics were the first I really registered. I find that the 'event icons' used there are very closely bound up with my experience of the games: many were so eonomically suggestive of the sport they represented that they...read full entry...
  • Demonstrating valueAugust 24, 2004 – The title of the 2003-2004 British Library annual report is an interesting indication of the emphasis on demonstrating value: Making a measurable difference....read full entry...
  • TrendwatchingAugust 21, 2004 – Via Neil Beagrie I came across TRENDWATCHING.COM: global source for hot consumer trends and related new business ideas in 2004. There is some arresting phrase-making amid the neologistic and rhetorical excess. A few interesting trends for libraries to note:Generation C: "The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the tsunami of consumer generated...read full entry...
  • Sun on eBayJuly 30, 2004 – Jonathan Schwartz notes that Sun has been experimenting with eBay as a sales channel. We've been running an experiment recently - putting computers up for sale on eBay. [Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog]...read full entry...
  • Blogging at MicrosoftJuly 25, 2004 – VARBusiness article on blogging at Microsoft.So let's take a look at some of the more popular Microsoft blogs, which have given the ogre a new voice. They've yet to make Microsoft as cool as Shrek, but they're getting people to look at the vendor in a new light. Consider the...read full entry...
  • Sun's policy on public discourseMay 05, 2004 – Many of us at Sun are doing work that could change the world. We need to do a better job of telling the world. As of now, you are encouraged to tell the world about your work, without asking permission first (but please do read and follow the advice in...read full entry...
  • The case of caseJanuary 02, 2004 – We spent a few days in Cleveland during the holiday period. I was interested to see how 'visible' Case Western Reserve University was, or should I say Case:Case Western Reserve University is taking on a new look. This new identity represents how our progressive university is melding diverse people, entities,...read full entry...
  • Cluetrain manifestoDecember 08, 2003 – The library community is highly networked. Particular segments of the library community are more strongly networked. They talk a lot, go to conferences, read the same publications, email, and so on. I wonder are the theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto more applicable to such a community than to some others?...read full entry...
  • BL Press Release on DCMINovember 10, 2003 – Interesting to see that the British Library has put out a press release about a BL staff member chairing the DCMI Libraries Working Group.Robina Clayphan, Metadata Development Analyst at the British Library, has been appointed to chair the Libraries Working Group of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). The Group...read full entry...