Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Internet Librarian - Stephen Abram on Enterprise Trends

Enterprise Trends: Beyond the Simple Intranet

This presentation will be posted to Stephen Abram's blog http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/.

Connie's note: These are notes from Stephen's talk. Any errors or omissions are mine.

You need to be ahead of the curve.

The opportunity finally exists to use social software inside the organization. We can finally use some of this social software to lift ourselves up.

We can't wait for everyone to change at once. You've got to keep up. Anyone who doesn't use the Internet is looking to be unemployed; if you don't have a Facebook account you are looking to be irrelevant. However, it takes a while for things to filter through and people to adapt.

If information isn't in text, how are you accessing it?

Stephen Abram on Enterprise TrendsAt the Internet Librarian 2008 conference in Monterey, CA. Stephen Abram speaking on world trends in learning. il2008

We see a fundamental shift in how questions are asked and answered. People will ask questions on Facebook and MySpace. Open Social, G3 phone coming out today - if everybody's stuff is on their phone e.g. geotagging - customize a search and customize search engine rankings. You can change the search engine rankings of your organizations based on geographic location e.g. Obama campaign money spent on localized search engine rankings - political searches show up different results in different neighbourhoods. Does democracy start to become at risk?

What is not advertising-based search engine ranking? Us!

Some of us are coming to the realization that we are not creating information just for us - we are doing the work for others who work differently than us.

Enterprises exist because people need to work together. Need to work to coming to the same conclusions when you are working together.

Circles of trust inside organizations - we see this exactly replicated in social software such as Facebook - you have your inner circle of friends who you trust.

He is having to re-discover people from his past; his children will never lose their friends because of the new tools.

What does social networking look like inside the organization? Librarians retiring after 40 years of work, doing excellent local research. The first thing we do when they retire is wipe their computers clean, as if all their bookmarks and tools they have developed are not still useful.

Why do we exist in enterprise? To have conversations. That is what social networking tools are now all about. What is happening with these tools that is similar to inside the organization?

  • The power of formal versus informal language
  • The sharing economy - sharing the insights is most valuable - how do we add people's notes - context is what helps you understand where the friction is - inside a company you can codify the context, which you might not want to do outside the organization e.g. are there different strategies you use to appeal to a female-dominated market compared to a male-dominated market?
Using wikis is no longer an innovation; however, depends on organization - may look like an innovation if you haven't done it yet. You have to leave the laggards behind. When we go into our organizations, you don't have to have everyone on instant messaging for example.

The new Web 2.0 era distribution models remain largely untapped. How can we change the corporate culture to collaborate more. Take something like mapping the human genome - they sat it in social space and communicated with each other - was supposed to take 50 years, was done in just a few.

We are seeing a fundamental shift in having to adapt to how our clients learn - lawyers learn differently than surgeons do. You don't want your surgeon arriving for surgery saying "it's okay, I read the article last night." Surgeons learn as auto mechanics do.

Most librarians not good with visual interfaces. Show us a satellite system and we are not as comfortable as with text.

Does your intranet move up to the space so that you can share objects/documents, collaborate, put into groups. How does it relate to others? What actions can you take?

How can you be where your users are, and then move to the next space.

If you are a news librarian and not in LinkedIn, you are looking to be irrelevant. He gets a lot of interviews from being on LinkedIn.

Get good at the cloud - cloud applications - core applications online - Zoho, zotero, Google Docs - they give it to you for free and be willing to take your ads. They already know what you think and they will will serve up ads and search results based on your behaviour. As a Word-based profession, we need to get better at Internet and intranet behaviours.

The kindle is not about being an ebook reader, it is about being a device. The iPhone is not about being a phone. The U.S. is 5-7 years behind the rest of the world. The U.S. is going to hit it very hard and very fast.

Changing to a mainly mobile focus - how are we going to adapt? Thinking at Yale - what is library going to look like in a mobile environment - Joe Murphy, Yale Science Libraries.

Second Life is not going to survive - it will be something else - but we go in to figure out how we are going to relate to each other - their real life behaviours are moving into Second Life.

Private Enterprise social networking - search for "White label social networking" on his blog.

How do you make yourself discoverable? How do you make others in your organization discoverable? How do you tell people what you are good at?

Browser plug-ins - have you built a plug-in so you can show people how? Change the browser at the top so that it can become the standard. Why won't we have our search engines search those services that we actually subscribe to, rather than everything? Right now we have "meat hacker" search engines. You can build search toolbars to search the best stuff.

Presence management - Twitter, Meebo, IM, Skype - convention management now uses Twitter

It is all about play - you play with the stuff to learn about it; you can't put a committee to learn the 2.0 stuff.

SLA has a commitment to helping people to learn via 23 things. Build a petting zoo. Make your intranet a sandbox.

Added note: Carol over at Teching Around with Web 2.0 managed to record the list of ten social networking sites that have influenced the U.S. election.

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