Online Empires, even Facebook, Eventually Fail


Thanks to iLibrarian for pointing out the “ exciting infographic illustratingThe Rise and Fall of Online Empires such as AOL, AltaVista, MySpace, Facebook, etc. ranging from 1991 to the present.” Every empire — from the Roman to the Facebook — rises, plateaus, and declines. Have a look:


Your Front Porch: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc.


Social networks are our front porches today.

The next time a friend or colleague who doesn’t enjoy social networks says to you “I don’t have time for Facebook,” or “I TALK to my friends” (usually delivered in a somewhat condescending tone) just casually invite them tovisit with you on your front porch. They may well respond with a “huh?”, and that’s ok, bcuz it’s your opening to depict a social network tool as a front porch — a place to talk with friends, families, those in your community, or just to read and relax.

I hadn’t thought of this porch analogy before for social networks, but it is perfect (our buddyStephen Abram probably used this metaphor long ago – he’s great with metaphors!). Facebook, Twitter and Skype reunite me with family I haven’t physically seen in years, and keep me in contact with friends, colleagues and new contacts all over the world conversing and sharing social and professional links and info. Working “virtually” as we have for 17 years, Jane and I often don’t leave our home offices all day, but we’re certainly never alone with instant messaging and networking tools. Our “neighbourhood or community” is huge, and people pass by or stop to discuss an issue or set up a meeting all day long – and often through the night when projects are due!

The Chair Academy’s Leadership Tips & Tools refers to Clifton Taulbert’s Eight Habits of the Heart in which porches are prominently featured as places

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Computers in Libraries goes Social!

It’s so exciting how Information Today is using its content management system to build a community for their conference events that I’m using Google’s doodle to celebrate with some fiddling! Yes today is the 332nd birthday of Antonio Vivaldi, an Italian composer. But I digress, something unusual for me, right?

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Social Media & the 2010 Olympics


Google Doodle for Olympic Curling

I just love what social media is adding to the 2010 Olympics! From the thousands of tweets from the #Olympics Twitter feed, to YouTube videos, to Facebook, social media is definitely enriching my experience of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Amazing.

My favorite tweets so far are from the people calling curling “ice shuffleboard” but the number of tweets supporting the athletes is truly incredible. On Facebook, I became a fan of Vancouver 2010 Olympics and last night right after the Canada/Swiss hockey game, they posted asking who had seen the game. Within 4 minutes I and three hundred others had responded that we liked it! Every time I refreshed my screen it went up by 50+ people and within 24 minutes over 1500 “liked” the post and a third had made comments. After 10 hours, over 3,500 “liked” the post and 1,150+ had made comments about the post. YouTube has a rich base of videos about the Olympics but several of my favorites include commercials about future young athletes and Canada’s first gold medal on home soil, but I also love Shaun White’s gold medal big air performance with amazing spins, flips and twists (all together!).

So social media is definitely engaging and bringing the world together over wonderful global events. Yeah!

Putting social media in acceptable terms for libraries


Helene Blowers posted a wonderful note today about a social media strategy framework. Being a strategy junkie, I agree with Helene that Ross Dawson’s framework is excellent as it leads an organization from its priorities through governance (ye gads! someone actually considers governance early in a strategy!!) through to “listening” while engaging (there’s a concept — listening — to honestly hear what people are saying, or not saying…).

It also prompts me to explore the notion that many libraries are still rather ‘iffy’ about social media, particularly Facebook & Twitter, because they perceive these to be “social media” and somehow that just doesn’t “fit” for them — somehow “social media” makes them uncomfortable. Stephen Abram & Helene are absolutely correct — libraries, particularly CEO’s or Directors, have to engage themselves in these media before developing their strategy. But to engage means they have to first accept. And some are lightyears from accepting. A few weeks ago when I was working with a group on integrating social media into their processes and services, a senior librarian negatively retorted to me that these “things aren’t all good — there’s a real dark side to them.” At which point I responded, “yep, there’s a dark side to cars when people hit and kill innocent people, too, yet you drive a car. So what’s your point?”

And then it hit me (the point, not the car), that libraries have to see Facebook & Twitter & other social media not as “social media” (discomfort), but

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Facebook-like Space for US Intelligence Community


Nancy Dixon just blogged about A-Space, a Facebook-like space for the US intelligence community. She mentioned this to me a few months ago when we were finalizing her participation in KMWorld 2009 and I’m really pleased to see the executive summary in this post and the full 30 page study here. It talks about how A-Space is shaping the analysts’ work bringing in cogintive diversity. It emphasizes:

A-Space is an environment in which analysts collaboratively create new meaning out of the diverse ideas and perspectives they collectively bring to an issue. Through this collaboration, analysts have the potential to break through long held assumptions to provide new ways of thinking about complex problems.

Networked relationships on A-Space provide a stream of cognitively diverse information without the costly time investment that maintaining strong ties requires.

A-Space is reinforcing the value of asking questions of colleagues, providing analysts the means to uncover flaws in their own data and reasoning.

A-Space is providing analysts a set of new practices to: 1) build cross agency networks, 2) gain situational awareness, and 3) hold discussions of interpretation, that operate in parallel with the normal production process. These new practices constitute an emerging model that provides a level of cognitive diversity not previously available.

The non-hierarchal nature of A-Space, results in analysts feeling that it is okay to offer their thinking even if it is not completely formed or thought through, increasing the speed of product development by eliminating faulty hypotheses early

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Specialized Social Networking Sites


This article, Beyond Facebook and LinkedIn, talks about social networking sites on the web that have more specific purposes or narrower audiences. It reminded me of Bill Drew‘s Library 2.0 Ning community of almost 4000 members. So many communities, so little time!

Transparency, FB & Social Networking


Ever since Bill Drew pointed me on Facebook (FB) to this article, The Underwear Theory of Social Networking, it has been bothering me. It features a guy who does not want business colleagues as friends on FB. He’s dropping them. He feels LinkedIn is a better place for his business communications. Andrew Conry-Murray says on an InformationWeek site:“Here’s the mental picture I’ve created for the Big 3 social networking platforms I use.

LinkedIn is a suit and tie. It’s a conference room for business meetings, and people tend to be on their best behavior.

Twitter is a sports coat and jeans. It’s the hotel bar at a security conference or trade show. Technically I’m still at work, but there’s alcohol. The industry chatter, shop talk, and self-promotion gets salted with gossip, mild flirting, and swear words. You might even see a fight.

Facebook is boxer shorts and a T-shirt with burrito stains. It’s the couch where you sprawl out to watch “Family Guy,” eat Phish Food straight from the carton, and leave your socks laying around.”

And, now I’ve just read about employees being fired for their comments on FB. We know that people have always had less than flattering things to say, and do say it in many ways, what’s different about this media? Anyway, I like what C. G. Lynch had to say on CIO’s Web 2.0 Advisor site,

“Transparency (with good, bad and ugly information) ultimately betters your organization and keeps it honest. Social technologies enable that

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Grown Up Digital: Net Gen


Don Tapscott, keynote at FastForward09, built on an his earlier books, Growing Up Digital, Wikinomics, and others as he talked about how a new generation is driving an age of engagement which aligns with the conference theme: Engage Your User. He talked about his new book, Grown Up Digital, about how disagrees that the net generation or digital natives (also known as millenials and Gen Y) is the dumbest generation (especially check out out Don’s YouTube video on this site) , and about how this generation is a powerful force for change in our world. He gave lots of examples including a digital native who has a year’s worth of one week jobs, and a 6th grader who went after financing for his business Playspan. I loved how he talked about the net gen attitude: work=collaboration=learning=fun — that’s the kind of workplace we all should want to see. And also his caution to organizations who do not allow the use of social tools like Facebook to be accessed. Here’s something you can use if your organization is one of those: I won’t go onto Facebook during work time or on work computers if you don’t expect me to answer company emails after hours or on weekends. Nice! Check out more info about Don’s talk and book, and also here, on the FastForward Blog.

When Technology Fails


I must have been really busy in the fall because I missed the report released by the Pew Internet folks called, Technology & Media Use: When Technology Fails. I found this report today while preparing my talk on Building Learning Communities for the Ontario Library Association Superconference on Friday at 2.10pm. Of course, the report on technology failure especially intrigued me today because Facebook is down (at least for me???). I use FB for a lot of things and it is almost as bad as when the electrical power goes down — feels like an appendage has been lost!