Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Technology Predictions for 2009

Over the next few days, TrendSpotting will be publishing a series of trends and predictions as presented by influencers and experts in different consumer fields. Here are the first 2:

Thanks to Paul Reynolds for the heads up on his blog.

Criminalizing a Generation

I was chatting with my 18 year old niece last week and in conversation I pointed out that downloading music using LimeWire was theft. Illegal. You could be sued. Infact, people have been. "Nah" she said, "how can it possibly be illegal". She went on to argue that it would be ridiculous if that was true, the technology was there. "How can it be illegal if its so easy to do". Quite.

So, I was very interested to read Lawrence Lessig's post today "Prosecuting Online File Sharing Turns a Generation Criminal" on USNews.com. more>>

Examples of Great Web Design

I am always interested in what makes a great website a great website so was easily tempted to check this story out on Digg:
"We live in a world of information saturation, and that translates to web design. In such a competitive world, it becomes more and more important to stand out by breaking conventions. Sometimes it’s about layout, sometimes about the graphics and cool illustrations or anything else that can be different from others.

In this post, we take a look at 100 websites that look really different from their peers and automatically captivate their audiences with their design of elaborate backgrounds, illustrations, and textures. Is different always good? Let’s take a look and decide by yourself…"

Poodle Grooming : an Extreme Sport ?

For the "Only in America' section of this blog, I offer for your holiday entertainment this crazy little story.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ranganathan's 5 laws and FRBR

The Koha list has been awash with posts these last few days. What started as a cry of frustration has evolved into a really interesting discussion and I sense a positive aspiration to think about how we can acquisition and catalogue in Koha 3.0 at a range of different levels and for a range of different audiences.

Horowhenua Library Trust designed Koha 1.0 back in 2000 with BIBLIOS, GROUPS and ITEMS. This achieved a similar result to that possible with FRBR.
RDA is relevant here to.

The Koha database had ITEMS, which inherit all of the attributes of the GROUP record they are attached to, and GROUPS inherit all the attributes of the BIBLIO record they were attached to. This meant reserves could be placed at a BIBLIO level (if you didn't care which ITEM you got), or at GROUP level (if you wanted the first ITEM available of a particular edition) or at an ITEM level (when you wanted a specific issue of a periodical or a specific video to send away for cleaning etc).

It was designed this way because oftentimes patrons didn't care which copy of which edition they got when they reserved a book - they just wanted the first one that became available!

Brooke Johnson reminded me of Ranganathan's 5 Law's of library Science. These are:
  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every person his [or her] book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.
William Denton blogged in 2007 :
"I think the laws should underpin everything we do every day. Memorize them so you can quote them in meetings. You’ll be amazed at how they cut things down to some sensible size and help you remember what’s important. FRBR fulfills the laws: it will help people find their books, it will help books be found, it will save the time of the reader, and it is part of the continuing growth of libraries not just in shelves and buildings but in ideas and services."

If we remember Ranganathan when designing cataloguing in Koha 3.0, I don't think we can go too far wrong!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Generation WE aka The Millennials

This YouTube video, apart from having a powerful political message, depicts a generation of library users whom we need to engage: the Millennials.

How will pubic libraries develop relevance for these kids as they move through adulthood?

A New Way of Learning

Michael Stephens, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in Illinois. I found this video by Alex and Wendy Drexleron his blog Tame The Web. It explains how students are - or should be - learning in this new networked age.

Book buying has never been such fun!

From Pippa (naturally!)

Arty Bees Books is an actual bookshop in Wellington - I kid you not. You can find them at The Oaks and on Courtenay Place.

You can also browse their lovely collection online!

The catalogue of Bizarre books is by far my favourite. The History of Lesbian Hair looks good, or perhaps The Mullet is more your style, and don't miss Hair Care.

If you are looking for a special gift for someone do try the 'Inspirational Christmas Present Flowchart'.

Faking an Online Identity is a Crime?

From the ReadWriteWeb comes this story:

Being "Fake" Is Now A Crime

"A precedent-setting case, the Lori Drew MySpace trial, has just come to an end. If you're unfamiliar, this was a case where an overprotective mom established a fake online identity to bully her daughter's rival. The judge's ruling has now criminalized the act of creating a fake persona online. In the case of Drew, most would agree she deserves the punishment she received. However, the aftershocks of the ruling could very well impact the online identity creation process for years to come if it's not overturned." more>>

Would be nice to say "Only in America" but its increasingly becoming a borderless world ...

Merry Christmas !

So here probably the only Merry Christmas mesage you will get from me:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Standard and Poor's stock index's annual returns

This is a graphic of the Standard and Poor's stock index's annual returns, placing every year since 1825 in a column of returns from -50% to +60%. As you can see, it is a rough bell curve, with 45 of those 185 years falling in the +0-10% column. There are only 5 years each in the 40-50% and 50-60% return columns, and, through 2007, there were only one year each in the -31-40% and -41-50% columns. You can see where 2008 to date falls.

I love the way statistics can mean so much more when presented in different ways. This kinda supports the arguments that the fall is the market correcting itself ...


(UPDATED: From DailyKos, via Greg Mankiw.)

Disney World Promo Video

Disney's running an ingenious web-promo; you enter the name of a loved one and they automatically edit a fake video news story about Walt Disney World being given over to that person. Try it its fun! You can send the link to friends apparently, but it was broken (or overloaded) when I tried!

(Thanks Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing for the heads up about this one)

Friday, December 12, 2008

The 100 top Web apps for 2008

These are the 100 best Web 2.0 applications, chosen by Webware readers and Internet users across the globe. Over 1.9 million votes were cast to select these Webware 100 winners.

Breath taking library buldings

Take a look at these breathtaking designs for libraries ...

I might show them to our architect and see if its too late to changes the plans for Levin ...

Horizon Report : 2008 Australia - New Zealand Edition.

Just released in a new series of regional and sector-based Horizon Reports is Horizon Report: 2008 Australia-New Zealand Edition.

The new series is a product of the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project, an ongoing research project that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within higher education around the globe.

The project drew on an ongoing discussion among knowledgeable leaders and practitioners in Australia and New Zealand business, industry, and education, as well as published resources, current research and practice, and the expertise of the NMC community itself.

The Horizon Project's Australia-New Zealand Advisory Board probed current trends and challenges in post compulsory education as they uniquely are expressed in Australia and New Zealand, explored possible topics for the Report, and over several rounds of rankings and dialog, selected the final technologies.

The Horizon Report: 2008 Australia-New Zealand Edition (304K, 32 pp) is available now. The report is free, and has been released with a Creative Commons license to facilitate its use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.

HLT Staff: I have a printed copy on my desk!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Te Papa - Wow !!

Te Papa have just launched an amazing new interactive space. Called Our Space. It features 2 main components.

The first is an interactive floormap called (appropriately) The Map. In the Our Space media bank there are thousands of images of turangawaewae - places all round New Zealand where people are proud to stand. These appear on the mirrored media walls around the Map, triggered as you move across the glass floor. Each time you step on a trigger, a new image of that region appears.

The second new installation, is called The Wall. To 'play' you select media from the loading stations and send them to the wall. There are thousands of images and videos from around NZ to choose from, or you can load your own, or even create media on the spot by recording videos and photos in the station’s web-cam or creating text messages with the touch screen keyboard.

Your media appears instantly, floating high on the Wall. Then you take a wireless remote and choose an image: move it, stretch it, paint it, animate it, crop it, join it to other images. You can even nick other peoples media!

Mash up your media to remix NZ, as you see it. Cameras take snapshots every minute of the wall. You can view the wall online and even print off your bit by locating the wall image by timestamp. It is very cool.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Akoha : virtual / real world game

Akoha is a new reality-based game that uses mobile, web and real-world missions to create a new form of game play.

The idea for Akoha came from a series of discussions after the founders attended the TED Conference in Monterey, where the theme was “Ideas Big Enough to Change the World,” and the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where friends were discussing "movies that can make a difference." Their conversations about game design, social change and Internet trends led co-founders Austin Hill and Alex Eberts to ask the question, "What if playing a game could make the world a better place?"

On April 28, 2008, Akoha announced it had received $1.9 million in financing from angel investors. The very coolest thing of all is that while the game is in Beta stage (its very new - was launched at the Techcrunch Conference 2008) the organisers have adopted a school project with Room to Read. After the completion of 25,000 missions, they will sponsor a Room to Read school in Nepal, building the library and equipping it with books, games and posters.
Click here to learn how the game is played .. and don't be surprised if I buy you an icecream sometime!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Paul Gerhardt at NDF 08

I love the National Digital Forum. It is the most important event in my professional development calender and always fills me up again for the coming year with inspirational and thought provoking speakers.

Unfortunately I missed day 1, but made it to day 2 which opened with Dr Paul Gerhardt as the keynote speaker for the day. Dr Gerhardt leads the UK's Creative Archive Licence Group - a consortium of public and commercial broadcasters and archives developing a shared public access strategy. He was joint director of the BBC Creative Archive. Click here to learn more about the Archives for Creativity.

These are the key 'makes you think' things I noted down:
  • Transformative use rather than 'mashup' - a much better term,“These films are about us - they are ours” - response of people who appeared in the BBC documentary made in the 60s which was 'revisited' or used a base for the film: “BBC in the East End – Updated” by Chris Dorley-Brown,
  • Digital content expanding rapidly: 6 months of Youtube saw the volumn of digital content created equal to 60 years of BBC production,
  • The total digital content is on track to double every 11 hours by 2010,
  • it won’t be very many years before all the AV content ever made will be available online.

This staggering stuff! We are on the edge of an explosion of digital content - not just words but audio, still and moving pictures, and informal community content and formal, institutional content too. The opportunities for transformative use are boundless.. what fun!

As usual I came away with a list of things to do:
  • Read: “Towards a theory of digital library” by Aharon Auram and Yoram Eshet.
  • Research: Creative Archive Licence derived from CC licence.
  • Find: A good beyond the basics tutorial on editing video from the bbc site.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cell phones : the next big thing in libraries?

While in Auckland last week I gave up trying to find an internet machine in order to check my emails.

The hostel had internet to the room - but I needed a cat 5 cable (I don't make a point of carrying around network media...) There were numerous internet cafes - down the hill, seedy looking and $10 an hour - and while I could have gone to the cafe next to Auckland Library and used their free internet connection the coffee was crap and I would have had to lug my Dell Vostro around all day (a weight lifting exercise of some merit and there was that hill to consider ....)

Then I remembered my cellphone - hooray for pocket computers! It is just so dam easy and quick and convenient to check my emails that way. Wish I'd remembered my internet capable cellphone while I was in Singapore: had to pay $NZ40 for the first hour of internet access in the hotel!

After a hideous experience a few years back when my desktop got hammered by a virus I now use my computer as an access point only. In addition to saving all my work to the network server I have also shifted my bookmarks to delicious, post links I want to remember to this blog, and have copies of all emails, from all 5 of my email accounts, sent to my gmail account. This means I can not only work at any desk in the workplace, but I can get my emails from anywhere - including while lying in bed in a student hostel.

I was chatting to Wendy at work a week or so ago about a report I had been reading about the phenomenal uptake of cell phones especially in Africa. There is a whole continent apparently skipping the wired world and going straight to wireless. Here in Horowhenua we find growing numbers of people are not bothering with a landline and using cellphones only .... noticeable in Shannon initially but becoming more frequent. I observed that I think cell phones will be the next big thing for libraries; we need to think all the different ways that we could be utilizing that technology, a communication device in the pockets of most people over 13 and under 65.

I found an interesting report from Nielsen Mobile : Critical Mass - The Worldwide State of the Mobile Web.

Key findings:

  • 15.6 percent of mobile subscribers in the US, 12.9 percent in the UK and 11.9 percent in Italy actively use the mobile Internet. In New Zealand the figure is 1.6%.

  • In the US , mobile internet use has reached a critical mass as an advertising medium: 40 million.

  • In the US, there is almost an even split with the same % aged over 35 as under 35.

  • and there are approximately as many teenagers using the mobile Internet as there are persons over the age of 55 (5.1 million persons age 13–17 and 4.4 aged 55 and older).

  • The mobile Internet audience is not overly concentrated in high-income households.

  • 82 percent of iPhone users access the mobile Internet, making them five times as likely to do so as the average mobile consumer. Remember iphones are still very new and expensive, and due to their strong brand their use will mushroom. (ipod generation)

  • Mobile Internet users do not visit nearly the same number of individual sites as Internet users do over the PC. PC Internet users visit more than 100 sites on average vs 6.4 for mobile.

  • Email, weather, news, maps and search predominant uses.

Critical mass is when a sufficient mass has formed to sustain a chain reaction. The researchers suggest that mobile Internet is today at a point of seeing rapid growth in consumer adoption
and, in turn, mobile Internet marketing.

So how are we as libraries going to prepare for this trend which will hit NZ? How can we maximise the value of having almost everyone having a pocket receiving device, GPS, audio-video and still image recording device in their pockets?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Memory Maker : digital remix tool

As part of the 'Coming Home' activities being led by Digital NZ, a video mixing tool has been launched.

The 11th of November 2008 is the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice between the allies and Germany, marking the end of the First World War. From November 2008 through to March 2009, New Zealand is commemorating this anniversary and the 'Coming Home' of our soldiers.

The Memory Maker enables the remix of photographs, graphics, film clips, and music from the years following the First World War. Videos can then be shared with friends and family. The Memory Maker is hosted by the Auckland Museum, with members of the National Digital Forum and others providing the unique content - including Kete Horowhenua. More >>

The Memory Maker is an excellent example of the ease with which community contributed informal content gathered up with Kete can be harvested and repurposed.

Cuba Street Memories

Delighted to see that Wellington City Libraries have got their Kete up and running: Cuba Street Memories.

To find out more read the press article or the WCL blog post.