Cluetrain Plus Ten #58

Today officially marks the 10 year anniversary of the Cluetrain Manifesto, a blogger conversation (turned book) that really started a revelation/revolution in thinking long before the term web 2.0 was coined by O'Reilly. In honor of the anniversary, bloggers all over globe are have signed up to write about each of Cluetrain's 95 thesis'.

Over the past few year's I've highlighted this book in many, many, many presentations. In fact, it's among the top four titles that I've often recommended to people who want to use 1.0 tech to understand the culture of 2.0 .

Anyways, since I'm not really up for a long blog post about, I thought I'd put my contribution into image format. Number 58 has an underlying theme that I find myself reiterating over and over again in almost all of my talks. The secret to operating in this new knowledge economy is ...

Find out the other contributions here. Happy 10 year anniversary Cluetrain!


AIMS Keynote

This morning I’m keynoting the AIMS Technology Retreat in St. Michaels, Maryland. The conference location is marvelous -- Right on the bay. I’m wishing I could stay longer than just a few hours – and all the programs look great. In addition to the keynote, I’m also doing a follow-up session on Learning 2.0: 23 Things (yup, the requests to talk about this program just never seem to end)

Anyway, for those in attendance, here are links to my slides...


Finding the Phoenix – UGame, ULearn Keynote

When Eric Boekesteijn quoted me on the stage during his talk with Paul Holdengraber at Computers in Library last month, I knew I had pull the idea into a new talk for my keynote at the UGame, ULearn conference in Delft this Thursday.

Anyway, it took me a lot longer then I anticipated to actually pull my thoughts for this talk together, but overall I’m pleased with the results. Here’s my favorite slide from the 63 image deck.

If you’re interested in the full presentation, you can find it on slideshare - Finding The Phoenix: Feathers, Flight & the Future of Libraries

PS: Here also a brief video chat that Kathy Dempsey and I did with Eric in DC that offers a glimpse of what my talk is about.


An online celebration of Thanks!

Over the past three years I've had the pleasure to participate in the steering committee for the MaintainIT project. Although my schedule hasn't always allowed me to be active this past year, I have enjoyed keeping up with the project's progress. Next week a celebration of sorts will occur & everyone's invited to the online bash :)

TechSoup and WebJunction are teaming up to celebrate MaintainIT contributors for helping create the resources the MaintainIT Project has produced the past three years. Whether you participated in a webinar, contributed content, were interested in the resources the project provides, or simply shared the project with someone else, you’re a contributor, and we want to thank you.

Please come to this fun and informative webinar, where you'll receive top technology tips from library technology experts, hear what MaintainIT Project staff learned from their many conversations and library travels around the country, and you’ll find out how you can keep the rich Cookbook content and community alive on WebJunction.

WHEN: April 22, 11:00-12:00 PST
WHERE: Register online

All MaintainIT events and archives are found here:

Why not join in if you can.



Just a few thought-provoking quotes gathered among my recent travels. Thought I'd share.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” - Scott Adams

"The basic difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions." - Donald Calne

“It’s not the position that makes the leader, it’s the leader that makes the position.” - Stanley Huffy

"Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart." - Confucius


Plan less, prototype more!

There’s an image above my office white board that I created a few months ago to help remind me that the our department's focus should be more on “doing” then planning. But as I’ve begun to help my team reshape its processes around more agile and reiterative development, I’ve begun to realize that the image more sharply focus should really say ... [replacement image below]

Funny thing is, that no sooner had I shared with this realization (before the new image, of course, which I mocked up tonight) with a few colleagues this afternoon, Twitter drop this great related thought into my bb stream, “Prototype as if you are right. Listen as if you're wrong.”.

The link led me to Metacool and this >

To make change in the world, we must constantly engage in a yin-yang cycle of prototyping. This implies a commitment to two behaviors:

1. Prototype as if you are right.
2. Listen as if you are wrong.

What is a prototype? A prototype is nothing other than a single question, embodied. In a way quite similar to the scientific method, productive prototyping is about asking a single question at a time, and then constructing a model in the world which brings back evidence to answer your question. In order to believe in the evidence that comes back to you, you need to prototype as if you already know the answer. A strong belief in your point of view will push you to find more creative solutions to the question at hand.

Once your prototype is ready for the world, it is important to listen as if you are wrong. You (and everyone around you) must be willing to respect the evidence that the prototype brings back, whether you life it or not. You must also go out of your way to put your prototype in to the world. Hiding it in a closet is only cheating the process, and ultimately, yourself. My colleague Dennis Boyle, who is one of the world's truly great design thinkers and a remarkable product development guru, has a saying which we like to refer to as Boyle's Law. It goes like this:

"never attend a meeting without a new prototype"

This serves to both push and pull. It pushes you to prototype earlier and with more frequency, because you want to (and have to) meet with other people in the course of life. And it pulls you toward a more productive state, because you can't have a meeting without having a new prototype, which means that you spend less time talking in pointless meetings and more time doing productive explorations. Doing is very important.

Indeed, agile and iterative web development is not for well suited for egos or diva developers. In order to deliver products faster and smarter you have to be able to put your best efforts forward knowing that the primary goal of your prototype is to actually give your users something to react to and tear apart so that you can move more quickly to the next step!

The death of the newspaper & other social impacts

Been following the newspaper crisis lately? Wonder where all this might be going? Jay Rosen of PressThink captures and summarizes some of the opinions of thought-leaders in this area. From Clay Shirky's Thinking the Unthinkable to Dave Winer’s The reboot of journalism, I find that there’s a lot parallels to think about as I read these between the newsroom and libraries - -- both of which owe their start to the printing press.

Rosen offers up a mini “flying seminar” to catch you up to speed. Definitely not something you can easily digest in just one sitting, but lots of interesting perspectives to keep you engaged over several evenings.

Rosen's Flying Seminar In The Future of News

PS: And if you’re interested in keeping up with the newspaper (& traditional media) crisis, I might also suggest following TheMediaIsDying via Twitter.


Ingredients for Culture of Innovation

Thanks to Stephen for highly this great article. I *heart* it… a lot. In fact, so much so that I’m sharing it again here.


The Ingredients:
1. Top Management Buy-In
2. Trust
3. Priority of Innovation (Often Confused with Time)
4. Freedom to Take Action
5. Freedom to Make Mistakes
6. Rewarding Rather than Stifling Creative Thinking
7. Collaboration Tools
8. Places and Opportunities to Talk
9. Places and Opportunities to Work in Isolation
10. Access to Information
11. Transparency
12. Humor

Read the full article, there’s lots of good food for thought.


Britannica opens up...

Remember the Wikipedia / Encyclopaedia Britannica debate ? (Nature study, Dec 2005)

Well, it looks like the debate is over... Britannica has announced a wiki overlay to its online presence.

"It's a bid by Britannica to remain relevant at a time when the world's most popular encyclopedia, the eight-year-old website Wikipedia, is written entirely by amateur experts. The new version of Britannica Online, set to debut this summer, will emulate the Wikipedia concept by letting subscribers make changes to any article, ranging from minor edits to near-total rewrites."

Hmmm... the shift. It's definitely happening. :)

BTW: I'm not sure about the "debut this summer" part. In my quick travels around the site, it looks like the wiki features are already there (for registered users) Must be in beta :)

Social Media Murk

This afternoon I stumbled across this great little tool that helps outline the issues and impacts of defining soft media guidelines in the workplace. Truth be told, this is murky landscape for most organizations to tackle and it’s hard for a lot of folks to get their head around issue, especially when it comes to policies & procedures.

Personally, I like to think of policies and procedures as being separate and different from guidelines for personal social networking best practices. Both have there place, but serve the needs the organization differently.

Policies and practices help to define the organization’s parameters for engaging in social media channels. Guidelines help to provide best practices for individuals who engage in social media channels on their own behalf while employed by the business. The line between these two is thin -- There’s no doubt about it. And, of curse there are lots of issues to consider -- which is why I like that companies such as IBM and Sun Systems have taken great strides in providing good guidelines while walking the tight rope.

At CIL this past week, I attended at least two talks that “murked” a bit around this topic a bit and discovered that most libraries, like my own, were still struggling with defining the issues that made up these cloudy waters. If you're among these (myself included), then I might recommend looking at this great resource - which helps you not only identify many of the questions to ask, but to also understand some of the implications for yes and no responses. Very helpful indeed!

PS: If you know of a library (perhaps even your own) or non-profit organization who’s already tackled this issue, I’d love to know. Please leave a comment and /or link.


signed Swimming :)

PPS: Please be advise that this blog does have it's own disclaimer (see my sidebar) And yes, I consider this a "best practice" personally.

" * Disclaimer: This blog is maintained for the purpose of sharing information related to libraries and technology. The views and opinions published in this blog are my own and are not endorsed by my employer."


u r what u share

Since my talk at CIL this past week on strategies for digital natives, I've had three people ask me about one slide in particular that contained an animated image from this video.

There's a lot to ponder in the statement above and a lot about it that is true. Information is social currency. In fact, it's always been that way. The only difference between past and today is that the power of the local grapevine has been enabled globally and the limits of community influence are no longer geographically bound.

You are what you share... Need further proof? You're reading my blog right now, aren't you? Nuff said. :)


There's something about Curiosity ...

... that I keep coming back to. Here's another great image from Indexed on the subject:

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