Library also saying no and giving incredible benefits to library patrons?

We all computer gadget tech geeks sure miss Steve Jobs already, though his no saint and Apple are not the good guys either. If we take away the gloria both from Jobs and his Apple and look more for what they really have done and said and look at what we can learn. 1997 when Steve Jobs was back at Apple (check his biography at Wikipedia) he got the question on Opendoc, at he Apple developer conerence WWDC 97, and said road to succes is not Opendoc, Java is a better solution. Concluding that you have to focus rather than going in 18 different directions:”Focus is about saying, No”.

At same conference Jobs got a rather insulting question about why he distrust opendoc, followed by a sarcasm on what he have done the last 7 years. The answer from Jobs is great:”You got to start with customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you gonna sell it”. Followed by: “What incredible benefits can we give to customers. Where can we take the customer? Not sit down with the enginneers and look at what awsome technology we have and market that.”

So what should libraries say no to? Not going in 18 directions.

What should libraries give their customers? Not just market vendor technology to library patrons.

Well, why not just serve all students with pencils and pieces of paper in the reference desk, maintain the commercial link resolver in Google Scholar and have some awsome speed courses on how to use the OR-statement in Google. Staff reduction? No, we also need coffee breaks to cope with internal strategy meetings.

Alexander Bard on talent-generated content

At last year conference SIME 2007 Alexander Bard was talking about talent-generated content. According to Fredrik Wass at Internetworld Bard said: ”Talent-generated content is the future”.

“According to Bard we won’t have effort to surf web sites like YouTube to find good content. Instead we will trust someone who will do it for us, for example media companies and bigger players at the market with financial support”.

At the Thomas Crampton blog I also found this transcription of the interview:

Alexander: It is the guy who finds the content that gets paid.
Esther: But your friends will do it for free.
Alexander: No, they won’t do it for free. In the music industry the idea that record companies is ridiculous because I don’t have the time to go through YouTube to find the talent. YouTube is for the underclass, this is not for the mass media. Somebody has to sort out who has talent and who does not”.

The guy who finds the content gets paid? Well, librarians get paid by taxes (in most cases) and even if there are guys working as librarians (I’m one of them) most of them are females. But Bard perhaps see a future for information searching and gathering entreprenuers.

Stefan Engeseth on enterprises use of consultants

“If someone is swimming in wrong direction he or she bumps into and irritates. Enterprises need someone who swims in wrong direction and breaks patterns. But unfortunately the punishment is so hard for employees doing it that instead the enterprise have to take in consultants”.

Quote by Stefan Engeseth in an interview in Computer Sweden 20 November 2006. Stefan Engeseth is a well-renowed consultant and has written the best-selling books One: a consumer revolution for businesses and Detective marketing. His blog is called Detective marketing.

But hey there! I think he needs a language consultant to help him spell ;-)

Wolfang Heller from Infonaut on the hunt for new trends in Chicago

I met Wolfang Heller from Infonaut for the first time earlier this autumn. I never before met a non-librarian so eagerly talking about the importance of having and finding information. He thought organizations and companies should think about the cost of not having information, not just the cost of having information.

Wolfgang is now visiting Chicago and looking out for new trends. You can read about his findings in Chicago 2006 at:, unfortunately just in Swedish. Here is a translation of a blog entry about the possibilities of wireless connection:

“Due to free access(!) to wireless internet connection I can report directly from here. Because my European 3G cellphone is not working in US I use my computer as a telephone. There are WiFi everywhere, so you can make calls with Skype or MSN from the computer for free. I even been checking video telephone with webcamera and it works splendid sending a live report from the hotel”.

He also mentions that Starbucks coffee has 70 hotspots in Chicago.

To blog or not to blog, that was a question…

During the Gala at Friday in Cluj a woman from Netherlands came and talked to me about my project blog One Entry to Research. She thought it was of big importance to keep on blogging on that subject, but as I said, because I got the question at the panel questioning: “Will you keep on updating the blog?”, I have no funding and actually no time to keep it alive. That blog was also an experiment of communicating a project with a blog. When I think on it, my experiences of that could be 20 minutes talk: “Using blogs for communication projects.”

Well, that blog will have some death throes until the end of this year because I will have some talks on it here in Sweden. Actually, I’m quite reliefed to get som air from that project also though of course I think it’s still an important subject. And because I’m doing another BIBSAM project on Interactive search tutorials. Though I’m not the project manager this time. It’s Lars Våge at Mid Sweden University Library  in Sundsvall.

Though I propose, because I want cooperation with whole library world, that EAHIL starts an evaluation board or group of people that have interest, competence and time to evaluate the products our vendors try to sell us. My first suggestion because I’ve thought (in future) on doing a project on evaluating news aggreagator and monitoring services. In Sweden we have for example Agent25 and Magenta news. In this case I don’t refer to RSS readers and that kind of services.

These companies keep calling library bosses and other corporate bosses to sell those products. Most of them are just crap and bosses keep buying them allthough because then they don’t need to do the monitoring themselves and especially they don’t need to use or employ a librarian. Much of this monitoring is not that hard to do yourself either, so somtimes register for a course is more cheap than buying those news aggregator services. So why don’t begin with this evaluatiuons beside of continuing evaluation of Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, Windows Live Academic? So, where to get funding? European Union? UNESCO?

Clever thoughts of Mary Ellen Bates

”Our clients are far less willing to ask us for help in finding information; they want to be able to find answers electronically, without any assistance or guidance from us info pros. Our mission is to seed the information clouds so that the critical content makes it all the way to the clients who need it”.

Mary Ellen Bates
Econtent September 2006 vol. 29 iss. 7