high tech to low(er) tech and the blogs in between

So, I gave my talk at Access and it went pretty well. I was a little out of my element since I’m usually the techie person talking to less techie people. Here I was representing the non-techies with a message of “hey don’t forget usability!” among other things. I had a lot of downtime in various lobbies and airports on the way back and so I poked around looking to see what, if anything, people had said about it. There was a short blurb on the K-State Conference blog about it.

Anyone who has been following my travels knows I have a particular soft spot for Kansas both because I’ve had a great time meeting and talking to people there, but also because they are doing some neat stuff with technology that helps make up for their geographical disatance from other KS librarians as well as other libraries generally. Just look at this list of blogs and feeds to see just some of the stuff Kansas State University is doing. Anyhow, I saw the post on my WordPress dashboard and left a comment. One of the things that I think separates people who I consider “bloggers” from people with blogs is this sort of inter-blog commenting. If someone says something nice (or not nice actually) about me, I try to leave a note. It just seems like decent etiquette and a way to say “hey welcome to the blogoworld” for newer bloggers, particularly library students.

I think an easy mistake for first-time bloggers to make is to assume that their blog is going to become some conversational destination wthout realizing that they need to go out and converse as well as bring people in to do it. The conversation that we all talk about cluing in to doesn’t happen in any one place, it happens in a lot of places all at once. Dale Askey, who was at Access 2007 and wrote the little blurb about my talk follows up with a little more explanation about some of these blog effects. He tells us about how after Amanda did her nuts and bolts talk about the Endeca rollout they did at McMaster, someone from Endeca’s Canada office emailed her a few hours later interested in talking with her about some of her ideas. Neat. This is the sort of back and forth we’d like to be having, it’s nice to see it really happening in ways that help libraries.

There’s a point to this story: people read and process our blogs in ways we cannot control and do not intend. Far from being a cautionary tale, I want to do a little dance because of this. We’re seeing what we said was the point behind blogging. Put information out there, and let people do with it what they will. Thanks to this little bizarre set of events I’ve related, I met new people [and] caught the interest of Endeca with my comments…

And, on the heels of that, NELA has a conference blog, complete with a Flickr photo pool and a team of local bloggers so anyone who can’t go can follow along at home. It’s worth noting that the entire cost to set this all up — except human time which is important but separate — was probably close to zero. Free WordPress.com account [note to NELA blog admin: consider disabling Snap previews, they’re an obnoxious side effect of WP.com blogs], free Flickr account [note to Flickr admin(s): choose a Flickr web address by clicking here when you’re logged in so the URL for your pictures is even more customized] and all the rest of it the feeds, the comments, the basic designs, just come along with it. I’m sure one or more of my talks will show up there and I’m excited to get to read about the large number of presentations that I can’t go to which I now know I can still read about.

6 thoughts on “high tech to low(er) tech and the blogs in between

  1. Hooray for Kansas! (Not that I have anything to do with K State. I just live in that, um, K state, and all things considered, I rather like it here.)

  2. Two interesting technology projects that Kansas has going on that I know of –
    K-LOW – which maybe sounds like a bad celebrity thing involving Kevin Federline and Jennifer Lopez, but is actually Kansas Libraries on the Web is an implementation, including training and ongoing support, of WordPress blogs as web sites for many of the small, rural libraries in the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS). It is interesting to see what these libraries have done – check the roll of KLOW Libraries http://www.mykansaslibrary.org/.

    The other is that the Central Kansas Library System has just chosen to implement a hosted version of Koha for their member libraries (look for the CKLS’ Regional Library Automation Project on the web site). The grant application on the CKLS site is very interesting reading as Koha was not only cheaper for up front conversion costs and ongoing support costs as provided by LibLime, but also very handily beat the proprietary ILS vendor in features according to the ratings given by the various 30+ libraries involved in the project. CKLS site: http://www.ckls.org/

  3. Hey, many thanks for reading our blogs and giving them some love. I wish librarian.net were required reading for my library. We as a library don’t spend nearly enough time looking beyond our own walls.

    Hope you got to see something of Victoria. Went sea kayaking today under pristine blue skies. One could get spoiled here. All conferences should be held in places like this.

  4. Good to see what different states are doing. Thanks to CJ for sharing the info on Kansas projects.

    Kansas also seems to be pretty involved in Second Life.

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