how big is the club: we’re not crossing the chasm with this stuff

Rafe Colburn contextualizes what Jon Udell reframes about what Tim Bray mentions. The big question is how big is the new technology club that either 1) you and your friends are all a part of, or 2) you sort of hear about but don’t quite understand or see the need for? When I talk about Twitter to the library blogogeeks at CiL they’re usually saying “Yeah, love it, tweet me.” or “Not for me, thanks.” they’re not saying “Twitter? wtf?” However when I mention it at home, I have a hard time even explaining why I think it’s interesting, much less how it works.

As 2.0 apps are built on top of 2.0 apps and people can give conference presentations about making Twitter talk to RSS via a jabber server to do things with your library catalog, the gap between people who are just making the foray into email, or even blogs, and the digerati grows larger. Clubbiness can be offputting, regardless of which side of the club fence you’re on. Let’s not forget that we’ve got to be putting out feelers and explainers and breadcrumbs pointing outward to what we’re building as well as inwards.

My CiL Talk/Slides/Handout

I’m on my way to give my talk in one of the giant ballrooms. For anyone who wants to follow along at home or in the back of the room, here are the links you’ll want.

Update: Talk went great. I spoke to about 200 or so people and almost all my demos worked! I went to go sit down and catch up on email and I ran into Jesse Andrews who is the guy behind (greasemonkey script repository mentioned in my talk) and BookBurro (very cool, check it out). He’s speaking tomorrow late afternoon, if you get a chance to see him, you should.

hi – 13apr

Hi. I spent an awful lot of time on the phone or on Skype today, most of it making things with other folks. In order

– Chitchatting with Casey about his Library Technology Report in which I write a chapter on Open Source Software Tools for libraries. We messed about with formatting and structure, laughed about how “Web site” is spelled in formal publications compared to everywhere else on the planet, and admitted the whole thing looks pretty good. Keep an eye peeled for it.
– Talked to Jay Datema from Library Journal and Bookism along with Peter Brantley for a podcast about all sorts of things. Specifically we discussed the nature of library content and social content becoming digital and the ramifications for archivists, librarians and plain old lovers of books.
– Did my weekly podcast with Matt Haughey from MetaFilter. This is always a fun weeks-end summary of what we’ve noticed on the site including my favorite posts from Ask MetaFilter

Then I swam. Then it was nighttime. I decided to take the train to CiL so that I can swing by and say hi to some friends in NY on the way. I have books and a few little snacks to bring with me. I’ll be in the CiL area from about Sunday night late til Tuesday afternoon/evening so please say howdy if you see me around. My talk is Monday. As with most of these quickie conferences, all my mealtimes are spoken for, but I still have some discretionary walking around time, depending on when I wake up. On the way back I’ll be stopping to see friends in Baltimore and then going to give a talk in Dodge City Kansas. People laugh when I say Kansas for some reason but I had such a good time there last time and finally got a good answer to my “please explain this Second Life and Libraries thing” question from some Kansas librarians.

So, I will be on the road for a while. Then I am coming back to teach an eBay class, some more digital pictures classes, maybe help one of the small libraries I work with install an actual OPAC instead of their in-library PAC and preparing a few more local talks in the next few weeks. I may not have mentioned this previusly, but I’m contributing occasionally (well, once so far) to the Slow Library website, so if you were waiting for it to come back from dormancy, that time has arrived.

Computers where? Computers IN LIBRARIES!

Hi. This is just to say I’ll be at Computers in Libraries next week. I’ll be giving a little talk called Pimp My Firefox, only the name is slightly different in the program. It’s about making Firefox do your bidding and how to customize it for various types of library staff and users. I think it will be fun. However, I am speaking at the same time as Meredith: 11:15 on Monday, April 16th. So, if you have to make a tough choice, I will not feel bad if you go see her talk. I am just sorry that I can not see her talk.

Also, I am planning my trip to DC. I may drive from Vermont. If there is someone that could benefit from a ride down on Sunday sometime, please let me know. I will be staying in DC for the week, so this is likely a one-way-only offer. Alternately if there is someone in the Northern New England area who is already driving, I would be happy to pay for gas to not have to drive.

One more logistical note: I am staying at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City on Sunday night. The CiL crew is putting me up since I am speaking. However, they are not putting me up the next night and the hotel is totally booked, so I either have to find alternate accomodations or move on and miss some of Tuesday’s activities. I have many options in DC and Maryland and would not be heartbroken to have to move on early. However, if anyone out there has a room with space Monday night, I would chip in a pint of maple syrup (and whatever else you’d like, up to and including cash) and regale you with stories of small town librarianship for a chance to stay through Tuesday. I added my name to the CiL Roomshare page, we’ll see what turns up. I seem to be all set for this part, thanks for the notes everyone.

From DC, I’ll be taking a quick detour to Dodge City, Kansas to be giving a talk about “the whole 2.0 thing” which I am looking forward to a great deal. I’ll be a little distracted at CiL, but if you see me running around, please do say hello.