October 14, 2008    |   Vol. 1, No. 7    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

Try Throwing the Box Out and Thinking Outside the Door  (External site)

PRWeb  •  October 2, 2008

Expanding horizons with Open Door Innovation. Humans are social beings and getting out of the office might be the best way to stimulate new thinking for your organization. As a leader, your job is to be the Chief Door Opener.

We're fortunate in OCLC Research to be out and about often in lots of interesting places. We can vouch that the campus and the community are great learning experiences right outside your door. ( Michalko)

The Marketer's Challenge: How to Teach Customers New Behaviours  (External site)

Ivey Business Journal  •  September/October 2008

Teach your patrons well. Today's accelerated product rollout cycle means people must adapt to new innovations faster and it's your job to help them do that. Author Ian Gordon offers suggestions on teaching your patrons that is "thorough, fast and effective."

Reading this, I immediately thought about academic libraries and the genesis of "institutional repositories" that were created. We would have benefited from some reflection on the service offering and customer learning. ( Michalko)

Creativity and the Role of the Leader  (External site)

Harvard Business Review  •  October 2008

One doesn't manage creativity—one manages for creativity. It pays to foster your worker's creativity, according to Intuit cofounder Scott Cook, who notes that both Google and Linden Labs have reaped more success by implementing innovative ideas bubbling up from the bottom than those imposed top-down. How do you encourage creativity at all levels?

I particularly liked the observation that operational scale leads to increased process standardization which keeps us doing the same thing the same way. Real improvement is more likely to come from people approaching the problem from different angles. ( Michalko)

Ask.com Rearms with Semantics, Rich Media in Search War  (External site)

Ars Technica  •  October 6, 2008

Ask.com makes a splash with its new "river of rich media." Ask's strong foundation in natural language semantic search is augmented by "a new focus on specific types of structured data feeds, like TV listings and events," says Ask VP Erik Collier, as well as user-generated content, government fact pages and Q&A sites. Check out the deep search features that set this search engine apart from its competitors.

Ask.com has been an innovator. It's worth checking out how they've improved and the kinds of queries with which they are particularly successful. ( Michalko)

About Us Information on Websites  (External site)

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox  •  September 29, 2008

Have you looked at your "About Us" page recently? Telling visitors what your organization does is one of a Web site's most important jobs, but a recent survey shows user satisfaction with "About Us" pages is declining due to incomplete or hard-to-find information. Usability expert Jakob Nielsen offers a concise blueprint for connecting with your users through a more effective Web site.

Although users have gotten more successful at finding contact information on Web sites, they've become less successful at understanding what the target companies actually do. Today's users have higher expecatations about Web content, so providing them with relevant information is key. ( Michalko)

Limited Window of Opportunity for a New News Biz  (External site)

Poynter Online  •  October 3, 2008

Time for a news makeover? Most readers no longer look to their local newspaper for news about national and international events, which presents an opportunity for newspapers to rethink their mission. What if journalists and editors teamed up with librarians and technology experts to create a new type of news product that packaged information into modular, searchable formats tailored to the needs and desires of users?

Creative and innovative partnerships are out there. This is a call to one. (And if you haven't watched the EPIC 2014 video mentioned in this article, you should. ( Michalko)

Seven Blog News Trackers Compared  (External site)

CNet News  •  October 2, 2008

News you can use. Check out this list of useful news tracking blogs for an alternate route to monitoring major (and minor) news stories

I've been looking for somebody else to do the filtering for me instead of adding yet more RSS feeds. There are some good choices reviewed here. ( Michalko)

OCLC Programs and Research advances exploration, innovation and community building for libraries, archives, and museums.

Above the Fold is a Web-based newsletter published by OCLC Programs and Research. It has been developed to serve a broad international readership from libraries, archives and museums. News items are supplied weekly under contract by Suzanne Douglas, Ibis Communications Inc. Programs and Research items are supplied by staff in RLG Programs and OCLC Research. Please send comments and questions about this or other issues to rlg@oclc.org.
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