December 10, 2008    |   Vol. 1, No. 15    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

The First-Time CEO's Recession Survival Guide  (External site)

TechCrunch   •  November 30, 2008

Something here for everyone. Author Glenn Kelman has a real estate business and calls this a guide for new CEOs, but many of these suggestions ring true for anyone who manages people, answers to a board or works on business strategy.

Okay, there are ten points made here and half of them will be relevant to our domains—which ones depends on who is reading. ( Michalko)

You're Leaving a Digital Trail. What About Privacy?  (External site)

The New York Times   •  November 30, 2008

Collective intelligence is our job. The abundance of personal data out there is fueling a new avenue of research that leverages wireless networks of digital sensors with other data to create collective intelligence systems. One intriguing conclusion: Research by MIT Media Lab and Hitachi Data Systems that tracked Lab employees' activities via sensor badges showed that productivity improved 30% with an incremental increase in face-to-face communication. Should we be doing more water cooler chit-chat and less e-mail?

We'd actually circulated this article within OCLC Research last week. Not because of the collective intelligence angle, but because of that face-to-face observation. As a group, we're scattered across eight time zones and have to figure out the most productive ways to work in a distributed environment. ( Michalko)

Reality Returns to the Internet  (External site)

Globe and Mail   •  November 27, 2008

Are blogging and virtual worlds finally passé? With a plethora of blogs on every major media Web site and a virtual storefront on every cybercorner, people are waking up to the reality that watching avatars interact or wading through strangers' stream-of-consciousness prose is about "as fun as watching paint dry," in the words of Reuters reporter Eric Krangel.

A short commentary that will satisfy all of us who have had the urge to start talking about the Emperor and his new clothes when the latest Web x.x is mentioned. ( Michalko)

Finding and Grooming Breakthrough Innovators  (External site)

Harvard Business Review   •  December 2008

Turn your innovators into "innovation hubs." Finding and developing breakthrough innovators is a challenge, but once you've given them the tools and training they need to flourish, where do you put them? (Hint: it's not in senior management.)

With all the concerns we have about the various human resource crises in libraries—succession, recruitment, identification of non-traditional skill sets—this article is relevant. What the authors propose as the path for fostering innovators within a company is pretty much true across library, archive and museum domains, as well. ( Michalko)

Socialtext and a Theory of Collaboration and Networks  (External site)

Web Worker Daily   •  December 1, 2008

People-finder. Socialtext, based on a combination of wiki and blog, makes it easier to create and manage virtual teams by focusing on the people rather than on shared documents or files. By providing a platform for users to advertise their areas of knowledge and expertise, the tool provides a shortcut to finding the right person to answer a question or provide a service.

This brief article is really a product review. The software reviewed is leveraged on the observations about collective intelligence mentioned above. ( Michalko)

IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years  (External site)

IBM Press Release   •  November 25, 2008

It's crystal ball time. IBM has a number of leading-edge projects in the pipeline, but the most relevant to librarians is its work in "Spoken Web" technology, which will change the way we both seek and deliver information.

Of the five innovations mentioned that might within five years change how we work and live, only one got me thinking of the Emperor's clothes. ( Michalko)

The Above the Fold commentators wish all Above the Fold subscribers peaceful and restful holidays.

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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