March 26, 2009    |   Vol. 2, No. 10    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

"Social Media Is Here to Stay . . . Now What?"  (External site)

Danah Boyd, Microsoft Research Tech Fest   •  February 26, 2009

Insight in three acts. Boyd's lecture begins with the usual description of social media, but Act Three discusses how it is reshaping publics and speaks to many of the issues we face every day as the environment surrounding our public interactions evolves.

Danah always gives an interesting talk. Here she does it for her colleagues at Microsoft. It's a brief, idiosyncratic history of social networking on the web. The last part of the presentation is absolutely relevant to what we should expect and prepare for as we put our materials into these environments. I think one of the properties of this environment that is most uncomfortable for us is the blurring of public and private. Think about our images in Flickr and all those tags. ( Michalko)

The Buzz Starts Here: Finding the First Mouth for Word-of-Mouth Marketing  (External site)

Knowledge@Wharton   •  March 4, 2009

Who are the influential leaders in your community? Surprising research shows that self-reported opinion leaders are often not a key link in viral marketing. Rather, it's the people who are deeply involved in their work who are more likely to try something new and then recommend it to others. "Just because people think they're important doesn't mean it's true."

For me, the interesting connection to our world has to do with the management of research output in the academy. It's for the reasons outlined in this article that individual faculty will care about managing their identity, their reputation and their outputs. In this regard, I found the Researcher Identification Primer offered up by researchers involved in a European Union project (GEN2PHEN) very useful and quite articulate about the needs and desires in this arena. ( Michalko)

Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die  (External site)

Creativity and Innovation   •  March 7, 2009

Selling your ideas. This article lays out common-sense guidelines for getting people—co-workers and customers—to pay attention and buy into your ideas.

During these tough economic times (that's TET to those of us tired of the full phrase) there will be plenty of plans to be announced, new directions to be set and difficult re-organizations around which we'll want folks to rally. These guidelines are a useful lens through which to judge how well these will be embraced. ( Michalko)

Companies' Secret Weapon: Underutilized Executives  (External site)

BusinessWeek   •  February 27, 2009

Giving more at the office. With hiring freezes and staff cuts looming, many managers are overlooking a significant resource—the untapped potential of existing workers. A recent survey shows that almost half of the respondents said they were insufficiently challenged in their jobs. The tricky part is how to engage these people and use more of their talent.

Of course, you probably don't have anybody like this on your staff but you've seen them in other organizations . . . ( Michalko)

To Ramp Up Its Web Site, MoMA Loosens Up  (External site)

The New York Times   •  March 5, 2009

MoMA opens its virtual doors. Museums are reaching out in creative ways to patrons who never set foot in the door. MoMA joins trailblazers like the Brooklyn Museum and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis to make its collection more accessible on the Web.

Many of you will have seen this, but it's good to see cultural institutions getting encouraged this way with coverage in the NYTimes. If you already knew about the renovated site, just go to the MOMA Voices section for some charming clips of MOMA staff and their views of the museum. Cartwheels in the galleries . . . indeed. ( Michalko)

Why Ideals Are the New Business Models  (External site)

Harvard Business Publishing   •  March 13, 2009

Business models are out—value creation is in. Umair Haque, of the Havas Media Lab, says the ideal of revamping business models for competitive advantage is what got us into this mess in the first place, and that only by abandoning tired, old, 20th century thinking and going back to basic ideals like freedom, peace, fairness and justice, can we emerge from this economic slump with a sustainable plan for the future. Be sure to click on Haque's lecture recently presented at the Daytona Sessions.

What's relevant here is the call for a return to creating something valuable in the first place and letting that value be shaped by our ideals. Libraries desperately need to rethink their value and we already have a framework of ideals within which to do it. Save the lecture that is hotlinked above for a Friday. The laws of constructive capitalism make sense in our world, as well. ( 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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