Building a Well-Networked Organization

Innovation Tools • February 1, 2012

Talent search. This summary of a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article assigns four categories to describe the individuals who make up a workforce. And while top talent always draws a lot of attention, it's important to remember that every employee has something to offer the organization—the trick is figuring out how to manage and motivate someone's best efforts.

Strikes me that the real challenge is to uncover that "hidden talent" category, those who make significant contributions but don't surface on top talent lists. Surely this is as important as hidden collections? ( Smith-Yoshimura )

Get Content-Centric, or Be Disrupted in Search and Social

The Future Buzz • February 2, 2012

Everyone's a publisher. This blog by digital marketer Adam Singer reiterates the mantra of content-centric strategy. But note Singer's advice to "Match the appropriate medium to the individual"—not everyone is a born blogger, so adapting content creation to capitalize on individual strengths is a win-win.

We've all heard the chestnut "Content is King." At first glance, this piece might be viewed as yet another explication of that. But it isn't. It's more of an explanation to those who believe themselves to not be in the content business that they are. We here at OCLC Research certainly know we are in the content business (just look at all of our reports, videos, podcasts, etc.), and the libraries we serve are also waking up to that fact if they don't know it already. Producing content that your clientele is interested in is a good way to get eyeballs on your site and feet on your floor. In other words, a good way to help build success. ( Tennant)

Google and the Production of Curiosity

PopMatters • February 1, 2012

Cashing in on curiosity. Journalist Rob Horning points out that with the meteoric rise of Google and Facebook, human curiosity is "no longer a sign of our leisure; it's an enormously important economic factor." Are libraries the free alternative to the curiosity business?

Reflecting on the William Gibson NYT editorial, in light of the new Google privacy policy changes, Horning thought of Marx, whereas I'm inclined to think Orwell. Google takes human curiosity and turns it into capital, subjecting us to ubiquitous online surveillance. Google treats our personal identity as one of their fixed assets and we have to stop claiming to be self-created and learn to love the self the data tells us we are . . . In fact, instead of reading this, take some Soma and return to updating your Facebook status. ( Erway)

Innovation's Plateaus: Lessons Learned from Wikipedia

Forbes • January 30, 2012

On a roll. Innovations always seem new and exciting—until they're not. This brief look at innovation trajectories reminds us that a lot more time is spent coasting along plateaus than scaling the mountain.

The pattern noted here may common for successful innovations. Once the innovation has demonstrated its promise and is embedded in the work and lives of a system's users, further innovations may be disruptive, and not in a good way. Then again, that plateau only takes you so far. Eventually you can expect to encounter a cliff. Clay Christensen's recent The Innovative University is especially interesting reading on that topic. ( Washburn )

Why History Needs Software Piracy

Technologizer • January 23, 2012

Yo-ho-ho. In the face of publisher intransigence over digital copyright, is piracy the answer? Techno-blogger Benj Edwards notes that, "It may seem counterintuitive, but piracy has actually saved more software than it has destroyed. Already, pirates have spared tens of thousands of programs from extinction, proving themselves the unintentional stewards of our digital culture."

Benj Edwards makes a claim that pirating software is a form of digital preservation. Defunct software has been preserved as a result of illegal copying. I think the book equivalent would be the copying of works that will someday be orphaned. The problem with this logic is that publishers are unlikely to ever let a book become unavailable again. For little cost they can keep a potential revenue stream alive. I'm afraid digital preservation is not the right excuse for pirating books. ( LeVan)

Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, what special type of "hidden collection" might provide the opportunity for expanded accessibility?

Get the answer.