Research Publications Newsletters Above the Fold Above the Fold - 22 January 2015


Differentiation and Value Capture in the Internet Age • 19 November 2014

We are not Taylor Swift. This is a nice essay by Ben Thomson that is pretty articulate about the role of scale in content creation, delivery and discovery. He convinces me (not that I wasn't already) that scale must be there for discovery and that differentiation is really only available to the content creators whether they are artists, authors or focused publications. Only those can go directly to the public successfully.

Not unlike arts and educational institutions—MOMA or NYPL can proffer their brand directly. The rest of us better get together so we can deal with those who have true scale. (Michalko)



Interaction and Industrial Design Team Up to Serve the IoT

O'Reilly Radar • 24 November 2014

Texting parking meters, bus stops and rental cars. Oh my. This is a discussion with Martin Charlier, a design strategist with a unique distinction of having both interaction and industrial design experience.

What he's got to say about the team dynamics involved in product creation is directly relevant to the new service development work in which so many libraries are engaged. Plus this introduced me to the Google Physical Web project which has gone a long way towards making me more interested in the Internet of Things. I would love to get a polite text from my parking meter reminding me that it's time for a few more quarters. (Michalko)



When "Good Enough" is Not Good Enough • 6 January 2015

Do we have a "good enough" problem? Ethan Zuckerman makes the case that "good enough" is one of the biggest obstacles to innovation. It's only when problems get really intractable that we are willing to leapfrog to truly innovative solutions. As he says "When a nation faces problems where there are no good solutions, it often responds with a wave of innovation and infrastructure-building." That's why Kenya has a national system of payments based on mobile technologies and the USA does not.

I found Zuckerman's invocation of regulation and policy mandate as a prime mechanism for unsticking the "good enough" a very good reminder. We often assume that something that is demonstrably superior will be enough to unseat a "good enough" practice or technology. As one of the commenters observed if that were the case BetaMax would have ruled. In the library world some of our best opportunities for shedding the "good enough" are happening because of university policy changes or government mandates. (Michalko)



What Mom-and-Pop Stores Can Teach Grocery Chains • 10 November 2014

Does the library have "trip types"? The authors argue that to stave off online competitors, supermarkets should work with their suppliers and get back to personalized service. In the process they provide the history of supermarket emergence and evolution.

Not everything here is applicable to the challenges facing libraries but there are some ideas to stimulate reflection. They point out that the supermarket industry now focuses on trip types: the "stock up," the "fill in," and the "quick trip" rather than customer segments. What are the library equivalents? And their suggestion that a lot of high volume items disappear from the shelves, move to back room fulfillment and the floor space be used for customer interaction by product-type experts sounds a lot like some of the restructuring that some libraries have been doing. (Michalko)



Charts, Tech touch, Cowabunga

O'Reilly Radar • 24 November 2014

The Year in Management, Told in 20 Charts
HBR • 22 December 2014

The Communication Of The Future Is So Real You Can Touch It
Co.Design | business + design • 12 January 2015

Embiggening English: The Simpsons and Changing Language
OxfordWords blog • 17 December 2014

The first because all the charts tell an interesting story e.g., no one wants a smart, connected wine bottle.

The second because I was enchanted by these MIT Media Lab experiments in bringing the haptic into technology.

The third because they celebrated 25 years last month. A whole generation has now had access to that most cynically useful shrug: meh." (Michalko)



Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, OCLC Research is facilitating a focused discussion about metadata in finding aids within a scoped effort to produce what?

Get the answer.