This week I’m at the Kentucky Higher Education Computing Conference.
For the most part, it’s been a good conference. It’s been a good team experience (5 of us from Asbury here) and there have been some good presentations.
I went to a really good presentation yesterday about using “social tools” on campus – in particular, in libraries. He talked about using IM and SMS for tech support. That was interesting. And using Wikis as a collaborative tool for team classwork. I liked that.
It was interesting that almost every technology that he mentioned, he’d ask the audience who was aware of, or using, those technologies. I raised my hand. There were a *few* exceptions, but not many.
One thing that he mentioned that’s worth remembering was Library Thing, which allows readers to categorize books, rather than librarians. I imagine this will make the librarians cringe, but it’s a fantastic idea. There was a thing on the NPR tech podcast a few weeks ago where they talked about tagging and folksonomies. The example that he gave was very useful, but I’ve forgotten what it was. But it went something like: “When you look at a website about seaweed, you think it’s about alternate food sources. I think it’s about sea life. My strange friend Bob thinks that it reminds him of a hat he saw, so he thinks it’s about funny hats.” By allowing the users to recategorize stuff, you increase the value of that resource to them. Maybe. Perhaps it remains to be seen.