Saturday, January 30, 2010

How does web2.0 build better business?

In a sec I'll tell how I came to read the abstract by Megan Mulherin, then a MLIS student, that made me ask myself to little avail and now you, the following questions:

*Which daily management challenges can be better faced & overcome with web2.0 technologies?
*How does web2.0 help a company better position themselves against competitors? and
*How does web 2.0 help a company create and sustain a more robust form of management?

The only daily management challenges I can guess that web2.0 would contribute to are those of self-promotion or positioning and perhaps (the 2.0 aspect) communication with consumers. I wish the abstract had been more specific. I'm still stumped though how this creates "more robust form of management". Unless she means that for a business to be managing their public (web2.0) dialogue with customers *well* the company will have to be responsive to customers, quick to fix problems and are there other qualities?

Has that actually happened? That a company did not have a robust form of management prior to the introduction of web2.0?

Once again it was my Bloglines that led me.
I absolutely love that Michael Stephens uses web2.0 for his LIS course, and has his students use blogs and research web2.0 tools. Naturally Michael was proud when a student blog was highlighted by ... hm... "BestBizWeb Enewsletter" I say "hm" because the highlights iterate "our view" but who 'they' are is not indicated. This enewsletter appears to be an offshoot of a publication "Information Advisor" declared to be edited by Robert Berkman, which also uses "we" and "our" throughout, but which does not (in the sample issue) contain the names of any other contributors. That seems shonky to me.

Still, I'm glad the blog was highlighted because I've learned some of the interesting activities Michael's students get to do, like Brand Monitoring.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

RPL for CULLB602C & Library2.0

Have you ever applied for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)... would you describe it as Fun Fun Fun? Hm, not sure I would either :D

Still, that's what I've been doing for the past few months...and much of the process has been Fun.

Since I began studying for an Advanced Diploma in Library and Information Services I have been avoiding one particular subject: "CULLB602C Use, evaluate and extend own information literacy skills". Why?

Because the major assessment task for the unit appeared to be even worse than the nature of assessment I detested in undergraduate degree courses: not just a trivial essay but a completely irrelevant (to the industry) trivial essay. To be produced just for the sake of demonstrating "conducting research", "communication skill" and "appropriate referencing" - as if none of these attributes have been demonstrated in any of our other unit assessments. Only this was the longest individual piece of writing required in the course. (Other units' assessment tasks often had no number-of-words constraints and depending on the student's extent of research may (in fact for me did) produce longer pieces of writing.)

All this time I have wondered in what way that kind of assessment related to the title & purpose of the unit. So in 2009, facing the prospect of having to do the unit in 2010, I asked a current student of the unit for the elements of competence. The elements and criteria of competence (pdf) of this unit are interesting - they are relevant to the industry and competence in them is I believe important for performance as librarians. (By librarian I mean the Cambridge and Oxford definition not the more recent and questionably-motivated redefinition). Unfortunately I did not and do not believe that the assessment tasks used in recent years appropriately challenged students or allowed them to develop and substantiate even half of the criteria of competence that the unit appeared designed to achieve and which would be valuable for their careers.

Also while I read it occurred to me that as a result of my work and play I could already demonstrate competence in all of those elements and their criteria: I would apply for RPL.

Along the way I would wrestle with a term I have long detested: "information literacy" - I refuse to append the third word often thrown on the end as it is in the name of the unit, because the effect makes me shudder. Naturally it is a fight I am in no position to win, but the attempt involved research, reflection and writing. All of which I felt would be constructive: personally, professionally, and for my application for RPL.

Do you think a series of posts could be good evidence? I wasn't brave enough. Not that I have an audience of whom to be shy, after all I write randomly, and for myself mainly. I did not know who would assess my application so I could not check whether they would be comfortable with that sort of evidence, although I did eventually refer to some of my posts (particularly those on citing online sources). Although it wasn't just the assessor's comfort... the thought of having what I hoped would demonstrate my competence available for anyone to view (and potentially question) was a little too scarey. Now I wish I had tried it because I have come to feel that blogging would be an excellent medium through which students could explore, develop and demonstrate the competencies of the unit.

I'd still like to post some of the thoughts I had during my application, and the assessor has since given approval, but I'm not sure how to or even whether it is worth doing so retrospectively.

Amongst other evidence, I referred to my explorations and subsequent use of web2.0 tools. I kept fantasising how a program somewhat like 23 Things could might help library students to "use, evaluate and extend" their "information literacy".

Excitingly, during my interview, the assessor indicated that my application for RPL and its reasons (ie the poor relevance of the assessment task) had contributed to a review of how the unit is presented at UB. Apparently it will now be restructured and among other changes will involve aspects of ... oh let's call it "Library 2.0 stuff" for want of a better phrase. I hope I get to see how it changes.

Around about a LIS Curriculum

Post begun April 2009:
Strolling through the months' old Bloglines that accumulated while the boys and I were busy moving last year, I try not to stop for long on every interesting post... and that is difficult, particularly when people are kindly sharing their notes from conference sessions and I want to absorb the details. Sigh.

Still, I had to stop when I reached the following slide from Meredith Farkas' presentation at The future is here, library conference in Iceland. (I'd link to that but it was a pdf and it seized for me so I shan't).

Aren't these all subjects that can be learned through professional development, self-education and a capacity to read, experiment, reflect and apply critical thinking?... aside from Management (and possibly not even that), none of these require "higher" education, merely a capacity for informacy, action, reflection and critical thinking.

I've delayed posting this for almost a year. Each time I've begun to contemplate how much of these topics have been addressed throughout my Advanced Diploma course, and independent study I've been distracted. It seems absurd to me that our industry requires a library-degree (or worse a Masters!) for qualification to work as an entry-level librarian, when the job description could be filled by intelligent people with demonstrable knowledge and skills obtained through other means.

So there are a few themes I'd like to explore at some point, though not yet:
  1. The actual skills and knowledge required in the most fundamental librarian positions - (the variety of ways such skills might be obtained and demonstrated/outcomes of LIS program) = should a degree (or whatever) be essential for a librarian position?
  2. If there are certain topics desired to be learned prior to employment as a librarian which aren't in a LIS program does this necessarily mean the subjects should be in a LIS program? Might it be more logical to reconsider the required qualifications for librarianship?
  3. In what ways are LIS Advanced Diploma and Degree programs significantly different and what difference, if any, does this make in job-performance-capacity?
Considering a discussion with my son today about "Don't sweat the small stuff" and "it's all small stuff", I might leave those ideas in the air. Feel free to comment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BBQ like you've never BBQ'd before

Update Feb 2010: I've been informed that George Patterson Y&R were the agency who created this year's poster series for Hooray :-D I love their VB and LG ads.

BBQ like you've never BBQ'd before
Originally uploaded by moonflowerdragon.

Over the weekend, The Courier (Ballarat) displayed an impressive, amusing ad from that almost has me planning a BBQ. Unfortunately I couldn't find a good copy of the image anywhere on the Australia Day website, and elsewhere only a scan Viktor Blanke recorded, so my lovely sister scanned the newspaper ad for me.

[Update Australia Day: We did have a BBQ and the boys re-enacted the patriotic advertisement for me]

BBQ for Australia
BBQ for Australia
Originally uploaded by moonflowerdragon.

I've been trying to identify the patriotic propaganda image upon which I believe this is based. Something from the Second World War? At first I thought... the image asking women to take up jobs to support Australia's war effort? But then I found that floating image:

and realised it is not quite the one this is probably inspired by. Can anyone help?

Ah, I searched again and Paul D Wade felt it was "reminiscent of the communist worker posters".

Perhaps like this before it became a mousepad


No I'm almost sure I've seen one of a very similar structure, perhaps American?

Can you identify the image this harkens to?

Here is one:
"A People's Army Has No Rival"

although I'm still sure there are others.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wondering about Second Life Photography Ethics

Update: 1 April 2010:

Thanks to Ordinal Malaprop, I am now informed that Linden Labs has decreed a Snapshot and Machinima Policy.

Thus if I read it correctly we (although the preamble refers to artists, that term is not defined and the policy itself grants permission to "You", defined as residents who receive permission, so I guess that means anyone with a camera button) are permitted (so long as we first check in land covenant that it does not prohibit snapshots) to capture and use snapshots of anything displayed in-world.

I had to work out how to do that in the new viewer:

In January 2010 I wrote:

Since returning to Second Life I've been searching for whether there are any particular rules or ethical considerations for publishing snapshots taken within SecondLife?

Would Second Life photographers, bloggers, creators, artists who might happen this way leave a comment with their opinions?

Some of my thoughts at this point:

  1. Places: there are so many beautiful places, but they are someone's intellectual property... is it permissible to go snapping shots and sending them to Flickr in admiration? Is it actually comparable to taking photos of RL private land and buildings?
    • Assuming this is the case, I've begun posting snapshots of my Second Life travels to Flickr.

    • Today I chatted with Pipsqueak Fiddlesticks whose elegant creativity (her own and her choice and placement of others') at College of DuPage I have recently discovered and admired. I asked, in relation to SL landscape photography: whether the fact that objects are created puts any object in SL in the same category as artworks, which I believe require (or should require) permission before and attribution with publication of snapshots.
      We briefly notioned a scale of the nature of works: from art at one end to journalism at another. Pipsqueak said: "does a painter give credit to the company who made her paint" and "did Ansell Adams credit the creator of mountains?" We agreed though, that even in landscape photography there are times when acknowledging an object creator is courteous: such as if an object (say: a tree) is the focal point of the snapshot.

  2. People: my personal ethics require permission to publish from anyone of whom I take a photo or who may appear in a photo. I know the world at large does not agree, but I wish it would :D --- however this will present a challenge if/when I want to blog about an event with a photo. I spent some time pondering how to achieve getting permission from a group of people. No tidy solutions yet.
    • So far no groups, but in 3/4 situations where I wanted other people in my photos I have obtained their permission both for the photo and for the right to post the photo to Flickr. For example:
      Cardboard cuppa with Troy Aristocarnas
      Cardboard cuppa with Troy Aristocarnas Flickrd with permission.

    • I admit that I do not recall obtaining permission from Clarissima and Kahuna Schumann to Flickr an image of them giving a concert at Music Island. While I believe it was right to not IM them mid-performance, and probably not right to ask mid-performance? I could have asked the event organiser in IM and if I did do so I have forgotten. Another aspect involved was that I wanted to email to Flickr and didn't want to risk losing the snapshot if I was disconnected while trying to gain permission. I could have saved to disk until I had permission.

  3. Things: I was viewing some wonderful sculptures the other day month... If I were in a RL museum or gallery I believe photos are a no-no. Does that apply in SL? Unresolved at that point I opted not to snap.
    • So far I am assuming obtaining permission is the ethical approach. Before taking photos of Ritchey's Sealey's works at his gallery in Second Life I obtained his permission to snap and display at Flickr.
    • Walking past a
      Walking past a "snow gum" (2010). Ritchey Sealy kindly resized Snow Gum so I could try to appear to walk among the gums, and gave permission for Flickring the snapshot.
    • Flickr description: "If you've walked through the Australian bush - Ritchey Sealy's works bring back all the sensations and memories: the heat, the dry dusty air, the prickly scratch of dry grass through sandal or socks, the smell of eucalypt, the bullants. If you're more familiar with our beaches, rocky coast, rivers or hills, Ritchey has captured those sensations too. I am very happy to have discovered Ritchey Sealy's main gallery in Second Life. I've been back a few times, and anticipate repeated visits. Ex-pats: stop by for a touch of home."
    • Interestingly, in the discussion mentioned below, Lem Skall suggested that the limitations on photography in museums may be less about copyright and more about paranoia (effect of light on exhibits, and examination of security measures).

Next I'll try to remember to check whether the other person prefers to limit my usual CC attrib-noncommercial-sharealike licence. Indeed I should check that with artists who give permission too.

I really ought to have read more before posting. In relation to contents 1 and 3, there was excellent discussion a couple of years ago stimulated by Bettina Tizzy in her post Proper attribution of images taken in virtual worlds at Not Possible in Real Life. Bettina asked "Where do we draw the line? What is the correct (and legal) way to attribute photography and video shot in virtual worlds?"

In the first few days of that discussion, aspects included:
  • who is the artist? - with related issues of copying or the work/skill/talent involved in obtaining a good photograph of another's creation (Zha Ewry) and inspiration (Venk)
  • who owns the image?
  • what are the obligations for attribution?
  • what are the limits of copyright (Ordinal Malaprop's opinion {expressed before Benjamin had his say} was interesting; as was Solo Mornington's on the rights obtained by purchase, although I don't agree that "come see my land" inherently includes "and take footage of it that you can use for whatever you like")
  • is it simply a matter of politeness?
  • does it ultimately all go to intention and context? (Alpha Auer)
  • for example, is it really only an issue if you have a commercial objective (Lem Skall), or hope to make any sort of gain (Alpha Auer and again)? Princess Ivory, referring to the first point above about how with work and modification a piece of art becomes hers, claims commercial gain is irrelevant - ignoring the issue of whether she first had responsibility to obtain permission to make use of someone else's work to make her art.
  • can we take guidance from the crediting practice in films: credit only those who create specifically for this film? (Zinc)
  • similar notions of the scale from journalism to art that Pipsqueak and I touched on (theresecarfagno)
  • methods of attribution (Alpha Auer recommends for using tags at Flickr)
  • permission is separate to attribution, but here rose the issue of how onerous it would be to gain permission (Lem Skall) although neither law nor ethics read obey unless it is too hard, and as Alpha Auer pointed, if a real life photographer can do it.
  • Does the different physics/realities between RL photography and SLcomputergraphicdisplay make a difference beyond semantics (A. Hosho thinks so, though his only point about ethics is in relation to "found art" & modification in relation to which Alpha Auer points out that SL prims are not in the public domain.)
  • The Linden Labs Terms of Service (TOS) was quoted at length by A.Hosho; although it did not seem to me to support his? point of view: it gave creators intellectual property rights (but not data ownership) limited only by licence to Linden Labs to use creations at their discretion in or out-world and to other users of Second Life "to use your Content for all purposes within the Service". Within, not outside the service.
However, eventually a "legal mind" Benjamin Duranske took the legal thread over to his blog suggesting that attribution is irrelevant, and that copyright includes rights over derivative works and thus requires permission. Lem Skall suggested there that when SL photography is transformative (a term that I gather from his quote of wikipedia arose in a decision not in the Act, and which might be a fair use) rather than derivative then copyright is not breached. A word Lem did not highlight from that quote is aims - with which the wikipedia article identifies the purpose (particularly commercial) as a key issue. That article also suggests that if claiming fair use in this way the onus is on the creator of secondary work to "demonstrate how it either advances knowledge or the progress of the arts through the addition of something new".

Although Kean Kelly at Dreambits: claimed the discussion was about greed & profits I disagree - it was intended and remained mostly about acknowledgement, credit, recognition.

Please readers: help guide my ethical conduct :-D

Monday, January 11, 2010

Articulate: Magellan Strait

Alex and I trounced Div and Luke at Articulate twice last night.

And yet there were many things (particularly world and people) that none of us could describe well enough for others to recognise. So now I (and future team members) have a new curriculum!

Study for today is the Strait of Magellan:

Wikipedia mentions that "it is considered a difficult route to navigate because of the unpredictable winds and currents and the narrowness of the passage."

Did you notice the mention of Francis Drake in the kwout above? He was one of the people the boys could not describe, I'll be checking my own possible memories about him another time. For now, an image of the Portuguese explorer after whom the strait is named:


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