Friday, 27 February 2009

Beware the blog post that bites you...

A few days ago the Chief Executive of CILIP (the Chartered institute of Library and Information Professionals) posted a blog entry about Twitter. I suspect he rather wished he hadn't now. In it he rather arrogantly (in my view) suggested that social networking sites like Twitter had no place in "official" activity or communication, and that only interaction which took place in CILIP-sanctioned spaces (whatever they are) had any merit. Another blogger, Phil Bradley, posted a response, putting some very strong arguments against this view. Suddenly, the debate is all over Twitter - and people are already commenting that perhaps information professionals should be able to spot the potential reputational damage that can be caused by such posts. It didn't help that the CILIP blog only allowed members to comment, and only then after they had gone through a complex log-in process, such that some technically literate potential commenters couldn't figure out how to do it.

My personal view? He is so wrong. We have to embrace new technologies or we will never move forward - we have a departmental presence on Twitter, and an Information Commons one. A University one will follow soon. I don't mind who comments on this blog - comments are currently unmoderated (although I reserve the right to turn moderation on if I get hit by spammers). The days when we could control the way information was communicated have long gone - as this has proved. If you're not involved, then you're not stopping it happening - you're just not part of it, and will get left behind.


Anonymous said...

Definitely an own goal! In case readers get the wrong idea, however, note how library professionals took the lead in responding to this stuff. And note also how much further we have still to go in freeing up access to information, such as that currently hidden behind fee barriers - ie the vast bulk of the world's peer-reviewed research literature.


Chris Sexton said...

Hi Martin - agree totally. Own goal, but great to see how the profession has responded.