Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Web 2.0 Changes the World

There's one session from CISG last week that I haven't blogged about - and it's the one I had a starring role in! Well, I say starring role, I was mentioned a couple of times and a rare photo of me rapper sword dancing appeared in it. It was from my mate Brian Kelly from UKOLN, and was entitled What if Web 2.0 Really Does Change Everything. Blogging about it is made considerably easier as Brian has published his talk and his slides on his blog. As usual it was entertaining and thought provoking - I thought he was particularly brave to describe the audience (predominantly MIS based) as slow moving and controlling, and not particularly innovative, risk taking, agile or user focused. He did of course recognise that you couldn't take many risks with running some backend processes such as the payroll. He then went on to explore how the sector needed to change and embrace Web 2.0 and social network technologies, moving from a risk averse to a risk management culture.

In the very valuable networking that goes on over coffee and in the bar at these conferences, Brian, myself and others had many discussions about some of the opportunities these technologies provide, and some of the issues perceived as barriers to adopting them. I think it's fair to say that there's a number of us who are very frustrated and at times depressed at the lack of enthusiasm and adoption in parts of the sector, made worse by the knowledge that there are still parts of our sector (and large parts of other sectors) actively blocking access to them.

1 comment:

ScHARR Library said...

I can't agree more with these sentiments. As a keen user of Web 2.0 and uSpace I can see every day practices that frustrate me. I can understand the main worries by academics and clerical staff - that "I don't have the time", "I work well as I do now", "They're just time wasting toys", "It's a fad", I'll wait for something better".
My answers to each of these are:
You will get the time back when you use the right tools - plus we all have to learn the latest operating system, version of MS Office etc.
You can always work better
Some of them are, but it depends how you use them.
Some of the tools are fads, but the mainstream is pure evolution.
There will always be something better.
We eirther move forward or become dinosaurs - and we know what happened to them ;-)
As you know, the reality is, especially with Web 3.0, The Semantic Web, Cloud Computing, the revolution/evolution will happen.
We can't tame the beast that is Web 2.0, but we can get a saddle on it and see where it takes us surely.
For me personally, I can see younger, new academics of the future coming in working in a totally different way to what most of us know, and that could help or at the very worst enhance the two-tier information rich and information poor class system that is happening right now.
At least we don't have the issues that large organisations such as the NHS have, where there is a great reluctance to invest time in these tools and resources. There is a mistrust that staff will be drowned in a mass of Facebook, rather than use these wonderful tools to collaborate, communicate, teach, learn and in turn enhance the collective intelligence, taking the organisation forward, if a little slowly.
I'll get off my soapbox now...