Friday, September 29, 2006

More, more, Godin.

Can I possibly point to Seth Godin's blog AGAIN!

It's just uncanny how this comment about museum's marketing issues can also be applied to libraries. See for yourself:

I think in every single case, what keeps museums from being remarkable:

a. the curators think the item on display is the whole thing. As a result, they slack off and do less than they should in creating an overall story

b. they assume that visitors are focused, interested and smart. They are rarely any of the three. As a result, the visit tends to be a glossed over one, not a deep one or a transcendent one

c. science museums in particular almost beg people NOT to think.

a)it's not just about books and computers, it's about what people can do with them...
b)we have not been very good at making it easy for our users to get at what they want (my OPAC sucks too...) nevermind encouraging them to discover "what else" is out there in library land.
c)we often want people to fit in OUR organization system and we expect them not to question it... We need to invite them to create their own experiences, and ask them to help us expand the definition of libraries.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

about expectations again...

Seth Godin forwards a good expample of "punish the whole for the sins of a few"

I really wonder how much they lost by having to deal with a few problems with the phone orders. How much will they loose now, by not taking phone orders at all.

It rings too familiar. At times, it's almost a reflex for some. I hear "Well... too bad some people ruin it for everyone!"
What depresses me most of all, is that much of our efforts to use technology to automate some parts of any service is so our people have more time to dedicate to the "people specific" aspects of the service.

We never implement a technology solution to eliminate a service; we wouldn't dream of it. We implement it so we can continue to serve our customers as well as they expect, even better. We like that computers are good at certain things, and we let them do those. It allows us to focus on the things that computers can't do.

This whole tragic example also reminds me of this and of the Darlene's important definition of radical trust:
Radical trust is about trusting the community. We know that abuse can happen, but we trust (radically) that the community and participation will work. In the real world, we know that vandalism happens but we still put art and sculpture up in our parks. As an online community we come up with safeguards or mechanisms that help keep open contribution and participation working.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Motorcycles and tattoos.

Ha! Thought this may get your attention...
You know me, you know my soft spots right?

They are dangerous, they are frowned upon in many circles, but you know what? They are perfectly legal. Maybe your mom never allowed you on a motorcycle but my daddy rides one.
My point here is that there are things that some of us like and enjoy doing that others don't like, understand or want their kids to do. But no one will make sure your wish for your children are followed everywhere when you aren't there... They can walk into a convenience store and buy candy, even if you forbid it. They can ride on the back of a friend's motorcycle. And when they get to be 18, if they walk into a tattoo parlor, no one will ask: "Is this OK with your mommy?" In one of his many great blog posts or presentations, Steven Abram's points to many similarity between "keeping your children safe online" and basic good parenting as it's always been. (I paraphrase here but: dialog, education, complicity, these are the things that work!)

I like this slide

I have no children and many think this is why I don't understand...
It makes me want to cry when I see managers/mommies undertaking the betterment of the entire planet by way of treating everyone like their children. I also truly believe that most people will simply meet your expectations and if you treat your co-workers, and YOUR CUSTOMERS like big babies who cannot think for themselves, they will likely act accordingly.

And really, if the idea that "you'd rather they get the information from you than on the street corner" is still floating around in parent/teenage land; isn't the thought that maybe there is actually a library on that street corner a least a little comforting?

I guess I am really rambling now,
...more to come tomorrow.

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