Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Learning from the library

Edited quotes from a blog by a librarian, teaching other librarians about new technology. Try to substitute the word "journalist" for librarian:

I had conversations with so many passionate and motivated librarians that were just so disheartening. One lovely woman even burst into tears. “You don’t know how much your talk meant to me and gave me new hope. I’ve been trying to get our management to look at these things for years, but ... I’m sorry to cry. My tears aren’t because of you. They’re just from all my frustrations.”

This type of frustration I heard echoed in almost every conversation (but thankfully not all) I had over the past three days. ... I’m beginning to wonder if what the profession really needs is just to give some administrators a good swift kick in the head. Those that I spent my time talking with clearly got all the 2.0 concepts, in fact they were apostles. But after trying to move their libraries forward for the past year or so, they felt stippled and oppressed by stale management and old world politics.

My heart melted a bit every time I heard a story from a passionate librarian whose gallant efforts to provide new and fresh services were crushed by the old guard. Clearly things need to change… but I’m struggling even myself with exactly just how?

The answers I know aren’t simple, but my sense is that these woes can be summed up in one question … Is your library, your management, your leadership culture built around policies and practices that “control” or are they open and flexible to “empower” both employees and your customers?

...It’s hard to fight battles through small change, but with enough small battles, it creates some erosion. And the thing about erosion is ... that if it continues long enough, it eventually leads to an avalanche of new opportunity!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Our bloggers want to know...

Questions from Mary Newsom, one of our most successful bloggers:
Is my blog worth my time? How many hits am I getting? Is it serving the higher vision of my paper? What is the higher vision? Do we care about community? Democracy?
How can I get more hits for my blog? Can someone come teach me and others quickly and efficiently how to get more hits? Can I get one quick class on audio and video to document a community meeting of leaders to talk about their part of town? Is that worth it? Would it be better for someone else to videotape that? Would audio be enough?
Should some of my fellow bloggers really be blogging? How many hits is enough?

Who's reading your blog?

I've added SiteMeter to this site, as an experiment to see whether it'll answer questions for our bloggers. Howard Weaver has had it for awhile, and all visitors can see who's visiting, what browser they're using, and how long they're staying on the site.
Click on the little thing that looks like a Rubic's Cube way at the bottom to look around.

Learning from another McClatchy person

Sorry, more good reading, for your spare time:
The blog by Kathleen McCoy, a Knight Fellow at Stanford. She's a McClatchy person learning about the online world. And she's using Lynda.com, the same stuff we've used some from Serena Fenton's class at UNC.
A report on who's succeeding with citizen journalism, from The Center for Citizen Media. It's been out at least since February, so you might've already seen it. Kathleen links to it from her blog. It's long, probably worth printing and reading off line. The link goes to a summary, where you can get a pdf.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The link list below

From Andria:
That list of further reading below is woefully inadequate. And I can say that since I posted it originally.

The basic ideas:
--Seek hands-on folks. When trying to find someone to read to learn about innovations, seek those who are actually doing the work.
--Beware consultants. Remember they're selling something.
--Seek diversity. It's not easy to find.
--Avoid feedback loops. When you run into a couple of bloggers or sites who appear to be feeding on each other in a continuous loop of links, drop one. Seek new ideas elsewhere.
--Find those who disagree. When you run into a blogger who is saying something contrary to everyone else, keep reading and coming back for more. Unless they're just contrary.