Institutions

Getting to the stuff

Lorcan 2 min read

This picture is from a talk by Chris Beckett about how publishers should optimize their web presences for use in changing network environments (some more about this below). I used it in a presentation at the Montana State University Libraries Symposium, where colleagues from academic librarians in Montana discussed challenges and futures in the context of network disintermediation and reintermediation. I thought it was very appropriate to the topic.
In questions, there was a suggestion that libraries faced similar issues in relation to their own web presences and that with some adjustment, the picture might equally apply to them. Most library users really wanted to get directly at what interested them and not necessarily be detained by help, navigation or other features. I have used it elsewhere also with similar discussion afterwards.
At one stage, we spoke about the user not coming to the library building any more. Now I hear more about the user not coming to the library website anymore.
sis.png
Here is what I said about the Chris Beckett presentation before:

Chris Beckett’s latest – The New World Order in Collection Development: The Commercial Perspective [pdf] – is a good place to look for an overview of concerns. He has some slides showing the systems framework through which library resources are typically being made available (13, 20) and showing how the publisher sees their web users (21, 22). He has a suggestive slide on the dynamics of social software (68). What caught my eye was his ‘what it means for publisher’ slide, coming after a familiar round-up of Web 2.0 stuff:

  • Your site will become increasingly invisible to readers
  • You need to optimise your content for the search interfaces that users use including the library world
  • But more importantly you need to optimise it for the research world:
    • Your content will continue to be important as long as you expose it to those social software tools and enable user generated content and sharing e.g. Mashups
    • But this will require better and more flexible business models that can provide realtime access to your metadata and primary data

So, publishers should be interested in optimizing presentation for resolvers and metasearch, but this may be less important in the medium term than optimizing for the ways in which researchers use network information. Social bookmarking sites and search engines become important in this context, as does opening up APIs to allow materials to be remixed with other applications. This seems somewhat ahead of practice at the moment, but it is interesting to see it laid out as advice in this way. [Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog: The pursuit of users]

Related entries:

Share
Comments
More from LorcanDempsey.net
University Futures are shaping Library Futures
Institutions

University Futures are shaping Library Futures

Libraries are not ends in themselves, but serve the interests of the organizations of which they are a part. As university emphasis varies around research, education and career poles, we can expect to see libraries evolve to support those emphases more strongly.
Lorcan 8 min read
icon

Follow along

Deep dives and quick takes. Libraries, society, culture, technology, ...

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to LorcanDempsey.net.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.