At OCLC Symposium (arrived 40 minutes late. came directly from airport. traffic, etc.).
These are pretty rough notes. Overall, it was a very interesting program on the role of libraries in the long tail, with a variety of viewpoints. Wish I hadn’t been late. I tend to be kind of worried about this issue. One questioner at the end asked about why can’t public libraries have the same depth of video holdings as Netflix. I’ve never considered that as a goal. But it was a clarion call from a user.
The old truism that popularity has a lock on markets is over. Libraries can be guardians of the long tail, look at ways to provide access for our patrons, use it ourselves…so many ideas!
Chicago Hilton Grand Ballroomâ€”very grand. Lacy gold balconies, chandeliers everywhere. Great orange OCLC tote bags swag. Scream beach bag.
Chris Andersonâ€”Mining the Long Tail. Thin, very short military cut. I canâ€™t help itâ€”he seems very wired :). He is Wiredâ€™s chief editor.
Tail end of talk. Man, can he talk fast. PowerPoint slides just crammed with ideas. No way I can keep up. However, there is an excellent 4-color glossy handout, that I am hoping will be up via OCLC somehow.
â€œNow playing, every movie ever made.â€
â€œForget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.â€
Exponential curves all over the place.
Where I came in, comparing the â€œwater cooler effectâ€ in the 50s to now.
Water cooler effect–#1 show today wouldnâ€™t make top 10 in 1950.
Radio influence on music is over. Radio used to make the hits. Ipod = customized, personal radio station.
Presumptions of markets=wrong.
Different incentivesâ€”different hopes. Bands for fun; not to be Madonna or U2. Money is not driving incentive. Pro-amsâ€”mix of pros and amateurs.
Less concern with Intellectual Property issues at bottom of curveâ€”creative commons.
Economics vs. reputation or psychological incentives
â€œOur children will never know the meaning of â€œout of printâ€.
BookSurgeâ€”print on demand
Expansion of virtual inventory
Used books classic secondary market; how will increasing liquidity affect primary market?
GreaseMonkey plugin for Firefoxâ€”credit Jon Udell
LibraryLookup reminders via RSS/B-lines
The tragically understudied economics of abundance?
Implications of Mooreâ€™s Law â€“waste storage, bandwidth
Waste transistors made Apples, PCs, made computers cheep & fun
Next Speaker: John Blossom. Seems older, more mainstream corporate, a little rotund. Golf shirt.
Intro: Content Management System at Reuters
John loves libraries. Grandma was librarian. (Apparently Chris Anderson opened his remarks saying he knows nothing about libraries? No experience?)
What makes content valuable?
Content+tech+people=Vcontent i.e., valuable content
Long tail=content that finds value in highly contextual circumstances
Libraries=long tail experts
Contentâ€”from rare to raining
Need to create useful buckets
Distribution: the new aggregation.
Points of value more evenly distributed.
â€œGood content is where you find it.â€
The most value is in personal contacts.
Content wants to be valued.
Value is meeting needs where they are.
All content value is local.
. Concentrate on contextualization, not collection ownership.
. Concentrate on digital objectsâ€”the it-ness, XML, web applications
. Concentrate on higher levels of service for base content!
Moving from hierarchical control to distributed context control.
Broad view of a communityâ€™s value is key.
Develop partnerships with local online content developers.
Be source agnostic.
Libraries canâ€™t out-search search engines. We need to be masters of the finite, not the infinite.
Integrate user input. Community-vetted local content.
Use usage information to drive economics.
2:55 pm 15 minute break. Water. Milky Way Midnights! Twix. Tootsie Rolls. My kind of spread.
Chuck Richard, VP and Lead Analyst, Outsell
Golf shirt, khakis, PhD.
Deep experience with libraries during PhD
Brings up Chrisâ€™ earlier analogy of filters & noise.
Long Tail messages:
â€œThat damned, elusive Pimpernel.â€
Search engines not so greatâ€”disconnect between image and reality. Popularity no longer has a lock on profitability, but it does have a lock on search engines.
Blogs are a fabulous referral system.
Chart showing that management is spending more time on gathering information than on analyzing it.
There was a bunch in here that I did not get at all basically.
At OCLC Symposium 2
I could type in my notes, but they donâ€™t make much sense, and are interspersed with huhs. Oh well. I think his overriding point was that the signal to noise ratio is very high for our clients (his term). The libraryâ€™s role is to be the Automated Long Tail Sweeper (ALTS).
Ah, finally caught the moderatorâ€™s name: Phyllis Spies. OCLC?
Next up: Nancy Davenport, CLIR president
Following Chrisâ€™ set up, goes way back with libraries J
Last couple of years, has become an Ebay habituÃ©, trying to understand it. Started searching for a handbag of her motherâ€™s from the 1940s. Talked about becoming a smart finder as compared to a good searcher. Using common misspellings.
Libraries are in the business of satisfying users over time. We use little bits from taxes or tuition to build collectionsâ€”all about scarcity.
With monthly leases on electronic resources, the most used items become the cheapest. The least used become pricey.
Long tail ramifications for libraries:
.geography disappears in terms of searchability, but not for access.
.last copy status/negotiation
.impact on collection development budgets
.peer review value to academic community
Cost of electronic resource distribution is marginalâ€”needs to be better reflected.
â€œPlace as library.â€
Need for visionary leadership.
Library skills to discipline explosion of choice.
Deep digital scholarship.
Q&Aâ€”couldnâ€™t catch most names or affiliationsâ€”sorry!
Arthur from OCLC Middle East?
Comment on value of long tail in libraries where it is not monetized (unlike Ebay).
Chrisâ€”long tail is on a continuum between commercial and noncommercial, i.e., New York Times coexists with blogs.
Johnâ€”itâ€™s all about what value is provided to the community
Nancyâ€”cooperation; intra-institutional collaborationâ€”scholarâ€™s email messages most important repositories.
Johnâ€”due to new regulations, commerce must now archive.
Chrisâ€”Conde Nast deletes all email after 90 days (me–think of Edmund Wilsonâ€™s correspondence!)
Johnâ€”special libraries really looking at and questioning usage
Karen Schneider, www.lii.org
Role for open access journals in long tail?
Nancyâ€”yes, just different because missing peer review (?)
Open ownership presents questions re: preservation and maintenance
Norman from Library Journal:
Implications of Netflixâ€”on ILL, or popular item funds
Nancyâ€”Ill growing. ARL are net borrowers. OCLC role.
Chrisâ€”used book stores provide the long tail for Amazon
Johnâ€”is the collection â€œrightâ€ enough (versus big enough)
Karen Kaplan (Cornell)
Implications of making more systematic ontologies of people?
Described Cornell project to use social networks to create content system
Chrisâ€”previous attempts such as Friendster didnâ€™t work because they donâ€™t cover work.
Johnâ€”powerful colleague networks vs. Patriot Act issues
Nancyâ€”Cornell not being source agnosticâ€”looking for best sources
Chuckâ€”only attempts in commerce world minor
Johnâ€”source agnostic doesnâ€™t mean not about quality.
Internet doesnâ€™t preserveâ€”esp. Federal Deposit Library Program
Nancyâ€”no argument. Digital just present new preservation challenges
Chrisâ€”Google cache, Internet Archive. Permalink, which is why blogosphere works.
Johnâ€”yeah Brewsterâ€”Internet Archive