Mass-media, Nerds, and College Essays

Gencon 2014 banner from www.gencon.com
Gencon 2014 banner
from www.gencon.com

Journalism is doing just fine, thanks — it’s mass-media business models that are ailing GigaOm August 26, 2014

Gencon: My journey into the heart of the nerd kingdom  Ars Technica August 28, 2014

27 Offbeat College Essay Topics  Mental Floss May 9, 2014 (stumbled upon)

A short piece with an opinion you may not share

A long form piece about a place and event that I (and most of you) will never experience

A list featuring wacky questions that are difficult to relate to success in the academy. (Michalko)

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See, Say and Do

 original article

Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say, and Do
SkipPrichard.com September 4, 2014

This is an interview by Skip Prichard with Dr. Kathy Cramer, author of the book, Lead Positive in which she reflects on the findings in her book about effective leadership. Among her observations is that they actually spend five times more attention and effort leveraging what is possible and what is positive in the moment than they do focusing on problems.

This is an IILR (Interview In Lieu of Reading) that gets very rapidly at the major takeaways from the volume. You’ll enjoy it even if you find some of the advice as daunting as it is admirably crisp c.f. ‘Speak with Sizzle”. (Michalko)

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Maybe you are as creative as anyone

original article

What I Wish I Knew About Creativity When I Was 20
Leadership – Fast Company September 4, 2014

A painter's hands
A painter’s hands

Kevan Lee goes back in time to give his 20-year-old self a bit of advice on investing in the creative process, coming up with new ideas, and producing good, fun work.

Lee is only in his thirties so he’ll have even more advice a bit later. Or maybe less.

In the interim I thought a number of these were quite well put. “Embrace constraints” and “Creativity is about making connections” resonated for me. Plus he quoted one of my favorites, Hugh McLeod, in that latter observation and pointed at this tweeted cartoon. (Michalko)

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College in a Box

original article

Textbook giants are now teaching classes.
Slate.com September 4, 2014

Gabriel Kahn surveys the sophisticated online packages being devised and delivered by publishing giants McGraw Hill,  Pearson PLC and others. While MOOCs have hoovered up the headlines, this incursion of packaged online education courses has been fast and deep.

This is not unexpected but it is a big challenge to the struggling middle tier of academic institutions. What’s my distinctive offer when the basic courses are coming via standardized packages and being delivered at wildly different prices? I remember attending a future of books, publishing and libraries event some years ago where the CEO of Pearson was quoted: “Content is mostly generic, particularly in education. There are only a few ways you can describe photosynthesis. It’s only the way you impart that information that’s different.”  Pearson was pretty confident even then that they were going to win. (Michalko)

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Libraries are not a victim of innovation but the lesson applies

 

The Linea Classic from http://www.lamarzocco.com
The Linea Classic from http://www.lamarzocco.com

original article

How To Avoid Being A Victim Of Your Own Innovation
Fast Company September 3, 2014

Larry Downes and Paul Nunes explain how coffee giant Starbucks almost put itself out of business with its own innovation. Here’s how CEO Howard Schultz saved the day.

Some folks may know this story but it is a good one. It’s rare that this kind of rescue is successful but it does happen – think Iaccocca at Chrysler and Jobs back at Apple. Worth thinking about how Schultz’s return to the in-store experiences that had made them successful may be applicable to libraries. The way we engage with our clients can feature the experience of the staff in exposing the collections and the local knowledge that makes their advice invaluable all while relying the full range of collections both local and licensed.

P.S. My local Peet’s always has a line – per this article the baristas are either incompetent or they are still using the old school machines. (Michalko)

P.P.S.  September 10 – I checked. They use two of the machines in the picture. There may also be a learning curve issue involved ;)

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Innovation by type and the numbers

Original article

Ten types of analytical innovation
Deloitte University Press August 6, 2014

http://www.doblin.com/
http://www.doblin.com/

Tom Davenport of Deloitte writes about the ten types of innovation and how they can be driven, supported, or measured with analytics.

This was interesting mostly because it introduced me to the nice typology of innovation

championed by this division of the Deloitte consulting firm. These go back to 2011 and are clearly summarized in this interactive graphic. Their Network, Structure and Customer Engagement types are variants of the Institutional , Infrastructure and Engagement innovations that Lorcan has been pointing libraries toward in recent presentations. (Michalko)

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What’s your e-blast for?

original article

What’s Coming Up, What Happened, How Can I Help, and What the Heck is this E-Blast For, Anyway?
Museum 2.0 August 27, 2014

This very short blog post is a reminder about how to construct regular organizational communications to your constituents that are actually engaging.

Certainly any of us who send out regular e-newsletters will agree that it is tough to find the balance between click-bait and mission-driven communication. We struggle with it in OCLC Research. Witness our What In The WorldCat? lists. Alien abductions or Collections of Distinction. (Michalko)

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VCs aren’t the only ones with delusions

original article

The four delusions that cost VCs money
Pando Daily August 29, 2014

Rick Lewis a partner at USVP explains how preconceived notions can get in the way and make it easy to dismiss an entrepreneur who could turn out be the next big thing.

This is short and worth the quick read. Some of the discussions about  technologies and innovations in the higher education sphere get subjected to very similar preconceived notions. Confronted with Massive Open Online Courses the professor says “I wouldn’t take one of those.” (Michalko)

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How wise is the crowd with its money?

original article

Crowdfunding is doomed – there are too many fingers in too many apple pies
The New Statesman August 26, 2014

Will Self looks at crowdfunding through the lens of the principles first enshrined in the James Surowiecki book Wisdom of Crowds. Among other things he concludes  “My suspicion is that the efficacy of crowdfunding will in fact decline in inverse correlation to its success. Put differently: the more money that’s raised, the less wise will be the crowd that raises it. I call this theory…“The Idiocy of the $49,000 Apple Pie”.

Will Self is always interesting to me. There are, of course, contrary opinions including this from Mike Merrill The Wonderful Madness of Crowds I haven’t ever put up funds in this fashion. The only time I was tempted was to fund a new recording by Dr. Lonnie Smith - and he raised the money even before I could hit the button. (Michalko)

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