The first because it’s about having to rely on pirated reprints in order to write a book about the Wonder Woman comics. (The Secret History of Wonder Woman was on my year end list of intriguing articles. )
The second because if your institution has a social media presence you will certainly find that you have looked clueless in one or more of the ways Kawasaki identifies.
The third because it is so spectacularly wrong and clueless. (Michalko)
Adobe Invites Others to Use Its Innovation-in-a-Box Idea
February 9, 2015
This article describes a program known as Kickbox in which Adobe provides customized red boxes, each of which includes a prepaid credit card and other tools designed to help turn an idea into a shippable product.
Adobe has now released Kickbox to the rest of the world so you can implement it at your organization using materials that you can download and print. There is also a good online workshop on their site that walks you through the process. Very cool. This reminded me of Design Thinking for Libraries which is a toolkit for patron-centered design created by IDEO. It does for spaces what Kickbox wants to do for products. (Michalko)
Why fax won’t die
February 10, 2015
In many businesses in older industries, from law firms to medical labs, fax machines aren’t seen as some ‘80s anachronism but as an efficient, reliable, and mostly secure way to communicate. This article explains why the fax infrastructure still exists and how it’s getting used in an era of tablets, smartphones and apps.
Apparently a whole middleware industry is emerging to allow modern personal technologies to interact with that infrastructure. That’s probably how the lunch order you placed actually showed up in front of the deli counterman. Part way into this article you’ll find the sound of a fax, from “What Sound Looks Like,” by Khara Cloutier. Go to her Vimeo page to hear other old technologies and see them pictured. (Michalko)
How the Photocopier Changed the Way We Worked—and Played
In 1959, Xerox released the “914”—the first easy-to-use photocopier – expecting customers to make customers would make about 2,000 copies a month—but users easily made 10,000 a month, and some as many as 100,000. Before the 914 machine, Americans made 20 million copies a year, but by 1966 Xerox had boosted the total to 14 billion.
It’s good to have the genesis story repeated briefly. More intriguing is the pattern of take-up and the diffusion of the technology through the corporate, cultural and personal domains. The author ends with some provocative speculation about whether 3-D printing is at the Xerox 914 stage now and whether similar patterns will obtain. Some of the 3D weird junky trinkets that I’ve seen are the equivalent of the stupid cartoons that circulated through offices because duplicating was so simple. (Michalko)
How can archives add value for newspapers and TV?
The Buttry Diary
February 20, 2015
Steve Buttry at LSU’s Mann School of Communication writes an intriguing post based on this provocative observation: “If I ran a major legacy media org. I’d think: 1. What separates us from a startup? Archives. 2. Are we doing everything with our archives?”
Granted this is about how ‘old media’ can leverage their archives to provide unique features and products. It seems to me that almost all of these ideas are worth considering in the context of a university archives. Archives as asset. (Michalko)
The second because I had no idea there was a person who coined the phrase or that it was so long ago.
The Future of Fundraising
Stanford Social Innovation Review
January 2, 2015
The author offers up four trends that will reshape the nonprofit landscape. Some, like Big Data, are trending everywhere but the others – transitional organizations, pro-active opportunism, virtual face-to-face – suggest that a new species of nonprofit unlike the ‘permanent’ foundations may emerge.
Many of you who work in an academic environment are already experiencing these changes. It’s hard for me to picture the library leveraging these trends outside of the university development apparatus. With a shift from collections to user-centered service design the library may have a wider group of potential givers no longer bounded by the culture of the book. Read the comment string on this post for some good discussion and anecdotes. (Michalko)
Innovation: Creating vs. Problem Solving
January 16, 2015
A short post from Peggy Seybold that usefully unpacks the difference between finding solutions and arriving at something creative. The need for a shared vision Holding the structural tension between a shared vision of a desired future and your current reality is the key according to her.
Seems simple enough but how many can be completely clear-eyed about their current reality let alone have the nuanced picture of a desired future that will let them imagine how they will feel living in it? I guess that’s why we hire facilitators to draw those things out. I was interested that her mentor, Robert Fritz, was originally a jazz musician. (Hear the wonderfully articulate jazz saxophonist, Joshua Redman, explain his creative process in this conversation at Harvard Law School. His desired future is a lyrical improvisation, his current reality is the choice of a song that has the right spaces for that improvisation.) (Michalko)
FAQs are still useful
Every Page is Page One
January 19, 2015
Mark Baker takes issue with web architects who regard the FAQ as a sign of poor organization. For best and most consistent access,those architects argue, information should be in its proper place in the overall site or help system. Baker believes that kind of top down organization really only works for those who do the organizing.
This made me think about what I expect on a website. Certainly I will resist having to learn its internal logic or taxonomy. I’ll just go to the search box for the site. And we know how deeply unhelpful those results usually are. My impression is that most library websites do not have FAQs. Perhaps they have credible substitutes in the ‘how to’ exposition that does appear on a lot of library websites, e.g. how to find xxxx. (Michalko)
The Difference Between Good And Bad Organizations
January 20, 2015
This excerpt is from a business leadership book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
This isn’t a Review In Lieu of Reading (RILR). It’s an excerpted anecdote but a good one. Ben Horowitz is always worth attention. You won’t go wrong with putting his blog in your feed. And here’s a bit of related reading about why bureaucracies are so hard to change. (Michalko)