Sunday, July 31, 2005

Quick post before I go scrub the tub (no, not a euphemism ... just a household chore) ...

The Community Engine Blog has an interesting post talking about distributed blogging and how to adequately capture the zeitgeist of a community. He mentions that while some commercial aggregators are out there, they can't really do what's necessary to keep the community alive and kicking ...

His thought is that :

"... zeitgeist as captured by near real-time blog aggregation is insufficient to sustain decentralized communities for the long term. For that, these communities need archives.

Archives crystallize what such communities found important over time and ultimately define the community."

So, as I read this, I thought archives ... hmmmm ... a of of people (except archivists and librarians) confuse or combine the two ... Bud's a smart guy, so he's probably not confusing them, but when you look at the role of the library in an organization (or community) it is to provide for the information needs of users ... we commonly collect and aggregate stuff ...

So we should be the entities that perform the crystallization (or at least one of the partners) ... librarians should absolutely collect, aggregate, encourage, and in other ways enable the creation of community blogs ... and they should also contribute too -- that's the part we too often forget!

Of course, the next piece after all of the aggreagtion and crystallization is to turn it into real action ... real good for real people ...

Thanks Bud!

Off to the bathroom!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Measurement, engagement, and libraries

Just read a post by Andy Lark at BrandShift ... he mentioned that the advertising industry is in the process of reimagining (apologies to Tom Peters) the way they will measure (and eventually charge for their work ... this new measurement is engagement ... Mr. Lark says:

"This will only become more important as communicators discover the need to measure the degree to which customers are participating in their communities and brands. The best campiagns will measure what changed: did we move markets, change minds and increase sales? This isn't just about driving communications accountability, its also about driving marketing accountability."

So my question is ... how do we measure our ability to produce real change for real people? How will we measure how we helped change minds and improved our communities? The answers will define our legacies ... and it will drive library accountability and be the next step to governmental accountability.