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Notes for In the Flow: From Discovery to Disclosure - Lorcan Dempsey

As Dempsey says, gone are the days when could have an intimate conversation with 125 conversations and not see it all over the web. With that, we’ll launch the notes for this this conference.

People construct a digital identity around various tools (like Flickr, blogs, Facebook, etc…). from which people construct a digital iddentiy and interact with a whole range of people.

The way this is all tied together is through RSS, URL’s. If you don’t have these, you don’t really exist.

As we think about people moving into a networked environment, the way they want to interact with others and do things, changes.

We’re seeing a shift – when network first arrived, the database was the center of attention… then went to a variety of websites… now what moved to is WORKFLOW – you want to get things done in the network environment. Can think about prefabricated workflows that are seen in things like Course Management Systems, a campus Portal, PeopleSoft…

Also seeing a self-assembled workflow— a combination of resources and tools. If you think about RSS aggregators, toolbars, bookmarks, and beyond in MySpace, etc… the issue is in supporting workflow. It’s not about finding information – it’s about getting work done.

Roy Tennant – "Librarians like to search, users like to find.?

Shows PictureAustralia in Flickr. Collection of photos from Australian citizens that were put into Flicr, not the National Library of Australia. What they’re doing is getting into the flow of people – not expecting them to get into their flow.

Database --> website --> workflow

In the old days users had to build a workflow around trhe library. Now the library has to build it’s services around the user workflow which is now on the network. So, rather than expecting people to come into the website, have to disclose resources where the users are.

Then: resources scarce, attention abundant
Now: attention scarce, resources abundant
Competition for attention – simply being there and making an offer, not good enough.

Regarding long tail information providers – a lot of scattered activity.

What’s really happened is concentration of data resources – tendency to monopoly, to hubs. What they do is aggregate supply. You go to one place –iTunes, Amazon… people think people will find everything they need at these places. These places can offer low transaction costs (reduced number of clicks, ease of moving mp3’s from network to your iPod., etc.). They also aggregate demand. Brand is very important on the network, and people will gravitate…

Libraries do not aggregate supply, do not have low transaction costs (have to go to lots of databases, etc… Libraries manage a huge long tail – but also have to aggregate supply. (See notes on catalog below.)

Now, growing desire to manage research and learning outputs – see this in the growth of repositories as a cottage industry.

(What will be the relationship between ILS and ERM’s? )

Discovery and management are closely integrated. Look at connections between catalog and ILS. Haven’t figured out how to present licensed materials that are congenial to user needs. There’s a lot of dissatisfaction in the management area of ILS and emerging ERM (Electronic Resource Management).

What we’re likely to see over the next few years is a splitting of the management environment from the consumer environment. We’ve got to move to a more integrated environment for the user.

Management: bought, licensed, digitized (born digital, born again digital, born print) content; aggregations and resource management.

Consumer Environment: integrated local consumer environment.
- Institutional workflow (Portals, CMS, IR…)
- Person workflow (RSS, toolbars…)
- Network level workflow (google…)
- Integrated Local Consumer Environment? %