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Real-Time Communication - Rising Trend for 2010

CNN released an article yesterday, 10 Web trends to watch in 2010, that lists the top trends for the coming year. First on the list was the importance of real-time communcations:

Real-time ramps up

Sparked by Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed, the real-time trend has been to the latter part of 2009 what "Web 2.0" was to 2007. The term represents the growing demand for immediacy in our interactions. Immediacy is compelling, engaging, highly addictive ... it's a sense of living in the now.

This is a perfect time for libraries with online reference services to promote the skills they have and how it is useful/helpful to users. Most useful and beneficial exposure to a library's online reference service may come from outside the library through partnerships with community organizations, news reports or articles, social networking and web 2.0 skills such as blogging, twittering, facebook and much more.

Other trends on the list from the article include "Content Curation" (I like this term. We librarians are Content Curators!):

The Web's biggest challenge of recent years is that content creation is outpacing our ability to consume it: "Information overload" has become an increasingly common complaint.

Another on the list, "Convergence conundrum". What devices will win out and what devices will be deemed unnecessary. Mobile technology will continue to drive the market and device that claim to do/be everything including a Pez dispenser will win out. Well, maybe not a Pez dispenser. Devices whose purpose is singular in nature such at the e-reader, GPS devices, and even hand-held video camera will be shed for multipurpose tools.

Another interesting trend talked about is "Augmented reality" where we will be able to overlay pictures with information. One product talked about was Layer which allows you to take a picture from your video camera and then it will take information from various other tools such as Wikipedia, Yelp and Twitter and overlay it with information about the images being viewed. I see so many opportunities for use with libraries for something like this from location tools, video maps of the library, to identifying a credible resource.

Library 2.0 has started to take foot in many libraries and librarians have found a lot of ways to connect and engage with users. I think this will continue through 2010 and there will more tools to allow us to connect and engage.

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