September 23, 2009

Social Media Policies

Yes­ter­day I was invited to the DuPage Library Sys­tem to give a pre­sen­ta­tion about ALA Con­nect as part of the kick­off ses­sion for their year-long series of pro­grams called “Let’s Get Social.” I had a great time, and I was pleased to hear pos­i­tive com­ments about Con­nect and its future, so thanks for invit­ing me, DLS! If you’re in the Chicagoland area and want to learn more about social media, this is a great oppor­tu­nity (see the rest of the series listed in the entry here).

Dur­ing the lunch break, I was asked about social media poli­cies for libraries, so rather than just send the URL for the Data­base of Social Media Poli­cies to two peo­ple, I fig­ured I’d post it here in case you haven’t seen it yet. While it’s more business-oriented at the moment, it does include a cat­e­gory for gov­ern­ment and non-profit orga­ni­za­tions. If your library ends up imple­ment­ing a social media pol­icy, help out and use the “add your pol­icy” option on on the site so that we can build a repos­i­tory of library poli­cies, too.

If you haven’t tracked it, the site Mash­able also has lots of great tips, rec­om­men­da­tions, and sug­ges­tions, includ­ing a post from April ask­ing Should Your Com­pany Have a Social Media Pol­icy. If you find the site a lit­tle over­whelm­ing, try track­ing just the How to cat­e­gory as a start.

5:34 am Comments (1)

July 12, 2009

Mobile Devices, Libraries, and Policy Panel

Panel at #ala2009
Jason Grif­fey, Eli Neiburger, Tom Peters, Bon­nie Tije­rina, Deb­o­rah Caldwell-Stone

Jason: Overview of the Mobile World

num­bers (because this arena is very impor­tant for us)
4,100,000,000 num­ber of mobile phone sub­scrip­tions in the world
over 60% of the peo­ple on earth have a mobile phone sub­scrip­tion service

in 50 dif­fer­ent coun­tries around the world, the num­ber of cell­phones per per­son exceeds 100%
(means more than one cell­phone each)
not just places like Korea, but places like Gam­bia, wehre 1,000,000 peo­ple have access to a tele­phone, and only 50,000 of those are fixed landlines

90% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion will have access to a cell phone sig­nal by the end of 2010

2,400,000,000 peo­ple using SMS (active users)
75% of the peo­ple who have data access on their phones

we’re not good at han­dling num­bers, but 1,200,000 peo­ple use email, so twice as many using text messages

2.3 tril­lion text mes­sages sent in 2008
20% growth curve over 2007

so we have hard num­bers that show this is the sin­gle most pop­u­lar way in which the world accesses data
SMS is the largest data access method of communication/access in the world

showed the Wired Smart Guide for smart­phones — iPhone, G1, Pre, Storm

we do often think about peo­ple access­ing our infor­ma­tion on smart­phones, but there’s also a mul­ti­tude of other data access devices with dif­fer­ent mod­els from cell phones:

- Kin­dles, buy con­tent with no monthly charges
– net­books with cell radios built into them (get device free but pay monthly data charges)
– Ver­i­zon MiFi, projects a wifi field for you, acts as a router to the cell net­work for ubiq­ui­tous connectivity

most areas of the U.S. have some cell net­work access
what we have now is child’s play (kinder­garten), but in 3–5 years will be Har­vard
LTE (Long Term Evo­lu­tion) — next gen­er­a­tion
cur­rent net­work is fast enough for text, but not for video stream­ing
LTE promises the video streaming

with those kinds of things, we’ll see things we can’t even imag­ine right now
this is not sci­ence fic­tion; Rogers has promised this will be avail­able in Canada by the end of 2010, AT&T in 2011

Hon­ey­well Kitchen Com­puter for 1969, for sale by Neiman Mar­cus dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son
$10,000 and weighed 100 pounds, had to go to pro­gram­ming school for two weeks to learn how to make it work
didn’t sell a sin­gle one

in 1969, they had the capac­ity to build the device, but the best idea they had was to make it a kitchen recipe machine (“if it plus in, it must be an appli­ance” — Eli)

mobile devices are just now becom­ing robust enough to be trans­for­ma­tive
the early vision for a device is rarely the way it actu­ally trans­forms the world
Henry Ford: “if I’d asked them what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse“
some­one has to flip the switch and change things, and we’re very close to that for mobile devices

Clay Shirky — “the tools don’t get socially inter­est­ing until the tools get tech­ni­cally bor­ing“
we’re right at that cusp

prob­lems in the mobile world:
(bike that only rides on roads spe­cially designed for it)
1. copy­right
2. DRM

as we move from text into robust apps we can’t even envi­sion yet, it’s impor­tant to enable these things, not pre­vent them

Tom: doesn’t want to under­es­ti­mate the adop­tion of cell phones; can’t think of another man-made, man­u­fac­tured device that’s been adopted by 60% of the world in a mat­ter of months
sur­passed toi­lets? are cell phones more rec­og­niz­able than paper?
huge in the his­tory of mankind


Ques­tion for Eli: when we talk about mobile devices, we mean dig­i­tal con­tent. is it a given we’re mov­ing towards this licens­ing model for dig­i­tal con­tent, when libraries have tra­di­tion­ally pur­chased “things” and lend­ing them under first sale doc­trine? how do libraries main­tain their rights under these threats of DMCA, etc.

Eli: this is really THE ques­tion for libraries in the 21st cen­tury; hold­ing some­thing of a copy that exists in 10,000 places in the world is worth­less — that’s not the value; you have the whole world in your pocket
the rest of the world has skipped the 20th cen­tury and gone straight to the 21st; we no longer pro­vide value by pro­vid­ing a copy of some­thing that exists else­where
it’s what doesn’t exist any­where else, which means cre­at­ing it, which is usu­ally let­ting your patrons cre­ate that
no longer bring­ing the world to your com­mu­nity, but bring­ing your com­mu­nity to the world and mak­ing it acces­si­ble
you’re (the library) the only one that cares about that con­tent being out there
pos­si­ble future where DRM tri­umphs & RIAA, etc. get every­thing they ever wanted and there’s no room for libraries
but could have an upris­ing against copy­right and every­thing being free to every­one, although this is equally dan­ger­ous to libraries
will come down to dig­i­tal own­er­ship of rights
impor­tant not to for­get that a major role of the library is to aggre­gate the buy­ing power of the com­mu­nity and pro­vide access
best thing we can do is pro­duce and assist in the cre­ation of new knowl­edge
don’t want to get involved in the DRM night­mare and find a value propo­si­tion that is mean­ing­ful to users in the net­worked 21st century

Bon­nie: agrees and thinks that’s where we’re going, but still have issues now about what we’re licens­ing and get­ting
libraries are known as being stew­ards; need to be think­ing now about issues of pro­vid­ing access to con­tent
agrees the future is more about mak­ing our col­lec­tions and knowl­edge more accessible

Tom: who’s going to take on stew­ard­ship in per­pe­tu­ity? a trust organization?

Ques­tion for Bon­nie: libraries want to accom­mo­date user expec­ta­tions for mobile devices, how does the “mobile” change the tra­di­tional library ser­vice model?

Bon­nie: are mobile tech­nolo­gies really chang­ing the core and the val­ues of what libraries pro­vide?
when I think of our ser­vice mod­els, it’s pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion they need when they need it where they need it
could be answer­ing a ques­tion or access to a spe­cial col­lec­tion
the “when” and “where” can now expand, but our core library ser­vice model chang­ing as much as the tools we’re using can just expand those ser­vices beyond where we’ve done that before
need a will­ing­ness to exper­i­ment, even with tight bud­gets (which are the per­fect oppor­tu­nity to do this)
need a will­ing­ness to do more col­lab­o­ra­tive work, which is get­ting eas­ier
need to talk to the users more and assess their needs

Jason: one of the things he’s been think­ing about lately regard­ing ser­vices and mobil­ity (and the new web) is that a lot of our info flow and com­mu­ni­ca­tion is mov­ing to a real-time com­mu­ni­ca­tion river
we wish they used libraries in this way, using human fil­ters in real-time
think­ing about “proac­tive ref­er­ence” — espe­cially for local­ized sit­u­a­tions
we’re going to need to be putting our­selves in that flow
pulling ques­tions out of that flow and answer­ing them, not wait­ing for them to come to us
they’re get­ting answers from peers, so we need to insert our­selves in as experts and guide that flow
this could be a real growth area for libraries

Ques­tion for Tom: with future, per­va­sive net­work­ing, how will library ser­vices change and what are the impli­ca­tions for pri­vacy and bandwidth-planning?

Tom: he man­ages a down­load­able ebook library project, so he looks at it through that lens
your access depends on your net­work con­nec­tion
how do you get it to your ears?
the future is stream­ing media, not down­load­able
already have “Tum­ble Talk­ing Books,” which is a stream­ing audio ser­vice that has expanded beyond kids
stor­age costs? although approach­ing zero and can keep every­thing
big issue is bat­tery life, which hasn’t really improved much
it’s the achilles heel in this sce­nario
he assumes band­width will be there when he needs it, although his options at home are lim­ited; this will change
we’ve thought about infor­ma­tion as phys­i­cal objects (books, copies, hold­ing some­thing)
as we get more into stream­ing media, our think­ing will change to infor­ma­tion expe­ri­ence
we’ve always talked about a “good read” — it’s a mix between the object and the expe­ri­ence, but the expe­ri­ence will take on a much big­ger role
eg, there are some really inter­est­ing infor­ma­tion expe­ri­ences in the vir­tual world, such as books you walk into, con­tribute to just by expe­ri­enc­ing it
libraries haven’t had a good way to mea­sure usage, so we use sur­ro­gate mea­sures (walked in the library, but don’t know what they did there — doesn’t mean they “used” the library)
in a world of stream­ing media, you could say they only streamed “war and peace” for five min­utes, which means they prob­a­bly didn’t read the whole thing
will get closer to know­ing how they use these resources, which raises pri­vacy issues

Ques­tion to Deb­o­rah: when have gran­u­lar data col­lec­tion and part­ner more with third-party con­tent own­ers, have sce­nar­ios like Google Books know­ing which page you’re on; a few ser­vices have more pro­tec­tions than libraries; how can libraries evolve in this space and work with these vendors?

Deb­o­rah: the first thing libraries have to keep in the fore­front is giv­ing users the choice of how their data is han­dled, which means giv­ing them full infor­ma­tion, which means the library has to do due dili­gence on these issues
if you have to expose some kind of ID to get access to this infor­ma­tion, how is that han­dled?
have to address who owns the personally-identifiable infor­ma­tion that gets trans­mit­ted? it should be the library
insist on the high­est level
in an ideal world, it would be one-time use and then the data is dis­carded
good pol­icy says you only keep it for as long as you need it and then you dis­card it
make sure the third party isn’t min­ing that data
on the larger level, need to dis­cuss what pri­vacy means in the first place
we’re stew­ards for our users; we can’t assume per­mis­sion where it’s not given
it’s fine for an indi­vid­ual to decide to expose infor­ma­tion, but they have to know enough infor­ma­tion to make an informed deci­sion
if I don’t want to use stream­ing media, can I get a download?

Tom: Info­Quest project is going to offer 24/7 SMS text ref­er­ence and the issue of pri­vacy has come up
user will text them a ques­tion that comes in through Google, and the librar­i­ans can see the cell phone num­ber
have two out­side enti­ties involved — Altarama and Google
as soon as they answer the ques­tion, they’ll delete the email
for info pur­poses, they’ll save the ques­tions in the back­end with­out per­sonal data

Deb­o­rah: some­times, we shouldn’t do some­thing just because we can

Bon­nie: in an envi­ron­ment where peo­ple are choos­ing their level of pri­vacy, and some are allow­ing more than oth­ers, a bet­ter role for libraries might be edu­cat­ing users about what they’re giv­ing up
pri­vacy is not dead, but that deci­sions about pri­vacy have gone into the hands of the user more than ever before
is our role then to help pro­vide infor­ma­tion to let them know what info they’re giv­ing up instead of not pro­vid­ing access to these ser­vices that have risks?

Deb­o­rah: opt-in is the way to go; respect user choices

Eli: it goes even fur­ther than that, because there is no way to assure your patron’s data if you enter into a rela­tion­ship with a ven­dor
the more that you do in-house, the bet­ter
most ser­vices will let you authen­ti­cate in-house and then pass the user to the ven­dor anony­mously
if you’re using google ana­lyt­ics, you’re pip­ing every hit through google, and they haven’t really been tested
the work of the 21st cen­tury for libraries is to make these resources owned and devel­oped by the library, not mak­ing con­tracts for $20,000 to do some­thing you could do in-house
we’re addicted to ven­dors
there are a lot of prod­ucts on the exhibit floor that could be done by a good pro­gram­mer in-house in two weeks, and pri­vacy is a big moti­va­tor to do this

Ques­tion for Jason: DRM has been vil­i­fied, but some point out that DRM on dig­i­tal library con­tent is more aligned with the tra­di­tional model of library ser­vice; what are the draw­backs for users?

Jason: treat­ing dig­i­tal like phys­i­cal is insan­ity of the high­est order, and the fact that we’re still using that model is ridicu­lous
the music indus­try was the first to be utterly destroyed and rebuilt (Nap­ster –> iTunes, which is now DRM free)
if the other indus­tries don’t see this and change their paths, they’ll just have to be destroyed and rebuilt
this feeds into some­thing else about con­tent that we’re not pay­ing enough atten­tion to, that libraries sub­si­dize the pur­chas­ing of the infor­ma­tion and dis­trib­ute it for free
dig­i­tal dri­ves every­thing to free — as stor­age and pro­cess­ing becomes cheaper and every­thing goes dig­i­tal, the price point moves to free
you’ll pay for adver­tis­ing, but the cost for obtain­ing that con­tent is dri­ving down to zero
the other thing we’re com­pet­ing with, besides cost com­ing down to zero, is piracy
if it’s eas­ier to get a pirated copy of a book they can do what­ever they want with, they’ll do that
can’t com­pete with free, so need to com­pete with easy; need to be eas­ier than piracy
iTunes became #1 music store in the coun­try was not because it was DRM-free, but because it was easy
we don’t even allow shar­ing dig­i­tal con­tent between our­selves, let alone our patrons
he could go online now and get any NYT best­seller in 30–40 sec­onds
mobile devices accel­er­ate that, as do peer-to-peer net­works
DRM will destroy libraries if we allow it, and it will be very dif­fi­cult for us to over­come in the next 3–5 years

Tom: com­pletely agrees
dig­i­tal net­works allow you to make an unlim­ited num­ber of per­fect copies at the speed of light for a frac­tion of the cost
we’re work­ing through the eco­nomic and legal ram­i­fi­ca­tions of that fact
can’t deny this for­ever
we’ve hitched the notion of intel­lec­tual prop­erty to the wrong horse, the mak­ing of copies
made sense when it was hard to make copies, but now it’s easy (brain­less)
need to rebuild intel­lec­tual prop­erty from the ground up so that it’s not about slap­ping peo­ple on the wrist

Eli: right now the copy­right land­scape is dri­ven more by copy­right hold­ers’ fear
iTunes bridged the users and the copy­right hold­ers
the horse is still with us, but he’s still in the back­seat, rid­ing along with us because we’re bring­ing him with us
when you think about the peo­ple in charge at major labels right now, there’s a finite sup­ply of them
the kids who went crazy with Nap­ster will have a very dif­fer­ent way of look­ing at the busi­ness model
research shows that giv­ing stuff away for free dri­ves sales
there are pro­duc­ers mak­ing more money giv­ing con­tent away than they did sell­ing it
part of the prob­lem with the Kin­dle is that they’re still charg­ing hard­cover book prices — imag­ine if the price of a book was $1 — no one is com­fort­able with that model yet

Ques­tion for the panel: there are obvi­ous pol­icy con­sid­er­a­tions — acces­si­bil­ity, spe­cial user groups; how can libraries con­tinue to advo­cate for these users in a mobile environments?

Tom: thinks we need a reader bill of rights for the dig­i­tal era
give the reader the right to choose the font, color, font size, etc., but it’s the read­ers right, not any­one else’s
the abil­ity to turn any etext into a text-to-speech should be an inalien­able right
blind & visually-handicapped users are tear­ing their hair out about the Ama­zon turn­ing off TTS on the Kin­dle because of the author/publisher lobby because removed thou­sands of titles from their grasp
* this is an area where ALA could help

Jason: is going to take the oppo­site tact
it’s not Ama­zon that turns off the TTS — it’s the pub­lish­ers at the book level (doesn’t like that Ama­zon gave that abil­ity, but the pub­lish­ers are mak­ing this a prob­lem for these blind users)
col­lec­tively, we could make a state­ment by aggre­gat­ing our buy­ing power since we spend *thou­sands* of dol­lars with pub­lish­ers every day
could orga­nize an effort

Eli: at the same time, there are pub­lish­ers who would say “fan­tas­tic, the library won’t be pur­chas­ing our con­tent any­more“
Over­Drive is a good exam­ple — not offer it because of some high falutin’ con­cept?
exert the pres­sure on ven­dors — we would pay more if you’d open this up — show them the value of open­ing up the con­tent
there are mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ties to get around these issues in many of the areas where libraries work with oth­ers on stan­dards
iTunes made it okay by show­ing peo­ple would pay more for open content

Tom: libraries are a frac­tion of the buy­ers in the print book mar­ket, but we’re a much larger share in the audio mar­ket (30%)
we do have more clout there

Ques­tion from the audi­ence: asked about the “sixth sense” device shown off by MIT
a mobile com­put­ing device with a cam­era that is smart enough to rec­og­nize objects and layer infor­ma­tion over it — “aug­mented real­ity“
poten­tial to attach reviews to books
dis­plays the Ama­zon rat­ing right on the book and whether you can get it some­where else cheaper (whether your library has it)

Jason: there are a few dif­fer­ent projects exper­i­ment­ing with aug­mented real­ity on the new iPhone
inter­est­ing one that over­lays his­tor­i­cal infor­ma­tion over build­ings
in gen­eral, libraries are the enti­ties that have that information

Tom: a low-tech way to do that now is with QR Codes

Eli: what’s inter­est­ing about the sixth sense project is that it’s a tran­si­tory project
it’s for vis­i­tors, not those who live in the 21st cen­tury
in the future, it won’t be about decod­ing the objects
read Ver­nor Vinge’s “Rainbow’s End” about wear­able com­put­ers and libraries
one of the first uses of the tele­phone was sup­posed to be pip­ing music into peo­ples’ homes
some­day, the Kin­dle will look like a joke — it’s impor­tant right now, but it’s just a step on the journey

Ques­tion from audi­ence: what kinds of ques­tions should we be ask­ing about for­mat? if we try to make our infor­ma­tion acces­si­ble for spe­cial pop­u­la­tions, will that meet our mobile needs?

Tom: acces­si­bil­ity ben­e­fits every­one
it’s very sad that most portable devices are oper­ated by but­tons, and some­where along the line, but­tons got turned over to mar­keters, not engi­neers — they’re not acces­si­ble any­more and they’re designed for the young
this is mad­ness — our portable devices should be acces­si­ble to every­one
it’s a tragedy

Eli: the emer­gence of web stan­dards is the best thing that ever hap­pened to the acces­si­bil­ity com­mu­nity
if you’re stuff is standards-compliant, it will be acces­si­ble
the term “mobile web” is a tran­si­tive one, because what you have in your pocket is “the web“
it won’t be about spe­cial inter­faces
text has become elec­tronic, which has com­pletely helped them
the eco­nom­ics of Braille don’t work, but the right plat­form and tech­nol­ogy makes every­thing acces­si­ble
most of the accom­mo­da­tions nec­es­sary are in the standards

Jason: agrees
part of the prob­lem is that we don’t have a stan­dard ebook for­mat
epub is the clos­est we have (behind HTML, which the pub­lish­ers aren’t using)
as long as we stick with a stan­dard, you can move from device to device (that’s why MP3 works so well)
haven’t got­ten there with video yet
HTML 5 is falling apart because of video codec argu­ments
stick with known, pub­lished stan­dards, which make acces­si­bil­ity easier

Eli: the indus­trial rev­o­lu­tion truly began when peo­ple could make stan­dard parts that worked together
the same thing is start­ing to hap­pen with infor­ma­tion
those who are suc­ceed­ing are doing so because they’re embrac­ing open stan­dards
wouldn’t want a car you can only put one type of tire on

Ques­tion from audi­ence: is Cre­ative Com­mons licens­ing the way things are going?

Jason: thinks CC is a very impor­tant start­ing point, espe­cially for library-created con­tent
need to allow for shar­ing
there’s still a lot of work to be done with copy­right law
we’re done with copy­right law in a way that’s great for the 20th century

Eli: CC is the best hope and com­pro­mise we have right now
any legal team is going to say it makes them uncom­fort­able, but they should be able to live with it
sees libraries putting copy­right on con­tent they’ve dig­i­tized that was pre­vi­ously in the pub­lic domain
hope­fully some­day we won’t need it though

Bon­nie: agrees, it’s a step­ping stone

Eli: part of the chal­lenge is that you still see a lot of cre­ators, espe­cially hob­by­ists, who look at copy­right as the thing that will make them rich
most peo­ple receive very small amounts of money from copy­right
it’s more how your ideas live, not wither on the vine

Jason: the chal­lenge to cre­ators in the 21st cen­tury isn’t piracy, it’s peo­ple not hav­ing any idea who the hell you are
CC gives peo­ple the chance to find out who you are and give you money
libraries should be using CC

Bon­nie: works with a lot of sci­en­tists, schol­ars, etc. and talks to them about CC in terms of per­mis­sions they don’t get from oth­ers so that they’ll use it to make it eas­ier for others

2:03 pm Comments (5)