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Don't Believe the Hype: Blogging with your Feet on the Ground.

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  • Za Information Resources
  • Z665 Library Science. Information Science


Microsoft Word - SCONUL Focus Don’t Believe the Hype: Blogging with Your Feet on the Ground The last five years have seen a landslide of information heralding the future of the online library as a shining utopia, laden with indistinct technologies and remarkably fuzzy waves of service- changing applications. Web 2.0 would redefine our profession, but just wait for Web 3.0, and then we’ll be able to do so much more. Library 2.0 looked like a new dawn, but again so many of our successes were implied, or simply yet to come. Conferences were bogged down in unfulfilled anticipation and crystal ball gazing, where we collectively ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ at the next set of possibilities. The future looks so exciting, and believe me it actually is, but when do we get to the bit where we start doing rather than waiting? When does the technology get to the point when it’s tested and complete, when it’s safe enough to put out there in front of our patrons? Well, the short answer is that it’ll never get to that point, and if we wait, then we’ll continue to wait indefinitely. But that’s only half of the story. The point is that all of these applications labelled as Web 2.0 are in a perpetual beta test, developing and testing new ideas and functionality in a live environment. They are expanded upon and evolved by their customers just as much as their creators. If we don’t use them now, they will become something else by next year, and their potential will have altered, putting us into a permanent state of ‘catch-up’. Confusing and bewildering I know, but it’s this fluidity which is the most attractive feature of this latest wave of technology. They provide the tools, and we provide the uses for them. The technology is really just the starting point. So, let’s take a look at what we can do right now – today. The future is full of dramatic leaps in web services, streamlining our information and making links between applications, but our needs

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