March 29, 2012, 2:52 pm
This article has been lingering in my subconscious: How Companies Learn Your Secrets
There are good insights into companies monitoring buying habits with the goal of building better relationships. This is the main takeaway:
Once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them. There are, however, some brief periods in a person’s life when old routines fall apart and buying habits are suddenly in flux.
Having a baby is one of those critical moments when everything becomes chaotic and new habits are formed. Target is on the lookout for women who start purchasing prenatal vitamins with the assumption that they are pregnant and hence, they can start advising or conversing with them along those lines. Target tries to position itself as the one-stop-shop for the busy mom. Amazon is also in on this as they offer a free year of Amazon Prime to new…
March 12, 2012, 3:46 pm
I had a vivid dream last night. I typically forget all my dreams, but this one stood out. In this world no one spoke directly to each other. Everyone was a ventriloquist and used dummies or puppets to communicate. I walked through restaurants, grocery stores, malls and a few other common locations– and everyone had their avatar on their hand. Perhaps it’s a metaphor for iPhones and digital devices and social media and how they are disconnecting traditional social interactions – but that seems too obvious. I think the larger message is centered on the need to evolve with mainstream communication preferences and practices.
In the dream I didn’t have a dummy/puppet/avatar and hence everyone I tried to interact with just ignored me. This is likely a confluence of several things. I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of libraries, the future of information, the future of…
March 6, 2012, 6:58 pm
[I started this post during lunch with the intent of writing 600 concise words about my recent ebook experience, but that grew to double the length and became a stream-of-conscious vision statement about how I want to use digital content. In short: you’ve been warned!]
I’m a big fan of print. As much as I love the web I’m still very print oriented in my personal reading life. But that might be changing…
I’ve been enjoying Where Good Ideas Come From — it’s page after page of epiphanies. As I was reading it I kept taking notes or bending pages… and I then realized it would be so much easier to highlight and annotate content in a digital format. So I purchased a digital version of the book. (The book is that good! I mean come on– his chapter on Adjacent Possible is all about the kernel of library science and discovery.)
Anyway, in my case…
February 29, 2012, 7:09 pm
Library Journal invited me to serve on a panel reviewing “landmark” libraries. Here is the official link.
The core attributes include:
- design and construction
- response to campus context and constraints
- beauty and delight
This is for new academic library buildings or substantial renovations completed between 2007 and 2011. The deadline to submit is March 20, 2012. If you work in an amazing academic library or if you helped build one — please share it with us.
I have a lot to say about learning environments— but I’m holding off until this competition is over. Where Good Ideas Come From has totally changed the way I think about space, people, and context. I’ll leave it at that for now.
February 10, 2012, 6:59 pm
Software. I’ve been hearing a lot about visualization lately. Obviously it’s been around a awhile, but it’s gathering new interest from more popular audiences. As these tools/techniques become more readily available and easier to use, visualization will likely become a prominent communications outlet. I will not only read an article but also be able to manipulate the adjoining data. Aspiring librarians should invest in developing visualization and visual literacy skills. This is a logical extension of multimedia and new media and it applies to both scholarly and popular contexts. Here’s an app to get you started.
Research libraries have long been building infrastructure to support data management and the UC has even recently launched a data plan generation tool. It seems to next step is the development of an open-source, user-friendly, discipline scalable visualization tool. …
February 3, 2012, 6:01 pm
I’ve been talking with students about their preferred work/study spaces around campus. The Math Emporium, aka The Empo is one that gets mentioned often. In short: located in strip mall across from campus, bus service, dining and gym in the same complex, 500+ Macs, lots of software, open 24/7, and it has an app. Here is a good descriptive chapter via Educause.
The thing that struck me during the conversation is the assistance service model. Students who encounter a challenging math problem or who have software issues can place a red cup on top of their computer to indicate that they need help. A graduate student or instructor will then approach and provide assistance.
I instantly thought of Fogo de Chão, a great Brazilian restaurant in Buckhead, with tableside service. It works like this: You have a token beside your plate. Flip it to green and your table is swarmed…
January 26, 2012, 5:59 pm
I’m fascinated with how memory (experience) influences habits (behaviors) within a particular space.
When I moved to Blacksburg I discovered Firehouse Subs and now I go there every weekend for lunch. During the workweek I typically bring my lunch, but my go-to lunch spot is Jimmy John’s. Besides my obsession with sandwiches there is something else going on here, cognitively speaking.
There are other places with more convenient and aesthetically pleasing locations, larger and more diverse menus, and possibly better prices or deals. So why am I loyal to those restaurants?
It has something to do with the psychology of place and the whole habit-forming mechanism in our brains. We’re comfortable with the known—and so we keep coming back to it. Also, when it comes to food, I’m not very adventurous. When I find something that works I tend to stick with it. I or…
January 17, 2012, 6:59 pm
Wikipedia and several other web services are going dark tomorrow. They are shutting down– largely to make a political statement, but I can’t help but feel they are also trying to make a point about their cultural value. College students everywhere are lucky it’s not during prime paper-writing season or else they might be forced to actually use their library’s website.
The blackout scenario is something that has playfully come up everywhere I’ve ever worked. The conversation (usually at dinner, in bar, or at the end of an outreach planning meeting late in the afternoon) goes something like this:
People (faculty) don’t appreciate the library. I bet if we turned off our proxy (access to all digital content) for a hour then we’d get their attention. Then they’d see just how important the library is to their research.
Inferiority complex, maybe…
January 11, 2012, 2:51 pm
I’m excited to finally be collaborating with Char Booth. We’ve been seeking a project for several years now and finally found one in the form of an invited paper and co-presentation at CARL 2012.
This is our venture:
Understanding the Learner Experience: Threshold Concepts and Curriculum Mapping
In order to improve library instruction, we need to develop a richer understanding of the holistic learning and teaching experience of our institutions. Threshold concepts are core ideas in a particular area or discipline that, once understood, transform perceptions of that subject. Curriculum mapping is a method of visualizing insight into the courses, requirements, and progressions a learner negotiates as they pass through a particular department or degree. When understood and applied in tandem, these strategies provide a powerful means of developing actionable insight into the learner…
December 15, 2011, 7:55 pm
I saw an ad in Virginia Tech’s sarcastic newspaper for TechPad, an office space located across the street from campus above a busy restaurant. This is how it’s described online:
An open co-working space with common areas for lounging and two conference rooms. Located above PK’s restaurant in Blacksburg, Virginia, is convenient to downtown shops, restaurants and Virginia Tech’s main campus. Over 10 companies currently work in TechPad.
Amenities include: dual wan broadband, month-to-month flexibility, printer/fax, wifi, 10% off PK’s, on-site mentoring, $3,000 of cloud hosting.
I was fascinated by this concept of a 24 hour, co-working, commons environment, which obviously has some library parallels. And if you know me, then you know that I’ve been obsessed with startup culture lately, so I had to go check it out. At VT we are in the initial stages of renovation planning and…