Friday's Trend Watch

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a great weekend planned. But before we get to the weekend, there is one more work day this week which leaves time for another post.

Today is all about the future. That came out sounding a lot more profound than I imagined, but really we all do need to be forward looking and thinking. And no, faithful reader, I am not going to launch into a rant about abusing non-sustainable resources and overconsumption. Today I am going to talk about libraries, technology and the future because that is what my work, and I’m sure a lot of your work, is all about.

First, from the wonderful Shifted Librarian is this post about choosing your social media drug. One, I just like the title of the article and two, it is a great look at why people choose different social media sites to use. I love how now that Twitter, Friendfeed, and Facebook have been around for a while, people are starting to write about not only the shiny, new factor of these sites but potential drawbacks. I have to completely agree that “FriendFeed is Twitter on speed, while Facebook is Twitter on Ritalin.” Like I always say, just step away slowly from your mobile device, laptop, desktop or other Internet equipped device, and go take a nice walk outside. Your overworked brain will thank you.

I am pretty disciplined about reading my feeds in the morning, keeping up with friends on social sites and trying out new applications when I hear about them, but a lot of people say they don’t have the time to do this. Yeah, it takes time to try to keep up with everything (and no one can keep up with everything!), but if it is important to you, or to your job, you have to make the time. Or, you could just read the wonderful Michael Stephens’ post on trendspotting and catch up on a whole lot of news for libraries and technology in 2009 pretty quickly. I told you we’d be talking trends today.

Finally, in terms of watching developments and trends in the digital library world, take a look at this New York Review of Books article on Google & the Future of Books that Peggy from my library alerted me too (a while ago too, but one can only blog so much). I love the scope of this article; it talks about the Google Book Project, the Enlightenment, journal subscription prices, the open access movement, and ties it all together at the end. A superb piece of writing which brings up many points to ponder on this Friday about what exactly are we gaining and losing in this new digital, digitizing world and what role libraries will play in it.

Now you know I can’t leave off a Friday post in a completely serious manner, because sometimes the brain needs a little brain candy because the heavy thoughts and issues can’t be processed on Fridays. Like I said before, step away from the computer. Or, watch my favorite Vlogbrothers video below: “How Nerdfighters Drop Insults.” Yes, a YouTube video about insulting with Shakespeare and cataloging home libraries. And yes, my students love this video almost as much as I do. Have a great weekend!

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