Friday, April 27, 2007

Auntie Mame and Web 2.0

I attended a workshop in Rochester today entitled "Social Libraries: The 2.0 Phenomenon" which was attended by approximately 80 people. As the day ended, I couldn't help think of the movie Auntie Mame. In the movie, young Patrick has to go live with his aunt (Mame). Mame is a knowledgeable socialite who travels the world. Poor Patrick finds that he doesn't understand everything that Mame talks about. The solution Auntie Mame suggests is for Patrick to write down those things he doesn't understand and to learn about them later. No matter how much you know about Web 2.0, there are always new things to learn and so there are notes written and sites/ideas to look up later.

I came away from today with a list of things I want to learn and I'll organize my learning activities using 43 Things. For me, many of the 43 Things will likely be Web 2.0 or technology related. And I'll likely include some of the 23 Things from the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County that are not already part of my weekly repertoire.

I am not the only person who left the workshop with a list of things to investigate. Stephen Abram likely included something during the day that was new from every person in the room. Some, however, may need to learn more than others. As we heard today, there are organizations that block some Internet sites that we need to learn more about. So some of the tools that many take for granted are not known by everyone.

At this point, those of use who are "living" online or who have a lot of interaction with people who are Millennials (or younger) need develop a basic understand of the different categories of tools. We need to know basically what the products are (e.g., Flickr, Second Life, IM, etc.) and have an idea of how they are used. We can't go through this time of change on the Internet without understanding the tools that are being developed and that will -- in some form or another -- become the new communication standards online. We need to use 23 Things and 43 Things (and whatever else) to move us forwards and keep us relevant.

As Abram and others have reminded us -- if you take only 15 minutes a day to learn something new, you can learn a tremendous amount over the long haul. 15 minutes. I'm taking the challenge (my 43 Things in development). How about you?

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