Sunday, July 15, 2007

More Than Meets the Eyes

Watching the Transformers was a marvellous treat. Personally and professionally. As the movie was unfolding before my eyes, there were a few points running in my mind. Here they are:

(1) Generation X & Y - The audience was mainly people born during this generation, and it showed, too, as they buzzed with anticipation right up till the opening credits. They knew the cast, the names, the plot, the dialogue, the most finest of details. And director Michael Bay delivers flawlessly with a very exciting nostalgic action flick. What does this mean for libraries, especially academic and public ones? It means that they, too, need to adapt to the tastes of their audience, which has grown up. How does Transformers achieve this?

(2) Technology - The movie is updated version of the 80's series. Instead of continuing with an anachronistic setting, this movie adapts to current day necessities, such as MP3's, cellphones, eBay, DVD burners, and 2GB flashdrives. As libraries move forward in time, it too, needs to continually adapt to realities of their time, and engage their audience with social software, Web 2.0 technologies, and new ways of doing things. Libraries can't afford to stand idly by.

(3) The Long Tail - In this movie, the long tail plays an important role in the battle of good versus evil. Sam (aka Spike in the original series) holds an important key to the very survival of the universe. Unknowingly he is auctioning it off on eBay. Chris Anderson first coined this term in 2004, arguing that Web 2.0 has altered the traditional business model, for businesses with distribution power can sell a greater volume of items at small volumes than of popular items at large volumes, which contradicts the long-held models of supply and demand economics. What does this mean for librarians and information specialists?

(4) Web 2.0 - Greater understanding of this new way of information delivery. No longer are "best-sellers" the way to go in collection management and user services. Greater forces are at work with the "new" Web and in order to be successful in this new paradigm and be leaders of this changing world, librarians should not only be continually aware, but also creative in maximizing these up-and-coming (some of them not even invented yet) technologies for their libraries.

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