Really enjoyed the whole day at the National Library of Australia for the Innovative Ideas Forum 2010. The day started off with a great talk by Dr Genevieve Bell from Intel about the work she does at Intel. She talked about the relationship between new technology and culture and how people’s perceptions and usage of new technology changes over time. No longer are all people continually hooked up to technology. People do choose which technology they use and how they use it. People are more likely to use new technology to communicate in real time what they are doing, e.g., on twitter/FB while watching their favorite show and letting people know that that’s what they are doing.
Genevieve talked about the challenges involved with urban density and wireless networks. The fact that technology doesn’t recognise boundaries like we do and therefore technology will go “feral” on us if we are not considerate of the limitations. She talked about the difference between computers and TV disappearing and the fact that conversations happen in a different form / location. She challenged us to really think about all the stakeholders as she pointed out that we are good at thinking of governments as stakeholders but not so good at thinking of others as stakeholders.
Who is going to have a voice in the future is more complex and what that conversations will be. There is an anxiety over new technology in the community. You also need to think about a persons stage of life as well as age. People will use technology differently depending on their stage of life. People are carving out space where technology is inappropriate. What happens when you switch technology off? Not everyone is an internet / technology user. Not always tied to income/costs but questions of “what’s in it for me”.
This was continued by Mark Pesce’s talk on “What ever happened to the book?”. He posed the question of what is an electronic book? Is it publish lite and he was arguing that currently that is what it is. What is the future of the book. Really made you think about the future.
Brianna Laugher in her talk “Is Wikipedia a one-off? Is mass collaboration all it’s cracked up to be?” talked about how Wikipedia has opened our eyes to what is possible and impossible. She outlines the challenges for Wikipedia and poses the question that Wikipedia as it is today isn’t a viable option in the future. Benefits of Wikipedia and other such technology is in the potential to change society via mass collaboration. Participation is now seen as a necessary part of technology. Criticism of iPad for being lean back rather than lean forward.
Kent Fitch in his talk about “Resistance is futile: how libraries must serve society by embracing cloud culture, the end of the information age, and inevitable technological and social trend” really got you thinking about where technology was heading and what libraries need to do to stay relevant. Got you thinking about cloud technology and how that could be embraced in a library setting. This was followed by Dr Nocholas Gruen’s talk on “Information and content: the new public good of the 21st Century”. This talk got you thinking about information as a public good and the new technology as a public good. Challenges you to think about who is involved in the creation of the new public good. Pointed out that the web 2.0 culture centers around the collaboration of ideas instead of ownership, where the technology is in continual beta with improvisation, sharing and playing making up a large part of this where users build the value and the technology can wait.
The day finished with a talk by Rob Manson on “Collections are leaking into the real world: a look at how mobile phones, iPhones, iPads and augmented reality are changing our use of collections and their place in the world”. Rob talked about how technology is driven by concepts and currently these concepts are looking at space – relationship between concepts and the space in which our reality unfolds – distance, information space. Current concepts are driving the technology and one of the outcomes is augmented reality. This really did my head in and left me wondering but one of the examples shown was taking your mobile phone camera and taking a picture and then having information pop up about the picture taken – like location, history, significance, GPS data etc. This opens up different ways that the library collections can be used.
Found the day enjoyable and enlightening. Great to meet up with people that I’ve spoken to on Twitter or Facebook. Definitely left me with more work to do in finding out about technology and exploring technology.