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About me and welcome

I am a student in LIBR559M, “Socia Media for Information Professionals,” and this is my blog.

To plagiarize my Twitter  profile, I am “by day, a technical communications specialist in Ottawa for Ericsson Canada, and by night a second-year MLIS student at UBC.” On paper — or perhaps I should say in a computer file — I must look something like the very model of a postmodern iSchool student: extensive background in XML, structured authoring, electronic document distribution, and all of that. But secretly I’m the kind of person that library schools try to screen out at all costs: you know, the one who wants to become a librarian because they like books and don’t like people (and did I mention the cats? I have three of them). I am overstating the case a little for dramatic effect, because I’m not really a misanthrope, but you get the general idea: I’m not exactly the person you’d vote most likely to be your library’s standard-bearer for Web 2.0. (For an interesting emprical study on the personality types of librarians that are (and are not) likely to get involved in Library 2.0, see: Aharony, N. (2009). Web 2.0 use by librarians. Library & Information Science Research, 31(1), 29-37.)

But enough about me — let’s move on to the term “hyperconnected” and why it’s  in the title of my blog.  Because I work in the telecommunications industry, I’m being reminded that the Internet is reaching a turning point in that soon there will be more devices connected to the Internet than users. In the next decade, the biggest contributor to the growth of the Internet will be the addition of assorted smart devices, many of which would be machines we would not normally think as being network entities (refrigerators, bread machines, fire hydrants, and the like). In the hyper-connected network, the user isn’t just an atomic point in the network, but a small cloud of interconnected devices, linked by Ethernet and Bluetooth and technologies that haven’t even been designed yet. Layered on top of this trend, the proliferation of social media and interactive networked applications continues. Each user is potentially connected, not only to more people, but to the same people through an increasing number media.  How will all of these changes affect the professional life and work environment of the librarian, archivist, or curator — and will they really make as much difference as the futurists say they will? This course promises to offer some fieldwork in the digital ecosystem. So this week are getting our nets, specimen jars, and tranquilizer darts ready. Next week, we start looking for answers.



5 Responses to About me and welcome

  1. tristan campbell

    Reading this I realized that right now I have 4 internet connected devices going right now (desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, and xbox), and I could at this moment 7 of my friends are logged in to at least three of the services I’m logged into. Hyperconnected indeed.


  2. librarianincognita

    Hi Chris! I just wanted to say that libraries need all kinds of people – we couldn’t have everyone liking both people and books and didn’t have all the technical expertise that you have. I certainly find courses that are heavy on the technical side hard to stomach so I have great admiration for those who can.

  3. Dean

    Does hyperconnected have a negative connotation for you btw?

    It does a little for me but it may be because I’m a generation ahead and to call something “hyper” is vaguely pejorative.


  4. Chris Blanton

    Dean, I don’t know if hyperconnected has a particularly negative connotation to me, but I may just be desensitized to it from hearing it used approvingly all the time in the trade press. If I were hearing it for the first time it might make me a little uneasy.

  5. Greg Ferguson

    Funny, I started the masters program because I love books, wasn’t so keen on people foibles, and I was interested in making a career change from architecture. But now that I’m almost finished with the program, I’ve found the field completely different than I expected. If I knew then what it was about, I probably wouldn’t have started, but that would have been a big mistake. This type of environment is perfect for my disposition as it has recently evolved.
    P.S. I also have 3 cats: Tenzin Gato, Bodhi, and Hoagie.

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