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OPLIN 4cast #10

Posted in ethnography, long tail, net neutrality, and usability

This week’s 4cast:

1. Net Neutrality: Point-Counterpoint

Last week, the House of Representatives soundly rejected the concept of Net Neutrality, and now the Senate will have their shot. CNN recently offered opposing commentaries on the issue.

2. The Tale of the Long Tail

The Long Tail Theory contends that our culture is shifting from a small number of mass markets to millions of niche markets. What role can libraries play in this shift?

3. What on Earth is Everyone Talking About?

Sure, you’re an old fogey. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find out what’s hot and happening. Of course, some methods of determining what’s popular can be done quickly (by visiting sites like Digg or Technorati), while others take a little more time and consideration (ethnographical studies).

4. Will the User Be Unbroken…

A recent post on the Free Range Librarian blog has set off a lively debate in its comments section, touching on a wide variety of issues related to libraries and their usability. Aside from the debate itself, this post is worth reading as an example of how individual blogs and other 2.0 technologies are altering our methods of communication.