This weekâ€™s 4cast:
1. No Librarians at Microsoft High
Microsoft just opened a new, experimental high school in Philadelphia to see if it can design a better educational experience based on its own management practices. The part that’s caught some by surprise – there’s no library.
- Windows HS: Microsoft designs a school system (CNN)
- School of the Future: Libraries Not Needed (LISNews)
- The End of Libraries (Infomancy)
- School of the Future Opens… Debate Follows (think:lab)
2. Facebook Saves Face, Then Looks for New Ones
Facebook, the popular social network website (second only to MySpace), recently fended off a PR disaster when its users protested changes to the site that stirred privacy fears. Not to be discouraged, Facebook now plans to open up registration far beyond the 18-22 demographic and bring social networking closer to the mainstream.
- Facebook news feed backlash reveals student privacy concerns (ACRLog)
- Facebook to Allow Open Registration (TechCrunch)
- Site Previously for Students Will Be Opened to Others (New York Times)
- Facebook – more faces! (Stephen’s Lighthouse)
3. Help Your Website Help You
Is your library paying way too much for website statistics that don’t tell you very much? Or worse yet, have you forsaken web stats altogether? Understanding how your visitors use your site can only help you make it better, and Google now offers a powerful stats tool called Google Analytics, which is freely available for anyone to try.
- What’s happening on your website? (Stephen’s Lighthouse)
- Geek to Live: Improve your web site with Google Analytics (Lifehacker)
- The Official Google Analytics Blog
- Google’s Webmaster Central (LibrarianInBlack)
4. Working Towards a Beta Tomorrow
Alpha, beta, gold… wha? Companies like Google that want to test new software on a mass scale often release a “beta” version, both as a wink to the user that the product is still being refined, and a license to the developer to continue making tweaks based on real-world feedback.