Take my trousers. They have a hole in the knee that started forming just after the Large Hadron Collider was switched on. Soon it will take my leg. Then the universe. Such is change.
Consider.. since this course started how the 'things' have changed: Blogger has had a facelift, Facebook a makeover, Delicious and Bloglines upgraded their software, billions of videos have been viewed on YouTube, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of photos have been uploaded to Flickr. Over fifty thousand articles have been written for Wikipedia..
The content has changed and the underlying software has changed, and the possibilities these open up have changed. Forget trouser-devouring blackholes, this is the real dilemma: the relevance of public libraries shrinking in realtime.
One good way to appreciate how much each 'thing' has changed, and how these changes ramify, is to look at the developers' blogs. Take FlickrBlog for example. Reading through it over the course of the last ten weeks it's clear it's about more than just promoting new software developments like layouts for the photostreams, or slideshow features.
These are important, but it's also about new projects and new groups, and encouraging usage, and innovation, and drawing out what photographers have done. Check out these squirrels.. And then there's all those APIs. All in all, an extraordinary buzz of energy and feedback. Not just PR puffery, but useful, inclusive.
And I haven't even started talking about wiki yet.
Meanwhile, the library.
Sure, we've not got anything like the resources of a Google or a Flickr. But we do have possibilities and given a reasonable committment over time..
The problem, as I think this course makes clear, is not technological. In fact, that might be the acutest revelation of the course. Despite the anxious mutterings, I've seen nothing in any of the course blogs that make me think any individual's grasp of the technology is the limitation. Be reassured, more than ever it comes down to how clever we are as librarians.
Oh, and politics.
Whatever, I know what I'm doing in the future. Hopefully the library is doing it too.
Yup. This is the last post.