Tag Archives: marketing

Day 2 at #cil11 (we can make this work, Twitter)

22 Mar

Tuesday isn’t the traditional day of rest, but it’ll do. Any conference day I feel comfortable wearing jeans start to finish is a good one.

The first item on my agenda was Lisa Carlucci Thomas‘ excellent Cybertour session on design tips and grabbing attention in the online environment. In fifteen minutes, she brought together lessons from as disparate sources as Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point and Andy Woodward’s interaction with the Old Spice Guy* and made them relevant to libraries. (Also, double rainbows, which I’d meant to tell her afterward have even shown up in World of Warcraft.) It was a great presentation, and one I’d have loved to see get a full session on one of the main tracks.

The same can, and must, be said for Jennifer Koerber‘s Cybertour session on personas. Jen has a gift for bringing concepts in front of an audience in a way which makes them clear and concrete even to those completely unfamiliar to them. In fifteen minutes she laid out the concept of personas, explained why libraries should look to them as ways to keep the face and reality of their users clear during design processes, and laid out ways to start implementing them. Great stuff.

I also caught Scott Nicholson’s amazing session on gaming and game design as tools for instruction. Far too much information to include here — hell, I even feel odd trying to summarize it — but two of the major things I took away were the existence of the Global Game Jam, which is awesome, and the fact that he has a 22-session course on gaming in libraries up, for free, on YouTube. Check it.

Finally, I caught the tail end of Julian Aiken’s presentation on their implementation of Google’s 80/20 policy at Yale Law Library. His was one of the most highly regarded presentations of the day, with good cause: they’re doing some amazing things there, and I really want to hear more about how this goes for them. (Also, it’s totally his dog.)

Then, it was a fun dinner with friends in Chinatown, and even more Firecon and Lobbycon before bed. As days of rest go, it was damnably busy.


* Will I ever tire of mentioning him in this blog? No.

PMOG: A slick veneer of steampunk gaming for your web browsing

15 May

So, after seeing links to it on Boing Boing, Brass Goggles, and what felt like half-a-dozen other blogs, I decided to set up an account on PMOG, the steampunk-themed Passively Multiplayer Online Game. Described by its creators as “an infinite game built on individual network histories, transforming our web surfing into ongoing social play,” PMOG lets you level up a character by surfing the web: taking missions, avoiding traps, or traveling through portals, all of which were left by other players (and leaving some of your own to boot).

There’s functionality present in the game that I think has some applicability to the sort of online public service I’m interested in as a proto-librarian. Portals are the simplest example: a player can place a portal on any web page that, if used, will bring the user to another web page. Missions, meanwhile, take players from one web page to the next; the mission’s creator can add captions along the way, basically creating a tour of related web-sites.

This sort of interface could be used to provide online tours of a library’s resources, or even as a form of marketing. It took me a minute or two to set up a Portal leading from Wikipedia’s entry on industrial relations to the Catherwood home page.

Of course, right now most of the missions I see involve webcomics. But PMOG is, if nothing else, an amusing distraction, though I think it provides some tools that should be be looked at much more seriously. Until then, I’m going to shoot for membership in the Vigilantes.