Me on 2.0
September 7, 2007
Despite the title, don’t expect a narcissistic post. Rather, in response to the “infamous posting” by Annoyed Librarian last week about Web 2.0’s “Twopointopians,” I list below some of my previous postings on Web 2.0. I do so (a) in the interest of saving time, (b) because my past writings should show my level of agreement/disagreement with AL, and (c) others have already written their own responses… at least one of which (mentioned below) dissects AL’s concerns more eloquently than I could. I meant to comment on the posting shortly after its appearance, but I have kept plenty busy with job searching, helping Diane’s parents get acquainted with Durham, going through junk we should have pitched back in Texas, and so on.
It would be difficult to determine objectively the degree to which prominent advocates of Web 2.0 conform neatly to the Twopointiopian caricature. Generally, I believe they do not. Nevertheless, I found myself agreeing with what AL wrote regarding those who have developed an almost evangelistic zeal about Web 2.0 (or “Twopointopians” from this point on). This in itself wouldn’t be bad if some of them didn’t demonstrate an air of smug superiority over those who “don’t get it,” the favorite strawpeople of Twopointopians. And, no, I will not name names, either. I’m too nice, and I cannot know what’s in the hearts of those serious advocates of Web 2.0. The way I see it, Web 2.0 advocates can get so wrapped up in the excitement they find in the phenomenon that they know not what they do. As a result, they become the AL’s “Twopointopians,” and they inadvertently alienate those who might need to “see the light” the most. Lecturing at them won’t help, but understanding skepticism and using some friendly persuasion could help further the cause of Web 2.0 in Libraryland.
For a more balanced examination of these issues, Meredith Farkas wrote an excellent response that dissects AL’s concerns from a not-so-literal perspective. Naturally, I found the use of various forms of “pragmatic” heartening, and I agree that a more balanced advocacy of Web 2.0 in libraries would help ameliorate the schism that appears to have developed within Libraryland. I can understand the concerns of those who try to advocate new ideas in hostile environments. Still, bragging about being “a bitch and a half with a cherry on top” doesn’t seem like the best way to get people on board with one’s cause. Also, as I mentioned earlier, not trying to understand the concerns of skeptics certainly won’t help, either.
Anyway, since I’ve already written several postings on Web 2.0 in greater detail, here’s a list for those who wish to read more on my opinions:
For the Health of It (latter portion of posting)
So, there you have it; some select (or maybe just selected) postings that seem appropriate in relation to AL’s posting. Also, for once, a professional posting to balance out all the personal ones that have dominated recently, and that have appeared on an irregular basis. I’ll be back with that soon, however, perhaps on the job search and the recent passing of Luciano Pavarotti.