Technology Twitter

Catching the Wave

No sooner do I mentioned the thinking I’ve been doing about Proactive Reference, and Google throws all my thinking into a tailspin. Just a few days ago, Google announced a brand new product, called Google Wave. So what is Google Wave? It’s not easy to grok at first glance, but a the elevator pitch might be: Communication for the 21st Century. It takes the most popular communication formats (email, IM, Txt) and mashes them together with the new, real-time web (Twitter, Friendfeed, etc) and you get something that is greater than both parts.

There’s a TON to say about this, and at first blush I’m going to bet that it’s the biggest revolution in communication online since the invention of email. It’s both a platform and protocol, and will push existing thought-leaders like Twitter to open up in ways they might not be ready for.

Here’s a video of the launch preview…I’m trying hard not to gush about the possibilities. Look for much, much more on this from me over the next few weeks.

Library Issues MPOW

Live Desktop and Libraries

I hadn’t mentioned one of my favorite things we’ve done at MPOW here on the blog, because I assumed that it was an obvious thing to do. However, I’ve told a few people about it, and it seems not as obvious as I thought, so here ya go.

In trying to decide where our Meebo widget should live, I realized that it didn’t have to live on a webpage. That is, it does, but that webpage can be, on a Windows machine, part of the desktop. We have our student systems set up to use the Windows Live desktop functionality. We point the desktop at a page on our server, that we use to rotate banners, give instruction (Your files WILL be deleted when you log off) and other things. Since it’s a webpage, the Meebo widget lives happily among the other web content.

So students don’t have to navigate anywhere to reach us. The box is right there on the desktop. Putting the widget there has also increased our question count, and seems to be working really well for us.

Hope that’s useful for someone out there in library land!