Traditional reference service is dead--- or dying. This blog will focus on new approaches toward providing library assistance to patrons... or whatever else I feel like rambling on about.

Monday, March 06, 2006

On Being Platform Agnostic

Don’t worry Kiera-- you’ll get your date with Oscar eventually.

Just to back up for a minute on MySpace. My interest in the site has been waning, however then I attended a seminar hosted by an Atlanta marketing association that featured two corporate types from Myspace. They cemented by distrust and mounting aversion to the company.

The only interesting note by them was that they call themselves a “next-generation lifestyle portal” and emphasis that it’s all user generated content.

I was thinking about this last night and wouldn’t it be cool if universities actually made a “portal” that students wanted to use. A way to synthesize the library, with webCT, email, and file sharing? Blend in elements from facebook and myspace. Instead of having a portal that links you to other campus sites, bring them into one and make them work together. Let students collaborate with each other as well as faculty.

While the Association was really pushing the Myspace presenters, the real star was Jason Hirschhorn, the chief digital office at MTV networks. He blew me away and made me question why I was working in a library rather then at Viacom.

An interesting concept he discussed was multi-plat-fornication or being platform agnostic. They don’t consider themselves a cable station, but rather a content provider. It goes like this…. A fan watches a program on TV, then logs online to get extra footage and insider info, then blogs about it, shares the experience with friends and makes new friends who have a common interest, downloads a photo to a cell phone, and loads additional content into an ipod. On air, online, on-the-go. They strive to push their content everywhere their viewers are. They want to be on every platform possible since their viewers are using all types of technology in a social context.

Jason also noted that MTVuber is going to be a pure online channel—and that they could get around FCC broadcasting restrictions since it is all online.

Also—rather than a web site be viewed as an online menu, it should be an entertainment experience. This circles back to my “portal” comment above. Create an social networking environment that also has functional aspects like financial aid, tutoring, class assignments, grades, and library resources.

Lastly, the question was asked about why doesn’t MTV play music and he answered: “because music videos don’t rate well” – they do play 8 hours of videos per day though.

Overall it was quite inspiring.