Monthly Archives: January 2012

Facebook timeline

Social media creeps up on you like tile mold…or maybe the evil creepy bad guy in one of those horror movies that I never watch.  I was just made aware of, not only the new Google privacy policy, but also the Facebook timeline that you can’t opt out of (as of March 1).

According to Facebook, timeline is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Pictures, stories, games, contacts…it’s all right out there in front of your mom and everybody. I’m not sure I want to be so open…used to, I was willing to share anything with anybody.  That was back in the days of usenet*, a self limiting social group…limited mostly to  the people who had both access to a desktop computer and some entity that granted access to the hallowed halls of a particular server…it was like pulling teeth for ordinary people like me to get an email address in 1991…email was the domain of scientists, secretaries, engineers and geeks.

Now, everyone can go almost anywhere and find out almost anything about anyone.

To quote my nephew:

lol…. and this whole new “timeline” for facebook just helps people stalk pages, and give them something to do and learn about your life for the past 5-7 years…I can smell a strong case of Blackmail for alot of people now, lol…



I caught myself stalking myself for a few minutes, lol…. Wow how time changes… I’ve been in about 6 relationships since my divorce according to Facebook, which i’m pretty sure is a lie, lol…..

This is what my husband calls “the law of unintended consequences.” We were just discussing it yesterday, discussing a different subject.  It makes me wonder what archivists in the future are going to think.  It makes me consider going back to a paper journal and hiding it under my mattress. If I was more paranoid I’d pull out of Facebook and Google+ and Twitter and Live Journal  altogether…at the same time, I needed to let a bunch of people know some information that I thought was important, so I posted in Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Live Journal and even in old faithful Usenet. Social media has a place, and for most of us, our lives would be poorer without it.  I’m not sure that it can claim that it is good, or even innocuous…

*Usenet is one of the oldest computer network communications systems still in widespread use. It was conceived in 1979 and publicly established in 1980 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University,[1] over a decade before the World Wide Web was developed and the general public got access to the Internet. It was originally built on the “poor man’s ARPANET,” employing UUCP as its transport protocol to offer mail and file transfers, as well as announcements through the newly developed news software such as A News. The name USENET emphasized its creators’ hope that the USENIX organization would take an active role in its operation.[2]


New Google Privacy Policy

Google has announced that it’s changing its privacy policy as of March 1st, and folks are going to have to go with it or opt out of Google altogether (that’s how one of my colleagues is responding).

According to Google, their plan is all good, and it is what regulators want.  (I’m not sure that just because internet regulators want something that it is good, but what do I know?)

Personally, I think it sounds kind of creepy.  For example, the post on the official Google blog says:

What does this mean in practice? The main change is for users with Google Accounts. Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.

Intuitive is good, right?  But wait, there’s more:

Our recently launched personal search feature is a good example of the cool things Google can do when we combine information across products. Our search box now gives you great answers not just from the web, but your personal stuff too. So if I search for restaurants in Munich, I might see Google+ posts or photos that people have shared with me, or that are in my albums. Today we can also do things like make it easy for you to read a memo from Google Docs right in your Gmail, or add someone from your Gmail contacts to a meeting in Google Calendar. (emphasis mine)

This sounds like the guys at Google want to play cyberpunk.

They admit that they are going to be creeping into our personal spaces like some ubiquitous internet spy, but they promise that they are still the good guys:

…what we’re not changing. We remain committed to data liberation, so if you want to take your information elsewhere you can. We don’t sell your personal information, nor do we share it externally without your permission except in very limited circumstances like a valid court order. We try hard to be transparent about the information we collect, and to give you meaningful choices about how it is used—for example our Ads Preferences Manager enables you to edit the interest categories we advertise against or turn off certain Google ads altogether. And we continue to design privacy controls, like Google+’s circles, into our products from the ground up.

The last sentence of this post is the most important.  I encourage everyone to read it, think about it and share it.

Whether you’re a new Google user or an old hand, please do take the time to read our new privacy policy and terms, learn more about the changes we’re making and understand the controls we offer.

…and may the force be with you.

Pairing skills and goals-The Leadership Resolutions that Work Best

This article appeared serendipitously just after the Library (capital L-all staff and faculty) was closed so we could all attend a library wide retreat entitled The Library as a Learning Organization: Creating a Shared Vision of Internal Customer Service.

from Scott Edinger via Harvard Business Review Blog

1. If you want to become even more effective in reaching stretch goals, work on your ability to inspire and motivate others: Inspiring and motivating is itself the most powerful competency for extraordinary leaders. When people are inspired and motivated to achieve a result that seems beyond their grasp, the likelihood of achieving that stretch goal is far greater.

2. If you want to take your ability to think strategically to new heights, work on your communication skills: Do you know of any organizations with a good strategy that no one really understands? Or worse, one with a great strategy that no one knows about? Neither do I.

3. Make more of your ability to be customer focused by becoming more proficient in connecting your group to the outside: Exposure to varied experiences, new metaphors, and different ways of thinking helps you conceive of additional applications for your company’s offerings that may help you chart a more effective strategic plan.

4. Take your ability to solve problems further by strengthening your approach to fostering diversity and inclusion. Leaders who can understand the experience of different parties can make more-informed decisions.

5. If you want to become even more effective an innovator, work on your ability to champion change: There’s not as much value in innovation when the objective is to maintain the status quo. Put these two together and you have a recipe for great ideas that propel organizations in a new direction.

6. Make your natural process orientation more effective by improving your interpersonal skills: If you can infuse your quest to implement efficiencies with higher levels of commitment from your staff, you will raise the likelihood that people will actually stick to those processes and make them work.

7. Bolster your efforts to create a safe environment by learning to be more assertive: Safety continues to be a top priority for many organizations. Safety-conscious leaders who learn to be more assertive will have the courage to speak up or push back when they need to in order to keep people safe.

You may have noticed that many of these pairs combine some kind of technical expertise with an interpersonal skill. That’s not a coincidence. It frequently is our interpersonal skills that allow our more technical abilities to spring to life. And since January 1st has just past, now might be the perfect time to consider what leadership combinations will help you achieve your 2012 goals.

Providing service is one of the top goals of our library, as it should be, and we need to provide service to our colleagues and fellow employees if the operation of the library is to run smoothly.

Here are some ideas I got from the retreat:

  • Listen, ask questions to clarify, provide a prompt response. The response should provide results if at all possible.
  • There is a mutual contract between the supervisor and the employee with service being provided by both parties, even is both parties are customers.
  • Different departments should have protocols in place and share them so each department can provide appropriate information and service to the other.
  • Practice targeted niceness.  Be nice to everyone. If there is a problem do what is necessary to correct it without assigning blame.
  • Know the line between quick service and best service and keep it balanced.
  • Use can statements rather than can’t statements, and mean what you say.
  • Documentation is important because it promotes consistency.

I personally thought the retreat was a success.  It’s good for faculty and staff from various departments to mingle.  None of us should be strangers.