The internet, Web 2.0, Cloud, Marketing and Library 2.0

Internet 
a vast compute network linking smaller computer networks worldwide (usually preceded by the). the Internet includes commercial, educational, governmental, and other networks, all of which use the same set of communications protocols.

Web 2.0
the internet viewed as a medium in which interactive experience, in the form of blogs, wikis, forums, etc, plays a more important role than simply accessing information

Cloud Computing
a model of computer use in which services stored on the internet are provided to users on a temporary basis

Marketing
the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

Thanks to Dictionary.com, we have a straightforward definition for all of the above…

Now, to continue the good work of Dictionary.com, I would like to simplify this on step further: There is no difference between the internet, Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing.  The later two terms are just fancy marketing terms, buzz words, used to get people excited about something “new.”  In reality, the only thing that has happened is a brilliant team of marketing specialists repackaged the internet (again), put a new bow on it and sold it as something new.  Nothing has changed.  “Cloud Computing” touts that you can use multiple servers through the internet as though it is one computer…  …  … Yes… … …  this is exactly how the internet works, cloud or no cloud.  Many thanks to Larry Ellison (CEO of Oracle) who, when being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, stated “we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do.” (Farber, 2008)  I encourage you to follow the link to read the whole quote, it is fantastic!

To continue this theme, Library 2.0 is a marketing term as well but it has a different driving factor behind it…  Is Library 2.0 useful?  Library 2.0, a marketing term coined after Web 2.0, and it inspires us to redefine how we look at libraries.  Since it came into the librarian’s vernacular, Library 2.0 means:  How can we keep libraries relevant?  How can we make libraries more user friendly?  How can help patrons use the internet/information more efficiently?  One of the best questions inspired by “Library 2.0” is:  How can we assist patrons when we no longer hold the monopoly on information?  Library 2.0 inspires positive and productive innovation and I love it!

Rick Anderson posted a great article in the OCLC newsletter entitled: Away from the “icebergs.” (2011)  In this article he highlights the three primary issues he believes libraries face.  The most pointed issue being that when information was only in print format, libraries could expect patrons to seek them out because all the information was housed in libraries.  However, now that information is everywhere and anyone can access it at any time, where do libraries fit into this model.  How are libraries supposed to serve their patrons when their patrons really don’t need to come in for everything (or even most things)?  Library 2.0 inspires us to ask these questions and forces us to see libraries in new ways.  That is the beauty of marketing.

Marketing has a good side and a bad side.  Marketing can inspires us to be innovative and it can bring to light things that need to change.  But it can also be a disgusting self serving tool used to exploit people who are not able or willing to investigate the reality of the product that is being marketed to them.  To continue Larry Ellison’s quote in CNET: “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion.” (Farber, 2008)  While libraries must keep abreast of the newest technological advances and libraries must find new ways to assist patrons so we can ensure open access to information in a digital world, libraries cannot succumb to the idiocy of fake, impractical, or novelty innovations.  As information connoisseurs, it is our job to identify the authentic from the faux, to find new ways to remain relevant, and to assist our patrons productively without rattling off buzz words that have no meaning.

Viva La Library 2.0!  Viva La Libraries in the Cloud!!  Viva La Libraries!!!  Use these terms to benefit and promote free and open access to information.  Use these terms to motivate libraries/librarians to come up with new and inventive ways to reach people.  But please, PLEASE don’t fall for senseless marketing when its only driving factor is to make money off of people who can’t see through their thinly veiled schemes.

Sources:

 

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