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Posts by Michael Stephens

You Can Do Magic

Submitted by Michael Stephens on December 20, 2010 - 10:24am

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Read More »


Geosocial Locations and Libraries

Submitted by Michael Stephens on December 1, 2010 - 10:15am

Today I’m catching up with some recent reports from Pew Internet and American Life. One of the most recent focuses on “geosocial” applications and it offered some not surprising statistics on who is using services like FourSquare or Gowalla. The report finds “that 4% of online adults use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla that allows them to share their location with friends and to find others who are nearby. On any given day, 1% of internet users are using these services.”

Read the full report here: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2010/PIP-Location%20based%20services.pdf
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All the News that's Fit to Stream

Submitted by Michael Stephens on November 1, 2010 - 1:19pm

Sitting in the waiting room of my physical therapist's office, I spied an abandoned copy of the local newspaper - the South Bend Tribune - on the stack of worn magazines. I had a few minutes so I took a look. A few realizations:

The paper is even thinner than when I subscribed. I wrote about canceling my subscription here in January of 2008. I have also noticed some of our library-related publications getting thinner and thinner with each month.

I had already seen the stories that interested me scanning my iPad news apps earlier in the morning or via our local NBC affiliate’s iPhone app.
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Follow a Library!

Submitted by Michael Stephens on September 16, 2010 - 3:22pm

I was glad to meet some of the good folks behind the “Follow a Library Project” in Delft last April for U Game U Learn (see last month’s post for more about UGUL presenter Michael Edson).. Read More »


Interview with Michael Edson from the Smithsonian Institution

Submitted by Michael Stephens on August 16, 2010 - 9:19am

Meeting Michael Edson and presenting on the same docket with him was one of the highlights of my time at the U Game U Learn Conference this past April in The Netherlands. Michael Edson is Director of Web and New Media Strategy for the Smithsonian Institution and was in Delft to talk about the Smithsonian Commons project that recently debuted as a prototype here: http://www.si.edu/commons/prototype/.  The day after the  UGUL conference, we turned a serendipitous meeting at the Delft train station into a late afternoon walk around the town and dinner filled with conversation about our work, views of organizations and the future of library/museum services. It was one of those perfect “on the road speaking” travel experiences I most enjoy.

The commons project prototype is a multi-faceted, well-planned and researched virtual community that seeks to engage and inspire visitors. Explore the site for more - including videos of the various personas of visitors: museum visitor, teacher, millennial, and enthusiast. Howard Rheingold, someone I consider to be one of the best authorities of the power of virtual community and interaction, recently said: Read More »


Michael Stephens Tech Trends from ALA 2010

Submitted by Michael Stephens on July 27, 2010 - 1:21pm

Like Jason, I can’t participate today but I am happy to share my slides and a few words about the trend I was going to explore in my portion of the Webinar. I was only at ALA for 24 hours but the conversations I had with colleagues and people who inspire me pointed to the over-arching idea of “Teaching & Learning in Flux.” Under that trend, I pulled out three sub-categories:

Organizational Immersive Learning

This subcategory addresses the outstanding success of the Learning 2.0 model of staff training: free, open, and inclusive. I was going to highlight my Australian research project sponsored by CAVAL. The foundation for this multi-dimensional study comes from the global replication of the program (1000 institutions and counting) and the words of Stephen Abram: ““I believe that this has been one of the most transformational and viral activities to happen globally to libraries in decades.” Read More »


What’s your Digital Legacy?

Submitted by Michael Stephens on June 16, 2010 - 9:25am

A few weeks ago, Kayhryn Greenhill blogged about the sudden death of Paul Reynolds, a noted scholar and thinker from New Zealand who was Adjunct Director of the amazing Digital New Zealand project until this past February. 

I was aware of him because at VALA2010 in February, he tweeted about the presentation Warren Cheetham and I gave covering our research project. He even retweeted one of my own tweets about the talk. I immediately followed him, subscribed to his blog and looked back at some of his writing and presentations. We became friends on Facebook. I was impressed with his synthesis of the possible roles for libraries, museums and cultural institutions in the social network landscape - with a strong emphasis on the people part of the equation. Read More »


Mash Ups & Mobiles: A Conversation with Paul Hagon

Submitted by Michael Stephens on May 4, 2010 - 9:48am

Last fall, while traveling around Australia, I was lucky to spend a couple of days at the Queensland Public Library Association Conference. Speaking on a panel with me, my co-investigator for the Learning 2.0 project Warren Cheetham and David West, senior manager at Moreton Bay Region Libraries, was Paul Hagon from the National Library of Australia. The ideas he shared intrigued me and I attended his mash up session later that day. Hearing Paul speak about combining Google maps with the library’s digital collections was AMAZING. It was the first time that the true power of mashing up a library’s collection and sending it outside the library walls for people to access via their mobile devices made total sense to me. Read More »


Extending the Learning: A Report from PLA

Submitted by Michael Stephens on April 8, 2010 - 8:44am

I worked at SJCPL for almost 15 years and will always have a special place in my heart for public libraries. The first time I attended PLA was in 1996 - newly graduated from IU with my MLS and fired up about this weird new thing we had--the World Wide Web. Attending the 2010 Public library Association meeting - once again in Portland, Oregon -  made me realize how far we've come in just 14 years. That's a lifetime in Internet years!
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Emulating the Future: A Visit to the Computerspielmuseum

Submitted by Michael Stephens on March 26, 2010 - 8:32am

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During my ten day visit to Switzerland and Germany earlier this month, which was sponsored by the US Embassy in Berlin and the US Mission in Geneva, I was invited to spend a day exploring Berlin with members of the “Zukunftswerkstatt” - Future Workshop.