big news for the lab for social computing


My Lab for Social Computing has just been given the official green light for something we're really excited about--we're going to become part of the RIT Libraries!

Rather than being a somewhat orphaned group with no formal home, we're going to become a full-fledged separate organizational unit of the library system, which will give us access to their extraordinary team of administrative staff, a wonderful office location in the library itself, and a college/department-neutral space that doesn't leave any of the many faculty working with us feeling like they're second-class citizens.

Anyone who knows me knows that libraries have always been a big part of my professional life, and this move feels like it's perfect for both the lab and the library.

We'll be having a "grand re-opening" on Friday, February 13th, and we've managed to convince the amazing David Weinberger, philosophy PhD, Berkman fellow, marketing guru, author of Everything is Miscellaneous, and all-around wonderful guy, to be our featured speaker.

So...make sure to block out some time on that Friday the 13th to hear David talk, and to check out our new digs!

(Why no link to the Lab website? Well, it's under grand re-construction itself! We should have a new site (Drupal-based, yay!) up at the beginning of January, and all the information about our grand re-opening will show up there. I promise I will blog and twitter and email that information around as soon as it's live!)


What a wonderful development for you Liz! And with a great speaker (whose book is sitting on my shelf even as we speak, I'll move it up)

This is great news, Liz! Congratulations!

Congratulations Liz! I look forward to seeing the new digs on my next visit to Rochester.

Liz congrats! Might try and make it to the re-opening.

Social computing and libraries seem to be a match being made by many (or at least several). Congratulations. I don't usually post, but this made me wonder if you had heard about the Second Life Library project.

Thanks for all the nice words. :)

misnomer, I've heard about the SL project. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of SL for libraries or businesses. I think Eric Krangel's piece about why Reuters left Second Life is well worth reading. Particularly relevant are Eric's remarks in the comments:

"Education use of SL has been very big (a piece I wrote for Reuters about that). What's telling for me though is all these kids are essentially being assigned Second Life as homework -- but we don't see college kids doing lots of blogging about Second Life, or using their SL avatar as their primary online identity, and the 18-25 demos for SL are terrible.

Education, while huge, remains something of a sideshow to Linden's core mission. These kids are all boosting SL's "total hours", but they're not contributing significantly to SL's micro-economy, and they're not being converted into (fees-paying) landowners. Worse, once OpenSim happens (will be viable by next academic year), tight education budgets will compel many schools to abandon SL for similar tech that's free and open-source.

I think a lot of that is that the learning curve to really "get" Second Life beyond very specific use cases is still way too high, and the UI is an obstacle to be overcome, not a joy to use. And, well, SL only really appeals to a very specific type of person. The best thing for Linden's (and SL's) long-term health is to find more people who "fit," and convert them into landowners. Again: Advertising, orientation, and a new UI."

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This page contains a single entry published on December 19, 2008 2:05 PM.

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