Spoetnik Symposium

27 11 2008

Yesterday the Spoetnik Symposium was held (see my previous announcement here).

SPOETNIK was a 17 week course on NEW (web 2.0) internet communication methods for librarians. The main target group consisted of UBA (University Library of Amsterdam) librarians. In total, there were more than 160 course members, each having his own blog.

The organizing UBA-spoetnik team, organized the Spoetnik symposium to learn from each other what has been done with the knowledge obtained a half after the course had finished.

The program was as follows:

14.00 Opening by Robin van Schijndel
14.10 Since SPOETNIK – part1: Blogging after SPOETNIK by Jacqueline (alias Laika)
14.25 Since SPOETNIK – part2: Colleagues about SPOETNIK by Alice Doek
14.40 Group discussions
15.30 Koffie- en theepauze
15.45 Feedback from the discussion groups
16.15 Since SPOETNIK – part 3: New applications by Pascal Braak
16.30 Closure and drink

spoetnikThe symposium started a few minutes later because Jacqueline was a bit late: she had to take off Laika’s astronaut suit (well kind of, she torn her new pantyhose and had to find a new one (that didn’t fit), she dubbelchecked whether she took her USB-stick with her and she forgot her glasses). It could have been worse, because it was just a few hours in advance that Jacqueline found out that the meeting was not in THE Doelenzaal at the Kloverniersburgwal but in the (also beautiful and old) Doelenzaal (zaal = room) in the UBA (main library of the University of Amsterdam). Of course, everyone else just knew this. That underlined the feeling that the Academical Medical Center and most other departments of the UBA are both physically and mentally apart, although still connected.

The atmosphere was very relaxed. Before the speeches, there was a lot of rumor or as Alice said: it is like a reunion. And that ‘s how it felt! Finally I had the chance to meet my colleague bloggers in real life. I met Boekenvlindertje, Duijfje, Dyoke of Zygomorf (which I had always wrongly pronounced as Díe Joke, should be Dieuwke) and Turquoois, and I had long chat with Bert of “Een beetje adjunct” and finally with my blogmate George of Brughagedis, the one with whom I shared Google Docs, but never a drink, before. Both Bert and George have written a blogpost about this meeting (see here and here)

Although George doesn’t want to be in the picture, he was mentioned in the introductory speech of Robin as one person that ‘meant a lot for the course’. That is certainly true. You need some active contributors to inspire the rest. Besides George was the first to create an OPML-feed of all blogs (together with Pascal) which made it a lot easier to keep up with all Spoetnik blogs.

My talk was next. In 15 minutes I had to outline “Blogging after Spoetnik”. How did I continue when the course was finished? Here is my powerpoint presentation.

The theme I choose was “Blogging is navel gazing?!”. I notice that many people (including myself in the pre-web 2.0 phase) consider blogging as something egocentric, just an outlet for one’s feelings and frustrations, or hobbies and thoughts. What I hoped to show is that web 2.0 is not just a set of web 2.0 tools, but it is a whole philosophy. It is the philosophy of gaining momentum when sharing. But to do this you have to be patient, you must have a story to tell (content) and than you have to find readers, else you will remain ‘lonely’. I recommended twitter as a very good source to build up a community, if you use it the right way (find people to share things with). Although I have to say that it is a lot easier for me, as a health 2.0 blogger to find a large global community than someone specialized in Dutch linguistics.
Thus I feel committed to write an introduction on how to use Twitter effectively. Preferably in Dutch: at least 2 UBA colleagues spontaneously said they regret that I had changed to English.

Alice told us the origin of Spoetnik and gave an overview of the opinions of many other well known Dutch librarians about the course. The comment of Wowter was missing however, possibly because he expected Alice to use a web 2.0 way of finding it (Feeds and Twitter). (You can read his -Dutch- comment here). Many other libraries will follow the example of Spoetnik and 23 Dingen, although in a shorter version.

Pascal showed us that there were many new web 2.0 tools ( a few slides with last week’s additions), but according to Pascal none of them was really new, but all variations on a theme. He did whisper that he had a new twitter-firefox api for me, so I hope he will provide me with further details.

In between we discussed in groups what we had learned from the course, what we liked and didn’t like about different tools. Using Google Docs, we brainstormed about how we could implement web 2.0 tools in our library, UBA-wide. A very interesting part of the program, this exchange of thoughts. Robin gave a quick overview of the ideas, but shortly all input will be available at the Spoetnik-website together with the presentations.

The Spoetnik course has been a success, this meeting was a success and hopefully the implementation will also be a success. As Bert said: step by step. Rome wasn’t build in a day. Besides most UBA people are now involved in the implementation of a new program: Aleph. This has to be handled first.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 607 other followers