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Your place in the knowledge ecosystem

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You probably studied Earth's ecosystem in grade school, and learned about habitats, organisms, and our place in the cycle. But, as we found out from our interview with Jeff Kelly (right), we might be part of a new ecosystem very soon.

Jeff's not a biologist, but he's certainly well-versed in the ways of knowledge management and social media. He's the Director of Education Solutions at Web 2.0 University and Vice President at Concerted Solutions. Jeff also blogs about next-generation learning and knowledge management at Learn to Adapt.

In our interview, he told us how knowledge management is reshaping into a "knowledge ecosystem," with info pros at its heart. The model consists of capturing knowledge as it's generated, and making it easily discoverable to others. As we add and continuing sharing knowledge, we create a constant collaborative knowledge cycle.

Our initial reason for connecting with Jeff, however, was not because of ecosystems. We wanted to talk more about his view on Venkatesh Rao's proposed social media vs. knowledge management war. You might recall us sharing Jeff's reactionary article on the blog. Jeff believes the war is nonsense, as do we.

So in our interview, you'll also learn why Jeff is a war nay-sayer, and how, in fact, SM and KM are happily married. We also explored several other topics in KM implementation, where Jeff provides his real-world advice for successful initiatives.

For instance, organizations should determine how much control to exercise over social initiatives. Jeff's advice is to err on side of "radical transparency." He believes all members should be able to participate in the social strategy and provide their opinions and knowledge.

He also talks about the changing role of special librarians. As SM and KM continue to converge, Jeff sees special librarians building relationships more. That's because the convergence puts you in touch with not only information, but also people, to help you perform more efficiently.

However, with any new endeavor, there are pitfalls to watch out for. Jeff talks about some big ones that will likely lead to a failed social strategy.

According to Jeff, a better approach for Enterprise 2.0 implementation requires what he calls "the three-legged stool." It consists of proper changes in culture, processes, and technologies to make the implementation work. Jeff provides us some guidance in using this approach in the corporate environment.

Why pay attention to all this? Well, it just might help pull companies out of the economic meltdown, says Jeff. Social tools require low upfront investment, and they are ideal for fostering innovation through collaboration.

Learn more about the new world of KM and Jeff's advice for getting there by clicking play below.







Learn how to shift to a social library at tomorrow's webinar

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Many info pros agree socialization of the library is indeed the next big trend in knowledge management and library science. But questions remain regarding exactly what steps to take to make this shift, and how it will impact their organization and career.

Inmagic's Phil Green is attempting to fill in the blanks during a free webinar tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST. If you're considering socializing your library, we'll have some valuable advice for getting buy-in and ensuring a cost-effective deployment.

Even if your organization isn't ready to go social, Phil will provide insight into the social library trend, how we got here, where we stand today, and what tomorrow's outlook might look like.

Phil will also introduce our latest app, Presto for Social Libraries. He'll show you how to use it to create a SOPAC (Social Online Public Access Catalog). It's where info pros develop and maintain the knowledge repository, while patrons add value to the content and share ideas using social media tools. It's an application of social knowledge networks in the special library environment.

We think the webinar is good information for any special librarian, research center director, CIO, or knowledge management professional who wants to stay abreast of industry developments and technologies, and learn about social knowledge networks.

If you'd like to join us, please register on our Web site. And set a reminder for 2 p.m. EST tomorrow!

SLA gives everyone a shot to share their shots

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SLA's Exhibitor Connections blog is inviting all readers to share their photos from an SLA event on the organization's Flickr group page. It's part of SLA's Centennial Celebration.

Well, we're no Ansel Adams, but we certainly have some pictures to share. We uploaded our album from the SLA conference 2008 to the group today.

Thanks to SLA for the opportunity to share our pictures and memories with the community!

Library of Congress taps public knowledge to cure info overload

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Every organization has its share of challenges. But one challenge shared by many is this: Lots of information, little context to give it meaning. It's a case of information overload.

It's often caused by using a shared network drive to store and organize content-- the junk drawer of the information age, as we fondly call it. But it looks like the Library of Congress has found a cure.

Just over a year ago, the Library of Congress and Flickr partnered to launch a pilot project called
The Commons on Flickr. The library chose about 3,500 archived photos from its more popular collections to show on Flickr. The public was then invited to post comments and tags on the photos to describe the scenes, people, dates, etc.

The goal was twofold. Increase exposure of some of the most interesting historical content located in civic institutions around the world. And harness knowledge about these photos to make them richer and easier to find.

This recent New York Times article updates us on the project, and reports it is a resounding success. In one case, a photo originally titled “Street in industrial town in Massachusetts” had the city, street, and business owners correctly identified through comments. This is just one of many more examples.

Library of Congress staff periodically review the comments and fact check the information provided by users. But still, one of the most surprising elements the Library has found is how little time is required by this project.

No staff are dedicated to it full time. Ongoing maintenance takes just one hour a week. You can find more details about the Library of Congress’s experience on its blog.

The organization's use of tags and comments shows how you can involve your community, which is often underutilized, to collect valuable information. It only takes a few active members posting comments to multiply the benefit provided by the library and capture information that would otherwise be lost.

If all of this sounds like social knowledge networks, you're correct. This is exactly what happens in a SKN. It gives users access to tools to move beyond passively consuming information, and actively contribute content and knowledge.

In fact, the Library of Congress's partnership with Flickr shows that social knowledge network technology is not foreign to the industry. SKNs are rooted in tools we are already understand, use, and benefit from. SKN platforms simply design and package these tools to work in enterprise settings.

That makes it easier to transition to SKNs, and begin benefitting from them. And it looks like the Library of Congress is well on its way to using SKN technologies and the wisdom of the community in the library.

Where you come from

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Well, we've known for years it's not the stork. But our blog stat engine isn't interested in the birds and the bees. It's interested in where you and your computer come from geographically.

We're able to get an idea of where you are when you read our blog, and we can see it depicted on this visitor map. Have a look at a recent version.


Is that you waving a flag on America's East Coast? Or Canada? U.K.? India? Australia?

Now, this map changes every day, so what you see here might well be different from what we would have seen yesterday, last week, last month, or last year.

But in all cases, what we're seeing is that our readers -- people interested in our thoughts on knowledge management, special libraries, and social knowledge networks -- hail from around the globe.

It makes sense, since our network of customers and partners criss-crosses the world. However, the most highly concentrated reader region, as you can see, is the northeastern U.S.

Perhaps this is because the area is often considered an epicenter of innovation, with its high number of major cities, national and international enterprises, venture capital firms, and top universities.

Organizations here might be more likely to adopt cutting-edge social technologies. And it doesn't hurt that we're based in Woburn, Mass.

Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: Social knowledge network technology is on the radar of info pros around the world.

Lighten your knowledge load

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We hear you loud and clear. You want more, you want it quick, and you want it concise.

Inmagic news, that is. Come on, now! ;)

Our blog launched just seven months ago, and today there are more than 3,000 of you receiving Google Alerts and subscribing. Now, we’re introducing another way to get your social knowledge fix: @Inmagic Lite.

It's our new and improved newsletter. We created it to provide you with a regular means of receiving Inmagic news right to your inbox.

@Inmagic Lite is a more frequent and succinct communication designed to give you the latest updates on Inmagic news and stories relevant to our product lines, DB/Text Library Suite and Presto. You can subscribe for free at our newletters Web page.

The January issue features news about Presto, and our latest offering, Presto for Social Libraries. In this platform, the knowledge publishing and discovery capabilities of Presto have been combined with the rich library management capabilities of Inmagic’s Genie technology to create Presto for Social Libraries.

So we hope you're as excited as we are about our latest product offering and the new format for @Inmagic Lite. And remember, it’s lite. So you don’t have to worry about packing on that extra knowledge.

Presto for Social Libraries hits the wire

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Complementing our unofficial debut of our latest app, Presto for Social Libraries, is, of course, our official debut. And that comes in the form of this press release. Give it read for more details on the platform, and scroll down to the links section to register for our social libraries webinar, read our social libraries white paper, and more.
____________________________________________________________________

Inmagic Announces Industry’s First Social Library Solution

Webinar will demonstrate a SOPAC that drives secure, two-way information exchanges between librarians and patrons, creating the first true social library solution

WOBURN, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today Inmagic announced its latest application, Inmagic® Presto for Social Libraries. This application is based on the recently released version of Presto -- dubbed Presto Social -- and is the first to transform libraries from cost centers to productivity centers by leveraging both content and the user community to create rich knowledge networks.

Presto for Social Libraries builds upon the company’s social knowledge management platform, and is a first for organizations looking to build social libraries that collect, organize, manage, share, and socialize information assets. Presto for Social Libraries creates a SOPAC (Social Online Public Access Catalog) that provides a unique framework for managing and enhancing library collections -- augmenting “top-down” vetted information with “bottom-up” social networks. The result is a secure, two-way information exchange that transforms libraries into true collaboration centers.

"Growing numbers of librarians embrace socialization of the library space," says Ann Stringfield, Proprietor of InfoCrofters, an Inmagic Business Partner. "We are transforming libraries from cost centers to productivity hubs, advancing business and social change within our communities."

As this trend takes hold, the question remains how to best make this shift. The concept of a true social library, with tightly integrated content and socialization creating Social Knowledge Networks, is relatively new. Inmagic will explain the process in a free webinar:
Title:The Social Library -- Beyond the Traditional OPAC.”

Host: Phil Green, Chief Technology Officer at Inmagic

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 28

Time: 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. EST

Description: The webinar will introduce Presto for Social Libraries, covering what social libraries are, why they’re generating so much interest among librarians, and steps to a quick and cost-effective implementation.

Audience: Special librarians, research center directors, CIOs, and knowledge management professionals interested in the latest in knowledge management and social knowledge networks.

Registration: Register today!
“The social library is more than just a concept rooted in the promises of library 2.0 and social media,” says Green. “It leverages both content and user knowledge in ways never before imagined. By integrating Web 2.0 capabilities, library workflow, information management, and publishing technologies, social libraries extend the value of the special library, and fundamentally change its significance, relevancy, and usefulness.”

Join us for this webinar, and learn how Inmagic Presto for Social Libraries:
  • Incorporates the concept of a SOPAC (Social Online Public Access Catalog), where librarians play a significant role in creating and maintaining the knowledge repository, and patrons add value to the content and share ideas using social media tools.

  • Reduces costs through improved operational efficiencies and information access, and consolidation of information silos.

  • Can be implemented in a controlled, content-centric manner, making the introduction of social media non-disruptive.
Social libraries make sense in a variety of environments where vetted and social information exist in concert. With this mixed environment of top-down and bottom-up information, Inmagic Presto for Social Libraries can be oriented to virtually any culture, product, and venture.

ABOUT INMAGIC, INC.

Since 1983, Inmagic has helped companies rapidly capture, organize, share, manage, and exploit their collective wisdom. Over 5,000 companies in 100 countries use Inmagic’s Presto and the DB/Text product family to forge Social Knowledge Networks that connect their people and information to gain unprecedented insight into customers, markets, competitors, research, intellectual properties, and more. Find out how much your company really knows. Visit Inmagic at www.Inmagic.com.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

PRESS RESOURCES

Press contacts: Kate Ritchie, kater@gregoryfca.com, Mike Cassettari, mcassettari@inmagic.com

Inmagic Press room: http://www.inmagic.com/news/press_room.html

Product page: http://www.inmagic.com/products/Presto/PrestoSocialLibrary.html

Brochure: http://www.inmagic.com/products/Presto/brochure-Presto-SL.pdf

Download whitepaper: http://www.inmagic.com/news/press_room/white_papers/SL_download.html

RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/inmagic

Inmagic Blog: http://blog.inmagic.com

Company fact sheet: http://www.inmagic.com/company/Inmagic-At-A-Glance.pdf

Contacts

For more information, press only:
Gregory FCA
Kate Ritchie, 610-642-8253
kater@gregoryfca.com
or
Inmagic, Inc.
Mike Cassettari, 781-287-6225
mcassettari@inmagic.com

Getting the metadata experience with Jin Xiu Guo

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It might be difficult not to get technical when you're talking about digital libraries and metadata schema. After all, it's the nature of the beast.

But when we talked to metadata librarian Jin Xiu Guo (right), our conversation went in many directions, technical, non-technical, and everything in between.

Jin is our latest Info Pro-file participant. She works at the Miller Library at Washington College, Md. She also blogs at Metadata Librarian Experience. Janelle did an e-mail Q & A with her recently, which you can explore below.

You'll gain some insight in her day-to-day at Miller Library, and learn her predictions for the future of metadata schemas, digitial libraries, and social libraries. She's a true knowledge sharer at heart, and enjoys participating in SLA's Knowledge Management wiki, imparting advice to her blog readers, and staying engaged in metadata trends. Read on!

And thanks again, Jin, for sharing your story with us!

JK: Tell us a little about who you are and what you do.

JG: My name is Jin Xiu Guo. I am the Metadata Librarian at Miller Library, Washington College, Chestertown, Md. My job is to make our collections (print and electronic) accessible to our library users.

For instance, troubleshooting collection access problems, original cataloging, metadata exchange, building the institutional repository, creating electronic theses collection, and some supervisory work.

JK: What's your favorite metadata standard to use? Least favorite?

JG: I have been working with schema, such as MARC, Dublin Core, MODS, and XML. MARC has been used for decades, and it's complicated -- very useful, but not user friendly. Three years ago, I started to build an institutional repository to hold our digital collections, so I worked with Dublin Core, MODS, and XML.

These metadata schemas are Web-based and flexible. You can customize them in any way you want. I think Dublin Core will play an important role in the digital world today and tomorrow.

Through OAI-PMH, global resources sharing and semantic Web will be the trend. I like to play with all of them. For some digital collections, sometimes, you need to combine all of them, but still use basic elements as the backbone.

JK: What interested you in library science? What brought you to the Miller Library at Washington College?

JG: I used to be a scientific researcher, and worked with information all the time. I've known how to find information, but not information management. After working for nine years, I decided to go back to library school to study information science.

I was offered my current job three years ago. Miller Library provides me the best opportunity to use my expertise, so I moved to Maryland from Montreal, Quebec.

JK: What's your favorite subject?

JG: I believe it is knowledge management.

JK: You also have a blog, Metadata Librarian Experience. What do you like to write about, and why?

JG: Originally, I wrote it for myself, which is a process of learning and critical thinking. Now I consider it more like knowledge sharing. I like to write about new technologies, trends, and how to solve problems appearing in my current job, such as metadata transformation and sharing. I answer some questions on what I currently do and how to solve metadata harvesting, and so forth.

JK: Do you use any other social technologies? Which ones?

JG: Yes, I use SLA's wiki for its Knowledge Management Division, and create best practices for institutional repositories. In 2006, I used Second Life and was part of a network of cataloging librarians. I also use Facebook and Linkedln for some professional connections.

JK: What trends, news, and technologies are you following right now?

JG: I am watching metadata conversion between different schemas and repositories, content management technology, federal search, and integration of digital resources.

JK: How important do you think the trend is toward social libraries?

JG: Social libraries will become a new model of information management and sharing. The system is dynamic, and it will encourage more input from communities. Explicit knowledge will find a home.

My concern is how we will control the quality of the social knowledge network and ensure high quality information is collected. Maybe, semantic Web will be used. We also have to ensure information contributors get rewarded, which will lead to a healthy information sharing life cycle.

JK: What are some the biggest challenges you're facing today as a metadata librarian?

JG: I believe it is how to make all types of resources well-organized and easily available to users. Continuing education is another challenge. You have to balance your work time and learning time to be able to acquire new knowledge.

JK: How are you trying to overcome economic challenges?

JG: Treat it with a normal mood, and work efficiently and intelligently.

JK: What advice do you have for other librarians during these times?

JG: I would say this is the time that librarians will get more questions and be busier than other times. Be sure to be just as courteous and patient as normal days.

JK: What do you like to read, for entertainment and professionally?

JG: I like to read newspapers (The New York Times, Washington Post) and magazines (Time, Cuisine, etc.) for pleasure. I also read C&E News, library journals, blogs, list serves, RSS, etc. to track professional developments.

JK: If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do?

JG: I would exercise. I don't have time to exercise every day, but if I had an extra hour, I would play badminton, do long distance running, or yoga.

Presto for Social Libraries goes live

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A new year and it’s off to the races for Inmagic. Back in November, you might recall our announcement of Inmagic Presto 3.0, a new, socialized version of the company’s popular knowledge repository. Now, we have fine-tuned the platform with special librarians in mind to create the industry’s first social library solution: Inmagic Presto for Social Libraries.

In a nutshell, we’ve built upon Presto 3.0 and created a SOPAC (Social Online Public Access Catalog) that provides a unique framework for managing and enhancing library collections. Think of the SOPAC as a social knowledge network (SKN) for special libraries. And when you combine SKNs and special libraries, you’re getting a true social library.

As we developed Presto for Social Libraries, we tried to create features that would take the special library to the next level. We want to help librarians transform their library from a cost center to a productivity center by leveraging both content and the user community to create rich knowledge networks.

For example, librarians can augment "top-down" vetted information with "bottom-up" social content. The result is a secure, two-way information exchange where librarians play a significant role in creating and maintaining the knowledge repository, and patrons add value to the content and share ideas using social media tools.

Below, we have new information about the new platform so you can learn more about how it works and whether it’s right for your organization.
We’re also hosting a webinar next week to introduce Presto for Social Libraries. It will be on Wednesday, Jan. 28 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST.

The webinar will go through the nuts and bolts of the application, show you how it can be implemented in a special library, and explain the benefits you can gain from it. You can register here. We’ll post a reminder as the date gets closer.

We’ll also be issuing a press release announcing Presto for Social Libraries to the market soon. But, as our loyal blog readers, we wanted to give you priority notice! We’ll be sharing the release here on blog once it’s out.

Inmagic on display down under at Information Online 2009

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Info pros in Australia are getting acquainted with Presto 3.0 and other social knowledge networks today at the Information Online 2009 Conference and Exhibition. The show, which is hosted by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), kicks off today in Sydney.

There, Inmagic partner Maxus Australia is exhibiting Presto. Maxus is one of our top-selling partners, and has been supplying information management software for more than 20 years to government, corporate, and non-government agencies.

ALIA's Information Online Blog (IO Blog) mentioned our exhibition on its site the other day. Like I said in the comments section, a hearty thank you in order for the IO Blog and Maxus.

And while we're on the topic, E-Business Library also gave us some link love about our exhibition. Thanks to all!

Social media in '09 and beyond with Dr. Nora Barnes

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Some companies are completely on board with social media, and have embraced it whole-heartedly. Others dabble in it. And still others know nothing about it.

It's interesting to drill down into all of these categories, but for today, we're focusing on the gung-ho social media users. Helping us is Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, who really knows her stuff when it comes to all things social.

You might remember Dr. Barnes (pictured right) from a recent post by John Callan. He attended the Gilbane Boston Conference a couple of months ago, and was intrigued by a presentation from Dr. Barnes. So we hooked up for a podcast to talk more about her presentation. You can listen to it below.

In her presentation, Dr. Barnes talked about her study which found Inc. 500 companies have the highest rates of adoption of social media technologies, compared to other corporate organizations.

In our podcast, we unfold these findings further. Dr. Barnes attributes the Inc. 500's social media leadership to their smaller size. It might give them more flexibility and agility to quickly adopt new technologies and incorporate them into their businesses.

We also talked about her views on social media and content management, and whether they should be segregated or combined. Her answer was blunt: "I think that unless they converge, we've got a problem."

She also offered her perspective on the development of social media in 2009. She shared her advice for merging social media and content management in the enterprise, and how to realize the benefits of that confluence.

And, if you're a corporate blogger like us, pay particular attention to when we talk about corporate blogs and Forrester's recent report that found only 16 percent of people trust them.

Dr. Barnes admits company blogs don't interest her too much, unless they are focused on helping customers, and not simply spouting market speak.

We think we're an example of one that's for the customer. That's not to say we are the best, but our blog stats show our readers trust us because they keep coming back. In fact, we'll posting more our 2008 blog stats over the coming week so you can judge for yourself.

In the meantime, listen to our podcast with Dr. Barnes.







Most popular blog posts of 2008

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We were perusing our blog traffic report for 2008, and one major metric we looked at was the most popular blog posts. Technically, these were the most popular posts from the last seven months of the year, because we launched the blog in June.

Out of the 126 posts we published during the time, these 10 were read the most:

1. Internet Librarian reactions, from Dave

2. Engineering the social knowledge network vision

3. Our inaugural Info Pro-file: Robin Hastings, part 1

4. Google validates social knowledge networks

5. Road to Social Knowledge Networks series

6. Is social media suited for older generations?

7. Everything you want to know about social knowledge networks, revealed

8. The social network vs. the social knowledge network

9. Buckets of fun: Segmenting social knowledge management markets

10. Ideas for increasing participation in social media

It's thanks to you, our readers, that these posts made the top 10 list. We think that's because these topics are probably of most interest to you. From this data, a few topics it seems you're focused on are the Internet Librarian conference, learning how to create and manage social knowledge networks, and meeting fellow info pros.

But please, correct us if we are wrong! And let us know what else you'd like to see on the blog. What burning questions do you want answered? What topics do you want covered? And even, what media would you like it in? Text, podcast, video? We'd love to hear from you.

Librarians in all their glory

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2009 might be a great year for librarians, as Marty Nemko writes in this U.S. News and World Report article. Quite the comment storm has erupted, and I joined the fray.

The increased innovation of knowledgebases, digital records, and social information is requiring librarians to become "high-tech information sleuths," as Marty puts it.

From my public library experience, I think this segues nicely into librarians' skill sets and aptitude. Librarians are naturally curious individuals, skilled in search and discovery tools and strategies. I think this will lead many librarians to embrace the new era of social libraries.

For more of my thoughts, check out my comment on the article.

Watch how SKNs can help your organization

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Visual demos are probably the best way to show how social knowledge networks (SKNs) and Presto 3.0 can be used to support your organization's knowledge management initiatives.

We've been working on creating a video demo of Presto 3.0, and today, our efforts are complete. Our five-minute demo of Presto is available for your eyes on our Web site.

You'll be able to see the social tools and other features in action, and get a better idea of how Presto can be used in your organization.


Inside Social Presto development with Alex Burdenko

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We talk a lot about the power of Presto 3.0 with all of its social tools. But ever wonder how this baby was born?

Inmagic's Director of Engineering, Alex Burdenko, has the answers. He gave us the scoop when we talked to him for our Meet the Team podcast series. You can listen to the interview below.

You'll learn about Alex's professional background in software development, and what brought him to Inmagic. He takes us behind the scenes of the development of Social Presto, and tells us how customer feedback was integral to the team's decision-making process.

Alex also gives us advice for prioritizing your day to stay productive. He operates on a true agile developer's mentality of "only build what you need," because situations and resources change quickly.

Press play to learn more about Alex.







Alex Burdenko breaks the ice

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Consider this your virtual handshake with Inmagic's Director of Engineering, Alex Burdenko. He's helping us kick off our Meet the Team series.

We talked to him recently, and learned about his professional background, what he does at Inmagic, his thoughts on the socialization of the library, and his favorite outdoor activities.

His podcast interview is coming up. In the meantime, here's our Q&A with Alex:

I have been an employee at Inmagic for

6 months.

The most interesting book I’ve read recently is

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel.

The last movie I saw was

I am Legend.

My favorite gadget is

My Nintendo Wii.

My secret vice is

I like to read science fiction and fantasy books by authors such as David Gemmel, Isaac Asimov, and Terry Brooks.

My favorite social tool is

Presto!

My sports team of choice is

The Boston Red Sox, of course.

The first song on my favorite playlist is

TI's "Live Your Life."

If I could be anywhere right now, I’d be

Right here.

My defining Inmagic moment

Was during my interview here. I realized the caliber of the people, and I wanted to be a part of building a great company.

Getting good at the virtual handshake

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If you're a regular reader to the blog, you've probably been able to glean a bit of insight into the personalities and backgrounds of some of the Inmagic team. But there's more to us than that!

We're a friendly, eclectic bunch, and aren't afraid to open up and share our stories. So in that spirit, we're spilling our beans on the blog. You'll be able to "Meet the Team" through podcast interviews and short Q&As with Inmagic employees.

We'll be talking professional -- careers, position at Inmagic, thoughts on the industry. And we'll be getting personal -- what do you do when Inmagic closes for the day?

By the time we're through, we think you'll be great at the virtual handshake, and know a little more about what makes us tick. We're working on our first Meet the Team podcast, and will be posting it soon.

Gartner makes it easier to get social buy-in

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As we look into 2009, it's great to know social tools have made Gartner's “Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009.” To some, it might appear they are late to the party. But this is an important step for enterprise knowledge management and special libraries.

You might be saying, “Big deal. Another top 10 list. Who cares?” I’ll tell you. Your boss. Why? Because when Gartner identifies a “megatrend,” you can be sure upper management will sit up and take notice.

Without this sort of endorsement, it’s been easy for management to put the idea of a social strategy on the back burner. “Social tools make sense on the Internet for sites like Amazon, but not behind the firewall at my firm.”

Because of this view, organizations that have implemented social knowledge networks often rely on a social champion to kick start the initiative. Typically, this person is younger and generally educates management on the benefits of social tools and the wisdom of the community.

Here at Inmagic, we work hand-in-hand with social champions to help shape and guide organizations' socialization of key content. Sometimes a VP, partner, CIO, or CEO needs to hear real-world examples of how other firms are using social tools to enhance enterprise content.

Through the experience of our deep customer base, we can effectively explain and showcase the benefits of socializing enterprise content to upper management.

Now that '09 is upon us and Gartner's announcement will theoretically begin to unfurl, I think it will change those preconceptions, especially as Gartner’s customers get briefings and newsletters on the benefits of social tools within the enterprise.

And as upper management gets educated, the dynamic is going to switch from, “Why are you proposing this?” to, “Why aren’t we moving faster?” This in turn will trickle down to your boss and you.

Inmagic is more than happy to help you get in front of this request and develop a social content strategy that is in line with the future direction of enterprise technology. Give us a call.

Stay tuned for more social media analysis from Dr. Nora Barnes

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Last month I attended the Gilbane Boston Conference, and was particularly intrigued by a presentation from Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes. You might recall me writing about it on the blog.

Dr. Barnes is Chancellor Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She recently co-conducted a study that found Inc. 500 companies have high rates of adoption of social media technologies.

After listening to her present her findings, I thought she would be a great interview for our blog to drill into her conclusions more. Well, our podcasting team was on it, and lo and behold, they interviewed Dr. Barnes today. We'll be posting their podcast soon, so stay tuned to hear more insight and analysis from Dr. Barnes.

NASA goes from outer space to cyberspace

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NASA is one organization near and dear to us here at Inmagic. They're a client, we feature a NASA image of the day on the blog, and our Web traffic shows that our readers search for NASA material regularly. (Just doing our homework! ;-))

So here's something for our NASA fans. Linda Cureton, CIO of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, wrote a guest post for NicheNot. We thought it was an interesting discussion about using Web 2.0 technologies and managing virtual identities. Looks like NASA's business in space is also of the cyber variety! Might make you stop and think about your own virtual identity. Enjoy!

Fielded wikis to drive semantic Web adoption

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There’s an interesting discussion going on over at ReadWriteWeb. Feature writer Alex Iskold penned a piece about trends in semantic Web technologies, and how these technologies can be used.

Some of the commenters have remarked on the slow adoption of semantic products. I agree, and in my comment I offer an answer. Adoption begins with people who are connected and motivated by the problem they are solving. This typically includes the quest for content and information.

That’s why we’re seeing more companies using meta tags to enhance their information repositories. But meta tagging falls short of achieving this objective because it’s not domain specific.

We need a technology known as “fielded wiki.” It allows domain-specific information to be added to the system. Field + Data = Semantic Smart. Like social knowledge networks, this promises to foster richer repositories, more relevant search results, and more rapid information discovery.

More on this in my comment on ReadWriteWeb.

Social knowledge network nutshell

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We might have reached the end of the Road to Social Knowledge Networks, but there remains much to consider. Let's review the biggest take-aways from our adventure.

Social knowledge networks are not a junk drawer of data, strewn across a shared network drive. They are not simple search engines, siloed information centers, or purely social environments.

While social knowledge networks draw upon these technologies, the key to creating a true SKN is remembering knowledge is more than vetted research, books, or image repositories. And it's more than social communications and networking. It's the combination of the two.

A social knowledge network provides a one-stop shop for information. It's a secure place where content and social media can be controlled using a social volume knob. The community can enhance and inform the content, creating social intelligence.

When we work with clients all around the world, we are trying to help them increase the value and use of their information assets.

This means helping them move from a state where information is disorganized and privately held, to a state where information is organized, accessible, enhanced, and informed by the community. That's where we gain productivity, wisdom, and truth.

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