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Want a free Kindle 2?

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Then read on, because you'll have three chances to get one when you go to the SLA conference this year. We'll be giving away a Kindle 2 on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of the show. (That's June 14th to the 16th.)

The Kindle 2 is the latest generation of the wireless reading device from Amazon. We know folks in this space are voracious readers. So we thought the Kindle would be a perfect giveaway item.

It's as thin a magazine, lighter than a paperback novel, and stores over 1,500 books. It's a library in the palm of your hand. You can read just about any book, magazine, newspaper, blog (ehem, like ours! ;-)), personal document, and more on the Kindle. You can also listen to audiobooks, and read it on the beach without any sun glare.

More specs, pics, and demos of the Kindle are on Amazon's Web page. Amazon normally sells these puppies for $359 a pop, so if your hungry for a Kindle, don't miss your opportunity to get one for free.

UPDATE: Check that, we'll be giving away FOUR Kindle 2's!

All KM peeps invited to SLA's KM Division Reception

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I just wrote about the customer reception we'll be having at the SLA conference 2009, but if you're not an Inmagic customer, don't worry, we're not leaving you out of the fun!

We're also hosting the SLA KM Division Reception for all conference attendees. It'll be a great networking opportunity to meet others in the biz. We have some fun networking games planned, and we'll have coffee, tea, desserts, and a cash bar. The reception will be held Sunday, June 14 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Location is TBD. We'll keep you updated on the blog.

If you haven't registered for SLA yet, you can do so on SLA's Web site. More info on exhibitors, events, accommodations, its centennial celebration, etc. are also located there.

UPDATE: The reception will be held in the Grand Ballroom South at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel. It's located directly across from the Washington Convention Center, where the SLA conference will be held.

Party like an Inmagic customer at SLA 2009

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If you're an Inmagic customer, we've got the party for you. You'll be the men and women of the hour when we host our Inmagic customer reception at the SLA conference this year.

It's our tribute to you. We get a chance to meet and mingle, because our customers are more than names on paper to us. They're people who we enjoying helping, working with, and getting to know. You can also meet other customers. Plus, it's an oppotunity to have free food and adult beverages! ;-)

Last year's customer reception was a lot of fun. We keep the atmosphere casual and laid back, and the finger food is definitely hard to keep your fingers off of! Customers from around the world came out, which was great to see. We also gave away a free set of BOSE headphones.

This year's reception is shaping up to be another hit, and we're planning more cool stuff for party-goers. The time is slated for Tuesday, June 16 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Room 154 at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C. If you haven't registered for SLA 2009 yet, sign up here on SLA's Web site. See you there!

Law and order in the library, with Connie Crosby

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A popular belief among some law libraries is that there is no room for social technology. Social tools are believed to sabotage productivity and privacy in a world focused on risk management. But there are some law librarians who believe otherwise, and we went straight to one of the top sources in legal librarianship to learn more in the podcast below.

A self-proclaimed "info diva," Connie Crosby is a law librarian based in Toronto, Canada. She's currently a consultant, writer, blogger, speaker, and instructor specializing in social networking tools. She was recently nominated as one of Canada's Most Influential Women in Social Media by Profectio, and it's easy to see why.

She's an avid blogger, and writes for four blogs. She contributes to Slaw, a cooperative blog penned by some of the most prominent law bloggers in Canada. Check out her most recent post, published yesterday.

She also has a professional blog, called Connection, which she hosts on her Web site, CrosbyGroup.ca. And her personal blog is Connie Crosby, which she pairs with Connie Crosby Links, a collection of interesting links Connie comes across in the library and technology spaces.

As you might expect, Connie also uses Twitter, both professionally and personally, to tap the knowledge of her Twitterverse when she might have a question about something she's working on. You can find her @conniecrosby and @crosbygroup.

In our podcast, she dives into the evolution of IT in the law library space, of which she's been a part for nearly 20 years. Connie started working with online chat and forums while they were in their infancy in the mid-80s, and has been embedded in social technologies ever since.

However, she says that while the legal industry might be conservative, there is a role for social media. Connie offers suggestions for how law firms can use social tools in positive, productive ways.

In fact, Connie attributes the success of her consulting business in part to social technology. Listen as she explains how how social has kept her business alive, giving her the ability to source leads, market her company, and more.

And if you're a special librarian focused in another industry, hear Connie's perspective on the unique aspects of law libraries that other special librarians can learn from.







Upcoming webinar: Five Steps to Socializing Your Knowledge Repository

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With social knowledge networks (SKNs) increasingly on companies' radars, the next big question is, How do I implement one? Our own Phil Green will tell all in Inmagic's next webinar, Five Steps to Socializing Your Knowledge Repository.

Phil will be joined by Larry Hawes, Lead Analyst of Collaboration & Enterprise Social Media for The Gilbane Group. Moderating once again will be Andy Moore, Publisher of KMWorld, which is sponsoring the event.

In the webinar, you'll gain insight into the biggest SKN challenges on information managers minds, and learn solutions for handling them, including:
  • How to kick-off your SKN strategy
  • Do's and don'ts of implementing SKNs
  • Hidden pitfalls and unrealized benefits of going social
  • How SharePoint fits into the mix
  • Crafting a success plan with ROI
  • Real-world examples from organizations including NASA, Newsweek, and R.V. Anderson Associates Limited
The webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 19 at 2 p.m. EDT, 11 a.m. PDT. Our past KMWorld-sponored webinars have been very popular, and this one is sure to be a repeat. So make sure you register a.s.a.p. on KMWorld's Web site.

The SKN evangelist's checklist

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CIOs and other information managers are under increasing pressure to make justifications regarding IT expenditures. IT programs that directly impact revenue or costs are given the highest priority. And so as I wrap up our How to Cost Justify Your Social Knowledge Networks Needs series, I leave you with the most important points to make when considering and advocating for social knowledge networks.

Cost reductions through improved operational efficiencies and information access should be strongly considered, especially in the context of improved individual productivity, increased organizational content quality, improved organizational productivity, and consolidation of information silos.

Numerous studies have proven the cost-related benefits of improving information access for knowledge worker professionals. Timely access to high quality, relevant information can have a dramatic effect on overall productivity -- up to 40% in many cases. This can allow organizations to do more with less, and address their cost/benefit trade-offs when examining which IT programs to reduce or eliminate.

Social knowledge management solutions are uniquely positioned to address these needs by providing a low-cost method of capturing and sharing information. This allows for rapid discovery of high-quality, relevant information, and provides a single location for an organization's information assets.

SKN Value Prop: SKNs are well positioned to enable companies to weather the economic storm, and thrive long after.

What does SLA mean to you?

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Summer's approaching, and with it, SLA 2009. June 14-17 marks the well-known affair. Inmagic has had a long standing relationship with SLA, and we're looking forward to this year's show in Washingon, D.C. to help celebrate SLA's centennial anniversary. We have lots of activities planned for SLA, and we'll keep you updated on as they unfold.

SLA has been an important force in the industry over the past 100 years. In case you didn't hear, it recently held a YouTube video contest for its members. I was checking out the winners on its site and thought you might want to take a gander too.

Here's one submitted by the St. Louis Metro Area Chapter of the SLA.



And here's another from Noni Vidal at Clarion University.

Why social is better inside the firewall, with Bill Ives

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Record years? Revenue never better? In 2009? It's happening, according to Bill Ives, independent consultant on corporate blogging and former knowledge management client practice lead for a major consulting firm.

In our podcast with Bill, we dive deep into why blogging and other social media technologies are changing the equation for knowledge management inside the enterprise, and how companies are seeing significant returns from bringing social inside the firewall.

Bill has a Ph.D. in educational psychology, and the subject has been a common thread throughout his career. He got involved in Fortune 100 business consulting and learning in the 80s, and knowledge management in the 90s.

That set the stage for his current career in blogging. He now advises companies and individuals (particularly those in IT and enterprise 2.0) on their market-facing blogs, blogging strategies, and how to be effective conversationalists in the blogosphere. He also writes for The AppGap and FASTfoward, and maintains his personal blog at Portals and KM. You can find him on Twitter too, @BillIves.

Bill gave us some insight into what types of companies are well suited for blogging, how to know if you should be blogging, and how to identify what you should be using it for. He also shares tools for monitoring your online image.

Be sure to turn up your speakers when the conversation turns to social in the enterprise. Bill reveals why social tools work better inside the enterprise, rather than externally, and how social media is ideally suited for helping companies increase their productivity.

Successful KM goes beyond technology

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Managing intellectual property is an ongoing challenge for many organizations. One reason is that senior employees retire, and so can their personal expertise and knowledge. Another is the tendency for some employees to not adhere to knowledge management policies and procedures.

So then, "how do you capture, catalog, update, distribute, and otherwise collaborate on knowledge (i.e., IP) when it ranges from expertise to trademarks?" asks Kevin O'Marah in his recent article on ZDNet.

I think the right technology is part of the answer. But technology cannot do it alone. Successful IP management requires internal best practice adherence, management ownership/sponsorship, metric tracking/reporting, etc. More thoughts on this in my comment on the article. Thanks for posting it Kevin!

Knowledge, a more perfect union

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Last we met for our How to Cost Justify Your Social Knowledge Network Needs series, we talked about how disparate information silos can compromise an organization's productivity. Today, we're moving on to discuss how merging those silos into one repository can benefit organizations.

As CIO's and other information professionals are tasked with lowering costs, one obvious target is reducing the number of systems to manage information or reducing existing footprints and augmenting with lower cost solutions. Each system typically has recurring costs associated with annual maintenance or subscription fees, hardware support and IT overhead costs.

Selecting the right systems to consolidate can be a very difficult task. Focusing on those systems that are used in a redundant manner is one approach, and selecting those systems that are used inappropriately, where ROI is lower, helps narrow the selection further.

Reducing the footprint (i.e. number of user licenses or instance licenses) and augmenting it with a lower cost system to replace certain areas of functionality or workflow can be a successful strategy.

Consider a DM (document management) system used by a marketing department to manage workflows of pricing proposals, white papers, data sheets, etc. The consumers of the final, vetted artifacts are the company's sales force. Currently, the company uses its expensive DM system to both manage the workflows and archive the final product.

However, the sales force needs only have access to the final, vetted content. By reducing the footprint of the DM system to those users who extract the most value from it (the marketing department), and augmenting with a lower cost archival knowledge management solution, the company can lower its overall IT costs and still ensure the same or better productivity levels for its staff.

Table 1 highlights the cost savings that can be achieved through careful downsizing of an existing DM system footprint and redistribution of expenditures to a lower-cost social knowledge management solution. (Click to enlarge.)

Those workers that are the heaviest users of the DM system continue to have access, whereas those that are simply interested in the archival and information publishing uses of it are moved to the social knowledge management system. Productivity is maintained, but at a much lower annual cost.

SKN Value Prop: Consolidation of disparate information silos is key to lowering operational costs.

Phil presents the brave new world of social libraries

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One more goody for our readers from CIL 2009: A video of Phil's presentation at the Library Automation Highlights session.

You can hear Phil talk about the growing trend of social libraries, and how social technologies are merging with library science and CMS. The result: Companies can harness the wisdom of their community to enhance the richness of their knowledge repository and productivity of their employees.

Phil also goes through a short demo of Presto for Social Libraries as a example of how these social platforms work in the special library environment.

Today's business transformations for tomorrow's enterprise

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It's no secret the economy is changing the way companies are operating. But as Art Murray writes in this KMWorld article, companies shouldn't simply let the economy pull them into a downward spiral. There are certain measures they can take now to help them come out of the storm with their business in tact and ready to move forward.

Art calls these measures "transformations." Well put. Like I said in my comment, these are statements that we have been practicing and preaching as social knowledge networks have taken hold. I think SKNs finally provide the market with a clear path to reaching the enterprise-of-the-future end game -- that is, aligning social strategies with broader content and knowledge management initiatives.

Sales team comes bearing photos from CIL 2009

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Our sales team returned from CIL 2009 with some goodies for our readers -- photos! Our slideshow is on our Flickr page now if you want to take a look at our exhibit space, see Kipo demoing away at the booth, and more.

Dude, where's my data?

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Many organizations have information scattered across multiple storage folders and drives, also known as information silos. Each silo could have different methods for naming, saving, sorting and categorizing documents. Methods could vary so much, that a worker from one department cannot navigate another department's system and find the information they need.

You can imagine what that does for productivity, if employees are spending so much time just looking for the information they need to start or continue moving with a project. We'll explore it more in our next How to Cost Justify Your Social Knowledge Network Needs post.

Let's start by looking at data from a Gartner Leaders Toolkit published in 2008, entitled "What is Enterprise Content Management and What is its Value?" It shows findings from surveys that highlight the number of disparate information silos and content management solutions that companies have, on average. The results are in Fig. 1 below. (Click the image to enlarge.)


Nearly a third of the companies surveyed have 1-5 silos, and almost another third have 6-10. The impact of so many information silos is twofold:

1. Knowledge worker productivity is impacted because of the time taken to navigate multiple, disparate systems for information.

2. IT costs are higher due to the management costs associated with many different systems.

As discussed earlier, improving individual worker productivity can have a major impact on reducing an organization's operational costs. Giving knowledge workers a single access point to an organization's collective knowledge has a dramatic effect on reducing the time taken to search for and discover relevant information.

An effective social knowledge management implementation acts as this single source. Data from an organization's existing content management systems, such as project management systems, document management (DM) systems, digital asset management (DAM) systems, and so on, feed into one social knowledge management system. The system then acts as the organization's "single source of truth" for vetted and social content.

SKN Value Prop: Combining disparate data centers creates an efficient "single source of truth" to drive organizations' knowledge management initiatives.

How they do Inmagic user groups in South Africa

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Mindex Systems, our partner in Menlopark, South Africa, recently held a user group for customers running Inmagic software. Some folks from Mindex and about 85 customers got together to talk shop. Mindex updated everyone on our new releases, went over the various installation and training services they offer, and demoed Presto.

But perhaps the best part was the setting for this fine affair. Everyone gathered in the National Library of South Africa's new, state-of-the-art building in Pretoria. Here's a picture of everyone inside one of the meeting rooms:



More cool pictures of the building are on the library's Web site, if you're interested.

Genie 3.3 is out of the bottle

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Today we made available the latest point release of Genie, Genie 3.3. It has some enhancements to the serials functionality for easier configuration and use. If you're a customer on our maintenance program, just look for our standard notification to get the upgrade. If you're interested in learning more about the new version, check out our press release on our Web site.
____________________________________________________________________

Inmagic Builds Upon Successful Library Automation System with Latest Genie Release

Upgrade enhances serials features and configurability for improved workflow and administration

WOBURN, Mass. -- March 30, 2009 -- Inmagic today released Inmagic® Genie 3.3, a component of the Inmagic® DB/Text Library Suite, the company’s popular Web-based Integrated Library System (ILS) platform. Genie 3.3 bolsters the product’s serials management and configurability capabilities, and is available to all Genie customers on active maintenance.

The new serials functionality enhances tools such as arrival date prediction, routing lists, and workflow. In addition, Genie 3.3 introduces easier configurability options, with updates to functions such as report-driven batch e-mail and alternate search syntax. These updates will ease library administration and improve 508 compliance, a Federal regulation for making electronic and information technology accessible to the disabled.

“The needs of special library professionals are evolving, and Inmagic continues to evolve with them," says Phil Green, CTO of Inmagic. “We will leave no librarian behind. Genie 3.3 is a direct result of customer demand, and demonstrates our 25+-year commitment to keeping special librarians and their organizations at the forefront of automation and library technologies.”

Genie is also the cornerstone of Inmagic's DB/Text Library Suite, the company's Web-based integrated library systems management tool. DB/Text Library Suite is comprised of three of Inmagic’s industry-leading library and special collections management technologies:
  • Genie is a Web-based ILS that manages and provides timely, relevant access to traditional and non-traditional library materials. The platform is perfectly suited for single or multi-site libraries that provide Web-based access to a single catalog covering multiple collections.
  • DB/Text Works is the foundation and textbase engine of DB/Text Library Suite. A specialized database and text retrieval system, DB/Text Works can efficiently organize nearly any type of digital information—resulting in a central knowledge repository that’s accessible to all constituents.
  • DB/Text Web Publisher Pro is DB/Text Library Suite’s Web publishing system. It allows users a single platform for information publishing needs, without requiring knowledge of HTML, XML, or other programming technology.
Genie has been embraced by over 300 organizations worldwide, including California Child Welfare Resource Library, Womens’ Health Victoria, Dreyfus, Holland & Knight LLP, Jones & Stokes and thousands more.

Genie 3.3 will be made available to all maintenance-paying customers through a maintenance notification.

ABOUT INMAGIC, INC.
Inmagic, Inc. has been the industry leader in knowledge management and library automation applications for over 25 years. Today, Inmagic is at the forefront of the move to new generation knowledge management, creating Social Knowledge Networks that combine top-down, vetted information with bottom-up, social “wisdom of the community” to address critical research and business objectives. Over 5,000 companies in 100 countries use Inmagic solutions, including Inmagic® Presto, Inmagic® Presto for Social Libraries, and the DB/Text product family, to gain unprecedented insight into customers, markets, competitors, research, intellectual properties, and more. Find out how much your organization 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.

For more information, press only:
Kate Ritchie, Gregory FCA, 610-642-8253 ext. 162, KateR@GregoryFCA.com
Or
Carolyn MacNeill, Inmagic, Inc., 781-287-6277, CMacNeill@Inmagic.com

PRESS RESOURCES
Press contact: Kate Ritchie, 610-642-8253 ext. 162, KateR@GregoryFCA.com
Press room: http://www.inmagic.com/news/press_room.html
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/inmagic
Web site: http://www.inmagic.com
Blog: http://blog.inmagic.com
Company fact sheet: http://www.inmagic.com/company/Inmagic-At-A-Glance.pdf
Executive bios: http://www.inmagic.com/company/mgmt.html

When norms of online life trickle into corporate world

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Gary Hamel poses a thought-provoking idea in his recent Wall Street Journal post about the "Facebook Generation," also known as Millenials. It got me thinking -- but maybe a little too much, because I wasn't able to fit my comment inside WSJ's 150-word comment field! So I'm posting it here.

Gary writes, "The experience of growing up online will profoundly shape the workplace expectations of 'Generation F.'" Gary goes to explain 12 norms of online interaction that are contrary to the norms of interacting in corporate settings.

I thought Gary's list is a nice summation of outside-the-firewall social networking. But what about inside the firewall? As we continue to understand "the social DNA of Generation F," and what it means to how we work in a corporate setting, it's important to remind managers and executives alike that social networking extends well beyond a recruitment tool.

Sure, organizations need to recognize and capitalize on the strengths of the talent-base, but what happens when the Facebook Generation comes inside the firewall and needs to play by corporate rules? And how does an organization best leverage their knowledge assets inclusive of managed top-down content and the wisdom of the community?

Unlike the broader World Wide Web community and social networking as defined by popular commercial sites like MySpace and Facebook, the stakes are too high for inaccurate or poor knowledge contributions within Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and large associations. Organizations of all sizes need to embrace the culture, creativity, and to an extent, the ideology of social knowledge management, without succumbing to it completely.

The key to creating a true social knowledge network that encapsulates the best of the social ideal, is remembering that knowledge is more than top-down vetted information. And it's more than bottom-up social communications and networking. It's finding the right mix of the two for your own unique organization.

Follow me on Twitter

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Jumping on the social bandwagon even more, I've kicked off a Twitter account, @cmac123. I hope to be a voice of the company, passing on KM and library 2.0 info that might be of interest, plus some inside info on Inmagic. (Think Obama's campaign announcements, but maybe not on such a presidential scale. ;)) So follow me, I'll follow you. It'll be fun, and I promise not to be a walking corporate sales pitch.

CIL 2009 conversations focus on SharePoint-complementary technologies

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Being a relative newcomer to the library space in terms of software technologies, I came to CIL 2009 with an open mind about what to expect. I have to say, I have been pleasantly surprised!

Along with my colleagues Kipo, Jason, and Phil, I have been manning our booth and attending a session here and there. Given that our booth is right beside the Internet stations and the coffee and lunch areas, we have seen a tremendous amount of traffic to our booth. Many of our customers have been stopping by to say hello and get a first-hand demo of Presto for Social Libraries.

I’ve been lucky to have been able to talk to a wide variety of folks here, ranging from people in the public library space, to academics, to people from local non-profit organizations (this is Washington, D.C. after all!), to corporate entities.

The common threads I’ve found are that they all are extremely interested in

a) how new technologies can help them get their jobs done faster and better,

b) how these technologies can give their patrons better insight into the relevance and quality of the information they are finding, and

c) how they can leverage their existing investments by augmenting their current platforms and solutions with these new technologies.

It’s been refreshing to experience the passion they have for what they do, and the curiosity and openness they have for embracing new technologies.

I’ve also had quite a number of conversations with folks about the impact of SharePoint on their operations. In every case, the question has been about how they can use SharePoint and a library automation and publishing system together.

This is driven by the reality that SharePoint is becoming more pervasive in their organizations, whether they like it or not. And they are being asked to find solutions that, again, augment rather than replace SharePoint.

When I engaged in discussions about Web Parts technology, and how Presto and SharePoint both use this same building-blocks technology, I'm happy to say that their concerns were addressed. We could get back to talking about what they were most interested in, namely providing their patrons the best possible experience.

We have one day left, so here's hoping for more of the same!

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