Leaked NYT Report on Innovation

Twitter and other social media yesterday was crazy about a leaked 91 page report from the New York Times on innovation in the mobile and digital age (use the Google or contact me if you cannot find it). It primarily addresses their environment of rapidly changing media platforms, but there is a lot in it that also applies to us in library-land. In particular, our own web strategy at UTS Library, which is very informal, and where we are going with our Open Access press UTSePress.

Initially I thought I’d just send it to the managers responsible for those areas, but after quickly reading the lot I found more and more general ideas that I liked, so I sent it to all of our managers and we will all meet to discuss it at a later date. If you can still find it, you’ll see that it isn’t a marvellous copy, but it is mostly readable and I think very valuable, even if it seems mostly to affirm some of our existing directions. 

Here is a start on some of the ideas it touches on that I think are of relevance to library-land:
  • web publication trends (we’ve been closely following these of late)
  • audience reach and why it is important (agreed)
  • reader experience (acknowledging it and doing something about it and we must do more in this area)
  • having a web strategy – do we want one that is more obvious, a little more formal and that evolves?
  • disruption and what it means for us (too)
  • content aggregators – what are they, how they impact on us and how we make best use of them
  • the importance of discovery – new tools & getting the basics right, like tagging and structure (we’ve been focussing a lot on this for the last couple of years)
  • experimentation – how it works, why it is needed (agreed and we do try to encourage this)
  • personalisation (see above re discovery as we’re trying to do something like a recommendation engine that our users can opt into)
  • using data layers or adding them in (I’m not exactly sure how this applies to us and need to think more about it, but I’m pretty sure we should be doing more in this area)
  • user generated content – is that relevant to us? (we are essentially doing that in the physical space now with curations of student works and could extend that to our online presence, perhaps using social media more – we’ve experimented with this a little already)
  • events (this is a big area for us and they always have a planned and strong online dimension)
  • going “digital first” or digital equally? (I think the latter is more relevant for us – we should not concentrate simply on either digital or physical programs)
  • boosting analytics (this is why I desperately want to get some professional UX people into the library)
  • employee movement between departments – to boost collaboration & understanding (I think we could really do more here)
  • failing, learning, & sharing results (I think we’ve already started on this path)
  • making more creative roles not just (passive or responsive) service roles: makers, entrepreneurs, advocates, observers (agreed)

2 comments

    • malbooth

      Thanks Justine, I hadn’t seen that take. Mine was just meant to be a quickly written encouragement for people in our world to find and read it and then take out of it whatever they think is relevant to their own community or environment. There is a lot in it for us.

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