I recently posted about the call to “Just do it” made by Lynne Brindley in her opening plenary talk at the Umbrella 2007 conference; a rallying cry which has been echoed by others.
In his blog post about the conference (and echoed in his trip report) Pete Smith asks “How useful is ‘just do it’ as advice?” The answer to that question is simple: it’s not useful advice, because it’s not intended as advice! Rather this rallying cry is meant to indicate that the debate has moved on and we should now be asking how we deploy technologies such as blogs and wikis, how we syndicate our content, how we go about engaging with user-generated content and how we address the broad issues of openness – and not whether we should. And must definitely not “we can’t do this because Web 2.0 is just a marketing term”. I feel we are at a stage which has many similarities to the position in 1993-4 when there was a realisation in the university sector that Gopher wouldn’t make it and the answer to the question of whether to use a home-grown campus wide information system, Gopher technologies or the Web was “It’s the Web. Just do it!”
As Pete suggests, the question we need to address is “how?”. And, of course, this question will need to encompass the intended purpose, the scope, the legal issues and questions about sustainability and business questions.
And these are issues UKOLN has started to address. And I’ve summarised some of the bigger questions in the poster shown below which I’ll be displaying at a JISC Emerge meeting on Tuesday. I’ll follow up on the issues highlighted in the poster in future posts – and look forward for comments, questions and criticisms.