The Web 2.0 Face-Off

They called it 2.0 Pecha Kucha—Conversation Face-Off! The program dutifully explained that Pecha Kucha is Japanese for the sound of conversation and represented a fast-paced series of presentations. And the pace was wonderful for the audience—just the stimulation needed at 4 pm after a full day of conferencing. Each of the five panelists had just 6 minutes and 40 seconds with 20 images to express their opinion about a particular 2.0 technology—IM, podcasting, wikis, videocasting, and Facebook. I was truly amazed how much each of them was able to pack into a short, punchy report. Limitations are a good thing.

The common themes were about being where your users are, promotion, teaching, telling stories, inviting content contributions, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the ease of working with these technologies. Several mentioned Library Success: a best practices wiki for examples (

The five 2.0 promoters were then followed by Greg Notess representing the voice of the skeptic (with the same time constraint)—and he did an admirable job in standing up to the promoters and raising some frank, realistic questions. “If 2.0 is the solution,” he asked, “what was the problem?” While he acknowledged that these represented wonderful initiatives, he urged us to consider the costs in time and money. Many of these initiatives represent only a tiny percentage of our total library/patron encounters. “Is this just distraction from our real work?” So, the session was fun, enticing, motivating, and realistic—just what we needed.

Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, ITI


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