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Bohyun Kim's picture

Feedback on the ALA MW13 TTT panel

I was on Twitter getting some feedback on today's TTT panel. Here they are and I suggest we discuss this at the next committee meeting.

  • 4-5 people commented that they much prefer the traditional TTT format (each panelist bringing up a top tech trend and discuss) instead of one single topic discussion by the panel like today.
  • Antoher comment was that the trend was not relevant at all to public libraries. LITA has been always seen kind of academic library tech heavy. So perhaps we need to pay more attention to provide balanced topics on that point?
  • This was my observation but the streaming was super unreliable. I know we rely on Jason to do this but can we get some more help / resources /etc.  for him or make it a priority to provide better streaming for TTT for the committee? It does not look good when the most popular LITA program streaming goes awry when it is done by LITA. Since the conference cetner wifi is unreliable often, perhaps we can try audio streaming instead? From my experience today, I think I would rather prefer clean audio without video. 
  • LITA blog is going away soon and right now that is the place where we put streaming info. We need to find out where else we will post this info next time.
  • I also noticed that the TTT page in the LITA website is buried 2-3 level deep. It is hard to find for those who will be googling on the day of TTT program. Can be bring this page out more prominently and update the content as well? (I volunteer :) as also the member of LITA Web committee if needed.)  http://www.ala.org/lita/professional/trends
  • It looks like we use one Urstream channel to stream LITA stuff at various conferences. Probably we should make this more visible in the website as well.
  • Soliciting feedback on Twitter went well I think. And I saw other committee members tweeting with #alamwttt and it was really awesome.

Cheers,

Bohyun

John Blyberg's picture

Thanks for the synopsis, Bohyun.  I just updated the board on a number of issues that came up on Friday and I just saw this, so I didn't roll in these comments.  I can give the board a rollup update when we meet in February, however.

I informally got the same kind of feedback about the midwinter program, both in person and from following #ALAMWTTT.  I did pass along a sythesis of that feedback to the board.

Just to recap what we talked about after the joint chairs meeting and to let you know what I did pass on to the board, here is a list of main points that were mentioned:

  • The committee expressed strong interest in revisioning/rebranding TTT.
  • We need to re-evaluate the TTT blog.  Do we redouble our efforts to make that a "thing" or should be cut it loose?  It's pretty moribund at the moment.
  • There was strong interest in expanding the pool of potential panelists into other domains.  Currently, panelists are pulled from the LITA membership, which limits its breadth and scope.  Some potential pools to draw from are: ALA at large, vendors, faculty from nearby institutions, interesting technologists from around the hosting city, authors (there are many publishers we could approach right here at ALA)
  • I relayed that the committee thought that it was a good idea to expand the virtual component but that we need to work on strengthening the core brand/vision of TTT before we address that.  The concern was that the committee would be better served if it marshalled its resources toward addressing these more core issues.
  • The committee would like to be able to tweet trends throughout the year.
  • The committee would like to commit to gender balance among the panelists moving forward.

Two points to pass along to the committee from the board in response to my report:

  • As part of the revisioning/rebranding of TTT, the committee should think about articulating a coherent vision for TTT.  There was a comment that a lot of people are not quite sure what TTT is supposed to be and, therefore, don't know what to expect. There was some concern that the strong bias toward academic libraries is alienating public librarians.
  • We're going to look in to how we can give multiple people access to the various LITA twitter accounts.  Staff is concerned that simply giving out the password could potentially lock us out.  I understand where they're coming from so I agreed to look into how we might provide some kind of OAUTH gateway for authorized users to tweet by proxy through the various accounts.

J.

Hubert Womack's picture

I know I volunteered to research the blog issues in the committee meeting Saturday, but before I do that I want to follow up on the subject of streaming video! Thanks for bringing it up Bohyun! 

Jason Griffey has done an amazing job streaming these ALA/LITA events, and I know this because I streamed the keynotes at this past year's LITA National Forum. Even when we get a wired connection from the venue, there is no guarantee of bandwith when streaming begins, so often the results are mixed at best!

Also, bringing the equipment from our institutions to make this happen can be a challenge. ALA /LITA pays the annual fee for the USTREAM account/channels, which is not cheap, but it is time to take the next step and look at more professional solutions. For example, http://store.livestream.com/products/livestream-broadcaster or as Bohyun suggests, perhaps a more portable, audio only solution would be better. Either way, I would like to see us improve this. We need a better solution, even if it costs more!

I would really like to hear from others on this issue, both your thoughts and ideas for solutions! I know it is secondary to the actual TTT program, but I really feel strongly we need to make it easier to get a higher quality streaming video or audio so it isn't just Jason who gets tasked with this at ALA.