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Code4Lib: Breakout 1

Feb - 28 - 2007
Nicole C. Engard
Rob Styles - 3 stages of life

I went to the Library APIs Breakout session today. It turned into a talk about Talis & their products & business practices. It was pretty neat ;)

Rob Styles (of Talis) went off on a pretty neat tangent/analogy. Rob introduced us to his 3 children.

His 18 month old son is at a stage in his life where he will willingly give away anything. He goes around the house and finds things to give to others – if you ask for something he will hand it right over. He has no concept of ownership.

His 4 year old daughter is the complete opposite. She feels that everything that’s hers is hers alone. She doesn’t share and doesn’t like other people to touch her things. She has put up a wall around her stuff and stores it away from others.

Lastly, his 7 year old son knows that if he has 2 toy cars and gives one to a friend he can have much more fun than if he keeps it to himself. He understands that while he’s letting his friend use his car – it’s still his car – it’s just more fun when you share with others. At the same time he can go outside and race bikes with his friends – he knows it’s a competition, but 5 minutes later he can come inside and play and have fun.

The library vendor world is like the 4 year old. It’s an “it’s mine” world. Talis feels that it should be a 7 year old world – this is why they share their APIs and software with others. We should be able to share with our competition – because it’s no fun if we’re playing alone. The models are changing and people are realizing that they can have much more fun if they share. Web 2.0 – Creative Commons – it’s all about sharing!!

What a neat idea. I know it doesn’t have much to do with the topic at hand (Library APIs), but it was the best part of the breakout (basically because I hadn’t used any of the APIs that everyone was talking about).

[update] added picture from similar lightening talk [/update]

[update2] Watch the Lightening Talk [/update2]

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