Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wikis, On pretending to give a shit that they exist

Make sure that you fool your bosses (who are a million times more technophobic than your grandparents) into thinking that you are 'up on technology' by making reference to Wikis and RSS content as if they really mattered. In the old days before either of those things, librarians were constantly referring to listservs and internet bulletin boards and before that they were probably referring to modems and electronic mail. There's nothing more amusing than seeing the look on the faces of your boss(es) when they pretend to a)know what you're talking about and b)act like this bold new technology will revolutionize [fill in the blank] at the library. Every once in a while, make something up and watch their faces light up when you claim that there's a software company working on a product that will [fill in the blank] and that it's gonna be so awesome and that they should do a web search on that product to familiarize themselves with it before it becomes the next trend. Your boss will be too embarassed to admit that he/she didn't find anything about it online and will probably lie and say that they read a Wired column about it. Then go outside and cry softly into a handkerchief or a tissue.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

too funny. you guys are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Say below with a sneer...and raised eyebrows; and finally with a bemused shake of the head.

"When you are only getting your information from [x] then you are missing out on [y]; you're resistant to [z] and are not encompassing the breadth of [t]"

Anonymous said...

Wikis? RSS? I don't even have to get that techno to be able to see that look in my boss's eyes.

During the interview for my job, I mentioned "MARC records" and my boss -- who has a long job title that includes the words "state librarian"! -- got that look.

This was within the last two years.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Every so often I drop the words "incunabulae" and "palimpsest" into conversations with librarians. The resulting panic is very close to that you get when you say "accountability" to a senior library manager.

Anonymous said...

The big bosses where I work like to talk about "security breachs"--as a justification fory denying ANY and ALL NEW technology. Heck--we didn't have E-MAIL until 2001 because the ability to send information outside the building walls was a cause for panic. (No this isn't a public library, but still).

Sigh. The head tech guy claims OS software is 'dangerous' and that will allow more hackers into our servers than MSFT. Technophobia. Technoignorance. Sigh.

Kevin Musgrove said...

My God, Anon 8:26, are you using the same IT department as us?!?

I have seriously had the self-same arguments as these with our IT people, which is why our in-library online information services would embarass a 1995 cybercafe.

f is for Fer; he forgot to floss said...

I was that librarian, and now I am that boss. In any case, I know that look.

Let the weeping continue.

Anonymous said...

Our library system uses a wiki to communicate between the staff at branches and the admin departments.
I don't care for it because I have to wade through too much dreck to get to the part that pertains to my job, but that's just me.
I also have my browser set up to get rss feeds, but I don't mess with them much. I work Customer Service. I don't have a whole lot of time to play with the computer.

Susanne said...

I never heard anything about 'wikis' outside of Wikipedia until I went to library school.

Great blog guys!