Wednesday 10 October 2012

Phil Bradley comes to the Thames Valley

As one might expect, the turn-out for CILIP President and internet search extraordinaire Phil Bradley probably exceeded that of any event we have had before. So much so that we had to up sticks to a different location, just next door to our usual haunt to one of the conference rooms in the Reading RISC Global Cafe. Phil started by telling us about what he does as the President of CILIP and the structure of the upper echelons of the CILIP hierarchy. Basically he acts as a conduit between members and the Council and looks at the way CILIP is governed and whether this could be improved. He is continuing as President for another year due to the Vice-President stepping down and therefore not able to progress into the President role. They are currently looking for new Vice-President candidates so if any CILIP member is interested, do contact Phil.

Phil then moved on to the endlessly interesting subject of social media, of which he is and expert. As an enthusiastic amateur I can only presume to try and outline what I learnt from his talk! He told us that social media is not a tool, it is a transition, and the internet will just morph into something else after web 0.2, and something again after that. Many people are scared of how the web is developing because they don’t understand it and know how to use it to their advantage. This can include institutions, with IT departments restricting the use of certain platforms because this is deemed easier than trying to make them work well for the institution. The spectre of an irredeemable slip-up looms too large. The fact that many institutions don’t use these technologies actually says more about them than if they did allow their use. They conversations on these platforms will happen anyway, including those about their institution and if they do not use them they will miss out on being able to influence this.

The model of search engine results being compiled solely of traditional websites is now fundamentally broken. Searches are increasingly recalling interactions from social media, because these are the opinions of customers and users, they say more than a static website could about any institution or service. Increasingly it is individuals that are adding credibility to what is on the internet, it is the value of the people that you follow and increasingly we will find our information in the realms of our own virtual networks.

You can find a Slideshare presentation very similar to the one he used at our event here.