“Nothing stays where you put it” Pogue at AALL

July 14th, 2008 by Jim

I just returned from the American Association of Law Libraries meeting in Portland, Oregon where I spoke at a well-attended workshop for law library directors about the future of technical services. More on that in a separate post. My special treat was an opportunity to see David Pogue, the NY Times technology columnist, deliver the opening keynote.

He’s best known for his consumer technology reviews and the video spots he posts weekly demonstrating and testing the technologies and electronics about which he writes. His blog is worth attention if you care about consumer technologies. I’d never seen him speak. He was very entertaining, occasionally insightful, and ran through his notions of The Next Big Things and What They’ll Change. There were five, none of which were a surprise. His list – Voice (over internet and recognition), Video (on-demand), Wireless Everywhere, Web 2.0, and Teaching. The last topic capsuled his reflections on things that haven’t been explicitly addressed as technology has percolated into the fabric of our communications, culture and personal interactions. He thinks we need to overtly teach and discuss copyright, network ethics, privacy, credibility, and permanence.

Two things he flagged as tech truths:
1. Technology splinters; it’s additive. Technology splinters; it separates as much as it connects.
2. Nothing stays where you put it.

I particularly like that last observation. It captures what we mean when we refer to being in the networkflows.

Rather than using the end of his session for questions he walked over to an electronic piano keyboard and performed three parody songs about technology – iTunes (to Piano Man), YouTube (to I got you babe) and RIAA (to YMCA). The law librarians waved arms and sang along heartily with this last one. Obviously he didn’t pull this together for AALL – there’s a high quality loop of him performing this at TED here.

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