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... the editorial blog by Marydee Ojala, Editor of ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals. ONLINE Insider intends to extend the reach of the print publication, presenting a more timely commentary on the products, people, and events that shape today's online world. It explores new technologies as they impact the working lives of information professionals, explains resources for specific topic areas, and expounds on information management tools and techniques.

Answers Announces Competing Slam?

Marydee Ojala @ 8:52 am

At the instigation of Illlinois librarian Bill Pardue, September 10, 2007 was deemed "Slam the Boards" day.  The idea was to mobilize the librarian community to go to the various "answer" sites on the web–places like Yahoo Answers, WikiAnswers, and AskVille–and provide really good answers rather than the sometimes half-baked ones provided by the general public. By identifying themselves as librarians, the theory went, Slam the Boards would raise the visibility of librarians and libraries, demonstrate the power of their reference and research skills, and highlight the vetted resources available to people at their library. Following the success of the September 10th slam, the next slam will be on March 10, 2008, right after Daylight Savings time begins in the U.S.

Meanwhile, over at Answers.com, they’ve decided to launch an "AnswerThon" on March 1-2, 2008. Yes, on a weekend. Yes, right before the announced dates for Slam the Boards. From the press release: "AnswerThon contestants will tackle questions on WikiAnswers, the user-generated content, community-based Q&A site of Answers.com. WikiAnswers registered contributors can learn more and sign up here: http://wiki.answers.com/static/answerthon.html." The person answering the most questions and/or correcting and improving existing incorrect answers will be the winner. The winner and first two runners up will receive Amazon gift certificates (amounts said to vary but dollars are not specified) while they and the next ten runners up will receive WikiAnswers t-shirts.

Why is Answers.com stealing a march on Slam the Boards? Should the Slam be moved up to the weekend?  Or should librarians embrace both?



NYTimes Discovers Librarians are Hip

Marydee Ojala @ 4:01 pm

From a story in today’s New York Times, it appears that their reporter has discovered that librarians are “hip” and “cool.” Wonder if he knows his own paper has a library? Nice mention of the ALA conference and the Unshelved comic strip, though. Overall, a good article.

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