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Open and Closed Cultures
Thursday, 7th February 2013
An emphasis on sharing and openness often seems hardwired into the psyche of librarians and information professionals but not every organisation's culture is as receptive. Robin Neidorf reflects on the benefits that open dialogue and shared experiences can bring to businesses and their customers.
I'm terrible at keeping secrets. I can be trusted with the serious stuff, but keeping information hidden is not my normal mode. I like to share ideas and get feedback, and I love seeing what happens when different people (or companies) bring a range of assets to a project.
Thus, I'm always baffled when I bump up against a closed information culture - one in which the default mode is to hide and hoard information rather than sharing it. I had this experience several times recently, when approaching vendors for product reviews. Several were more concerned that their competitors might see the review than encouraged about prospective customers seeing the write-up.
We always honour a vendor's decision to refuse a review, but I'm far more excited to talk with vendors who are eager to share, who have an open information culture.
There have been a lot of these reviews lately, and FreePint subscribers can learn more about Bloomberg Government, Dodge BuildShare, Lexis Advance, Nexis Media Coverage Analyzer, and Udini. We're also combining these into reports by theme - check out the Compliance Sampler and the finalists for the CODiE for Best Media & Information Monitoring Solution.
Additional CODiE finalist reports will demonstrate excellence in STM Products, Business Information Solutions, and Legal Information, among others. Although the actual CODiE winners were announced in January at the Information Industry Summit, each of these finalists achieved that status for a reason. If you are looking to expand or change your collection in any of these categories, CODiE finalists are always worth a look.
While at the Information Industry Summit, I also had a chance to learn more about TEMIS, a semantic technology company I've been aware of for some time but never had a chance to understand in any depth. TEMIS announced the launch of Luxid, a collaborative platform bringing together many publishers and content providers with different information assets in an environment in which they can co-create new offerings. (Luxid won the CODiE for Best Semantic Technology Solution, while they were at it.)
Although in early days, Luxid supports a shared open information culture amongst publishers - an environment in which different vendors can maximise their assets by sharing them in smart ways with complementary providers. I've begun conversation with TEMIS about how and when we might even bring the voice of the customer to the collaborative platform as well. Think how powerful that could be: vendors, platform providers and customers working together in tandem to come up with the next great ideas, where content and software combine to deliver solutions directly to users.
It's open cultures for me.
By Robin Neidorf
Robin has been working with FreePint since 2004, and, since joining full time in 2006, is responsible for strategic planning, product development, relationship management, research and communications. She currently heads the FreePint Research division.
Robin Neidorf ran a research and communications consulting business for 10 years, prior to joining Free Pint Limited. As a consultant, she focused on strategic planning, using information to make better decisions, and creating effective audience-focused communications across different media.
Robin has worked with a wide range of organisations in the for-profit and non-profit sector. She has developed online communities, publications and distance learning modules for a range of business purposes. She is the author of Teach Beyond Your Reach: An instructor's guide to developing and running successful distance learning classes, workshops, training sessions and more (second edition, Cyber Age, 2012) and the co-author of E-Merchant: Retail Strategies for e-Commerce (Addison-Wesley, 2001).
Robin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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