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Moving SWIFTly On…

For Computers in Libraries 2008 (common tag: CIL2008), where I’m the emcee for a two-session program, “From Woepac to Wowpac,” I’ve received several messages encouraging me to “start adding content to the SWIFT platform.” Like slides, blog posts, delicious tags… the stuff I generally post here.

I took a look at SWIFT when it was first announced, and decided to give it a pass. I already have a place to write about the conferences I attend, I’m unimpressed with the Otter Group, and my first experience with the product was that it waddled all over my Facebook profile and had a slew of broken functions. Why would I even bother with SWIFT?

I haven’t been alone in that question; the Twitterverse was immediately a-flutter, and Jessamyn as usual had a direct hit.

Since then, we have been advised that the Otter Group terms of service “have been revised … to reflect [our] concerns.” Well, thank goodness for that. But I still don’t need SWIFT and I still don’t care for its faint whiff of inauthenticity. (I can see the boardroom meeting now: “2.0: ka-ching, ka-ching! It’s gonna be big, big BIG!”)

My other concern is that there is really only so much I will do for any one conference. Please don’t take this wrong, but as much as I look forward to attending, CiL or any conference isn’t the center of my universe. I plan to show up, do a good job, blog a session or two, Twitter a little, upload slides if I have them, network with my buddies, exchange a few business cards, get on the plane home and move on with my professional life.

If there’s a wiki, a common keyword, a blog, and a way to continue the discussion before and after — bravo! (I just posted how to do this on a shoestring.) But none of this needs an enterprise 2.0 conference platform thingamajig. Am I to become a “user” on every competing conference site pushed my way this year? Who’s selling this stuff, and why? (O.k., I know why.)

What I missed at Internet Librarian 2007 (from the same company, Information Today) was wifi in the “hotel” side of the presentations. If Information Today wants to spend money on an improvement, ensuring MESH wifi for their conference sites would be my vote. Meanwhile, horseman, SWIFTly pass by.

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