"I'm Sorry, that's a video of *What*?"
I just realized why I had to make a video called a cute furry animal recites George Carlin's "seven dirty words" (which is an ADULTS ONLY video with 7 dirty words in it, duh) -- remember what David Lee King said about the library of the future (which is actually from RWW and about the "sexy librarian of the future")?
Imagine a future when you go to the library with a 5 minute video you've just made about last night's Presidential debates and that librarian says to you:
You should upload it to YouTube and tag it with these four tags - two broad and two more specific to existing communities of interest on YouTube and the topic of your video. Then you should embed that video in a blog post along with some text introducing it and linking to some of your favorite posts by other people who have also written today about the Presidential debates. Make sure to send trackbacks to those posts!
Now, I think this is a particularly good video on the topic, so if you're interested I will vote for it on StumbleUpon (as a sexy librarian I have a very powerful account there) and give it a good summary explanation. Any of those are steps you can take that will make your work all the easier for people to discover.
Would that be great, or what?
How helpful would the librarian be if the patron came in not expressing an interest in uploading his video of a Presidential debate, but wanting to upload a video of a cute furry animal hand puppet reciting the seven dirty words? Would he get the same enthusiastic help? Would I get any f**king help?
And if not, it would mean that librarians haven't changed since, ever. The tightass librarian asks the child why she wants the microfilm ("you're not just going to play with it, are you?") so we are trained not to judge, but to assist the patron with his or her informational needs. But seriously, THAT'S A VIDEO OF, WHAT? A f**king hand puppet?????? Are you f**king messing me with me?
And this brings me to point Number Two:
DLK (again) talks about inviting participation by asking questions or posting polls, what about my question, "Would I get any f**king help?" Maybe I should post that as a poll with the two responses, "No." and "No f**king way."
I'll be the first to say I'm an assh*le. I've always been an assh*le. But I'm the kind of assh*le that people like to be around. It's just that I will insult or mock any topic, no matter how sensitive or revered, if I think I can make a joke about it (especially if it's a joke that only I will laugh at). As my hero, John McClane says, "Just a fly in the ointment, Hans. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass." Well, I'm the monkey in the ointment, a greasy ointment-covered monkey (with soft, supple skin).
I think people don't respond to my questions or polls because they see me as a bullshitter. Oh, the.effing.librarian doesn't take the profession seriously. Bullshit. Like Comicus in History of the World: Part 1,
Dole Office Clerk: Occupation?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher.
Dole Office Clerk: What?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher. I coalesce the vapors of human existence into a viable and meaningful comprehension.
Dole Office Clerk: Oh, a *bullshit* artist!
I'm as important as any fool in Shakespeare. If you can find humor in my blog, then you are not such a tightass and people will invite you out to get drunk. (Notice I didn't say, "for drinks," I said, "to get drunk.")
If you start with DLK link and work backwards, there are a lot of people to blame for these bullshit opinions. There's a lot of shit I won't do at my job, even if it's "sexy." And this goes way back: I never helped that guy who wanted me to get his business web site listed in all the search engines (this is many years ago); I helped him submit to yahoo and one or two others, but not the 40 that he wanted. I told him he had to pay a service if he wanted that much help. And I didn't tell him how to write the best meta-tags, but I told him what they were and why they were important (again, prolly 1998-ish). And I didn't help the woman sell her crap on eBay. But I told her where to find help on the eBay site for would-be sellers. And I didn't, not once, hold any one's hand and walked them through, step-by-step, to get an email account. Even when a man asked, "how come it says my name is already taken? I keep typing my name for the username and it keeps saying that it's taken." And I said, "yes, [email protected] is already taken by someone else." "But who? That's my name." And I said, "yes, a different person with the same name already has taken that email account. You need to pick another one. If you want to use 'Bill' you need to add something else to it." "Like what?" And I said, "add a number, see here are some suggestions you can use right here on the screen, right here, in front of your face, here, follow my finger, no, this other finger, the one my finger is pointing to, no, this finger, here." And after he selected a unique username that the email accepted, I did not help him decide what password to create, but I did give him a pencil and paper to write it down so he would be less likely to forget it. And no, I did not kill Bill. But I pondered it.
So, to invite participation, here's your next water cooler question or conference icebreaker:
apply the rules for being a sexy librarian to the video of the hand puppet: would you help (or not help) both patrons equally? If not, why not.
The Fool has spoken.
[ok, fine, the video is on this page, http://youtube.com/effinglibrarian]