Life in the Clouds

METRO and SLA sponsored this viewing of "Ten Trends & Technologies for 2009" a webinar by Michael Stephens. I and at least several others had mistakingly believed that it was a discussion of the webinar, and not simply a viewing of something we could have easily watched at home. I made the most of the situation by grabbing a half dozen people I knew to go out for hot chocolate afterwards (I tried to get more but one had to return to work and one disappeared in an seemingly angry huff) because if people are going to needlessly get together they might as well party. Stephens explains that the latest trends in Library Science are towards technology (duh) especially that known as "clouds" (basically applications that don't reside on your computer, but on a remote server (think Facebook, Google Documents, etc.). There are a lot of incredible things about clouds: location becomes irrelevant, they are easily accessible, cheap, simple to use, and you don't really need IT support. But Stephen largely ignored the risks: security is out the window; your organization has almost no control over anything such as set-up, management, etc.; many clouds are fads; privacy is a thing of the past; and the line between personal, social applications and professional work seems to blur. I also found it ironic the the system used of the discussion froze up on two occasions.