SurfaRSS? What is web design in a Surface-based Computer World?

Now that Microsoft has released a Surface based computer, I thought it was time that I thought about how people would actually use the thing. Sure the examples of moving pictures around and finger painting are kind of neat, but how does it get people to information?

Some of the things that immediately came to my mind have included:

  • AJAX or some derivative will rule because people will want to be able to move things around.
  • One improvement will have to be the ability to [easily] rotate & resize objects & pan around a page.
  • Thoughts about multiple-user access — how do you create web/internet spaces that multiple people will use?

The actual implications of a surface-based design are interesting, but here is my addition to the conversation. What about a kind of RSS-feed “lazy susan”? Here is a quick draft of a possible design.

So, you have that coffee table going on and you are reading the news with your friends. You all want to share the same news. So, here is a way to do it with the new interface. Maybe you would want to combine this with my Ajax-based federated search tool. So you search on one topic and it covers a whole lot of news that a bunch folks can go through and search, discover or whatever with your friends on the topic!

This sounds like a great opportunity for libraries if there ever was one. John Blyberg seems to agree. I think libraries should start imagining right now what the future of public internet access will look like in the next 5 years.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. . .


Thanks to all of you who tried the survey, so far.    I realized that I forgot “students” in the demographic information — apologies for that!    If you want to take the survey later, I will have a link to the survey on the right-hand column of the blog, in relative perpetuity (under contact the Other Librarian).


Since I’m going through a bit of writers block on this blog, I thought I’d just ask you what you think I should cover on _The Other Librarian_.

You can always comment here on the blog, but I thought a little 5 question survey should do the trick.

It’s anonymous (unless you decide to put your name in a comment section) and it’s fast. Go ahead and let me know what’s what!

Walt Crawford is for hire! A staggered announcement.

The truth is that Walt may already have a job lined up,  but by design or procrastination, I am offering my announcement a couple of weeks after all the hoopla.   My blog can’t draw as much attention as most of the bloggers who already announced this, but maybe I can encourage another round of bloggers to go ahead and make the announcement.

Walt Crawford is looking for a job, with a fair set of expectations, and on a fairly reasonable time-line.    What can I say to vouch for Walt?

  1. Well, I think he may be the smartest person in the biblioblogosphere.
  2. His CV is a book, and it includes citations for lots of books.
  3. He’s a seasoned and well-respected presenter.
  4. He’s is a dedicated professional, concerned with balance in libraries;  techie without the spacesuit; luddite without being behind (well, not a luddite at all).
  5. He will find a job somewhere on his own schedule — it might as well be you!

So, go ask him if you are a good match for him!