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Freshman Pattern Language

 

I keep coming back to the way Tim O'Reilly used the idea of a "Pattern Language" to describe Web 2.0 applications in his article "What is Web 2.0." We could come up with some L2 patterns, some of which would be pretty specific in terms of current Web technologies and others that might be more general, such as "rapid response to rapid change (in technology, user expectations, publishing, etc.)."

 

This comment from Steve Lawson refers to Pattern Language (here's another good explanation ) which Tim O'Reilly uses in his effort to describe (see note below) Web 2.0 .  I will be the first to admit that the use of Pattern Language never occurred to me in relation to understanding and building Library 2.0.  Still, its use could prove interesting and advantageous. 

My first reaction upon looking at O'Reilly's list is to think that many of his terms or "names" are equally applicable to L2; the Long Tail, Users Add Value, and Perpetual Beta all fit within the philosophy of Library 2.0 -- in fact, all are integral players in my interpretation of the Library 2.0 service model.  Of course, the "solution" and "context" of the design patterns will differ from Web 2.0.

I'm game for giving it a try, but I'm depending upon Steve for input and correction!

Here are my two attempts:

Perpetual Beta. Physical (not primarily tech) Services, no matter how well crafted, only reflect the immediate environment of their crafting.  Therefore: Don't create and release services with the expectation that they will last any longer than their first appearance.  Engage your users, treat each service appearance as a test, and rate or survey users to see how the services compare over time and to other services. 

Participatory Service.  The definition of success for any library technology offering, including ILS applications, is written by its contemporary user community.  Therefore: Only buy and design electronic services which allow for customer feedback and design participation, and facilitate quick change, whether that's done through the vendor (I hope not) or the library's inhouse coder.



(Note: I will NOT say O'Reilly's trying to define Web 2.0.  Everyone's trying too hard right now to define everything into a tiny kernel of nothingness.)