Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Wonder #5: The Internet

I am a fan of Good Morning America, often watching in the morning before work. They are counting down the 7 New Wonders and today was New Wonder # 5: The Internet. Assigned to this particular wonder was Elizabeth Vargas who reported virtually from inside the Internet, a visual representation from The Opte Project is pictured to the left, and live. There was no surprise that a substantial part of the report focused on social networking sites. Not only My Space and FaceBook, but also places where adults are creating virtual communities complete with identities, employment, the sale of real estate, and options to make money from the venture. It was interesting to me seeing a stay-at-home mother of two talk about the hours a day she spends in a virtual community (I've forgotten the name).

Yesterday we had a full staff meeting to discuss the library's academic review scheduled for tomorrow. One of the questions put forth by the library director was, "Where will the library be in 25 years?" Will we be building virtual libraries in virtual communities for virtual patrons?

Update, later that same day...

In case you were wondering why I did not name or provide a link to the social community discussed, I could not remember the name. So in true librarian fashion I spent the last fifteen minutes searching out the site with the information I could remember and found it; Second Life: Your World Your Imagination. A few quick statistics on this site include:

  • Total membership of 1,409,200
  • Logged in the last 60 days 567,011
  • Online now 14, 687 (varies)
  • U.S. money spent in the last 24 hours, $689, 910

Are we looking at those virtual libraries being built, staffed by virtual librarians, utilizing virtual books, and paying fines with virtual/real dollars ($689,910 of them)?

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