Alan N. Shapiro, Visiting Professor in Transdisciplinary Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany

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How can we redefine information in the age of social media?, by Alan N. Shapiro

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On January 24, 2012, I was a keynote speaker at the BOBCATSSS conference on Information Management of the organization of European university libraries in Amsterdam.

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, BOBCATSSS 2012 was organised by students from three universities of applied sciences, namely Hogeschool van Amsterdam (NL), Hanze Hogeschool Groningen (NL), and Stuttgart Media University (GER).

Conference Agenda

My topic was: “How can we redefine information in the age of social media?”

I am honoured to have been invited by the organizers of BOBCATSSS to be the keynote speaker of the second day of this very interesting conference. Looking over the list of great presentations that are going to be made today, I will try to relate my speech to the subject-matter and point of view of many of today’s presentations. I see many presentations about libraries, information, social media. At the Wikipedia conference in Leipzig in September 2010, I gave a talk on “The Library of the Future,” so I can refer you to that. It is published at my website. Now I will talk about information and social media. Sociologists have given different names to the society that is the successor to the industrial society of the production of physical goods: the post-industrial society, the post-modern society, the knowledge society, the network society, the telematic society, the information society. By the way, I think that one of the best names ever was: L’informatisation de la société – “the informationising of society” – a report written for the French government in 1978 by Simon Nora and Alain Minc.

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