Monday, June 25, 2007
Another Librarian Music Video
The road to...
Maybe this will help stop me from e-mailing people and forgetting they're probably at ALA -- it's just so far off my radar at the moment that I was feeling ignored and unloved until figuring that one out.
(And, this is the last gross thing I'll blog about for a while!)
Friday, June 22, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
alli™ works by preventing the absorption of some of the fat you eat. The fat passes out of your body, so you may have bowel changes, known as treatment effects. You may get:
- gas with oily spotting
- loose stools
- more frequent stools that may be hard to control
What to expect
The excess fat that passes out of your body is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza. Eating a low-fat diet lowers the chance of these bowel changes. Limit fat intake in your meals to an average of 15 grams.
- You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work
- You may not usually get gassy, but it's a possibility when you take alli. The bathroom is really the best place to go when that happens
Leaving aside the fact that delving too deeply into these effects might put you off eating to the point where you don't need drugs, people are excited about taking this stuff. What can we learn from this, aside from the importance of wearing dark pants?
1) The power of positive spin. Alli suggests users might appreciate these "treatment effects" because they act like a "security guard," making you think twice before eating something you shouldn't -- kind of the Antabuse approach to diet.
2) If people want what you have to offer badly enough, they'll put up with a heck of a lot to get it. Alli's work is mostly done in advance, given our cultural obsession with weight. How do we get to the point where our services are seen as being this essential?
3) The power of community. When users buy alli, they're not just buying pills, they're buying into a customized weight loss plan, an online community where dieters receive personalized feedback and support, and the idea that they are "partnering" with alli in their weight loss efforts. Even the name -- pronounced "ally" -- implies partnership.
4) People are willing to pay for what they value. A 60-pill alli starter pack costs about $49.99, and you're supposed to take about 3 a day. Its manufacturer expects to sell about $1.5 billion worth this year.
5) There are companion books out -- if you work in a public library, you might anticipate demand, or might anticipate a little run on weight-loss and nutrition books in general. Make a display!
6) People love a quick fix. Again, where here can we show that we add value and quickly meet people's needs?
7) People, apparently, appreciate candor. The manufacturer is pretty upfront about alli's effects, positive spin or no, and puts the information right out there. How about that for embracing transparency?
Some of these may be more of a stretch than others -- but there really are marketing lessons to be learned here. Check out alli's slick little web site; look at the language and images they use; think about the implications.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Florida Librarians Rock
My first night in Florida was remarkable in two ways: I got whisked off to dinner at a Polynesian restaurant that involved dinner and a show, and the hotel wireless failed to play nicely with my laptop, leading to an unintentional 29 hours of being unplugged, which led to over 100 new messages in my main inbox alone. I think if I did this intentionally for more than a day or so, the anticipated stress of returning to an unmanageable flood would do more harm than any good I'd gain from being unplugged. But I'm OK with this -- in the same way I don't travel without reading material, I also try to avoid traveling without net access, and I'm not so sure that's a negative.
My second day in Florida was again all about the food, involving lunch at Rattlesnake Jake's Tex-Mex -- which, of course, this being Florida, was oddly decorated with various sea creatures. I did get to meet and eat with J. Dale Prince, which partially made up for having to miss his "Geeks Bearing Gifts" workshop that was scheduled directly opposite mine.
On Friday, I got to ride in the classy Flamingovan to the main Broward County Library, which is very large and looks like something a toddler stacked out of blocks, but is quite nice on the inside. And, since again it's about the food, it does have a cafe, which serves a so-so Greek salad, and where I ate with several librarians who kindly gave me a ride back to the airport after lunch.
Now that I'm back, I should have more time to get back to work on the book, the blog, and the long-postponed LISjobs.com web site redesign.
Cascade of books
Monday, June 11, 2007
Life, The Universe, and Google
This weekend, comcastic in this area had some kind of weird network outage where we could get to some web sites, but not others. Among the disappeared? Yes, Google. And Amazon. And eBay. And Yahoo. This caused a fascinating little lesson in dependence; I didn't realize how conditioned I was to just Google any old thing all day long until about the 5th unsuccessful attempt. Oh, and this being a Googleoutage, I couldn't get to Reader, Blogger, Gmail, Google Docs... maybe there's some message in there about getting too dependent on one ubercompany, too!
When I read bloggers who go off somewhere for a week to unplug, I'm semi-jealous, yet baffled. For one thing, I can't fathom how many pressing e-mail messages I'd come back to. Then there's the issue of dealing with the nagging sensation of not being able to find things out. One of the reasons I went into librarianship in the first place was that I liked to find things out and look stuff up. Google (yes, I know, there are alternatives...) just feeds that little addiction, but the ability to answer any stray question or expand on any stray thought that comes to mind is incredibly energizing -- and I think all these little stray bits of information come together to make me a better writer.
(Darn, they're still gone. I figured if I typed long enough maybe my feeds would reappear. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Rachel vs. technology...)
Saturday, June 09, 2007
1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings (scroll down and you’ll see them separated by decades on the left in the sidebar)
2. Pick the year you turned 18
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of the year
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more people
Slight problem. I turned 18 in 1988, and the hits of that year trend toward 80s luminaries like George Michael ("Faith" and "Father Figure"), Guns 'n Roses ("Sweet Child 'o Mine"), Billy Ocean ("Get Out of My Dreams... and Into My Car') and Poison ("Every Rose Has Its Thorn").
What I'm feeling right now isn't exactly nostalgia.... It's hard to pick the five worst, so the ones above will do. How did these songs affect me? Hmm. Let's say this: they gave me a greater appreciation for leaving the 80s far, far behind. I can't bring myself to do this to anyone else, so, if you want to be tagged, just consider it done!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Alternative Careers Survey: Reminder
And, thank you to everyone who's already shared their experiences -- it's been fascinating to see people's varied paths.
Call for Contributors and Reviewers: Info Career Trends
Writers are needed for the following two issue themes:
September 2007 - Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros. Possible topics include: alternative or nontraditional careers, building a career path, ways to explore various options through internships, volunteer work, or other avenues -- or come up with your own!
November 2007 - Job Hunting. Possible topics include: interview tips, broadening a search, tips for resumes and cover letters, remaining positive, factors for success -- or come up with your own!
Articles in ICT are short (around 1000 words), nonacademic, and practical. Please send a query e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org saying which issue you're interested in writing for and briefly outlining your proposed topic.
Book reviewers are also needed for the following two titles:
Evans & Ward, Leadership Basics for Librarians and Information Professionals - TAKEN
Wood, Miller & Knapp, Beyond Survival: Managing Academic Libraries in Transition - TAKEN
Please e-mail email@example.com saying which title you're interested in reviewing and briefly outlining why you're a good person to do so.