The Naked Library (or Radical Transparency for LJ)

Transparent Library Graphic Michael Casey and I are writing our next column for LJ’s The Transparent Library and we realized what a perfect place to discuss the recent Wired piece “The Naked CEO” by Clive Thompson. Thompson blogged about the article while writing the piece and asked for input.

At his blog, Thompson sums up so much of what we’ve been discussing about the advent of web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the almost-left-the-station Cluetrain:

Reputation Is Everything: Google isn’t a search engine. Google is a reputation-managment system. What do we search for, anyway? Mostly people, products, ideas — and what we want to know are, what do other people think about this stuff? All this blogging, Flickring, MySpacing, journaling — and, most of all, linking — has transformed the Internet into a world where it’s incredibly easy to figure out what the world thinks about you, your neighbor, the company you work for, or the stuff you were blabbing about four years ago. It might seem paradoxical, but in a situation like that, it’s better to be an active participant in the ongoing conversation than to stand off and refuse to participate. Because, okay, let’s say you don’t want to blog, or to Flickr, or to participate in online discussion threads. That means the next time someone Googles you they’ll find … everything that everyone else has said about you, rather than the stuff you’ve said yourself. (Again — just ask Sony about this one.) The only way to improve and buff your reputation is to dive in and participate. Be open. Be generous. Throw stuff out there — your thoughts, your ideas, your personality. Trust comes from transparency.

Let’s try this. We’d love to hear from directors, librarians, library staff — heck even users. Please comment here or at LibraryCrunch.

Some points to ponder:

What does it mean to be radically transparent?
How closely tied to radical trust is it?
Is secrecy dead?
What reputation do you want your library to have?