Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ogilvy Notes and the SXSW Interactive Festival

After finishing this week's readings, I went browsing around for material for a supplemental post, intending to find some entertaining videos on teaching information literacy, or something similar. Instead, I stumbled across a few blog posts on the SXSW Interactive Festival and recent presentations that have been given there on information literacy and changes in modern technology. (If, like me, this is the first you're hearing of the SXSW Interactive Festival, you should check them out at their website.) Several links later, and I came upon the real topic of this post; the Ogilvy Notes.

Ogilvy Notes was introduced, according to their website, in order to help SXSW Interactive attendees keep track of what's being talked about at the festival's various events. I'm a little unclear as to how the Notes are created; either they're done by a team of graphic artists at the end of each day of the festival, or they're compiled from submissions from festival attendees. (I'm betting more on the former, but the latter sounds interesting as well.) Regardless of how they're created, the Ogilvy Notes serve as engaging graphical representations of the notes one might take in each session of SXSW Interactive. They're not always completely clear, the same way your lecture notes might not make complete sense to someone who didn't attend the same lecture, but I think they spark some really interesting ideas all the same.

For instance, the following Note is from a 2012 talk by Howard Rheingold called Net Smart: How to Thrive Online.
The Note touches on a number of issues dealing with information literacy, such a critical thinking (here called "crap detection"), and social networking. My favorite part is around the fish, with the quote, "If social media is making us shallow, we need to teach more people to swim." I think that nicely expresses the need to teach information literacy and not just point patrons to a computer and assume they already know what they're doing.

This and other Ogilvy Notes are not as informative as reading the papers that led to the seminars, or even the blog posts of attendees, but they are a really interesting way to supplement that material. They also work nicely in reverse - I spent a half hour or so just browsing through the Notes, trying to figure out the more obscure bits and thinking about what was more clear, trying to answer questions they posed or challenge the generalizations and facts they presented. All in all, I'm glad I found it, and I think it's an interesting way to tap into the conversations of a community I hadn't known existed before.

[Ogilvy Notes. (2012) Net Smart: How to Survive Online. Retrieved from]

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