There's a must-read article at BusinessWeek called, It's the Conversation Economy, Stupid. In it, author David Armano of the popular blog Logic+Emotion discusses how marketers must now become conversation architects to be effective in today's economy. It's one of those pieces that should make us rethink how we do our jobs. I wrote about it on KnowThis, so I won't repeat the summary here, but I would encourage you think about one of Armano's main points:
"Conversation architects move marketing beyond the idea of one-way messaging. Traditional marketing efforts were founded on this tried-and-true format and are still prevalent within the industry. Consider the example of a typical creative brief template, which usually says something like, "What are we trying to communicate?" Can you see the old-world residue in the word "communicate"? It lacks the dimensions of experiencing something and having an ongoing two-way dialogue. "What are we trying to communicate?" implies a one-way conversation. Maybe we should ask ourselves: "How can we facilitate?"'
I can't think of a better charge for librarians who are in the business of helping people succeed. In this way of thinking, we allow patrons' goals to become our goals, rather than letting our idea of what we want to accomplish dictate how patrons should interact with us. Makes sense to me.