18 August 2009

Dow Jones on the Hidden Cost of "Free" Information

Dow Jones has released the e-book, Pay Now or Pay Later: Exposing the Hidden Cost of “Free” Information. It was written by Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, VP & MD, Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group, with the acknowledged help of SLA members Stephen Abram and Mary Ellen Bates.

It is well worth a read. Here are some excerpts:
“An unlimited amount of free information misleads us into thinking that there is no cost at all. In reality the opposite is true.” “The real issue is value.”

There are 7 sections:
1. The Power of One: Centralize, organize and unify your information resources.
2. The Magic of Me: Customize information to the needs of the individual.
3. Follow the Leader: Establish rules and administrative controls in the organization.
4. A Matter of Trust: Encourage confidence and understand context.
5. The Lost Month: Improve search productivity.
6. People Are Talking: Manage your reputation in a social world.
7. Freedom of Information: Embrace copyrights and protect your organization

Also included is a checklist of resources [from Dow Jones, of course] “to ensure your information sources are truly productive.”

However, the only places it mentions something like a librarian are: (emphasis mine except in the last line)

“Without a guiding intelligence, knowledge does not ‘know’ where to go…. Expert research specialists, however, can help users direct data sources into the appropriate channels….” (item 2)

Professionals [in what not stated] prescreen information to weed out material that’s extraneous to their readership.” (number 4)

Bur when it does mention us, it is good PR: “In any information-intensive enterprise, librarians and other information professionals are a key resource for reducing costs and improving organizational efficiency. According to a study by Outsell, Inc., …in-house librarians save an average of nine hours and $2,128 per each request for information.” (point 5)


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