Bill Gates and the Beaver State Mandate

Thinking up the titles is my single favorite part of doing this, if you couldn’t already tell.

I must say that after six posts, I feel like we’ve laid the groundwork pretty well for what’s to be expected from these podcasts. We’ve discussed RSS syndication vs. iTunes, audio vs. video, and how podcasting can act as a microcosm of digital collections. In other words, it’s now time for something completely different.

(Incidentally, I’m watching the new Monty Python documentary, “Almost the Truth,” while I write this, and although there’s not a lot of new material, late-60s John Cleese and Michael Palin are just as entertaining as late-20s Pythons from where I’m standing.)

In the interest of not going progressively further off track with each post, however, I am now going to shout some key words at you.

SILVERLIGHT!

LAW LIBRARIES!

OREGON!

Are you properly excited yet? Good!

Now hang on to your cortisol levels, Batman, because things are about to get intelligible.

Sorry – I’m really losing it here, I know. Without further ado: The Paul L. Boley Law Library at Lewis and Clark University in Oregon maintains a very professional and regularly updated blog which, while broadly classed under “podcasts,” takes a cue from Arizona State in offering video more often than not. Of greater curiosity is the platform by which they offer these lectures snippets: one Microsoft Silverlight.

Silverlight, for the uninitiated, is (more or less) a Flash competitor that Microsoft tried to get folks excited about a year or two ago when it was demoing the various ways in which you could play table tennis with your fingers in Windows 7.  It’s more efficient than Flash — anything is — and the interface is relatively slick, insofar as it looks like something Apple designed. Unfortunately, however, Apple did not design it, and as such, nobody knew quite what to make of it; if YouTube were willing to migrate the entirety of their content to a Microsoft platform, they might just be in business, but of course that’s patently absurd.

In addition to Lewis and Clark’s featuring the only large-scale implementation I’ve seen of a universally ignored platform, it’s also a pretty neat paradigmatic case of a special library podcast. Law libraries being the nominal “stars” of the Special Library Association (soon to be renamed AskPRO, as the hegemonic dominance via friendly acronyms by information professionals who despise the word “library” continues), private sector news is still usually confined to institutional correspondence, and so an academic law library makes for a very nice peek inside.

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