Most Innovative Companies


I know “Best of” lists are arbitrary, but I was browsing through the March 2009 of Fast Company and the writers compiled “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.” Some companies won’t surprise you but have you heard of Etsy?

It is a web site for buying and selling handmade crafts. What is interesting is that they have created a community with sellers have a bio, and thrown in a dash of Web 2.0 technologies. They have a Virtual Lab where live events happen (need login). People create avatars to get seated and watch, as if they are at a high end fashion show. They also have the ability to engage in live chat. If they see crafts they like then the can throw a heart or a kiss. Or, alternatively if they hate things, they can throw a paper airplane. There is even a Custom section, in order to request a personalized item.

What makes Etsy stand out for me is the clean, easy to navigate design. The openess that you can find out about sellers. I think libraries can learn from the outside world. Is it time to launch an open house for a new product or service? Maybe one of the prominent researchers/authors could create a concise podcast on an upcoming hot topic. Those are just some random ideas for value added library service and really engaging your users in a conversation.

– Brenda


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