Personal perspectives on information science, the evolving Internet, delivery of public services online, Web 2.0, the Web of Data, the Semantic Web, communities, folksonomies and more. With an emphasis upon convergence between some or all of the above, and a UK slant.
My article on Library 2.0, Web 2.0, and points between, was published inAriadneover the weekend.
Web 2.0: Building the New Librarytakes a look at some of the buzz surrounding Web 2.0 at the moment, and presents a set of high level principles that I feel the concept encompasses. It really sets the scene for a number of pieces to appear in the coming months, in which I shall explore the importance of 'the Platform' in more detail, and assess the fundamental shifts (in policy, outlook, technology and delivery) required of our sector if it is to reassert its value in a rapidly changing world.
“While as a fully paid-up cynic I could be forgiven for fingering the metaphorical revolver on sighting a technology evangelist, the evangelist in question has an excellent track record as Ariadne readers will know. Paul Miller in his article Web 2.0: Building the New Library would seem to lift our eyes above the merely technological and in a series of 'Principles' underpinning Web 2.0 provides us with a set of aims with which relatively few might argue violently - on the face of it. Irrespective of whether Web 2.0 becomes reality or yet another Holy Grail, the debate it has engendered over recent months, centred upon its usefulness to end-users, must be a welcome one. While cautiously recalling previous false dawns, Paul provides an overview of the potential Web 2.0 represents for us, as a concept at least.
In detailing his principles, Paul indicates, for example, the possible capacity of Web 2.0 to address the demands of the Long Tail which is already beginning to rival traditional market behaviours for the attentions of innovators and entrepreneurs alike. But it is the potential for what Tim O'Reilly terms an 'architecture of participation' which should interest us, (in particular the cynics). In an era in which every other politician on the stump bangs on about community values while (sometimes unwittingly) condoning measures which serve only to dilute them, Web 1.0, for all its sins, has fanned, however gently, the embers of community activity. It has provided a means of communication and information for concerned but increasingly isolated citizens who no longer have the time to operate along the traditional but rusting lines of community activity. The capacity of Web 2.0 through technologies such as blogging, file sharing, etc. to empower the ordinary user through more effective means of communication remains to be seen. But it could bring enormous support and even clout to consumer and pressure groups and those at the grass roots of the democratic process. If indeed small is beautiful, flexible, re-combinative, disaggregating, modular and sharing, then Web 2.0 might just be beautiful too.”
One of the most frustrating things about podcasts, especially thelongones, is that it's hard to capture or cite interesting things that people say.
Listening, as I tend to, in the car just makes it worse. I'll listen to several podcasts in the two hour (3-4 if you hit the motorway at the wrong time) journey to and from work. With most of them, that's fine. They're vaguely interesting, and some ideas lodge in my brain that may pop back up later.
For some, though, I really want to grab numbers, or an exact quote, and end up having to remember which podcast the quotable snippet was in, so that I can listen again when I'm not driving in order to capture it.
In these cases, it would besouseful to have a searchable transcript.
“I asked [Steve] if he thought there was a business to be built around transcribing podcasts for publishers. The transcribing can be outsourced for about $10 an hour and can be turned around quite quickly. With an appropriate markup, it would still be quite reasonable to publishers.
His answer 'Why would I transcribe my podcasts? People would stop listening.' I disagreed, arguing that he would increase his audience many times. His retort 'But they wouldn’t be listening to my podcast.' I thought about it for a while. And as often is the case with Mr. Gillmor, I realized that in a round about way, he’s right. If podcasters just wanted to maximize their audience, they’d be writing, not talking.
I still think there is a business there. But Steve won’t be a customer.”
I agree with Michael. Thereisa business. I don't want to sit andreadpodcasts, though. I do, however, want to be able to find the gems that I heard peoplesayin them, and transcription may be part of the answer to that.
We're looking at various solutions forTalking with Talis. The whole point of the conversations we're podcasting is that they're of a calibre that you'd often travel a very long way to hear at an expensive conference. If we're capturing thought and dialogue of that quality, we need to find ways to unlock it from the 20-40 minute audio stream.
As you've probably worked out by now, I think that theGoogle Libraryproject is A Good Thing on the whole, and my non-legal view would be to suggest that those bringing the recent lawsuits don't have much basis for their suit. And if they do, the law is just plain wrong.
How, exactly, can someone with an interest in more than just maintaining thestatus quoconsider it a bad thing to have the hidden content of often obscure books found, and to have the finder directed to either borrow the book from a library or buy it from a book seller before they can see any more than the immediate area in which their search term occurs?
I've been following various discussions on both sides of this issue, but foundthe recent postby Intellectual Property lawyerDenise Howellcomprehensive, balanced, and informative.
Check it out, and be pleased that it makes sense without a law degree.
Oh, and if anyone has acompellingexplanation as to why these litigious dinosaurs might have a point, I reallywouldlove to hear it.
It's been annoying me for a while thatIcouldn't find stuff I'd written on this blog. It annoyed me even more thatTypePaddidn't offer a built-in feature to do anything about this.
So I used a couple of spare minutes, stopped just being annoyed, and did something about it.
There may not be a built-in search function (although thereshouldbe), butSixApart'sEverything TypePadblog does include ashort notethat explains how to rectify the problem. It's easy, but I am left wondering why they don't just do it for everyone, and offer it as a configuration feature for subscribers to simply turn on or off...
So now, if you're looking at the web page version of this blog, you can search... :-)
Our new community-supporting activity,Talking with Talis,went live today, and if the interest I've been seeing from potential speakers is anything to go by, it's going to build into a great resource.
Our first conversation, withsxip Identity's Founder and CEO, Dick Hardt, is a good one, and explores some of theIdentity 2.0 themesthat went down so well at the recentWeb 2.0conference in a little more detail.
Have a listen, online or after downloading, feed your commentsback to meand come back in a fortnight for Cliff Lynch, then each fortnight thereafter for more of the same.
...and thengoes on to announceways in which RLG are engaging. This isexactlythe sort of thing that should be done with our big databases of bibliographic data; open them up, and use them to empower the efforts of others.
“The main means of access [to the Internet] was via a desktop computer (93 per cent) followed by a laptop (31 per cent) andmobile phone(15 per cent).” [my emphasis]
15% of UK adults use a mobile phone to get online? A year ago, theCIEhadfiguresfromMORIto suggest that 8% used mobile devices such as phones, and that 3% considered such a device to be their preferred means of access. At the time I said that would rise, but I don't think even I would have foreseen a doubling in the numbers in just twelve months.
Again, then, what does this mean for our clunky Virtual Learning Environments and library interfaces? If you haven't done so, find someone with a suitably equipped mobile phone and take a look.
“Of those adults who had ever used the Internet, 91 per cent had used a search engine to find information, 81 per cent sent an email with an attachment, 23 per cent posted a message in a chat room or newsgroup, 17 per cent had used peer to peer file sharing, such as exchanging music and films and 13 per cent had created a web page.”
Likefiguresfrom thePewmore than a year ago, this clearly shows the rise ofparticipativerather thanpassiveuse of the Internet.