Sunday, March 25, 2007

Let's Build a Mashup (Or at least see how one works)

Let's take a look at how a mashup works. Take a look at this one. This Proto mashup brings Craigslist, Yahoo! Pipes, Yahoo! Maps, and Microsoft Outlook together into an effective apartment hunting and tracking mashup application.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Introducing Web 10.0?

Are you still confused about Web 2.0? Well, it's time to move on to the next stage, according to some. How about Web 10.0? Can you imagine? Ray Kurzeil, DeWitt Clinton, and Nova Spivak have, and they see a very different Web than the one we're using right now.

To date, next to Tim O'Reilly's seminal article, DeWitt Clinton's "Web 2.0" offers the best and most concise definition of Web 2.0. (It's really well worth a read). But he also offers an intriguing glimpse at the Web many years into the future. What will the world and the Web will look like in 2046? Imagine this:

All data . . . can be instantaneously streamed anywhere at anytime. Your very experiences, your senses, perhaps even your thoughts, will be broadcast and archived for anyone to download and view. All human knowledge will be publicly accessible — all music, all art, all media, all things. The distinction between human thought and computer thought will be blurred. We will be part of the network, the network will be part of us. We will be the hive mind, and we collectively will have evolved into something quite unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mashups for Libraries

I recently published an article on mashups, "An introduction to mashups for health librarians" in the Volume 28, Number 1, Winter 2007 Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association. This paper is based on a presentation I made in December.

So what has changed since then? Certainly not my amazement, if you ask me for my opinion. In terms of technology, mashups are getting more sophisticated by the day. As users are increasingly getting a stronger grasp of the power that mashups provide, the world of mashups is inevitably evolving into more sophisticated ventures. Take the following, for example: Translation Services Via SMS.
Using this service, you can send an SMS to translate using BabelFish between English and Spanish and receive a call or SMS with the translation.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The New Health Librarian

At SLAIS' 2nd Annual Job Fair, I had a wonderful chat with health librarian, Karen MacDonell, Co-Manager of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC Library. She gave me some fascinating insight this area of librarianship. Here are the highlights:
(1) Personality - Dreamweaver will come and go, but a person's ability to go out for coffee and talk about vacation planning doesn't. In other words, the most important trait for finding the right job candidate comes down to interpersonal skills. What great advice; very practical and makes common sense. Inner traits can't be taught, but everything else can.
(2) Marketing - Librarians need to know how to market their libraries in order to continue funding. Particularly for smaller, special libraries, fundraising is ever so important. Because libraries are forever in danger of being closed down due to budget cuts, librarians need the skills to continue promoting and reminding everyone why their library is important.
(3) Workload - Longer hours, more librarians, less clerical staff. There's increasingly a hierarchical flattening of library organizations. Because librarians are doing more and more, more librarians are getting hired. The flipside of this is that less library assistants are hired to offset these costs unfortunately.
(4) Outreach - Less people are coming to the library, meaning librarians are increasingly required to take the information to the user. This also means that there is increasingly less need of paper (books and journals); rather, users are increasingly asking for PDF's and other electronic documents that can be accessed anywhere and anytime. Hence, wireless technology is increasingly being relied on by users, particularly to facilitate the need for up-to-the-minute information, usually on PDA's. The "wireless" librarian? That's right: it's just around the corner. . .