Saturday, May 31, 2008
Although we're in the age of Web 2.0, one of the main challenges remains information overload. Too much information does not necessarily mean knowledge. That's why I find AppAppeal to be a convincing website which provides insightful reviews of applications and indexes them according to utility. On this website, all applications are organized in categories such as "Blogging", "Personal Finance" and "Wiki Hosting". The website is still being developed. Soon, tools will be added to create an interactive community around web-based applications.
There are already Web 2.0 review sites such as Mashable, All Things Web 2.0, or Bob Stumpel's Everything 2.0. But WebAppeal goes one step further. It analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of particular applications, providing demo videos. I really like this website. It's a good complement to a project that Rex Turgano and I are collaborating on: Library Development Camp, which not only reviews Web 2.0 applications, but offers trial accounts for users to try out different applications. Together we make a great punch. Stay tuned. More to come. . .
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Day 4 of TEI/XML Bootcamp
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The Digital Humanities
I'm currently taking Text Encoding Fundamentals and their Application at the University of Victoria from May 26–30, 2008, taught by Julia Flanders and Syd Bauman experts in using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) an XML language which collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form in order to specify encoding methods for machine-readable texts. And it has been a blast. This has been the seventh year of its existence, and already it has gained the attention of academics and librarians across the world.
The DHSI takes place across a week of intensive coursework, seminar participation, and lectures. It brings together faculty, staff, and graduate student theorists, experimentalists, technologists, and administrators from different areas of the Arts, Humanities, Library and Archives communities and beyond to share ideas and methods, and to develop expertise in applying advanced technologies to activities that impact teaching, research, dissemination and preservation. What have I learned so far? Lots. But most of all, just how much XML plays in the Semantic Web. But more on that in the next posting . . . stay tuned.
Friday, May 23, 2008
One Million Dollar Semantics Challenge and API
The Challenge provides incentives to encourage creation of software prototypes and/or business plans that demonstrate commercial viability in specific industries. Are you up to the Challenge? Go to Semantichacker.com to experience the technology first-hand in our demo and learn more about how to enter the $ 1 million challenge.
But what are Semantic Signatures®? They identify concepts and assign them weights; in order words, they're the ‘DNA’ of documents which in essence become highly effective at describing what the documents are ‘about.’ Semantic Signatures® enable Web publishers and application developers to automatically embed consistent, semantically meaningful tags within their content for use in classification, organization, navigation and search.
In many ways, that's what librarians can offer in terms of information structuring and organization. Interestingly, textwise technology will have a spot at the Semantic Technology Conference in San Jose on May 21, 2008. I won't be able to attend. But if you are, could you give a write-up? I would be forever in your debt.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Dublin Core is Dead, Long Live MODS
2. The element set is more compatible with library data than ONIX
3. The schema is more end user oriented than the full MARCXML schema
4. The element set is simpler than the full MARC format
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Post-modern business in the Free World - Open Access & Librarians
Free games can have a dozen different revenue models, from Nexon’s microtransactions to advertising, product placement within a game, power and level upgrades, or downloadable songs. However, on the question of videogames (or any other digital product) being offered to consumers for free. Much of the principles of Nexon is based on Chris Anderson's "free" concept.“No one says you can’t make money from free." What does this mean for libraries? Especially since much of the mandates and goals of libraries are not to make money? The possibilities are there. A great number of libraries are already dipping into open access initiatives, particularly at a time when database vendors and publishers are charging arms, legs, and first-borns. With Web 2.0 technologies forming an important foundation for digital and virtual outreach opportunities, and the SemWeb on the horizon, I encourage librarians and information professionals to put on their thinking caps and think together in a collaborative environment to break down the silos of information gathering, and move towards information sharing.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
There’re a lot of articles that deal with the Library 2.0 mantra. But John Cullen goes beyond that, and proposes the idea that Library 2.0 should extend to the librarian. It should be Librarian 2.0. And what does that mean?
The key is developing communicative orientation: one that turns the old, tiring stereotype of library work being quiet, reflective and procedural, to one that is primarily focused on listening, engaging and developing understanding of the unique position of every individual.
In other words, just as much as technology is important to the library, we must also be alert of the changing nature of information and the profession. No longer are librarians doing the same duties repetitively and mindlessly. Web 2.0 technologies are merely the surface manifestation of L2. The opportunity is there to use this paradigm shift for us in teaching other professions how to actively engage with their service consumers. All aboard!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Search Monkey and the SemWeb
The new enhancements differ from Yahoo's "Shortcuts" that sometimes appear at the top of search result pages. Shortcuts are served by Yahoo whenever the search engine is confident that the shortcut links are more relevant than the other web search results on the page. Often, shortcuts highlight content from Yahoo's own network of sites.
The new enhancements can be applied to any web site. Publishers can add additional information that will be displayed with the web search result. For example, retailers can include product information, restaurants can include links to menus and reviews, local merchants can display operating hours, address, and phone information, and so on—far more information than a title, URL, and description that make up current generation search results.Here's the exciting thing. As Search Engine Land reports:
Anyone can create an app for a web site. Yahoo is collecting the most useful apps into a gallery that you as a searcher can enable for your own Yahoo search results. For example, if you like the app that was created for LinkedIn, which shows a mini-profile of a person, you can include that app so that the mini-profiles display whenever you search on a person's name.
It's true. The SearchMonkey developer tool helps users find and construct data services that you can use to build apps. Once you've built your app, you can use it yourself and share it with others. Take a look at this :)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
From Dublin Core to the Semantic Web
Can the DCMI provide the infrastructure for the SemWeb? It could. Or it could not. Some have gone as far as saying that the Dublin Core is dead. But I'm not going to add more to that discourse. What I wanted to do was find apparently disparate entities: B2B, the Dublin Core, and the SemWeb, and tie them together using principles of knowledge organization in the form of the DCMI. Blasphemous? Perhaps.
My point in the article isn't to create something out of nothing. The purpose is to extend the idea that knowledge management for librarians and information science is nothing new. In 2002, two years before Tim O'Reilly's coining of the term, "Web 2.0," librarian Katherine Adams had already argued that librarians will be an essential piece to the SemWeb equation. Her seminal piece, The Semantic Web: Differentiating between Taxonomies and Ontologies, Adams argues that ontologies and taxonomies are synonymous - computer scientists refer to hierarchies of structured vocabularies as "ontology" while librarians call them "taxonomy." What the Dublin Core offers is an opportunity to bridge together different topics and extend across disciplines to navigate the complexities of the SemWeb. Fodder for discussion. But good fodder nonetheless I hope.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Library Development Camp
How does this work? Most of the magic happens "offline" as we try to meet up in person to discuss these tools as well as give demos, training, hold discussions and debates, and share ideas and tips on how to effectively use these tools in a workplace or even on a personal level. It's all about sharing. We hope to spawn other LibraryDevCamp groups across Canada. If you would like to start one up in your city, lets us know and we'll set up a section on our web site.
Any library/information professional who already use any of these web tools/services are welcome to join and be a LibraryDevCamp.ca contributor or moderator. So far, we have an all-star cast of experts, such as Dean Giustini, Eugene Barsky, and Rex Turgano. We hope to have you join us, too. In the spirit of Web 2.0, our virtual meeting place is hosted by Moveable Type, a weblog publishing system developed by the company Six Apart. Please stay tuned as we expect our community to grow, not only in members but also in exciting ventures.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Mankiw was also an important person in American politics, as he was appointed by President George W. Bush as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors in 2003. He has since resumed teaching at Harvard, taking over the introductory economics course Social Analysis 10 (which he affectionately refers to as "Ec. 10"). However, Mankiw also believes in using Web 2.0.
This is Mankiw's purpose for the blog:
I am a professor of economics at Harvard University, where I teach introductory economics (ec 10) among other courses. I use this blog to keep in touch with my current and former students. Teachers and students at other schools, as well as others interested in economic issues, are welcome to use this resource.