March 20th, 2012
Amy’s blog post made me think of another aspect of user tagging. Tag clouds also help standardize tagging because users can see other tags and choose from them, and note which ones are more used. Delicious, for example, suggests tags for your articles, which I think is a great idea. The more folks get used to tagging, the more they will gravitate toward common terms, I think.
Also interesting is that museum feels they need to create external incentives to tag. Me, I think its probably a very human urge to name, order and categorize. I think that, over time, the museum will get their tags without having to provide rewards. At least, that would be my prediction.
March 20th, 2012
I loved this study done of tagging on Flickr. It seems that folksonomies have so much potential in meshing with “of” with the “about” in robust ways. It often seems that the lack of “controlled” in the vocabulary is the problem. But as time goes on, I wonder if a user-created standard will emerge. Not something top-down, like a created language such as Esperanto, but something organic, like the language of text messaging (kk, afk, brb, et.)
By studying user-created tags, and developing algorithms (such as one which resolves the singular/plural problem) to more standardize them, I see how eventually the language will “catch on” and it will no longer be deemed acceptable to tag something with a word that only makes sense to you and no one else, as the very nature of tagging is social.
I noted that geotagging and date-tagging are already automated and thus standardized. I have a friend who works for a security company that has created face-recognition software. What if that’s the next step?
March 16th, 2012
I thought it very interesting, as per the article, The Future of Publishing is Writable, that the Internet is breaking up forms of packaging information, and thus causing us to undergo great mindset upheaval.
It is interesting to me that even though books were regularly published as serials not 4 generations ago, we have come to see the “novel” as sacrosanct. Writers write to the form. The package of the novel dictates its form.
Same with records and discs. I remember a lot of backlash amongst my musically-oriented friends when iTunes and such started selling songs by the single, and thus deconstructing what had become sacrosanct amongst collectors: the “Album.” the package of the album dictated the music. How songs were organized and fit together in the package of the album seemed almost more important than the songs standing alone.
Now, according to the new internet forms, none of that is sacred! Horrors! What will come next??? The new world cometh…
March 3rd, 2012
Every journey begins with a single step, so they say. I inadvertently got a little behind in the readings and postings, and when I sat down today to catch up, the sheer enormity of the information facing me made me practically hyperventilate. But, then, I conjured up Dorie and she chirpily sung to me, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming!”
So I just started reading blogs and articles almost at random, connecting from one to another as the links led me. And after about 5 hours of this, I noticed something. It was all coming together! It hit me right after I read about application profiles. Suddenly the bigger picture started to make sense. METS, the XML wrapper. MODS working within it. DC working within it. Application profiles working within DC. I can see how the very basic nature of DC is both a hindrance and a blessing. Yes, it can be bent to a serve a variety of information objects, but its simplicity means that some data (particularly on the local level) will be misrepresented or absent.
As one blogger put it, (and I paraphrase) for as many different “standards” as there are floating around, there is also a lot of consistency. Perhaps its just that kind of embedded-ness I mentioned above that makes it all possible. Complicated as all get-out, but possible.
February 17th, 2012
I both love and hate how following embedded links both deepens my understanding of a topic and also takes me miles away from my required reading.
But I did think that this article in the New York Times:
Libraries shun deals to place books on web
presented another side to the digitization debate. It does seem that for-profit companies like Google are leading the way in so many technological advances that benefit and change libraries. It makes sense for libraries to partner with them when they can. On the other hand, will that indeed let commercial interests shape the future of true content open-ness?
Will Google do evil?
February 17th, 2012
I think it’s better to ask, How can we best work with private partners, while protecting the rights and desires of the people we serve?
I liked this article/blog post “May I speak openly about mass digitization” because of the question it asks above.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the retraction of many ebooks from libraries by big publishing houses such as Penguin. It seems like such a backwards move for so many reasons.
The digitization of resources is here to stay. What is also here to stay is the librarian’s role as a community servant.
It seems sad that some private companies are gobbling up and guarding information and entertainment, and turning their backs on the whole idea of open content. Where is the community-mindedness?
I’m happy to hear that Google is actually working with libraries to open up content to “the masses.” It sounds like a big leap forward in pressuring other companies to follow suit and work WITH libraries instead of AGAINST them.
See also: On being in bed with Google, by Paul Courant
February 10th, 2012
This week’s readings have been tough! I’ve found it really difficult to wrap my head around all the concepts, especially when the acronyms pile up. I think with longing about the Cataloging class I took last semester. It was all practical, and I was in heaven! Granted, cataloging is difficult and we only skimmed the surface of all the crazy, sometimes contradictory and nonsensical rules, but I really got into it because it was so concrete. It was kind of like learning English must be for other cultures. Plenty of rules, but even more exceptions. Then again, I was an ESL teacher for many years, and LOVED the grammar aspect.
So, yeah, like a couple of other fellow bloggers here and here, I am much better at anything that involves working with my hands, or anything with a real practical application. Dr. M says that things will be more practical after the projects begin, so I’m looking forward to that!
We’ve been talking about electronic resources in the context of collection development in my other class, and a fellow student pointed out that even if a database has the highest quality information around, if it’s too frustrating to use, people won’t use it. So usability is a key factor in developing electronic collections. This also applies when we talk about making the search process easier. But I do believe I already ranted about this in my last post.
Anyhow, it’s good to know we’re all in it together. I really enjoy reading everyone else’s posts and comments. When the readings make me feel like I’m drowning, I almost always find clarification here.
February 3rd, 2012
Things have gotten so complex with technology. My head has been spinning these first couple of weeks, as so much of this terminology is unfamiliar to me, and the concepts difficult to wrap my head around. Thus I found myself almost relieved and refreshed by reading about microformats. Such a simple solution that affords so much flexibility and interactivity! I particularly like the Lego blocks metaphor in Stuart Weibel’s blog post.
In case you didn’t click on the Labnotes link in his article, I’ll post it here. It made me laugh:
Just an observation …
- Disbelief. You just can’t make structured data accessible without using XML, RDF and WSDL. Structured data is inheritly complex and requires complex tools.
- Interest. Well, if this thing works, and the example looks so easy, I think I want to give it a try.
- Grokking. I get it! See, I just created my first event, and it only took five minutes of changing my blog template. Now I want to sit here posting events all day long. Anything good happening this week? When is your birthday?
- Hyping. Microformats are the next best thing since the last next best thing. We need microformats for weather and traffic reports. And maps with driving directions. And concert tickets. And a microformat for microformats.
- Overuse. I just created a microformat for my stamp collection, using the microformats microformat, and uploaded my entire collection. Bring on the crawlers!
- Reality. Someone else should do it. Unless it’s really useful, I just don’t have the time to look at it right now. Do we really need a microformat for laundry machines?
- Realization. If you have a common problem, then you need a simple solution. If you need a simple solution, look no further than microformats.