September 2007


I’m playing around with my final project this morning. I’ve been using Diigo’s social annotation and bookmarking application to bookmark links posted during the course of my online class, Design and Implementation of Web-Based Information Services. I’ve created a group resource. If you click on the “view all bookmarks,” the tag list will appear in the right sidebar. This group is public- open to everyone for viewing. Everyone is also able to tag/annotate/add items to the group resource; they just need to create a Diigo account. Once the account is created, they can be sent updates to the resource via e-mail if they choose- they have a choice of immediately, daily, weekly, or not at all. There is also the RSS feed option.  I’m working with the WebSlides piece that presents the links in a slideshow. I’ve created a list from the “open-source” tags and I’m trying to imbed the widget for the slideshow into this post. Right now, it looks like I can only embed the link to the slideshow and not the slideshow itself. The “play in place” widget code doesn’t seem to be working…..

Slides Play

If anyone sees how this resource might be more useful, I would appreciate your ideas.

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I recently listened to a podcast, moderated by John Battelle, from the Web 2.0 summit. The panel discussed various issues related to the information economy and how forces in Washington are currently shaping the public policy surrounding these issues. One topic of discussion was net neutrality. There are major players on both sides of this debate: telecommunications on one side and some giants in the technology industry (like the panelists from Ebay and Amazon) on the other.

On the subject of net neutrality, the ALA states, “A world in which librarians and other noncommercial enterprises are of necessity limited to the Internet’s “slow lanes” while high-definition movies can obtain preferential treatment seems to us to be overlooking a central priority for a democratic society — the necessity of enabling educators, librarians, and, in fact, all citizens to inform themselves and each other just as much as the major commercial and media interests can inform them.

The ability of the Internet to spread and share ideas is only getting better. With modern technology, individuals and small groups can produce rich audio and video resources that used to be the exclusive domain of large companies. We must work to ensure that these resources are not relegated to second-class delivery on the Internet – or else the intellectual freedoms fostered by the Internet will be constrained.”

One aspect in a non-neutral net, ISP service, could look something like this:

Image Credit

(Thanks Cory at Boing Boing)

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photo credit: Automania

I’ve heard that everything in Texas is BIG- obviously this includes their spiderwebs. Thousands of different spiders have built a 200-yard web in a Texas state park. There is an analogy here, weaving its way around in my head, that I haven’t quite fleshed out yet. It seems that despite their capitalistic, I mean cannibalistic nature, these spiders are working together. Most likely, their motivation is a steady food supply. It’s basic survival right? On the other hand, this collaborative arachnoid effort could indicate an understanding that sometimes eludes us Homo sapiens. Individual survival is not necessarily at odds with community prosperity.

I’m going to make a little jump (stay with me) to a recent study on fair use. This study suggests that fair use industries “generate substantial revenue, employ millions of workers, and, in 2006, represented one-sixth of total U.S. GDP.” Assuming that this research is reliable, I see a parallel between the spiders’ web and the issue of copyright. Is it reasonable to say that copyright protects the individual (or group of individuals) while fair use supports the community? If so, where is our 200-yard web, our collaborative effort? Creative Commons has an idea- here’s one of their videos to explain it.

You’ve got to love Dilbert.

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Have any of you read the works of Jorge Luis Borges? I haven’t had the chance yet, but he is a character in a delightful book I have read, Borges and the Eternal Orangutans by Luis Fernando Verissimo. I can’t remember if it his character or another that states, “solutions can always be found in libraries.”

BoingBoing posted yesterday on a paper written by New York Law School’s James Grimmelman, “Information Policy for the Library of Babel.” In it, Grimmelman likens Borges’s library to the Internet. He covers several LIS/KM topics including access, censorship, search, and information literacy.

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Image credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

Access has been a recurrent theme in library school and rightfully so. Any design decisions should, of course, reflect our profession’s commitment to universal access. That said, it’s wonderful to see a space that goes beyond functional (and we’ve all been to a few libraries were the term “functional” should only be used loosely) to aesthetically pleasing. I can already hear the grumblings about funding, and undoubtedly, money allows a certain freedom to improve. On the other hand, maybe small changes could make more of an impact on the environment than one might think. Kimberly Boylan at WebJunction has a few ideas and not all of them require a fat bank account.

So, I may never have the opportunity to work here:

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or here:

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photo credits: nonist

but I know I will be thinking about feasible ways to enhance my place of work.