The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Sunday, March 28, 2004

Making Free Culture Even More Free!

Let's Start Something

"Anyone feel like recording a chapter of Lawrence Lessig’s new book?

The license pretty clearly indicates that, so long as we’re not making a commercial venture of it, we can make a recording of (“perform”) the text. There are a Preface, Introduction, fifteen chapters, a conclusion and an afterword. If you’re willing to contribute an MP3 recording of a chapter (ideally, hosting it on your own server — but I’ll bet we can gird up the Disseminary to host chapters for you, if you can host it yourself — drop us a comment and let us know which chapters you’ll take....

If we all chip in, the effort will be minimal and the benefits great." [AKMA's Random Thoughts]

Will they ever! An excellent idea! Many of the A-list bloggers are running with it and as a result, you can already get several of the chapters as MP3 files via AKMA's site (Ogg format has also been suggested). My goal for tomorrow is to talk to the SWAN folks, get some cataloging done, and get these links into the catalog!

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New Uses for RSS in Education

Two Rivers Mix: RSS and E-Portfolios

"I do not want to go out on a limb, but I think we have done something for the first time- a combination of two technologiies I have had my paws in this year, electronic portfolios and RSS....

Please do not give me an credit, this is all the creative programming of Audree Thurman, who was developed the Chandler-Gilbert MyEport tool that she has also installed on our server as the Maricopa eP. She had already combined two other streams of technology into this system, an electronic portfolio with a weblog capability. But now another tributary joins the mix.

See the details in Aud's own eP weblog.

This syndication publishes updates from two different areas of an e-portfolio, from the weblog entries (that makes sense), but also updates any document or link added to what is called a 'collection' page (a group of linked media, web sites, and descriptions). But what is really cool is that there are two views of any RSS feed- one is regular old, easily read in any capable RSS reader, RSS 2.0, but there is also a web page view of the same content....

This is just out of the chute, and there are soem more features coming iin the next few weeks. But consider what a tool RSS can provide to teachers, advisors, etc to be able to use a RSS reader to check on the status of a group of students' portfolios.

The rivers are coming together, full speed!" [cogdogblog]

You'll have to head over to Alan's site to click through the examples to see this in action, but make sure you do because it really helps show how little we've explored the full potential of RSS to date.

Tangent: I also love Alan's use of the term "serendipitic web!"

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I'll Let Him Explain the Title

After much cajoling, Aaron Schmidt has finally started a non-photoblog! Aaron works at a public library within SLS, and he's one of those hip, young, upstarts who likes reference work, people, technology, and the intersection between the three. That's what he'll be writing about over on Walking Papers, where he's already musing about IM, virtual reference, and technology etiquette. Naturally, there is an RSS feed and it's full text. Happy dance time!

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Legal Online Music Available to Everyone (Except Libraries?...)

Drop a Quarter in the Internet

"Ready to kick the habit of downloading pirated music? Here are nine online services that can make an honest listener out of you.

'Extraordinary how potent cheap music is,' Noel Coward wrote. Sure enough, the 99-cent legal song download is having a potent effect on the music industry as we near the first anniversary of the Apple iTunes Music Store. Apple says it has sold more than 30 million songs at 99 cents per. Although billions of songs still trade hands illegally each month on file-sharing services like Kazaa, analysts expect that within five years online music will provide as much as a third of the music industry's sales, worth several billion dollars." [Fortune, via Technology360 Weblog]

On my list of things to do in the very near future: contact each one of these services and see if they're willing to work with libraries. I'm taking bets now from all you gambling types....

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Users Thinking More about Searching

Next Presentation

"Then I chatted with Kevin Marks about a cool Technorati feature request: what if you could run a conventional web search, but that the results were weighted by comparison to a particular site’s links (or a collective of sites’). That is, what if I wanted a dishwasher like David Weinberger’s? I could call David and ask his brand, but some of us aren’t bold enough to call him cold. Why can’t I search for the term 'dishwasher' with the results prioritized by how strong their links are to David’s pages? Thus, if you looked for 'philosophy' as it’s inflected by David’s links, you’d turn up a lot of Heidegger, but (I estimate) not so much Bergson. There’s probably a Bergson booster out there somewhere, though, whose site would generate a very different list of 'philosophy' sites. If you used my site as a seed for this sort of search for 'biblical interpretation,' you’d come up with few inerrantist pages and more liberal and postmodern pages; if you searched with the seed site of Pat Robertson, though, the results would be reversed.

Kevin reminded me that links don’t tell the whole story; his Vote Links would enable me to differentiate an enthusiastic link about a good book from a link to Amazon that points toward a particular weak novel without much plot that alleges esoteric secrets behind that well-known secret-keeping institution, the Church (by which is meant the Roman Catholic Church, as though Orthodox and Protestants didn’t even exist, which is handy for the plotless book because if there had been disaffected secret-keeping clergy around the time of the Reformation, we might have actually encountered evidence for the preposterous premises the book puts forward). I could Vote Link '-' for The Galileo Code, and Vote Link '+' for one of Rowan Williams’ books, adding tremendously useful metadata to the bare link. All great stuff, and it stands to be very helpful for my presentation." [AKMA's Random Thoughts]

It's amazing how much influence the internet has had on users' thinking about searching. Scoble is thinking about people search (which could very cool when combined with the addition of faculty expertise IN a library's catalog), and AKMA is thinking about seeded searching, which I find quite intriguing. I missed when AKMA first posted this, but luckily he brought it up at last week's blogger dinner. I threw in my two cents, but if you have additional thoughts on his idea, please share.

I'm starting to think we need a new way to hear from people like Scoble, AKMA, and Jon Udell. The library world is so insulated and these folks have lots of great ideas that need to find their way in. Combined with some of the big ideas librarians have, this could really turn into something, which is one of the thoughts that kept bubbling in my mind while reading Roy's article posted below.

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How Do We Move Beyond Baby Steps?

Big Ideas and Small Solutions

"Innovations are sorely needed for libraries to compete with Google and Amazon. Big ideas can sketch out the future, while small solutions can—in building block fashion—help develop that future.

By 'small solution' I don't mean trivial. Small solutions solve discrete, well-bounded problems and can be pieces of larger solutions. They can move us forward by mixing and matching available components in new and previously unimagined ways.

A number of innovations, which at first glance are completely unrelated, can come together and create important synergies." [Library Journal, via Peter Scott's Library Blog]

Roy Tennant then goes on to list LibraryLookup, xISBN, OpenURL, and Library Groupware, while noting how powerful a combination this all could be.

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No OpenURL Toolbar for You!

Google Deskbar

"One idea that has kicked around the SFX community is an 'OpenURL' toolbar/deskbar to help locate full-text online from a citation. Ex Libris, the company which sells SFX has actually created one for their development team to use, but seem unwilling or unable to distribute it to SFX customers. There is also the question of whether our library users will actually be interested..." [Overdue Ideas]

Yeah, that's what we should do - sit on something as cool as this because our users might not be interested. I'm sure that was Google's thought, too.

Aren't there any lights on at SFX?

8:42:35 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!