October 24, 2006

I have been using delicious to keep track of links for a while and this was the second time i was ‘forced’ into tagging. the first time i was forced into using tagging was with the release of gmail. gmail was quite revolutionary in that instead of offering its users folders in which they could sort and store email messages, they had NO folders and were given ‘labels’, which were essentially just a different word for TAGS. There was a little bit of backlash, some irritation, and some praise when google released its gmail sans folders. one rebel, even ‘deciphered’ a way of still having folders… or so she thought… this is tagging still miss kim. I also use an online file storage application called esnips which incorporates tagging for files as well (and folders tooooo!)  

 like i said in my last post, tagging is the new folders… hmmm that doesn’t sound particularly grammatically correct… but ya know…

I am taking LIS 502 this semester and when we were learning Library of COngress Subject Headings, and all their confusion and rigidity assigning supplementary subject headings… for example,  a textbook on electricity could have an entire chapter or more devoted to magnetism… in subject headings, this becomes somewhat difficult to catalogue, and often times in the past, the book would have been catalogued by its primary subject heading ONLY, completely disregarding the chapter on magnetism   

Kroski states in her article:  “The wisdom of crowds, the hive mind, and the collective intelligence are doing what heretofore only expert catalogers, information architects and website authors have done. They are categorizing and organizing the Internet and determining the user experience, and it’s working. ”

By permitting tagging within the OPAC, we could capture these other subjects that are covered in works that are more often than not, disregarded entirely. imagine the fine-grain categorization that could be applied to each work… if you read a book on firetrucks, and they had a particularly indepth look at firehoses in chapter 2, you could tag the book with ‘firehoses’…. then anyone searching for ‘firehoses’ would come across your tag, and consequently, the book on firetrucks with the rich chapter on firehoses!!

Tag=Cataloging

October 24, 2006

I have been using delicious to keep track of links for a while and this was the second time i was ‘forced’ into tagging. the first time i was forced into using tagging was with the release of gmail. gmail was quite revolutionary in that instead of offering its users folders in which they could sort and store email messages, they had NO folders and were given ‘labels’, which were essentially just a different word for TAGS. There was a little bit of backlash, some irritation, and some praise when google released its gmail sans folders. one rebel, even ‘deciphered’ a way of still having folders… or so she thought… this is tagging still miss kim. I also use an online file storage application called esnips which incorporates tagging for files as well (and folders tooooo!)   like i said in my last post, tagging is the new folders… hmmm that doesn’t sound particularly grammatically correct… but ya know… I am taking LIS 502 this semester and when we were learning Library of COngress Subject Headings, and all their confusion and rigidity assigning supplementary subject headings… for example,  a textbook on electricity could have an entire chapter or more devoted to magnetism… in subject headings, this becomes somewhat difficult to catalogue, and often times in the past, the book would have been catalogued by its primary subject heading ONLY, completely disregarding the chapter on magnetism    Kroski states in her article:  “The wisdom of crowds, the hive mind, and the collective intelligence are doing what heretofore only expert catalogers, information architects and website authors have done. They are categorizing and organizing the Internet and determining the user experience, and it’s working. ” By permitting tagging within the OPAC, we could capture these other subjects that are covered in works that are more often than not, disregarded entirely. imagine the fine-grain categorization that could be applied to each work… if you read a book on firetrucks, and they had a particularly indepth look at firehoses in chapter 2, you could tag the book with ‘firehoses’…. then anyone searching for ‘firehoses’ would come across your tag, and consequently, the book on firetrucks with the rich chapter on firehoses!!

Tag=Cataloging

October 24, 2006

I have been using delicious to keep track of links for a while and this was the second time i was ‘forced’ into tagging. the first time i was forced into using tagging was with the release of gmail. gmail was quite revolutionary in that instead of offering its users folders in which they could sort and store email messages, they had NO folders and were given ‘labels’, which were essentially just a different word for TAGS. There was a little bit of backlash, some irritation, and some praise when google released its gmail sans folders. one rebel, even ‘deciphered’ a way of still having folders… or so she thought… this is tagging still miss kim. I also use an online file storage application called esnips which incorporates tagging for files as well (and folders tooooo!)  

like i said in my last post, tagging is the new folders… hmmm that doesn’t sound particularly grammatically correct… but ya know…

I am taking LIS 502 this semester and when we were learning Library of COngress Subject Headings, and all their confusion and rigidity assigning supplementary subject headings… for example,  a textbook on electricity could have an entire chapter or more devoted to magnetism… in subject headings, this becomes somewhat difficult to catalogue, and often times in the past, the book would have been catalogued by its primary subject heading ONLY, completely disregarding the chapter on magnetism   

Kroski states in her article:  “The wisdom of crowds, the hive mind, and the collective intelligence are doing what heretofore only expert catalogers, information architects and website authors have done. They are categorizing and organizing the Internet and determining the user experience, and it’s working. ”

By permitting tagging within the OPAC, we could capture these other subjects that are covered in works that are more often than not, disregarded entirely. imagine the fine-grain categorization that could be applied to each work… if you read a book on firetrucks, and they had a particularly indepth look at firehoses in chapter 2, you could tag the book with ‘firehoses’…. then anyone searching for ‘firehoses’ would come across your tag, and consequently, the book on firetrucks with the rich chapter on firehoses!!

tagging vs folders;

October 17, 2006

Just like black was the new orange a few years back, it seems as though TAGS have become the new FOLDERS.

 when you place a file in a folder on your computer, you are limited to a hierarchical structure of data storage…. allow me to elaborate;

lets say that you have a folder on your computer which is found at C:\Fruit\Citrus\Oranges\

so you can see, the folder ORANGES is within the folder CITRUS, which is within the folder FRUIT which is finally within the “folder” (well, actually, the C drive). Further suppose that you have a file in the ORANGE folder called seeds.doc all about the germination of orange seeds. Now imagine that there was another folder on your computer in the following location:

C:\school\assignments\

now imagine you were doing an assignment on the germination of orange seeds…. do you move all of your ‘orange seed’ information over to this folder, or make a copy of it and store it here, or use a SHORTCUT in this folder that will take you to the C:\fruit\citrus\oranges\ folder? well, if you were to make a copy of the files in the ORANGE folder and place that copy in the ASSIGNMENTS folder, you would have 2 copies of the same file… the problem is that you can only work on one of the files at one time, so when you would begin working on one of the sets of files, the other set would fall out of sync, ergo, you would have 2 different versions of the same file. this is bad.

if you used a shortcut, you would technically have access to the files in both locations, however, the file would still only exist in the one location, you would just be shuffling yourself to the ORANGES folder when you were wanting to work on the seeds.doc file in the assignments folder… essentialy, you are living a lie 😛 thinking you are working in the assignments folder when you are actually in the ORANGES folder.

if you physically moved all of the data from the ORANGES folder to the ASSIGNMENTS Folder, then your ORANGES folder would be empty…. and you would have all of that content pertaining to ORANGES existing only  in the assignments folder… bad also…

so… what is someone to do? well, TAG THE FILE! you could tag the seeds.doc file with both ORANGES and ASSIGNMENTS and then the file could retain both classifications of ORANGES and ASSIGNMENTS simultaneously. this removes the geographical requirement for files to have to sit within the folder for which they ‘belong’, and allows you to transcend the limits of the folder hierarchy structure.

 this scares a lot of people; imagine: instead of having a ‘logical’ hierarchical folder structure, you have just a C drive FILLED with files, here and there. Imagine our seeds.doc file being tagged with both ORANGES and ASSIGNMENTS residing in this mishmash of files… a quick search for the tags ORANGES and/or ASSIGNMENTS would show us this file (and any other files sharing the same ORANGES and/or ASSIGNMENTS tags).

 newer operating systems and social software programs are moving towards this method of storing files…. these systems are using backend databases to store files which allows for relational file storage; for example, the new and upcoming version of windows file system, WINfs is meant based on this concept. The same is true for Microsoft’s Sharepoint services: Files in sharepoint are stored in a SQL database and are searchable by ‘metadata’ (fancy word for tag). [see the post by daniel larson on this page about sharepoint’s file system]. the same is also true for XYTHOS, a collaboration/file storage system {more}

 tags aren’t just for del.icio.us anymore: they will soon be how we all navigate the files on our computers as well.

October 14, 2006

I just finished reading the Brian Lamb article and wanted to comment on something he mentioned concerning the primary reluctance of people to using Wiki’s: “Their objection to wikis is nearly universal: “If anybody can edit my text, then anybody can ruin my text.””

Brian goes on to say that  

“This concern is largely misplaced. Think of an open wiki space as a home that leaves its front door unlocked but doesn’t get robbed because the neighbors are all out on their front steps gossiping, keeping a friendly eye on the street, and never missing a thing.”

This presupposes that the neighbourhood is a good neighbourhood and the homeowner is trusting enough of the neighbourhood to leave their door unlocked; imagine if our trusting homeowner lived in on the wrong side of the tracks in detroit… would they still be as trusting to leave their door unlocked? the problem with Brian’s analogy is that you have control over who your neighbours are (by and large), by where you geographically situate yourself… however, on the internet, there are no geographical boundaries… if we are speaking about wiki’s on a corporate intranet, then it is a little easier to know who your ‘neighbours’ are when you are participating in the wiki; however, wikis that are available within the public domain have no such boundaries. on the internet, you cannot ‘move into a good neighbourhood’…

Brian goes on to say that “This ethic is at the heart of “SoftSecurity,” which relies on the community, rather than technology, to enforce order. Whereas “hard security” functions by restricting access or hiding pages…..”

again, this assumes that the community is good, or that the community has a vested interest in maintaining the integrity of the WIKI. I am speculating as to the accuracy of this presupposition after seeing the following on wikipedia:

Wiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Because of recent vandalism or other disruption, editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. Such users may discuss changes, request unprotection, or create an account.

as you can see, the definition of WIKI from wikipedia, one of our readings for the week, contained this notice at the beginning of the article. If Brian’s idea of “SoftSecurity,” which relies on the community, rather than technology, to enforce order” was as successful as he suggests in his article, then Wikipedia likely would not have had to implement technology to enforce order…

User-friendly Wikis?

October 11, 2006

hey everyone;

sorry for my late-ish post… i guess the tryptophan in my turkey caused me a little more sleepiness than i had bargained for! 😛

anyways, all turkey aside; i was reading the  and became quite skeptical of what the presenter was saying about the ease of use of wikis.

 i am going to be talking about a specific example about a department at the university of guelph which was using a wiki as a way of storing how-to information and essentially acting as a departmental intranet (Definition). the department members were using this wiki as a place to post all of their intra-departmental information, processes, procedures, how-to documents, documentation etc. the users of this system were quite frustrated at how limited the editing and formatting was; you essentially had to know HTML in order to format documents properly in the wiki. for example, if you wanted to include a simple table of potential scenarios on one side, and possible outcomes on the other within your actual wiki posting, GOOD LUCK; users were still limited by how they could format documents in the wiki based on their knowledge of HTML… even now as i type this posting on my wordpress blog, i am looking at the features available for my formatting of this blog, and i am faced with the following options: Bold, Italics, Crossout, bullets/numbering, indenting, left justify, right justify, centre, add a link, remove a link, add a picture and spell check. what about the table? what about having multiple columns in the posting, like a newspaper? i mean, for the average user posting the average text posting with the occasional picture/link, wiki’s seem great! however, if you wanted to say, create some sort of online tutorial which included a flash video you nabbed from the internet, or had a table embeded, or had other sorts of advanced editting, you would be limited by your understanding of HTML…

although, again, i think that both blogs and wikis have come a LONNNNG way since the ‘olden days’ when, even to just post simple text/pictures/hyperlinks on a website required knowledge of FTP protocols, FTP programs, HTML, website design…etc….

what do you all think? have you provided information to a wiki before? did you find the formatting limiting you in what you wanted to post? if you haven’t posted to a wiki before, do you find that your blog limits your ability to format posts precisely as you want? do you find that WYSIWYG isn’t always WYSIWYG (Definition WYSIWYG )?

 i realize you can attach a document that is formatted how you wish with some services, but i am just wondering about why, with all of the free online wordprocessors out there such as Writely and Zoho office, we can’t have a more rich editing interface than just the 7 or 8 options we currently have…

links as ‘works cited’

October 2, 2006

Hey everyone; as I am working through our readings covering blogs again for our upcoming assignment, i was struck with a sentence from one of the blog posts we read entitled Anatomy of a Blog : 

“At its best, blogging uses links to support critical, well-considered arguments with supporting facts. Links, in those cases, serve as a kind of Works Cited page, directing readers to additional sources of relevant material.”

I have been noticing that many of the links offered in the blogs which comprise our course readings are dead-links. Even in the aforementioned article, there are at least 2 dead links… what impact does these dead-links have on our so-called ‘works-cited’? does it have an impact on the content of the blog? i would say it does… if these external links are meant to flesh out our argument, or lend support to our ideas, then offering supporting opinions via dead links is the same as leading our readers down a blind alley.

 But how can we insure that the links within our blog-postings remain overtime, considering they are often external links that are outside of our control? my personal suggestion is to include a bit of the text (kind of an electronic ‘block quote’ if you will) from the passage you are ‘citing’… although this still does not prevent deadlinks, it will at least preserve the context which you are citing, even though the citation would be rather empty without the ability to corroborate your citation to the actual cited article/posting…

 what do you all think? any thoughts on what the impact of deadlinks are in blog postings? how can we prevent/lessen the impact if you feel an impact does exist?

week 5: digitizing

October 1, 2006

“the library of the Lunar and Planetary Institute offers a feed that includes ‘Recent additions to the collection’ as well as ‘New and Noteworthy’ items.

I work at the University of Guelph and we have a location on the first floor where all of the new acquisitions are shelved for about a week. This is a great way to present to the patrons the newest acquisitions for them to examine.

 The university of guelph (as well as many other public and academic libraries) has been slowly acquiring more and more electronic resources. We have also begun a huge project to digitize some of our resources which have fallen out of copyright. We are also involved in online virtual reference, and we are also involved in a pilot which uses MSN for virtual reference…. with this growing shift to digitizing the entire ‘library experience’, it makes sense to move to ‘digitizing’ the ‘new acquisitions shelf’ by providing an RSS feed to it. Those patrons who don’t physically visit their library may still want to know what resources are being acquired. by enabling RSS for new acquisitions, libraries enhance their ability to reach a greater portion of their patrons and, perhaps, to entice those who don’t typically visit their library, to come in for a visit to pickup a newly acquired book that they probably would not have heard about, had their library not had an RSS feed about newly acquired items.