January 2005 has 35 entries

  • Usability of websites for teenagersJanuary 31, 2005A very topical Alertbox from the usually interesting Jakob Nielsen. This short piece looks at findings from recent work they have done with teen web users, and notes some characteristics. I noted that "... the sites that our teen users rated the highest for subjective satisfaction were sites with a...read full entry...
  • Sun searchJanuary 30, 2005This looks like an interesting place to follow discussions about search.So, this is one of the hard problems (You could probably get away with saying that it's the hard problem) in search: what is a reliable measure of the aboutness of a page, given a query? I don't think there's...read full entry...
  • Find other editions in Open WorldCatJanuary 29, 2005We recently added a button on the Open WorldCat rendezvous page to find other 'editions' of the found item. This is an interim approach to implementing the FRBR model which clusters versions of a work. It helps find, for example, translations of a particular item. See Reading in the dark...read full entry...
  • Library lookupJanuary 29, 2005I have come across a couple of sites recently which pass queries to library catalogs. Amazon light:Primarily using Amazon.com's Web Services API, Amazon Light 4.0 is an exercise in tying together various Web Services into a whole, adding content, context and some useful tools to the Amazon shopping/browsing experience. [Amazon...read full entry...
  • The sound of words: Amazoogle and GooglezonJanuary 29, 2005Amazon, Google, eBay: massive computational and data platforms which exercise strong gravitational web attraction. I coined the expression 'Amazoogle' to have a handle to talk about this phenomenon in our space. It seems to me that Amazoogle has a slightly uplifting sense; it evokes a smile. The Museum of Media...read full entry...
  • Software contestJanuary 27, 2005Check out our software contest!...read full entry...
  • Yellow pages on AmazonJanuary 27, 2005A9 has an impressive new service. It gives you a Yellow Pages search, plus on-map-locator, plus the ability to place a call with found businesses, plus (in ten cities) 'walkable' pictures of the streetscapes in which the business sits. It allows you to find and ring libraries for example, and...read full entry...
  • Deskilling searching?January 27, 2005A discussion has broken out in the UK about proposals from the University of Bangor to reduce the number of librarians in light of the changed environment of search. This is a passage from the message from a library staff member which sparked the debate:The University of Wales Bangor in...read full entry...
  • UBC e-strategy webpagesJanuary 27, 2005I was interested to come across the University of British Columbia's e-strategy website which collects general awareness, policy and service information. They identify e-learning, e-research, e-business, connectivity and e-community lines of activity....read full entry...
  • IMS service architectureJanuary 27, 2005The IMS Global Learning Consortium has produced a paper outlining some architectural principles in a service oriented environment [pdf]....read full entry...
  • SCONUL visionJanuary 24, 2005SCONUL, the UK Society of College, National and University Libraries, has a vision for libraries in 2010 posted on its website. It is a short document.Library and information services will move from a 'one-size-fits all' approach to the personalisation of the delivery and support of space, services and content provision....read full entry...
  • The world is the web to the end of itJanuary 23, 2005Adam Rifkin's long Weblications post is a richly suggestive rumination on where we are and where we are going network service wise. At one stage he maps the trajectory of Adam Bosworth's career as exemplary of a more general direction:I believe Adam's journey represents the evolution of the software industry...read full entry...
  • Dspace for learning materialsJanuary 23, 2005From the CWSpace website: CWSpace is an MIT iCampus project conducted by the MIT Libraries' Digital Library Research Group and MIT OpenCourseWare staff. The research is based on MIT's DSpace digital archive system, and takes as its principal focus the archiving of educational materials found in MIT OpenCourseWare. [CWSpace, an...read full entry...
  • Most users are happy with search enginesJanuary 23, 2005The Pew Internet and American Life project has released another interesting report - Search engine users [pdf]. It carries the following line on its title page: 'Internet users are confident, satisfying and trusting - but they are also unaware and naive'. Today's Internet users are very positive about what search...read full entry...
  • The FireFox user experienceJanuary 23, 2005Blake Ross has a blog. He talks about design decisions with FireFox:This policy emerged from our basic belief that, for the 99% of the world who don't shop at Bang & Olufsen, a technology should be nothing more than a means to an end. Software is no different. In this...read full entry...
  • More on iPodJanuary 23, 2005Having noted the iPod killer app below (well maybe not ;-), and looked at the video, I keep coming across iPods. I notice the heavy concentration of iPod models and accessories in the current Amazon electronics top wishlist. The NYT notes a new iPod loading 'industry', where services are emerging...read full entry...
  • Accessibility and e-learningJanuary 22, 2005From the UKOLN web site:Accessibility Debate - A lively debate on Web accessibility has begun following the publication of an automated accessibility analysis of the Web sites of various UK disability bodies. The initial debate focuses on the merits of automated versus manual accessibility checks. UKOLN, together with its fellow...read full entry...
  • iPods everywhereJanuary 22, 2005Apparently there are other uses for iPods than carrying around WorldCat. This short BBC video [5.6M QuickTime MOV] entertains. (Link via Adam Rosi-Kessel.)...read full entry...
  • New resources on researchworksJanuary 20, 2005We have added some new resources to our ResearchWorks page, and more will be added over the next while. New resources include:XSLTproc: OCLC Research's XSLTProc is a tool for managing and using arbitrary XSLT stylesheets. [About XSLTProc [OCLC - ResearchWorks]]SchemaTrans crosswalk repository and schema transformation. Crosswalks in the SchemaTrans repository...read full entry...
  • Metasearch as a serviceJanuary 19, 2005Many libraries are dealing with an increasingly complex systems environment: the integrated library system (do we still use this term?), metasearch, resolver, e-reserves, ERM on the horizon, ILL, and maybe several flavors of digital asset management. These systems do not always easily work together and consume a lot of attention....read full entry...
  • WorldCat in your pocketJanuary 19, 2005We have been looking at things recently which have made my colleagues interested in hardware again, and which also show how far we have come in being able to manipulate and move large amounts of data. WorldCat is our union catalogue of about 56 million bibliographic records, which represent approximately...read full entry...
  • Talis blogJanuary 18, 2005Talis is a UK library systems vendor. A group of Talis staff are running a blog called panlibus, which provides some interesting perspectives....read full entry...
  • Writing for the futureJanuary 17, 2005Jakob Neilsen's latest Alertbox looks at the applicability of user guidelines over time. He argues that they are pretty durable and looks back to 1986 guidelines to make his point. The following was an interesting comment:However seductive the present might be, writing for the Web is writing for the ages,...read full entry...
  • Data and musicJanuary 17, 2005Another example of how data guides behavior. This time in the music business, where apparently record companies are getting automated help in predicting the likely success of tracks. The magic ingredient set to revolutionise the pop industry is, simply, a piece of software that can "predict" the chance of a...read full entry...
  • Eat your spinach, it's good for you ... January 16, 2005I had expected to see more discussion of Stanley Wilder's article on information literacy in the Chronicle recently. A sample:Librarians should not assume that college students welcome their help in doing research online. The typical freshman assumes that she is already an expert user of the Internet, and her daily...read full entry...
  • The words of things entangle and confuse ...January 16, 2005I was in a meeting during the week where publishing was being discussed. After a while it became clear that we would have to qualify what we meant by publishing for it to be a usable word in the conversation: people had different views of what was and was not...read full entry...
  • Google: The world's digital library?January 16, 2005Today's NYT has an article on Apple's recent announcements. Randall Stross, the author, notes in passing:Google has a near monopoly on the digital library business, which enables it to do very well with advertizing that monetizes eyeballs.[May require registration: Digital Domain: After 20 Years, Finally Capitalizing on Cool]The choice of...read full entry...
  • Learning object repository in WordJanuary 15, 2005CETIS notes an interesting development from Sentient Learning.The solution consists of a central repository (LearnBase) and a content creation tool (LearnBuild). Claimed to be able to create IMS Content Packages, LearnBuild allows users to do most content creation and publishing operations from within Microsoft Word. [CETIS-Sentient launch repository with Word...read full entry...
  • There are places I'll remember all my life ...January 09, 2005Looking at the Project for public spaces website I wondered if the only good places to live are expensive ones ;-) Nevertheless, it is nice to see their emphasis on libraries. They like New York Public Library but not the BnF (although some of the comments disagree with their assessment)....read full entry...
  • Making data work harderJanuary 08, 2005As more activities move into a network space so more areas of our life are shedding data. This data is increasingly being mined for intelligence which drives services. And with data, quantity, as they say, has a quality all of its own. A major attribute of both Google and Amazon...read full entry...
  • Support for e-research, e-science, cyberinfrastructure, ...January 07, 2005I have been involved in a couple of conversations recently about cyberinfrastructure and e-research, and more particularly about how research libraries can create value for science faculty on their campuses. 'If we don't create more value for the bio-sciences, then we're toast' was one memorable remark I heard ... The...read full entry...
  • Google - behind the scenesJanuary 05, 2005My colleague Thom Hickey pointed me at this presentation from Jeff Dean, a Distinguished Engineer in Google's Systems Lab. It provides an overview of how Google works and looks at some of the engineering issues it faces moving forward. Two things struck me. The first was simply, again, the scale...read full entry...
  • A Hullistic approachJanuary 05, 2005The University of Hull has done a lot of work in recent years looking at 'e-services integration' across academic services. This work can be tracked in its presentation pages. The most recent presentation [pdf] is from the Sakai conference, December 2004, which focuses on the use of u-Portal and high-level...read full entry...
  • Cornell University Libraries report on open access publishingJanuary 04, 2005Cornell University Libraries have made available an interesting report on open access with recommendations for library policy.The Task Force on Open Access Publishing was convened by Ross Atkinson in January 2004.The purpose of the Task Force is to study the information available on Open Access publishing and to provide the...read full entry...
  • The sole focus of a user's attentionJanuary 03, 2005I have argued over the years that we should not treat each system as if it were the sole focus of a user's attention. This leads to design for the creator rather than design for the user, as designers imagine that users have the leisure and interest to explore the...read full entry...