Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Google Print and Google Library legal story from Germany

Techdirt has an interesting story on Google print and library. A publisher from Germany has been told that they cannot sue Google, pointing out the company is not infringing on any copyright details. See more information on the story here.

Questions to the floor

I'm starting to think of my dissertation for next year. I've thought about looking at something to do with the impact of libraries 2.0 (if any) and started a wiki on the subject. Anybody have any idea's, or want to see what i'm adding on the subject, just go here.

Interesting Article on Business Blogs

Got through an interesting article from Blog of the Prism Fellows, which had an interesting link, of a published Phd. The paper was called Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere : Advice from established bloggers. Its an insightful look into how business bloggers use their net presence; it also includes questionnaire sent to the people he interviewed. Worth a look.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Book Review : Speeding the Net

Joshua Quittner & Michelle Slatalla's 1998 book Called Speeding the net : the inside story of Netscape and how it challenged Microsoft is a book I just finished. The authors are a husband and wife partnership and Quittner presently writes for the excellent business 2.0. Well, on with the review. First off, let me admit two things. am a Apple user, as I hate windows poor usability and monopolistic practices. Secondly, I refuse to use Internet Explorer on any of my computers. Therefore, in reviewing this book I have STRONG biased. Well, this book is purely excellent. The authors discuss the history of the internet and the tools required for programming (especially the long hours of coding based upon pizza and expresso), with enough information to inform but not overload the reader. All main characters of netscape are discussed from the programmer (Andressen), the investor of idea's in Netscape (James Clark) and CEO, Barksdale. I must admit Gate's and Microsoft are shown to be 'the darth vader of computing'. The book looks at the Browser Wars between Netscape and Internet Explorer, and how Microsoft 'leveraged' [a term used by a Microsoft manager]there monopoly through the operating system to win the war. How Compaq was forced to use IE or lose having Windows as there O/S. Its amazing how the browser wars are sometimes now forgotten, and search seems to be the new war (or is it net neutrality)? The book does miss some things. For example, it forgets to mention how Yahoo was given a free link on Netscape at the beginning and made a fortune. Also, the book finishes in 1998 and doesn't conclude the anti-trust case against Microsoft or Netscape being bought by AOL. But thats after the event, so I shouldn't complain. Anyhow, after reading this, I converted back to using Netscape. The book is worth a read for many reasons. The youngsters making 'killer apps'. The begining of the inflated bubble (Netscape doubled there IPO opening price before issuing, from $14 to $28). Being overwhelmed by Microsofts. Its all here and more. JUST GET THIS BOOK. 9 out of 10.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Librarianship......USA versus UK style.....

I've been reading with some interest the difference between librianship in the UK and USA. Its seems to me at the moment in the UK we are more concerned about the closers of our public libraries (see here, here and here). This is a major concern. But things seem to be even more disconcerting in the USA in my opinion. With the case of Jo Ann Pinder (director of the Gwinnett County Public Library) being dismissed from her job 'without cause' (read full details here), as she was buying books for Spanish residence (amongst other things). In another case, Digg pointed to the case in New York, of a Director of libraries being under fire for not releasing information to the police, as they lacked a sub poena (and was against the fourth amendment). Also, the case in Lisnews in which a Idaho libraries may not get extra cash from patrons because of sex books which 'young children' may see. Ok, i'm looking at the extremities, but I just wonder how you can work as a librarian, supervisor and act as a guardian to morality? Thankfully, in the UK we don't have this trouble, but could it happen here?
Well, it could. With the increase in refuge's (real or otherwise), people's dislike on spend taxpayers money on Non-english book could cause consternation. Stephen Leary has provided an insightful look into this over on his blog. As for dismissing our directors for inapproiate material (read sex), that seems more doubtful (or am I being idealistic?). As for us stopping the police looking into library details, in the present climate of fear after 7/7, i'm not so sure. But i'd like to think all librarians and members of the community would stand up against this intrusion of privacy.By the way, this in no way is an attack on America perse. Some of my best friends are American ;)

Long Tail come's to London

News of the day is that Chris Anderson of Wired, is coming to London for a talk at the ICA about his new book LONG TAIL, on the 3rd of July,2006. The book is released on on the 6th of July (I pre-ordered mine here already). Anyhow, in the unlike event you have no idea what long tail is check the wiki entry here. A brief synopsis comes from Chris' website, which describes the long tail as :-

Traditional retail economics dictate that stores only stock the likely hits, because shelf space is expensive. But online retailers (from Amazon to iTunes) can stock virtually everything, and the number of available niche products outnumber the hits by several orders of magnitude. Those millions of niches are the Long Tail, which had been largely neglected until recently in favor of the Short Head of hits.

Anyhow, hope to see you there. Looks worth it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

why do I do it? Life as a librarian (part-time)

As said on my profile, i'm currently working part-time as a librarian in my local library, so as to assist in my studies for a part-time masters degree in library and information studies. Anyway, i've now been doing this for nearly a year and been thinking, 'is it worth it?'
I honestly think it does not help my studies at all. But working in a public library does have some great things to offer. Learning basic social interaction with clients and dealing with complaints (the cluetrain is actually something I really like to do or at least see how other's handle it. What else is good? Seeing how other members of staff work with each other and use tools around them (and i'm talking pre-web 1.0 of speech, telephone and post). I also admire something else. How much most staff want to provide good services to there clients; heaven knows you sometimes wonder why with the abuse you can get from a MINORITY of users.I also like the people I work (and learn) from. They show the same politeness to me as a member of the public. And most of all about the job, I enjoy about the job, is the patrons I work for. I can't wait to go full-time.
I think I need to read some more Annoyed Librarian to have a reality check and get my quota of cyncism back.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

in search of the valley interview

As said previously... I wrote asking for an interview regarding the film IN SEARCH OF THE VALLEY. I have just got a response from the director, and enclose his email response to my questions.

Anyhow, Q1:- What is in search of the valley about, for those who have not seen the trailors and when its available to see?

In Search of the Valley is the story of three friends' personal journey into the psyche of Silicon Valley, in which we swapped London for California for one month in September 2004. During the trip we clocked up over 3,000 miles visiting and talking to many of Silicon Valley's heavy-weights, as well as those of a more personal interest.
With over 30 hours of footage - and a steep learning curve - it's taken us a lot longer than we would have liked to finish the film. However, we are are very close and the film should be available on DVD (from our website) in the next month or so.

Q2:- I think i read that one person said there was 'nothing going on in the valley' when you went. But recently slashdot has said that silicon valley can only happen there. What's your viewpoint on this?

At the time of researching the documentary, Silicon Valley was still recovering from the Dot Com crash. We were advised by one potential interviewee that besides Google (which was at the time gearing up for its IPO) there wasn't much going on in the valley. Others told us the complete opposite. I think the film shows how the Valley is always evolving and that it's a place where new ideas are constantly allowed to happen.

Q3:- You interviewed Marc Canter who's blog i read quite often. I find some of the work he presently is doing with AOL is very interesting. What's your opinion on this and Canter in general?

Marc Canter was great fun to interview and is a genuine visionary and larger than life technology evangelist. He spoke with passion about the potential of personal publishing and social networks but made the point that the industry needs to establish open standards so that users can control their content and move it from one service to the other. Marc also sang some opera for us, and played some blues (which does feature in the movie).

Q4:- You also interviewed tim oreilly both in the film and on your website. At present he seems embroiled in a rather bad piece of PR over threatening to sue a non profit organisation for using the term web 2.0. What's your view on this and O'reilly in general?

Tim was really helpful in the research of the documentary and helped put us in touch with many of the people who appear in the film. He also gave a very interesting and open interview on topics ranging from open source, the next generation of the web, why Silicon Valley works, and the how the importance of IP is overstated. With regards to the recent trademark PR debacle, I'm sure Tim will recover and do the right thing for his business and the community as a whole.

Q5:- I noted you have written regularly for the guardian on a few web 2.0 articles. What's your viewpoint on web 2.0,elearning 2.0 etc? Do you think bubble 2.0 is on the way?

I think new web services that make it easy to publish, share content, and collaborate with others is having a profound affect on media, business, and education.

We kept a film production blog, and have published clips from the film on YouTube and Google Video for example. The internet offers a really low cost way of distributing content but unlike traditional media, we can also talk directly with our audience.

Bubble 2.0? Its true that many of the current crop of new web services will fail but I think it's very different from the Dot Com boom/bust, because the majority of the new companies are VC funded only, and aren't launching IPOs but instead are either being bought by the big players like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and News Corp or just going away quietly.

Q6:- What are your future plans?

To get the film released and promoted into film festivals etc. Then take a holiday and work out what we're going to do next.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Just started using my reviews of my books on this blog and entering them on library thing. Although i was introduced to it by PiscesLibrariana, its really cool. So check it if you get time.

Book Review : Dot Bomb

Dot.Bomb: The Strange Death of Dot.Com Britain by Rory Cellan-Jones is a very interesting book. Its worth the read to. Rory gives a viewpoint of the Internet bubble rarely thought to have occured. The one in the UK. Rory discusses the era between march 1999- march 2000 and the rise and fall of internet companies and there desires to set up there IPO'S. The companies include lastminute, clickmango, first tuesday and obviously Boo. These are the main companies, but Rory does add lesser one's. The book is an hilarious look at the greed the internet bubble created in Britain (or is it London?) Rory, gets in close and personal, having worked at the BBC as the internet expert.
This book is cool. Its nice to think that not only was silicon valley so greedy and other books do exist on the subject. 8 out of 10.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Conservative response to Public library closures

Tim Coates over on his blog has Given the Conservatives response to the library closures. Hugo Swire (Shadow minister of culture and libraries), was someone I tried to email on the conservative position. I'd unfortunately not kept up with reading my bloglines. Whoops!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Public library closures LIKELY to go ahead in UK.....

Following on from my article on the closure of public libraries in the UK in The Observer, The Telegraph has added these closures may most like go ahead, when the paper reported that:-
'The number of public libraries under threat has more than doubled since David Lammy, the culture minister, wrote to councils warning them against closures, he admitted yesterday.'.
Although David Lammy says the possible closures of 107 public libraries is not too bad, as there are still 3500 in the UK, he fails to note that half will be closed in Dorset, and 12 in Devon. Both are rural area's.
I love the idea of a culture secretary, trying to kill culture off.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Who is going to save our libraries? The silence is deafening... In the observer.

Cilip newsletter pointed out this interesting story on the decline of public libraries in the UK in the observer, on Sunday. The paper points out as many as 107 public libraries could be closed, one-third alone of Dorset's libraries. As I work in a public library (as a volunteer), it seems frightening. I say this for two reasons. Firstly, seeing how many people use our facilities, and how much extra work most library staff put into the job, its a shame for any community to be without a library. Secondly, as a masters student looking for employment in libraries, a decline in jobs in the public sector is disconterting. Perhaps, i'm being rather selfish there. Anyhow, lets hope this doesn't happen.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Content 2.0 : A review

Overall a great conference. I really thought the talks were interesting and varied. Loved the blogging, Bradley Horowitz & Folksonomies. The other talks were interesting, but i'd heard most before. I must take to thank Zoe Black, who organised the event for NMK, and was very helpful throughout the day. Well, thats it.

Content 2.0 : panel, search and enjoy

This was a panel, with a chairman of Mike Grehan (CEO of Smart Interactive), Suranga Chandratillake (co-founder of Blinkx), Alex Barnett (Microsoft) & Matt Ogle of Last FM). I liked the talk, but this went over things i've discussed already. Therefore, i'm going to just say they discussed scalability, serendipity and customisation. I know its a bit slack.

Content 2.0 : Matt Locke

Matt Locke from the BBC was the next up. He was there to discuss Folksonomies. I really was looking forward to this talk, as I love tagging as a classification system . First up, Matt mentioned a book of interest, called SORTING THINGS OUT. So thats now gone on my wish list. Matt discussed how the best of folksonomy is the low barriers of entry. He also said:-
'Folksonomies are only useful when nothing is at stake.'
He also gave another 6 reasons for why they work.
1. Future retrieval.
2. Contributing and sharing.
3. Attracting attention.
4. Playfulness and competition.
5. Self presentation.
6. Opinion of expression.

Matt then went on to quoted Rashmi Sinha said:-
'I strongly believe that for a social system to be successful it needs to serve selfish, individual motives.'

Matt then discussed how the bbc is used folksonomies, and discussed there Creative Archive Licence. He also felt that for folksonomies to work for major companies, they need to be whats termed 'content agnostic'. Meaning tagging shouldn't care who owns the content, which major companies find difficult to handle.

Matt's main point though was folksonomies should be playful. I agree.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Content 2.0 : Bradley Horowitz.......tag, your it

Whoops. Forgot to mention that when Bradley was talking about tagging, he pointed us in the direction of The ESP Game, which is described as 'Labeling the Web'. What you do is earn points if you agree on a picture with another player. The Picture usually has a taboo word you can't use. Its a really cool game, and interesting way of learning how to tag. If you get time, try it out.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blogs hit the mainstream

Well, on Jeff Jarvis blog, that the Edinburgh fringe festival has a play about bloggers. Read the full synopsis here. WE ARE MAINSTREAM.

Content 2.0 : Bradley Horowitz

Bradley Horowitz, is VP of product strategy at Yahoo and was well worth the entrance fee. With Yahoo buying flickr and Delicious , and Yahoo's new myweb as a form of social searching (see previous post), this was bound to be good. Bradley spoke about tagging in flickr and quality content. Bradley discussed the idea of 'opening up' to core users and user groups, and how its hierarchial at the moment. Therefore, think of a blogosphere. Library crunch would be the top. Then you'd have 10 blogs like Reflective librarian amongst others, and then say a 100 other's like mine. By the way, this is my explaination of his hierarchy and not Bradley's. Yahoo wish to see us all have equal access. He feels the 'act of consumption is implicit' in us all. He then showed how the tagging in flickr has brought about a top 100 photo's which are open to all. He then spoke about some important aspects of social search. These are:-
1. user generated content.
2. the importance of tagging.
3. How user organised content is found serendipitily.
4. How flickr is integrated into all blogging software and 3rd party advertising.
5. User Developed functionality, for example exposed API.

He went on to talk about social search and FUSE. This would 'enrich peoples lives, by enabling them to find,use,share and enthuse[FUSE].' He proceeded to discuss social search and relevance to area. He took special note of Korea, in which Yahoo and Google have lost the search war to a Korean company, who write in Korean. They are, what he describes as 'capturing knowledge'. He then proceeded with Yahoo Knowledge. His stuff on social searching was really good, and the importance of tagging etc. If you ever get chance to hear him, go. A very fine talk.

Content 2.0 : can brands be trusted, a head to head

This was a really interesting discussion. Made more interesting by my pen not working. whoops. Note to oneself. Takee more than 1 pen to a conference. the Shel Israel, who co-wrote Naked conversations and Alan Moore. They discussed the importance of collaboration in a debate format. Shel talked about how Jeff Jarvis blog against Dell had caused a downfall in sales by causing a conversation on the blogosphere (see earlier blog),and dell not responding. Seeing I was using a Dell, which refused to sign in to wi-fi, I could understand this (lol).
Alan Moore discussed how community based products can be built through mutual trust. He gave the example of lego. He noted how they allowed clients to build products for new designs. THE CLIENT HAS A VOICE AT LAST. Shel countered this by pointing out only LEGO could be used, and not others. Thats all my nots here. Shame, as Shel and Alan were both excellent advocates. Moral of the story so far.
1. take more than 1 pen.
2. Don't buy Dell.
3. Try and remember things next time.

Content 2.0 : Forum, Content 2.0 & Marketing 2.0

After a short break, we proceeded with a forum that included such luminaries as Jamie Kantrowitz (, Hugh Mcleod, James Cherkoff. The panel was chaired by Michael Bayler. Obviously the forum was all very cluetrain, talking of the importance of consumers are not as important as people in the content 2.0 world. Hugh and Jamie discussed the importance 'disruptive technologies' such as blogging. Hugh used the blog of Jim Scoble For those unaquainted he's a leading voice from microsoft, and in the blogosphere his view is very much read. When Scoble started some people wanted him sacked, as they feared his voice may not follow microsoft party line. Scobel is now a brand himself if you think of it. Thankfully, Bill saw that this was far from the case. James on the other hand discussed something more personal in disruptive technology. James (who I felt hardly got enough microphone time), is an Arsenal soccer fan, and discussed a blog called Arseblog, and how it has obtained a cult status in this realm. He also discussed how Nike, in conjunction with the world cup have released a website called Joga in which you can make your own world cup team with any players, AS LONG THERE NIKE. Closed markets like this are not the way forward.
Jamie then finally spoke, about her job at myspace and what is doing. When she quoted Marshall Mcluhan, I knew I was bored. I really wrote some of her stuff down. But god, she really wasn't that good.
Hugh discussed how in aiding companies to Blog, that the word of mouth impact could be really useful. And the downside in flaming wars. How he'd work with different clients and the advice he gave. All excellent stuff. He also discussed how he worked for individual clients, as he felt 'shareholders are amoral'. There was more. But as per usual, I forgot it and was a slow writer. By the way, I really was interested in the myspace person, but I really felt she pul[led the party line, and brought nothing of interest to the discussion.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Content 2.0 : Adriana Cronin-Lukas

Adriana Cronin-Lukas followed Canter's keynote. Adriana was from big blog company was next up. She discussed why she became a blogger in the early days. Her first reason was it was 'better than shouting at the TV.' She discussed also the importance social networking, especially as she was working in the political field of blogging. She described blogging became an 'ecosystem for grown ups'.
She then showed a picture of a Peacock when discussing Chris Andersons Long tail, and how the tail is long than the body. I think we all know enough about that, but underlined the business model importance to bloggers. Adriana then discussed a brief history of blogging. Discussing how, at first bloggers were derided by the popular magazines. She points out there is a degree of professionalism within bloggers. she then discussed the importance of Pyra being bought by Google in 2003 and AOL buying web blog inc. in 2005. This indicates how new and old media were merging together. She felt that old media's could no longer reach 'the ultimate audience'. Adriana then provided an interesting quote she had heard previously. This was:-
1. Google sells Reach.
2. Amazon sells reviews.
3. Ebay sells reputation.
These are the new business models.
She then proceeded to discuss the importance of digital natives and gen y, There was more, but I couldn't write quick enough. A very interest talk.

Content 2.0 : Marc Canter

Well, having returned from a long conference I shall proceed to discuss some of the content. The content of our goodie bags can be seen in the picture attached.
First up was Marc Canter opened the event. As is usual with Marc, microformats, friend of a friend (FOAF) sites and something he termed the eventosphere, which would inform users when events where happening in there area. Cantor also wanted to provided users to be able to transfer there data. For example, myspace should allow you to transfer to Bebo. Also Canter wanted what he termed a PERSONAL DIGITAL IDENTITY. A way to have one sign in for all our digital content. Cantor, as ever was a large fur ball of fun.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Flickr photo's of content 2.0. from 6th june,2006

Here are my photo's from the content 2.0 conference. I will properly tag them at a later date. I will blog about it tomorrow, as busy at present.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Content 2.0.....there to blog

As mentioned previously I'm going to the content 2.0 in London. Thankfully, i'll be there to blog it and take some photographs. Speak tomorrow.

Book Review : Wired : A Romance

Gary Wolf's book Wired : A Romance provides an interesting outlook on the birth of wired. Gary Wolf, as a previous writer with the magazine, he provides an insightful look in how American journalist Louis Rossetto and his partner Jane Metcalfe in 1993 set the company up. Rossetto come's over as a svengali character, but also a real pain, and Metcalfe is virtually a ghost in the book. Wolf's book is good, but it really is not that great. 6 out of 10. I still think it could be done better.

Jeff Jarvis and print

Cilip daily update email informed me of an article called
Books will disappear. Print is where words go to die by Jeff Jarvis of the famous Buzzmachine blog. Jarvis interestingly hypotheses that the printed is in need of digitalising. He says:-

'We even ignore the undeniable truth that too many books, and far too many bestsellers, are pap or crap.All this might seem to be the medium's greatest advantage: respect. But that is what is holding books back from the progress that could save and spread the gospel of the written word.'

He has a point. But like one person responded, you can't take a digital format so easily as a book to the loo as a book. After Kevin Kelly article in the New York Times, entitled Scan this. Both sing from the same hymn sheet. CENTRALISED KNOWLEDGE, DIGITAL FORM. What a swell idea. Except, only 13% of the world has access to the internet I read recently. I love Jarvis' blog, but his idea has a long way to go.

Friday, June 02, 2006

What I've learnt as a blogger......part.2

Following on from my blog last week, I wanted to write what else I had learnt as a blogger. Well, I wanted to find an interesting subject I enjoy and have some (limited) knowledge of library 2.0 and Web 2.0. I then set myself up with a name for my blogger account and wrote and wrote. I unfortunately caught whats termed:-

Blogorrhea: Publishing an unusually high number of blog entries
. I have learnt now to read more and write less, especially since finding bloglines
and checking lisfeeds
more regularly. I must admit in reading more, it does mean I cross reference stories more regularly than before.