Monday, September 27, 2004

Wikis and Taxonomies

In this morning's computer section of the Columbus Dispatch was an Associated Press piece (which means it likely is in your paper too) on Wikis. My husband brought it to my attention, and said that one of the development groups at his company is using a Wiki as a space to share and record information about work being done for a particular large customer. The Wiki allows people in the work group in Columbus and Dallas to share information quickly--but perhaps more importantly, to have a searchable record of their activities.

This isn't news really, but I am surprised more library work groups aren't using Wikis. They're a natural environment for the sort of consensus-based decision making processes that are common to library committees. And wouldn't it be a blessing to have a space to go to for committee work rather than having to wade through dozens and dozens of emails?

Although this article from InfoToday is 18 months old now, it does cover wikis and libraries, and Colleen Bell at the U of Oregon has a nice resource here. And already noted on this blog but with regard to the articles on gaming and higher ed is the September/October 2004 issue of Educause Review has articles about blogs and wikis in education generally, not libraries specifically. The lead article is by Stephen Downes who has a blog I read regularly and if you follow e-learning, you should too.

The second item this morning is a link to an interesting chart called 3000 Years of Information Science and Technology from a consulting company called Taxonomy Strategies. My colleague Eric Childress, from OCLC Research, brought it to my attention. The two principals have both been active in the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative--neither come from library backgrounds.

What I found interesting was the bibliography of material these two guys consider to be core to taxonomies did not reference any libraryland writers (at least, that I recognize). And that OCLC and RLG are on the chart with closed dates--1960-1980--hmmm, I wonder if they see that twenty year period as the pinnacle of our place in the taxonomic universe?



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although the "1960-1980" comment is amusing, that isn't really what the chart's implying...unless it's also implying that paperback books ceased to be of interest after 1960!

They're not closed dates; they're date ranges covering the periods in which those items emerged.

In fact, for both OCLC and RLG, the dates are closer to 1980 than to 1960...RLG didn't even begin until 1975, and didn't have a union catalog until right around 1980-81 (although BALLOTS was an online library network in the mid-70s), and although OCLC began in 1967, online services didn't begin until 1971.

[Walt Crawford; I don't have a personal Blogger account]

Alane said...

Thanks for the comment, Walt. My tongue was in my cheek when I wrote that. I found the dates a bit odd myself, particularly the start dates although I think of Ballots as early RLG and so put the origins of OCLC and RLG as the same time period. What I find most interesting about OCLC's early days is that Fred Kilgour managed to convince 48+ libraries to be part of a consortium that had no service for three years!

ruhan said...

Really I liked your housing estate

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ruhan said...

Really I liked your housing estate

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