Today is the annual Computer Security Day. Their site actually is pretty thin on information, it's more of a reminder and an opportunity for you to think about and to promote computer, network and information security at your organization.
Wikipedia is unique for an encyclopedia
because anybody can add, edit and even erase. And the three-year-old
Wikipedia is just one - albeit the best known - of a growing breed of
Internet knowledge-sharing communities called Wikis.
Where Wikis can truly take off are in corporate and organizational settings.
The Association of Internet Researchers used a Wiki to craft guidelines
on research ethics, while Bowdoin College professor Mark Phillipson had
his students annotate and discuss poems.
I expect Narcissus would have liked the web very much. I have been thinking about the issues of digital preservation lately, as it is roughly the 10-year anniversary of my main web site. Using the invaluable Google Groups USENET archive search, I know for sure my site predates 1994-12-23. But I don't know the exact date it first went up. I recalled that a friend of mine had won Mirsky's Worst of the Web for a page he had done where he applied ridiculous image filters to a photo I had sent him. We mined the Internet Archive manually to find the exact date, in June of 1995. (Is there really no full-text search for the archive? Because it certainly made things difficult, having to click around on URL after URL.)
(The first USENET posting of mine I can find, incidentally, is from 15-Oct-1990.)
It worries me to think that without these two wonderful tools, it would be extremely difficult for me to reconstruct any of this info. In fact, as digital preservation goes, I have a fairly typical story:
VIC20 - sold C64 - sold C128 - sold Amiga 1000 - sold Amiga 2000 - I still have and it still works, although it's a long time since it's been powered up.
If I recall, I did save all my emails at the time... to Amiga floppy disks.
That's one example of a classic archive format issue. Another is that I have a bunch of stuff on Zip disks. Mac-formatted Zip disks. And while I still have a Zip drive and a Mac with a SCSI port, it's been a while since either of those was fired up either.
I should probably get them going one last time and migrate forward to CD and HD.
Spreading the word: who profits from scientific publishing? Organiser: Françoise Praderie, Observatoire de Paris and Siméon Anguelov, UNESCO Consultant, France Speakers: Wilhelm Krull, Hans Dieter Daniel, Roger Elliott, Pierre Baruch, Sally Morris, Hélène Bosc and Frank Gannon Held: 2004-08-26 at 14:45-18:15
As most of the people reading this probably already know, SPARC is one of the major centres of activity for Open Access, Institutional Repository etc. Working with SPARC Europe, they just had a conference:
I think library toolbars are a very interesting way to get your "brand" in front of your clients, and to make your services quicker/easier to access, in fact probably exposing some services your clients didn't even know you provided.
This related to some thinking/searching I did on various search engine toolbars, plus some quick experiments we did internally on making a Firefox search thing. This just gives you another search alternative, like Google, Yahoo etc., but it's much faster to make than a full toolbar.
Anyway this thinking further inspired by Tame the Web blogging Library Toolbars.
Continuing to have lots of fun experimenting with SnipSnap, a bliki that is Java-based, including the ability to install Java-based "macros". This makes for a very extensible system. So far, with a bit of work, I have located and installed RSS Aggregation and bookservice macros.
Hewlett-Packard Co. has become the latest IT vendor to dip its toes in the wild world of Web logging, or blogging.
Over the last few weeks, a handful of developers in the company's software development group have quietly begun publishing their regular musings
on such technical issues as service-oriented architectures and XML
(Extensible Markup Language). But the company is now showing signs of
following competitors like Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.
and opening up its blogging efforts to a wider range of company
Incidentally, ITworldcanada.com is an Olympically bad site. When I click on the links on their front page on any of my Mac browsers, nothing happens. Instead of HTML, the links are some sort of embedded-in-Flash thing. Bleah. Plus which, if you do manage to get a clickable link (by doing a search), they require you to register.
(I read it on the bus using AvantGo on my PDA, so I encounter none of these problems.)
So I was thinking about metadata today. Back in the early 90s, it was all SGML and somehow we were going to write automated classifiers that would tag anything. I don't think that particularly went anywhere except maybe for specialized corpuses.
Then there was HTML and you were supposed to tag things. For example, I always use the <cite> tag around book or magazine titles. But most people just used plain markup.
And now it's all GUI post composition (I'm using the TypePad WYSIWYG mode right now) which in general make crummy (in terms of humanly readable, intelligently tagged) HTML.
Plus which, in wikis, as far as I know, there's not really any way to tag stuff, since you're writing wiki-language which gets translated into HTML.
So are we actually moving away from the ability of users to tag their data at a granular level? Sure with wiki and TypePad I can tag individual posts, but I can't really tag content easily within posts. On the postitive side, flikr is a good experiment with being able to tag individual images. Are we making progress?
I happened to be in a waiting area and picked up an Economist from March. In their tech quarterly they have an article rather misleadingly titled Blogging goes to work. I don't think it is free online anymore. It starts out about blogging but ends up being mostly about Socialtext, an "enterprise wiki". Here is the gist of it:
Socialtext makes a corporate version of a wiki ... Rather than
maintaining multiple copies of a document and sharing ideas by e-mail,
a wiki allows members of a team to pool their thoughts more easily.
Wikis are not particularly new, but are now beginning to demonstrate
the potential to replace other forms of groupware.
“When I first
heard of wikis, I brushed it off as a weird, messy thing that was out
of control and never would be useful,” says Peter Morville, head of
Semantic Studios, a consultancy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He now thinks
more highly of them, having successfully used them on several projects
Socialtext takes the wiki concept and adds to it some corporate bullet-proofing.