Anonymous — January 20, 2009 - 8:15pm
Our global taxonomy consultants are always willing and ready to participate in conferences, local meetings and any other get togethers that they can get to and they often are asked to participate and lead discussions/presentations around different topics. (of course when they are not working on client engagements!!)
At this year's ALA Midwinter 2009 (American Library Association) meeting as part of the Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (NRMIG) there will be a discussion on taxonomy development on Sunday, January 25, from 8-10 a.m.The discussion will be led by our very own Laura Dorricott.
Laura is a Project Delivery Manager in our Dow Jones Taxonomy Services group and has many years of experience doing taxonomy and indexing projects including Taxonomy/thesaurus assessment, development and design.
Over on the Metadata Blog , the official blog of the Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (NRMIG), they are requesting input in advance on topics that should be covered- so if you are attending or have some 'remote' thoughts for Laura feel free to add your comments either here or there!
A request was already added by Diane Hillmann that she would " like to hear Laura discuss the differences she sees in the way libraries view vocabularies and vocabulary development and the way commercial entities view these issues. Is there something we can learn from those differences? I'd also like to hear a bit about how the commercial sector evaluates return on investment for this kind of development.".
Sounds like a great discussion and i can't wait for Laura's report from the field!
Anonymous — January 13, 2009 - 11:47pm
Many readers of the SynapticaCentral blog are not professional librarians - but some of us are so i am sharing with you something that i just published on my personal blog that you might find interesting around the state of blogging Librarians around the world.
Librarians are no strangers to the blogging world and some of the earliest blogs i personally started to followed where indeed written by Librarians. The Librarian in Black blog by Sarah Houghton-Jan a Digital Futures Manager for the San José Public Library is definitely one that i have been keeping an eye on in a Library topic folder in my RSS reader over the years and always find interesting and valuable information.
Recently Sarah wrote a post on her blog that caught my attention about a new book published by LibWorld titled "Library Blogs Worldwide" in which she has written a chapter covering the United States Library blogging community (page 187).
The book was published via the Infobib LibWorld project and is available as a free download or a paperback from Lulu online publishers.
It offers thirty commentaries by local librarians on the state of library-related blogs in 29 countries! The forward by Walt Crawford provides a good summary of the volume and diversity that global library blogs offer.
In Sarah's chapter she asks the question "which came first, the librarian blog or the library blog?" She writes that the librarian did because they "began sharing information with each other and as more of us saw the power of the blogging medium, we began adopting the same techniques at work.". I agree with that answer and it probably mimics a lot of other industries and professions who have adopted blogging as part of their work 'duties' in the same manner.
Another good resource for comprehensive lists of blogs is the Blogging Libraries Wiki and an output of the LibWorld report is available from the LibWorld delicious account where they have tagged all the blogs mentioned in the book by country.
We should think about putting together a comprehensive book that cover global bloggers who are taxonomists, ontologists and linguistists !
Anonymous — January 7, 2009 - 10:04pm
[This post is cross-posted on my personal blog]
Last month the Library of Congress released their report on their ongoing Flickr project that i have been very interested in and have written about as the project progressed. From their blog post on the report:
"Only nine months into the Library of Congress’ pilot project placing Library photos on the Web site Flickr, the photos have drawn more than 10 million views, 7,166 comments and more than 67,000 tags, according to a new report from the project team overseeing the lively project."
“The popularity and impact of the pilot have been remarkable,” said Michelle Springer, project manager for digital initiatives in the Office of Strategic Initiatives, who said total views reached 10 million in October. The site is averaging 500,000 views a month, she said, adding that Flickr members have marked 79 percent of the photos as “favorites.”
A summary of some of the outcomes:
- Increasing awareness of the digital photograph collection the Library of Congress (LC) has which has been available for years on the Library's website turning to not only an engaged audience but a lot of referral traffic to the Library's Website. "Feedback of this nature suggests that as a result of this project the Library is reaching new audiences—people who did not or could not find this material on our own site, and people who never thought to look here. "
- Gain a Better Understanding of Social Tagging and Community Input (see below for more details)
- Pilot helped the LC staff gain experience with Web 2.0 online interactions with 'patrons'
Since the beginning of the project i have been very interested in learning about some of the outcomes that the project would provide in regards to user tagging versus applied controlled vocabulary through traditional bibliographic cataloging. In the report the share that they used the Flickr API to do deeper analysis of the tagging that was done by the community (see pages 19-24 of the full report) based on nine categories that provided some interesting insight focused on issues commonly cited in comparisons of social tagging vs. assignement of controlled vocabulary terms(page 28). The categories analyzed were:
I. LC description-based (words copied from the Library-provided record): e.g., titles,
names, subjects, etc.
II. New descriptive words (words not present in the Library-provided description):
- Place: e.g., cities, counties, countries, natural feature names
- Format (physical characteristics of the original photos). Sample tags: LF, large format, black and white, bw, transparencies, glass plate
- Photographic technique. Sample tags: shallow depth of field
- Time period. Sample tags: wartime, WWII, 1912
- Creator name: e.g., photographer’s name
III. New subject words (words not present in the Library-provided description):
- Image (items seen in the image itself). Sample tags: cables, trees, apples, windows, hat, yellow
- Associations/symbolism (phrases and slogans evoked by the image). Sample tags: Rosie the riveter, Norman Rockwell, We can do it!
- Commentary (revealing the tagger’s value judgments). Sample tags: Sunday best,
- proud, dapper, vintage.
- Transcription (transcribing words found in items such as signs, posters, etc., within the photo)
- Topic (terms that convey the topic of the photo). Sample tags: architecture, navy, baseball, story
- Humor (tags intended to be humorous rather than descriptive) Sample tags: UFO, flying saucer
IV. Emotional/aesthetic responses: (personal reactions of the tagger). Sample tags: wow,
pretty, ugly, controversial
V. Personal knowledge/research (tags that could only have been added based on knowledge or research by the tagger, and that could not have been gleaned solely from the description provided or examination of the photo): For example, the tag murder used on a portrait of someone who was later murdered or tags added for the specific county when that information was not part of the description.
VI. Machine tags (added by the community not Library-supplied): e.g., geotags and Iconclass tags
VII. Variant forms (representing terms already tagged but in a different form, such as synonyms (e.g., WW2, WWII, World War II, worldwarii) or plural/singular differences (e.g., transparency/transparencies)
VIII. Foreign language (tags in foreign languages/scripts, whether they are translations of English-language tags, or new tags)
IX. Miscellaneous (tags that are not readily understood, that provide corrections to LC descriptions or to other taggers (e.g., not peaches), or tags later removed
Some of the Future Tag Analysis Interests (page 29) are also quite interesting such as actually incorporating popular concepts or variants into the LC's own controlled vocabularies (yeah something i advocate in the hybrid approach!), bringing the tags into the LC's search environment, populate bibliographic records with tags (although that have already added the Flickr URL to the "additional version available" field (MARC field 530) in some catalog records which leads users to the appropriate Flickr page that might provide historical information etc. on the image that is vaulable- see sample on page 36).
In the report they also share some of the experiences the staff learned from using Web2.0 tools in interacting with patrons that might be different from the traditional reference desk exchanges (page 37).
The good news? Skip to page 38 of the full report to see the recommendations and conculsions including details of headcount that is necessary for the program to continue and expand. But the report ends with the following good news:
"It should come as no surprise, then, that the Flickr team recommends that this experiment in Web 2.0 cease to be characterized as a pilot and evolve to an expanded involvement in this growing community (and other appropriate social networking opportunities that may arise) as resources permit. The benefits appear to far outweigh the costs and risks. "
Many thanks to the Library of Congress staff for taking on this project and continuously sharing their progress through their blog as well as other resources (see Appendix C) and to the authors of the project report: Michelle Springer, Beth Dulabahn, Phil Michel, Barbara Natanson, David Reser, David Woodward, and Helena Zinkham!
Anonymous — January 5, 2009 - 12:00pm
2008 treated my ebook on Folksonomies and Taxonomies extremely well and lead to some great conversations with colleagues and clients about the 'advantages' of user tagging when approached via hybrid routes in the Enterprise that i will be sharing here with you in a future posts.
In addition to the inclusion in many publications, including DMReview I was also interviewed for a ReadWriteTalk Podcast about why i wrote the book. Alot of great feedback was received not only about the content and the message of the ebook but the gorgeous layout and format that our design team put together and for a treat our marketing department also had these great aprons made for the Taxonomy Bootcamp sessions.
This year a translated version of the ebook is out in French titled: Le Livre De Cuisine De La Taxonomie Et De La Folksonomie which i am extremely excited about because it reaches out to a whole new market for my European colleagues. (although i admit i do not speak French!)
Hope you enjoy it- Merci!
Anonymous — December 21, 2008 - 10:28pm
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