Friday, February 2, 2007

"Radical Trust: Why '2.0' Really Matters to Libraries (Session #309)

Speaker: Doug Horne, Head, Academic Liaison, University of Guelph

I was looking forward to this session and it didn't disappoint. Doug Horne's "think piece", as he called the session, highlighted many innovative/current concepts, and it also tied in so well with many of the ideas discussed in Thursday's all conference event "The Future of Search."

As already mentioned, this session was not about a particular project. Instead, Horne discussed concepts and ideas he's thinking about:

-Web 2.0 does not signal the end of libraries or librarians

Characteristics of Web 2.0:
-user generated content
-filters and rankings (lets you customize what you see on the web)
-tagging and folksonomies
-syndication (websites come to you)
-web based applications
-collective intelligence
-APIs (sharing)
-the Long Tail (get a large number of small groups to come to your site)

-Web 2.0 is an essential component of the concept of Radical Trust
-Radical Trust: we put our trust in a group of people we don't know
-We read very personal and emotional blogs but we don't know who these people are that are writing these blogs
-We don't know how reliable these blogs are.
-we trust these sources but they're not official/confirmed/controlled/secure sources
-they don't consist of authoritative ideas
-"unpolished" works

Trust and Web 2.0
-4 ways in which trust works in Web 2.0:
  1. Classification: People can tag things people use and look at what other people have tagged. The community drives this action. There is an incentive to use tags others use so you're tied to a community.
  2. Content creation: content is created by viewers/users.
  3. Systems: examples are flickr . No contracts involved. Free to use. We don't know how these systems work but we use them anyway.
  4. Open source software: we don't know who makes this software but we trust our data with it.

-Web 2.0 technology enable us to do social networking, but its not all about technology. Its important to look at people's behavior.

-We are unconsciously providing advice in communities

Features of indirect social navigation:

-no 2-way communication

-based on qualitative evaluation

-anonymous contributions

-recommender systems (collaborative filtering)

-history enriched filtering

So, what about libraries?

-Librarians have to understand what people are doing in terms of information-seeking and usage

Requires a shift in thinking:

Content creation > massive collaboration

Content filtering/taxonomies > qualitiative filtering/folksonomies

Local control systems > dynamic/remote systems

Vendor closed systems > open source/collaborative/APIs

Peer review/expertise > decentralized/self-regulated

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