Common information environment


Table of Contents

Report in the The Guardian about a somewhat aspirational UK initiative working to create stronger interoperability between information services across health, cultural sector, education, etc. Reading it, it occurs to me that we are seeing two responses to the Amazoogle factor: in one there is an emphasis on aggregation through ‘portal’ or ‘metasearch’ activities, in the other there is a movement to disclose resources to Yahoogle as we are doing with OWC.

Librarians and teachers learn to bypass internet searches altogether and start with organisations such as the National Archives or museums which are likely to be of use. Ironically, according to Paul Miller, director of CIE, organisations such as museums and libraries have huge amounts of exciting content on the web. Most of this is paid for with public money. But to most people outside their own communities, it might as well not be there. “There’s an awful lot of stuff there that’s not being used to its full potential,” says Miller. “Too much remains hidden among the low-quality information that clutters the web and behind technical, commercial and administrative barriers.” [ | Society | The hidden potential of the web]


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