Mlibrary 2.0 (beta!) – Ann Arbor quickie trip

So the kickoff to the Summer of MLibrary 2.0 was really fun today. I got to hear talks by Peter Morville and Kristin Antelman (whose name I am spelling correctly now) and give my own rambly talk about 2.0 stuff. The website for their summer project is really nifty if you haven’t seen it already. The site has a main lib 2.0 page, a list of events (hey there’s me!) and their 13 Things page which outlines some of the things they’ll be doing this summer. My slides and notes and links are on this page. Special thanks to Dave “Superman” Carter for inviting me, and Robyn Cleveland for her superb logistical assistance.

Now I’m hanging out at the Ann Arbor District Library catching up on my digital world and looking forward to having mac and cheese with Superpatron before heading to the airport. Next week I am giving a few short talks on social software for New Hampshire librarians and parents, then I’m done with travelling until… later. Anyone who is coming through Vermont is encouraged to stop by, I’d love to return some of the hospitality I’ve gotten on the road these past few months.

Here’s one post from someone who liveblogged my talk, let me know if there are any others floating out there.

heavy meta parking lot

I like books because they tend towards linearity and being one little knowledge parcel of something. However more and more when I read (latest book: Book of Lists, 90′s edition) I have a little index card that I use as a bookmark — card catalog card, actually — that I make notes on. The notes often turn into Google searches, del.icio.us links, MetaFilter posts and emails to my Mom. My books become more than themselves by being dissected and shared.

So, this has been the theme for this weekend, a weekend that had me teaching my Mom how to use Greasemonkey scripts to show more photos on her main Flickr page. I also taught her how to use Grab to do screen captures, how to take long shutter photos with her camera and why del.icio.us is considered “social.” She even discovered she had fans on del.icio.us, what fun! Three other things that sprang up, regarding the meta level of things.

  1. Flickr Machine Tags – tagging is great, but most people agree that some sort of structured taxonomy complementing a folksonomy is a stronger and more useful way to make information findable. Enter machine tags. Also known as “triple tags” they add an almost faceted layer of classification to Flickr, but still in a totally “roll your own” way. So, for example. I took a picture of my Mom. She is also a Flickr user. In the past, I could add a tag that said “Mom” or “Muffet” (her user name) but there would be no way to explicitly link her Flickr identity to the Flickr picture of her except with a clunky HTML link which makes sense to a human reader but isn’t super clear to a machine. If you check the picture I linked to, it has a new sort of tag flickr:user=muffet which you create just like a normal tag, but it has parts to it. Right now it’s the Wild West as far as what you can build into machine tags — see hoodie:color=orange there aren’t really any standards or even accepted practices, but there are a lot of people doing a lot of talking and it’s an exciting time to be into taxonomies.
  2. Ed “superpatron” Vielmetti and I have been sending del.icio.us mail this evening. This diagram should explain everything.
  3. Back to books for a second. How great would it be if, while you were reading a book, you could have a graphical representation of the places talked about? Well, one of the rocket scientists over at Google Book Search is building just that sort of tool. Their post Books:Mapped explains a little of how it works. The about page of the book on Google Books will have a map, if one is available. Here is an example from David Foster Wallace’s book The Girl With Curious Hair or perhaps more dramatically The Travels of Marco Polo.

it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superpatron!

What do you call a library patron who is a tireless library promoter and a technophile to boot? Library fanboy? What if you found out that same library fan was creating little scripts to post-process library catalog content into, say, a display of the book covers of all new nonfiction titles and started his own pro-library blog? I guess you’d call him a Superpatron which is also the new blog by library enthusiast Ed Vielmetti who has been keeping his main blog, Vacuum, pretty much as long as I can remember.