Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The evolution of the web (by Prof. Dr. Rene Schneider, presented at Inetbib-conference 2008)

This presentation was one of the most impressive ones. (Other people are sharing this opinion as I heard.) It was a presentation concerning the impact that the Web 2.0 and the Web 3.0 will have on libraries. Prof. Dr. Rene Schneider believes that this evolution of the web won't leave the libraries untouched.
Several images were drawn that were impressive enough and presented in a way worth to keep in mind.
For each version of the web, Prof. Dr. Rene Schneider gave analogies (quotes of literary works):

Web1.0 = "the garden of paths that are branching out" (Der Garten der Pfade, die sich verzweigen)
Web1.0 consists of networks of portals, databases, websites and search engines. Web1.0 can be identified by its push-character. (slide 5) Libraries were going online. Libraries began to offer information portals. Moreover libraries started to administer the user accounts digitally. (slide 6)

After that Prof. Dr. Rene Schneider showed the transformation from the Middle ages to the modern times (slide 7). According to Slawterdyke (?) the modern information world is charaterized by pluralism of information sources. That means everyone can be his/ her own librarian, everyone can have his/her own library. (This reminds me of the workshop "Everyone's a librarian now" at Bobcatsss2008)

The techniques of the library1.0:
  • Dublin Core
  • catalog as a bibliographic ontology
  • semantic federation
  • automation of mash-ups

Web2.0 = "the castle, in which fates are crossing" (Das Schloss, darin sich Schicksale kreuzen"
Web2.0 contains of wikis, blogs + RSS etc (slide 8) . The tools are used to deepen ones sense. Furthermore it's possible to reroute the flow of information via RSS-subscriptions etc. Communities/Folksonomies serve as bundles of information (slide 15). Prof. Dr. Rene Schneider compares them to birds which at first fly in a chaotic way and then organize themselves in a streamline (slide 13). (- In management processes are streamlined, too.)
Web2.0 belongs to the pull-technology.

The techniques of the library2.0 (slide 9):
  • RSS
  • Folksonomies
  • widgets
The theory is followed by some examples (slide 10, slide 12)

Web3.0 = the Taming of the Shrew (Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung) - Shakespeare
In Web3.0 everything is a question of semantic (slide 16). The goal is to define information that is understood by search agents/ robots/ spiders. It's the goal to make the search engines/ robots intelligent. That means
libraries can serve in the information glut as islands (or life rafts) by building thesauri, taxonomies and ontologies (slide 17). Thus a very complex structure of metadata is required.

The techniques of library3.0 (slide 18):
  • Dublin Core
  • catalog as a semantic ontology
  • semantiv federation of digital libraries
  • automatic mash-ups
So, what's the essential difference between web2.0 and web3.0? (slide 19)
Web2.0 is about people. In the world of web2.0 everything is miscellanious. Web3.0 is about agents. Thus, in the world of web3.0 there is no space for miscellanious.

Web4.0 = It - Stephen King
Web4.0 is the mixture of web2.0 and web3.0. According to Prof. Dr. Rene Schneider it's not possible to put web4.0 into practice.
But at least we should try to make improvements for the customer.

Hopefully the libraries do not ignore these developments but are adapting.

Apart from the technical perspective on this issue there is a personal perspective on it. Something additional to how librarians view themselves comes from Mark Clowes, who compares librarians with DJs:

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