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What if web 2 0 really does change everything


What If Web 2.0 Really Does Change Everything?

Acceptable Use Policy

Recording/broadcasting of this talk, taking photographs, discussing the content using email, instant messaging, blogs, SMS, video chat, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised.

Brian Kelly


University of Bath

Bath, UK


[email protected]

Resources bookmarked using ‘intute-2007-11’ tag

UKOLN is supported by:

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat)

I m a web techie i use google
“I’m a Web techie; I use Google”http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • At ILI 2007 Tony Hirst (Open University) admitted to a group of librarians that he mostly uses Google

  • Brave man 

  • What can a manually-created catalogue provide for the happy Google user?

But I’m a Web person, happy with Google and Technorati. I’m not part of Intute’s key target audience.

What are the Web 2.0 challenges to be faced?

What if web 2 0 changes everything
What If Web 2.0 Changes Everything?http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • What you may expect:

  • What If Web 2.0 Changes Everything?

  • Web 2.0 is about:

    • RSS, syndication

    • Blogs

    • Wikis

    • Cool interfaces – Ajax

    • Trusting your users

    • Yaddy, yaddy yada

Hasn’t Intute services being doing this for a long time, before the Web 2.0 term was coined?

Intute doing it for themselves
Intute – Doing It For Themselveshttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • SOSIG Blog:

    • Featured in IWR, Jun 2005

    • Mentioned by me at UKSG conference, April 2005

Lessons from the past
Lessons From The Pasthttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • What was the key to Intute’s success?

    • ROADS – open source software (community software development leading to sustainability)

    • ROADS support for whois++: a lightweight distributed searching protocol

    • Response to Z39.50: either (a) a mature robust cross-searching standard or (b) “a legacy protocol that hasn’t taken off yet” – Dan Brickley

    • Use of MySQL: an open source RDBMS

    • Use of PostGres: a proper open source RDMS

    • Distributed development & hosting, avoiding RDMS and other technical battles

Note of the above, the success was based on RDN’s user-focussed approaches, its outreach activities – being Web 2.0!

Not forgetting rdn include

  • This is Web 2.0, before the term was coined!

Not Forgetting RDN-include

  • Short paper on “RDN-Include: Re-branding Remote Resources” by Kelly, Cliff and Powell accepted at WWW 10 conference, May 2001

  • Designed to allow content to be embedded elsewhere

  • JavaScript implementation to overcome SysAdmin barrier

What if web 2 0 really changes everything
What If Web 2.0 Really Changes Everything?http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • An alternative perspective:

  • What If Web 2.0 Really Changes Everything?

  • Web 2.0 is also about:

    • The network as the platform

    • Google, Yahoo, etc. as application providers

    • New business models (not just funded by the taxpayer or subscription services)

    • The wisdom of crowds

    • ‘Embracing constraints’ and ‘good enough’ solutions

The real ie
The Real IEhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • Martin Poulter, ILRT on Technologies For Resource Sharing:

    • Embeddability

    • Services which can be embedded provide benefits for all

    • Wikipedia generates more traffic than HE Academy – so let’s be Wikipedia editors

    • Let’s use 3rd party wikis

  • The challenges

    • Managing the risks

    • Branding? Who cares (really?)

See <http://ancientgeeks.wordpress.com/2007/10/12/resource-sharing-in-academic-support/>

Revisiting the ie nee dner
Revisiting The IE (nee DNER)http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • We had the early visions for the JISC DNER, developed by Andy Powell

  • I subsequently developed my view for how the DNER might develop:

    • Applications on the Web e.g. bookmarking (del.icio.us!) and word processing tools (Writely!)

Web 2 0 as a dner development
Web 2.0 As A DNER Developmenthttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • The DNER got a lot right:

    • Networked services

    • Lightweight standards

    • Importance of RSS

    • Trust (in the funded institutions)

  • What we missed, which Web 2.0 is providing:

    • Commercial providers of services

    • New business models (we were Old Labour)

    • Lightweight development

    • User-generated content (we thought it would be the professionals)

    • Trust – in the individuals

    • The power of the network – services which get better as more people use them

Why we should all use web 2 0
Why We Should All Use Web 2.0http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • What we used to think:

    • We’re in HE, and we have IT Services to provide our IT needs (though we moan about them)

    • JISC builds on this to provide additional services

  • What we (should) now realise:

    • JISC & institutional services aren’t appropriate for:

      • Our family photos, our music, …

      • Use by our friends and families

      • For social networking

    • We need our personal risk management strategies (for our family digital heirlooms)

    • Institutions may feel a need to ensure students familiarise themselves with such services

    • Academics are likely to make use of such services in any case

Can t we just do it in house
Can’t We Just Do it In-house? http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • Surely all we need to do is:

    • Use Ajax to enhance our user interfaces

    • Provide the popular (and increasingly expected) ‘favourite’, ‘comment’, ‘message; … social networking features within our own services and managed environments

    • We can then avoid the spam, porn, misuse, …

  • But:

    • Have we got the mindset, the development processes, …?

    • Can we expect to compete with the global providers - remember home-grown operating systems?

    • What about the 1-9-90 rule?

Opportunities challenges

Globalisation talkhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

Opportunities & Challenges

  • The challenges:

    • Getting our audiences back

    • Responding to the wide diversity of applications being developed

    • Responding to the lightweight development tools and approaches being taken

  • The opportunities:

    • Learning from Web 2.0 successes

    • Responding to changes (we’ve been doing this for centuries!)

    • Applying innovative practices appropriately (and not just on top of existing working practices)

The 1 9 90 challenge

Globalisation talkhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • Potential Dangers:

    • Globalisation

    • Mono-culture

    • Unexpected dangers

    • Loss of impact

There are dangers associated with going down this route, with developing alternative approaches and doing nothing

The 1 – 9 – 90 Challenge

  • Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute

    In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action. (Jakob Neilson, Oct 2006)

  • Potential Benefits:

    • Globalisation

    • Cross-fertilisation

    • Unexpected benefits

    • Maximising impact

Why i m a fan

Globalisation talkhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • More importantly:

    • Annotation facility

    • Slides can be ‘favourited’

    • I can see my fans, and the other slides they like

    • Amazon style “readers who bought this book also liked these”

Would this level of popularity be possible on an institutional or even national repository?

Why I’m A Fan


  • Slideshare:

    • Easy to upload slides

    • Can be embedded in Web pages

    • Statistics provided

Application to cultural heritage

Globalisation talkhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

Application To Cultural Heritage


  • Paper on Building an On-line Community at the Brooklyn Museum at Museums & Web 2007 conference described use of Flickr, MySpace, etc. by the Brooklyn Museum

  • This provides

    • Interaction with artists

  • User-generated content

  • Engagement with new audiences

Is it risky

Globalisation talkhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

Is It Risky?


  • Scenario

  • What happens if a third party provider goes out of business?

  • Application Elsewhere

  • What will happen to our life savings if our bank goes out of business? Do we keep our money under the mattress?

  • And note recent Guardian headline “Secret List of Universities Facing Collapse”

There’s a need for risk assessment, risk management, etc. But this also applies when you are developing software, procuring development work, etc.

A mixed economy

Globalisation talkhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

A Mixed Economy

  • We are likely to have a mixed economy:

    • Systems managed in-house

    • Use of external services

  • We need to ensure these can co-exist and utilise their respective strengths

“… there is potential for institutions to push out their repository content to other services that have a more up to minute Web interface? This would not need to be a long term commitment and would enable institutions to cater in a more targeted way to their particular 'consumers'.

Rachel Heery, UKOLN


Revisiting the question

Globalisation talkhttp://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

Revisiting The Question

  • “How Can Institutions Develop Innovative and Affordable Tools to Engage Increasingly Sophisticated Audiences”

  • Some thoughts:

    • In some areas they shouldn’t attempt to compete with market place successes (e.g. Google)

    • If some cases institutions should be indifferent to the service provider (e.g. Microsoft or Google Docs)

  • There are real needs to:

    • Answer the question “Why develop?”

    • Be realistic if development work is funded

    • Be user-focussed (and this isn’t necessarily easy)

    • Be prepared to write off investment if users don’t want what we’ve developed

Should we develop
Should We Develop?http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/meetings/intute-2007-11/

  • Which term reflects our IT developments and which reflects Slideshare, Facebook, …?

    • Cool

    • Worthy

  • Is our IT development culture capable of being responsive to changes in:

    • Rapidly changing technical environment

    • Competition from others

    • User expectations

    • Political changes (government centralisation of Web sites)

Development culture

Which has responsibility for stifling creativity and innovation?

Development Culture

  • How do we go about IT development?

  • Here are the rules:

    • Project management

    • Standards catalogue

    • Accessibility requirements

  • Here are the hurdles:

    • Bidding process

    • Negotiations

    • Advisory group

    • Progress reports

Should we host
Should We Host? innovation?

  • It’s also timely to rethink policies on hosting services

The box

Managed box

Managed by IT Services

Managed by national service

ISP (e.g. Site 5)

Amazon S3 / EC2

  • Reasons for IT development:

    • We learn • We own

    • We can tweak • ….

  • Reasons for hosting?

    • ???

Why not really
Why Not? Really? innovation?

  • You can also use third party ISPs, which can provide 2-click interfaces to applications e.g. Site5’s Fantastico/Cpanel provides:

    • Moodle

    • Wordpress

    • Drupla

    • PHP …

  • Or use Amazon S3 / EC2 to rent storage, CPU cycles, APIs, …

For ~ $6/month!

Living in a blended world
Living In A Blended World innovation?

  • We’ve been through changing times before:

    • Demise of mainframe • Growth of PCs

    • Demise of Computer Board • Growth of Google

  • Need to engage:

    • The stuff that just works

    • Supporting distributed team working

  • Need to understand:

    • The stuff that users use, place they go(e.g. Facebook, Slideshare, …)

  • Need to embed (it’s not surrender):

    • Enhancing quality of 3rd party services

    • Content in Wikipedia

Just do it

Enhancing the community
Enhancing The Community innovation?

  • The community is now much wider than the individual hubs – and social networks can support the community

Conclusions innovation?

  • Times have changed

  • The simplicity of the past won’t return

  • We need to

    • Reflect on our past (successes and failures)

    • Understand what makes successful services

    • Engage with success

    • Identify our (possibly new) roles

  • If we do this, we can continue to thrive

  • And read OCLC’s recent report …

  • Oclc report
    OCLC Report innovation?

    • Read the OCLC report on “Sharing, Privacy and Trust In Our Networked World”:

      Open The Doors

      “the library brand must go from institutional to personal. …

      The social Web is not being build by augmenting traditional Web sites with new tools. …

      Open the library doors, invite mass participation and relax the rules …

      It will be messy … but mass participation & a little chaos often create exciting venues for collaboration, creativity, community building and transformation”

    • An exciting challenge for Intute 

    Questions innovation?

    • Any questions?