Saturday, July 12, 2008

Apture ... My dream of Libraries

Okay ... so I've always thought some sort of library virus would be a good idea ... it would bring the power of the truly linkable universe to everyone's information devise (read "brain", "computer", handheld", etc.,) ... it would be catchy and would feed off of the knowledge and links around it to make us all smarter (at least potentially -- let's face it ... it's only as good as the info out there!).

So then, I'm reading eWeek from July 7, 2008 and on page 28-9 they have this article on Apture, a start up that's producing something called the "Innovative Media Hub" which without any type of client-side anything (aside from a browser) gives users the ability to "Search and discover media online from such sources as Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, ESPN, Comedy Central, Flickr, and And the cool part is that it only take a piece of code that is then inserted in your site code to make your site Apture-enabled.

Wow, I'm thinking ... that's what we need in our online content offering ... the ability to instantly link to every other piece of online content we (and others) offer ... In stead of the jolting and sometimes randomness of federated searching, this goes beyond Google by moving discovery away from search and closer to find. Can you imagine needing to find information on Beethoven, going to a some sort of encyclopedia (whether it's Wikipedia or Britannica) and finding not just the background with links to other free stuff or content provided by the same publisher, but
everything you and/or your institution has access to ... scores, critiques, sound recordings, video of the Vienna Philharmonic, and even primary sources (digitized). Not only that, but anything that you want to upload yourself ... that's right ... libraries as collectors and curators and PUBLISHERS!

Anyhow ... it's not quite the library virus, but it's getting closer ...

The only downside ... libraries were not mentioned in the article ... not at all ... so ... it's up to us to not get lost in this discussion and implementation like we have with other discovery tools. I guess I just need to figure out how to make it work for NC LIVE!