Archive for the 'Social Media/Web 2.0' Category

Web 2.0 Meets EPrints: The SNEEP Project

Posted in Digital Repositories, EPrints, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 7th, 2008

The SNEEP project has released an alpha version of SNEEP.comment, which adds user comments to the EPrints repository software.

SNEEP is also working on a tagging component for EPrints.

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    Google Gives Wikipedia a Lump of Knol for Xmas

    Posted in Google and Other Search Engines, Social Media/Web 2.0 on December 16th, 2007

    According to "Encouraging People to Contribute Knowledge," Google has launched Knol, a Wikipedia competitor, in test mode.

    Here'as an excerpt from the posting:

    Earlier this week, we [Google] started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling "knol", which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it. . . . .

    A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions. Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. . . . .For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. . . .

    Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads.

    Read more about it at "Google to Wikipedia: "Knol" Thine Enemy," "Google's Knol: No Wikipedia Killer," "Google's 'Knols' Aren't a Threat to Wikipedia," "Google's Know-It-All Project," and "Google's Units of Knowledge May Raise Conflict of Interest."

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      Sophie Project Gets $1 Million from Macarthur Foundation

      Posted in Digital Media, E-Books, Social Media/Web 2.0 on December 4th, 2007

      Thanks to a million dollar grant from the Macarthur Foundation, version 1.0 of Sophie, software that allows non-programmers to easily create multimedia documents, will be released in February 2008. Sophie runs on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. An alpha version and several demo books created with Sophie are available.

      Here's an excerpt the project's home page:

      Originally conceived as a standalone multimedia authoring tool, Sophie is now integrated into the Web 2.0 network in some very powerful ways:

      • Sophie documents can be uploaded to a server and then streamed over the net
      • It's possible to embed remote audio, video and graphic text files in the pages of Sophie documents meaning that the actual document that needs to be distributed might be only a few hundred kilobytes even if the book itself is comprised of hundreds of megabytes or even a few gigabytes.
      • Sophie now has the ability to browse OKI (open knowledge initiative) repositories from within Sophie itself and then to embed objects from those repositories.
      • We now have live dynamic text fields (similar to the Institute's CommentPress experiments on the web) such that a comment written in the margin is displayed immediately in every other copy of that book—anywhere in the world.
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        New York Public Library Makes 600,000 Digital Images Available to Kaltura Users

        Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Culture, Digital Media, Research Libraries, Social Media/Web 2.0 on November 30th, 2007

        The New York Public Library has made its collection of 600,000 digital images available for use by Kaltura users. Kaltura is a free, online collaborative video production site.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        The New York Public Library and Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, announced today that the organizations have joined forces to further enhance online rich-media collaboration. The New York Public Library's treasure trove of 600,000 digital images can now be incorporated easily into Kaltura's group video projects. The library's digital collection includes a wide range of rare and unique images drawn from its research collections. These range from Civil War photographs and illuminated Medieval manuscripts to historic views of New York City, Yiddish theatre placards and 19th Century restaurant menus. Users can search, preview and add these library images directly from the Kaltura web site (To try it, go to, click 'start a kaltura').

        "Kaltura is a good fit for The New York Public Library as we work to take advantage of the latest technologies and approaches to make our collection freely and widely accessible," said Joshua M. Greenberg, Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship at The New York Public Library. "We are excited to enable the use of our extensive Digital Gallery of historical images in Kaltura's cutting-edge and innovative application. Working with Kaltura was a natural step in enabling the creative use of these rich materials in the broader online world."

        Kaltura enables groups of users to collaborate in the creation of videos and slideshows, similar to the way in which Wiki platforms allow users to collaborate with text. When creating a Kaltura video, users can upload their own videos, photos, audio and animation, can import their previously uploaded material from MySpace, Photobucket or YouTube, or they can access and import rich-media from various public-domain and CreativeCommons sources such as Flickr, CCMixter, Jamendo, and now The New York Public Library. Kaltura aims to team with additional databases and digital resource partners in order to both provide users with the widest array of rich-media, and to provide its resource partners with access to Kaltura's Global Network of users, content, and services that allows unprecedented collaboration around rich-media creation, remixing and distribution.

        "We strive to provide users with the most comprehensive, enjoyable and user-friendly experience possible when creating their collaborative Kalturas in a fun, safe, and legal environment; The New York Public Library database is a huge addition to resources that we offer, both in terms of its size and the great value that it brings," said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura.

        "Kaltura was built around the principles of openness and sharing with the mission to enhance collaboration and to lower the barriers of participation—it is through partners with a similar vision, like The New York Public Library, that we can achieve our goal of delivering the world's first open platform for peer production of rich media, with the broadest access to rich-media materials, resources and databases," Yekutiel added. "We are truly honored by this collaboration."

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          Center for History and New Media Launches ScholarPress: WordPress Plugins for Education

          Posted in Social Media/Web 2.0 on November 17th, 2007

          The Center for History and New Media has launched ScholarPress, which provides WordPress plugins tailored for educational use.

          The first two plugins are:

          • Courseware: "Courseware enables you to manage a class with a WordPress blog, including a schedule, bibliography, assignments, and other course information."
          • WPBook: "WPBook works with the Facebook Development platform to create a Facebook Application (addable by users within the site) using a WordPress blog."
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            Major Internet and Media Companies Sign Off on Agreement about Third-Party Copyrighted Materials in User-Generated Content

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Social Media/Web 2.0 on October 19th, 2007

            Major Internet and media companies, including CBS, Dailymotion, Fox, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Viacom, and Walt Disney, have agreed to abide by a new set of principles (User Generated Content Principles) for detecting and regulating the use of third-party copyrighted materials in user-generated content.

            Here's an excerpt from the press release:

            The principles, which are attached and available in full at, call for a broad range of constructive and cooperative efforts by copyright owners and UGC services. They include:

            • Implementation of state of the art filtering technology with the goal to eliminate infringing content on UGC services, including blocking infringing uploads before they are made available to the public;
            • Upgrading technology when commercially reasonable;
            • Cooperating to ensure that the technology is implemented in a manner that effectively balances legitimate interests, including fair use;
            • Cooperation in developing procedures for promptly addressing claims that content was blocked in error;
            • Regularly using the technology to remove infringing content that was uploaded before the technology could block it;
            • Identification and removal of links to sites that are clearly dedicated to, and predominantly used for, the dissemination of infringing content; and,
            • Promotion of content-rich, infringement-free services by continuing to cooperatively test new technologies and by collaboratively updating these principles as appropriate to keep current with evolving developments.

            You can read more about this at "Consortium's User-generated Content Principles Extend Far beyond Fair Use" and "Studios Unveil Their Copyright Protection Guidelines," and "Unprincipled 'Principles' for User Generated Content."

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              Free Flow of Information Act Passes House, but Limits Blogger Protection

              Posted in Social Media/Web 2.0 on October 18th, 2007

              The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 has passed the House, shielding most journalists and some bloggers who do not want to reveal confidential background story information during federal investigations. At the last minute, the bill was amended so that bloggers and reporters must derive "a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain" from their work.

              Read more about it at "House Passes Federal Journalist Shield, Includes Bloggers" and "U.S. House Overwhelmingly Passes Federal Shield Bill, Changes Definition of Who Is Covered."

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                Web/Web 2.0 Tools

                Posted in Coding, Social Media/Web 2.0, Techie on October 12th, 2007

                Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

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                  Omeka: The Open-Source, IMLS-funded Web Publishing System for Museums

                  Posted in Museums, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on October 11th, 2007

                  The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has provided further details about its IMLS grant for Omeka.

                  Here's an excerpt from the posting:

                  HNM is also celebrating its IMLS funding for Omeka, a next-generation web-publishing platform for smaller history museums, historical societies, and historic sites. From the Swahili word meaning “to display” or “to lay out for discussion,” Omeka is designed for these groups that they may not have the adequate resources or expertise necessary to create and maintain their own online tools. The free, open-source tool will allow many more museums to mount well-designed, professional-looking, and content-rich web sites without adding to their constrained budgets. It will also provide a standards-based interoperable system to share and use digital content in multiple contexts so that museums can design online exhibitions more efficiently. Beginning in October 2007, CHNM will plan, design, test, evaluate, and disseminate Omeka over four phases while working closely with our major partner, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). MHS represents a wide museum network and a broad range of history and heritage institutions of different sizes, audiences, and subject area interests. In addition, we will make Omeka available to other small museums through conference presentations, direct mailings, and the CHNM website.

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                    The Lowdown on the MITH/Rice University Our Americas Archive Project

                    Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Humanities, Digital Libraries, Digital Repositories, Open Access, Rice University, Scholarly Communication, Social Media/Web 2.0, Texas Academic Libraries on October 9th, 2007

                    The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities has posted a description of its IMLS-funded Our Americas Archive Project.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    Rice University, in partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland has received a three-year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the amount of $979,578 for the Our Americas Archive Project (OAAP), with an additional $980,613 provided in cost share by the institutions. The project will develop an innovative approach to helping users search, browse, analyze, and share content from distributed online collections. OAAP will incorporate recent Web 2.0 technologies to help users discover and use relevant source materials in languages other than English and will improve users’ ability to find relevant materials using domain-specific vocabulary searches. Two online collections of materials in English and Spanish, The Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA), and a new digital archive of materials to be developed at Rice, will provide an initial corpus for testing the tools. Rice principle investigators, Geneva Henry (Executive Director, Digital Library Initiative) and Caroline Levander (HRC Director), along with MITH co-PI Neil Fraistat are undertaking this innovative digital humanities project with a view to supporting scholarly inquiry into the Americas from a hemispheric perspective. As Geneva Henry says, “our goal is to develop new ways of doing research as well as new objects of study—to create a new, interactive community of scholarly inquiry.”

                    Two significant online collections of materials in English and Spanish supporting the interdisciplinary field of hemispheric American Studies—Maryland’s Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA) [] and a new digital archive of multilingual materials being developed at Rice []—provide an initial corpus for developing and testing these new digital tools. The two multilingual archives illustrate the complex politics and histories that characterize the American hemisphere, but they also provide unique opportunities to further digital research in the humanities. Geographic visualization as well as new social tagging and tag cloud cluster models are just some of the new interface techniques that the Our Americas Archive Partnership will develop with the goal of creating innovative research pathways. As Caroline Levander comments, “we see this as a first step in furthering scholarly dialogue and research across borders by making hemispheric material available open access worldwide. Our goal is to further develop innovative research tools that will help generate a collaborative, transnational research community.” Ralph Bauer, MITH Fellow, general editor of the Early Americas Digital Archive, and collaborator on the project adds, “the added digital materials and tools to navigate seamlessly through these two collections is enabling new forms of scholarship. Because the OAAP makes available materials that are dispersed in different geographic locations, it facilitates collaboration and intellectual exchange among an international audience. The digital medium offers rich opportunities for multicultural exchanges and is therefore uniquely suited for a hemispheric approach to history.”

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                      Web/Web 2.0 Resources and Tools

                      Posted in Coding, Social Media/Web 2.0, Techie on October 5th, 2007

                      Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

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                        Scriblio Beta Released: A WordPress-Based CMS and OPAC

                        Posted in OPACs/Discovery Systems, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on October 1st, 2007

                        The Scriblio beta version has been released.

                        Here's a description of Scriblio from the About Scriblio page:

                        Scriblio (formerly WPopac) is an award winning, free, open source CMS and OPAC with faceted searching and browsing features based on WordPress. Scriblio is a project of Plymouth State University, supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

                        • Free and open source
                        • Represents bibliographic collections — library catalogs and such — in an easily searchable, highly remixable web-based format
                        • Leverages WordPress to offer rich content management features for all a library’s content
                        • Free and open source
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                          Digital Scholarship

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