Information Update - Spring 2007

Internet 2, Social Software, Folksonomies.... OH MY Entering the Tangled Forest of the New Web.

Are you on My Space or Facebook? Rate My Professor? Are you altering search structures by creating subject headings based on your searches? Have you participated in the interactive global learning experience? Are you tagging and creating the vocabulary of mass mind think on the WWW? Are you taking personal ownership of the Internet for profit or information sharing? Join the 21st century largely being defined by the evolving high speed World Wide Web.
Internet2 is a consortium of more than 200 universities, technology based and private corporations, educational organizations, K-12 schools, and government agencies working to develop and implement advanced network applications and technologies in order to pick up the pace of the next-generation of Internet. Internet2 is a system of improved network protocols and advanced applications that are not possible under the limitations of the current Internet. Internet2's principal areas of development, according to its Web site ( include: high-performance networks and higher bandwidths, advanced network applications to improve collaboration for interactive access to information and resources, and new network capabilities that improve quality of service. The University of Scranton is the regional hub for Internet2, hosting and participating in a variety of collaborative and educational events to the University and local community and education institutions. Librarians Margaret Craft, Clara Hudson, Kevin Norris and Daenel Vaughn-Tucker participated in a collaborative live program via Internet2 for Banned Book Week. The virtual panel discussion took place on Monday, September 25, 2006. The University of Scranton along with 16 other high schools, colleges and universities, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Kent Oliver, Chris Crutcher author of challenged book Whale Talk and Sonia Sones author of What My Mother Doesn't Know engaged in an animated live virtual discourse. Visit the Internet2 page on the University web site for additional information and upcoming events.
Social Software has superseded the IM technology that we dinosaurs are just beginning to embrace. Privacy and discretion have become archaic concepts for a new generation who blog, wiki, and place every intimate photographic, video, and textual detail of their lives on the Web via social software sites like Facebook, LiveJournal and MySpace. Find and "friend" your students and fellow faculty on Facebook, a social network open only to those with .edu email addresses. Individual pages can be simple or complex including detailed personal information, graphics, animations, video, audio and music. Social Software, social networking and online communities are a means of group think that is a compass of the modern global age. Virtual communities where the specter of anonymity that sitting alone in a room at a computer keyboard allows becomes a sort of self reciprocal voyeurism; to be known and unknown in a virtual environment. Academic institutions and libraries are joining the crowd to meet students where they live, virtually. It has become a marketing and communication tool.
Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media Publishers in 2004 refers to a second generation of Internet-based services such as social networking sites, wikis, blogs, communication tools, and folksonomies that feature online collaboration, networking and sharing among users. The next generation Web 3.0 is looming on the horizon as an extension of the social networking technologies pioneered in Web 2.0. Web 3.0 is more of a marketing extension of the original 2.0 collaboration looking to restore the sales aspect of the Internet. Web 3.0 aims to develop artificial intelligence utilizing the Web's ability to transform itself based on user searches. Why does Amazon know exactly what book we want to buy before we do? Web 3.0 aims to be conversational in search and result, building knowledge of a user that will cater to rather than list returns. Libraries are already on the bandwagon of this technology with consortial catalogs, metasearches of Intranet resources, and collaborative services.
Moving on to the nuts and bolt of all the interconnected networked AI, the folksonomy which is an Internet-based information retrieval system consisting of collaboratively generated, open-ended labels that categorize content such as Web pages, online photographs, and Web links using tags. The practice of folksonomic tagging is intended to make information increasingly easier to search and navigate with each additional search. A folksonomy can loosely be defined as a shared vocabulary that is both originated by and recognizable to its primary users. Folksonomies grow out of Internet social environments like Amazon, MySpace, wikis, Google and Yahoo. The end result can be a direct increase in the user's capacity to find related content that is customized to the individual.
Clara Hudson