- Can people find your blog?
- Can people find their way around your blog?
- Can people find your content and services despite your blog?
- Your blog serves as a nexus for information about you.
- You serve as the nexus for trust and relevance.
I certainly don’t mean this to be as snarky as it’s about to come out, but I love the fact that Isaak questions my claim that linkability is essential to online discussions (and thus, communities) with a link: Linkability Fertilizes Online Communities I really don’t know how linkability will build communities. But we really need […] » about 300 words
A bibliographic instruction quiz we used to use asked students how many of Dan Brown’s books could be found in our catalog. The idea was that attentive students would dutifully search by author for “brown, dan,” get redirected to “Brown, Dan 1964-,” and find three books. Indeed, the expected answer was “three.”
As it turns out, my library has all four of Dan Brown’s published books, including the missing Digital Fortress. The problem is that three books are cataloged under the more common Brown, Dan 1964-, but Fortress was cataloged under Brown, Danielle.
The problem is that cataloging is imperfect.
Yeah, it takes some marbles to say that, but the fact is that cataloging is a human endeavor. Humans make mistakes. The challenge we face is to build systems that tolerate error, and then make it easy to fix those errors when discovered.
“Bagged products” is little better than “cookery.” I’m gonna bet that no customer has ever asked the sales people for “bagged products,” that nobody’s ever checked the yellow pages for “bagged products,” and without context, nobody would come close to answering a question on what the heck “bagged products” are all about. But we do […] » about 300 words
Following Edward Tufte’s advice, I’ve been wanting to offer a presentation without slides for a long time now; I finally got my chance in Portland. The downside is that now I don’t have anything to offer as a takeaway memory aid for my talk. My speaking notes are too abstract to offer for public consumption, […] » about 800 words
It’s hard to know how Fuzzyfruit found the WPopac catalog page for A Baby Sister for Frances (though it is ranked fifth in a Google search for the title), but what matters is that she did find it, and she was able to link to it by simply copying the URL from her browser’s location bar.
The link appears among her comments in the discussion about her post on an early letter she’d written to her mom. Fuzzyfruit’s comment spawned more comments about the book from Sarahq and Coffeechica.
We talk here and there about how “libraries build community,” but how does that work in the online world? How do our systems support or inhibit community discussions online?
Arguments about Wikipedia‘s value and authority will rage for quite a while, but it’s interesting to see where the lines are being drawn. On the one had we’ve got a 12 year-old pointing out errors in Encyclopaedia Britannica (via Many2Many) and now on the other side we’ve got John Seigenthaler, a former editorial page editor […] » about 500 words
Peter Morville, author of Ambient Findability, stirred up the web4lib email list with a message about Authority and Findability. His message is about how services like Wikipedia and Google are changing our global information architecture and the meaning of “authority.” The reaction was quick, and largely critical, but good argument tests our thinking and weeds […] » about 400 words
Peter Morville‘s Ambient Findability sold out at Amazon today on the first day of release. There’s a reason: it’s good. Morville’s work is the most appropriate follow-on to the usability concepts so well promoted by Steven Krug in his Don’t Make Me Think and Jakob Nielsen in Designing Web Usability. Findability, Morville argues, is a […] » about 300 words
I’m only just getting into Peter Morville‘s Ambient Findability, but I’m eating it up. In trying to prep the reader to understand his thesis — summed up on the front cover as “what we find changes who we become” — Morville relates his difficulty in finding authoritative, non-marketing information about his daughter’s newly diagnosed peanut […] » about 500 words
Just when I was beginning to feel a little on my own with my talk about the Google Economy here, I see two related new books are coming out. The first is Peter Morville’s Ambient Findability. The second is John Battelle’s The Search.
Findability appears to ask the big question that I’ve been pushing toward. From the description at Amazon:
Are we truly at a critical point in our evolution where the quality of our digital networks will dictate how we behave as a species? Is findability indeed the primary key to a successful global marketplace in the 21st century and beyond?
Here, as always when thinking about information, think about “marketplace” in broader terms than pure commercial, pure profit. This is the Google Economy.
Call it a law, or dictum, or just a big stick, but it goes like this:
The value and influence of an idea or piece of information is limited by the extent that the information provider has embraced the Google Economy; unavailable or unfindable information buried on the second or tenth page of search results might as well be hidden in a cave.