Friday, August 26, 2005

Trackbacks

So arXive now has trackbacks. I'm wondering what it would take to provide trackbacks in our catalogs. Would links like that to individual bibliographic records be useful? There is Freetag, an open-source tool, that allows tagging in a MySQL database. That should work with Koha. Anyone tried that yet? Even in a test?

I'm becoming more convinced that the future of the net is not tools like topic maps and RDF, although they may have important niche parts to play. But rather, the easy one click building of links and the simple automatic ping and RSS distribution of changes and new material. Trackbacks, free tagging, PingGoat, RSS are just so simple and easy. They may not be quality but they have quantity. Long ago I hears someone say that there will be levels of cataloging, I think it was Stuart Wiebel. The most important materials will receive professional treatment, MARC, EAD, FGDC or something like that. Less important or less permanent materials will receive a less complete treatment. Dublin Core qualified or MARC with a minimal level of encoding. Still less important or more ephemeral materials would receive Dublin Core unqualified or HTML meta tags. The vast bulk of the Web would be covered by the search engines. That makes sense from an institutional point of view. However, an individual might find his or her idea of important very different than the memory institutions. The public needs simple easy tools where they can create their own personal information space. Collectively these spaces can reveal what society considers important at the moment. Improved access to the now is very important benefit, one we can leverage without much effort on our part. Just some random thoughts.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Adding tags to koha would be pretty easy, you could allow users to tag items in the opac once they are logged in.

As for trackbacks, im not sure how you would envision them working.
If you want to drop a mail to the koha-devel list giving a rundown on how you see them working. Ill whack up a prototype.