Webometric Thoughts

June 11, 2009

The Library Show 2009: Are libraries stuck in the physical world?

The Library Show was on at the NEC yesterday, so I decided to pay it a visit. The show itself was free, and the £5.20 train fare was more than compensated for by the free magazines. Whilst I enjoyed the show, I couldn’t help but feel it was stuck in the past. Whilst there were organisations promoting technological solutions, there was nothing there that made me think that librarianship is a profession heading in the right direction in changing times. Instead I thought: what a lot of different sorts of shelves.

Whilst I appreciate the continuing importance of the physical library, I would have expected it to be coupled with some innovative digital products. Unfortunately, I fear, there are great swathes of the library world who are stuck firmly in past. Demonstrated most clearly by the absurd comment by someone speaking from the Copyright Licensing Agency:

If copyright didn’t exist people wouldn’t create anymore because they wouldn’t be paid

Copyright has a place, but let’s keep some perspective.

The show organisers did make some effort to be ‘cutting edge’, with Phil Bradley giving a talk on ‘Twitter and Its Value to Librarians’:

Bradley’s talk (slides available on slideshare.net in true web 2.0 fashion) was standing-room only, with the vast majority having never used Twitter. Three year’s after such a service launches a community of information professionals should need more than an unashamed apologist’s introduction on how to use Twitter!

Obviously there is a lot of innovative work going on amongst individual librarians that is not going to show up at a trade fair…but you wouldn’t have guessed by seeing the joy with which they carried around their new CoLibri book covering machine.

The big thing I will take from the fair is StoryPhones. I don’t think I have ever seen such an awful idea!

June 12, 2008

Image Copyright on the Web

Filed under: Google Analytics,Google Images,copyright — admin @ 8:58 am

I am unashamedly addicted to Google Analytics. If I am not looking at the number of visitors, I am investigating where they are coming from, and for Webometric Thoughts, many of them are coming from Google Images. I have had visits from 53 different country-specific Google Image search engines, and a little probing finds it is probably driven (bizarrely) by photos of me in different t-shirts! Whilst I found I am the top result for both‘blog t shirt’ and ‘qr t shirt’ (as well as appearing in the results for similar queries), I was surprised to find that other people have used my image on their blogs!

Along with the rest of the blogosphere, my blog does occasionally use other people’s images to illustrate a point. Personally I am never sure whether it is better to embed the image, thus using the other person’s bandwidth, or to copy the photo to my server. Whilst embedding the photo is less likely to be a breach of copyright, copying the photo seems to be the politer option.

But really people, are photos of me really the best illustration you can find??

May 8, 2008

Booby-trapped media file :-)

Filed under: copyright,intellectual property,piracy — admin @ 7:03 pm

The BBC are reporting that a fake media file has been widely seeded on file-sharing networks. Supposedly the biggest outbreak for 3years. As a person who doesn’t illegally download songs or films, it is the sort of story that makes me smile. Would you feel sorry for the burglar who scratched himself on the broken window?

Most people don’t steal films and music because of an unerring belief in the faults of the intellectual property laws; they steal because they want the music and films and don’t want to pay for them. There are problems with the intellectual property laws, but stealing is not the right way to go about changing them. If you don’t want to pay, then don’t watch/listen.

It would be interesting if the record and film industries started seeding these trojans, after all people would be damaging themselves through carrying out an illegal act.

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