|Yahoo & Partners Plan Open Source Digital Library|
Imagine that, Surf the Web Without Browsing a Website
|Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc. is setting out to build a vast online library of copyrighted books that pleases publishers ó something rival Google Inc. hasnít been able to achieve. |
Here's something from the NYTimes [nytimes.com]:
|the Open Content Alliance will also make the books accessible to any search engine, including Google's. (Under Google's program, a digitized book would show up only through a Google search.) |
The alliance website is located at [opencontentalliance.org...]
This other alliance partners consists of:
- Internet Archive
- University of California
- Adobe is supplying tools for image processing and conversion
- HP Labs
- University of Toronto
- UK National Archives
- O'Reilly Media
- Prelinger Archives
- European Archive
Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive sums up the goals very well:
|...by the time my kid goes to college, we could have a library system that is just astonishing. |
Was Google snubbed, or did the decline to participate?
It is not known if Google had previously been invited. You would think that Google would have been on the short list of partners. Either they were invited to join and declined, or they weren't invited yet.
[edited by: martinibuster at 6:50 am (utc) on Oct. 3, 2005]
Eventually, the Internet will do to public libraries what Amazon did to the small local bookstores. There will always be real book libraries, but not like there use to be once this thing gets going.
My guess is a huge percentage of authors and publishers will get on the bandwagon. It will take some convincing for them to come along. Change is not an easy thing for anyone!
What I find of interest is how search engines are getting away from indexing websites.
With Google's initiative, and now the Open Content Alliance's Initiative [webmasterworld.com], you will eventually be able to surf the web without ever browsing a website.
Something like this has a greater chance of gathering momentum, and has an interesting potential for changing the information we receive on the internet.
Instead of showing websites, the engines can present truly authoritative information. This can potentially bump up against the traditional webmaster who is creating websites with the aim of selling something along with the information. Search engines can conceivably cut out the middleman (website operators) and show ads on the free information they display.
Otoh, I'm not sure if this will impact the marketer affing hotel rooms to beach resorts.
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:32 am (utc) on Oct. 3, 2005]
I believe the publishing community was looking for respect and that's why they are interested in the Yahoo plan. Everyone would prefer to be asked if they wanted to participate, rather than being told they have to say NO to stop their participation.
It's just common sense.
|martinibuster: Search engines can conceivably cut out the middleman (website operators) and show ads on the free information they display. |
I've been beating the same drum for Google's "initiative". Google saw the potential of big $$$$$ here first. Arrhhhh, there's nothing like big dough and politics covered up by a "do-good" pretense.
Funny, the Google project was just on "On the Media" yesterday because of the Author's Guild lawsuit against Google. The main point of the commentator, whose name I didn't catch, was that this should be getting done by libraries, be open source and public domain.
Yet another case of Google finding itself solidifying its position as the new "Microsoft of the Mind", by which I mean, the company that occupies the mindspace of the dominating 500-pound gorilla that everyone loves to hate, but uses anyway.
The Yahoo mention of academic writing reminds me of the campaign launched by Bob Darnton (author of the Great Cat Massacre and president of the American Historical Association circa early 1990s. He felt that the academic publishing model had become economically untenable and that it was imperative to get rid of the stigma to publishing online by have electronic-only versions of peer-reviewed journals and books. He established a fund to award $30,000 (a huge award in a field like history) to one dissertation per year if the author agreed to never publish it in print. It never really took off, but with the academic slant to the Yahoo project, maybe we'll get there eventually.
brilliant. Once the model works, all other publishers will join in. Google might have a year headstart, but between lawsuits and stuff, Yahoo will catch up, and most importantly will have the library. Plus, publishers will probably send Y! the books already in pdf or whatever format they want. And this is assuming Google wins, definitely not a sure thing.
Will Yahoo be Itunes and Google MP3.com, at least when it comes to the library?
|Instead of showing websites, the engines can present truly authoritative information. |
I'll restrain from snorting soda on my screen at the ludicrous assumption that everything in print is "authoritative" - there is just as many crackpots running web sites as there are writing books.
Once you get past the dictionary, all bets are off on authoritative IMO as a lot of information is manipulated as society changes to fit the changing political climate.
If you don't believe this, compare identical topics in a 1930s encyclopedia to the same topics in today's tome and note how many things are dumbed-down for the masses or critical things glossed over that used to appear.
Authoritative - BAH!
Authoritative is probably a bad choice of words. One of the good things about the web is that it has made more people (not all of course, just more) aware of the problem of figuring out which sources to trust and which not and to figure it out by themselves.
That said, there is a difference between a web page that some crackpot puts up by himself and a web page that some crackpot puts up and that has been subjected to peer review by leading experts in the field. Does that difference make the peer-reviewed materials ipso facto true, correct and not subject to revision after another 70 years of research? Of course not. Does it mean that they are unlikely to be schizophrenic rantings of one crackpot? Yes, it does.
compare identical topics in a 1930s encyclopedia
In some fields yes, but in others quite the opposite.