Episode 48 – Balkanization of the Web?

24 November, 20094 comments

What will be the impact of the loss of non-Anglophone books in the revised Google Books settlement? How about the loss of News Corporation content in Google’s search? Or the loss of physical books from the library? And what exactly does the loss of tens of thousands of editors mean to Wikipedia? Mills, Amanda, and Dan discuss these changes to our information environment in a special Thanksgiving edition of the podcast.

Links mentioned on the podcast:
Revised Google Books Settlement
News Corp. Weighs an Exclusive Alliance With Bing
Report: Wikipedia losing volunteers
Syracuse University Library Considers Relocating Books
Top 100 Books Cited by Wikipedia

Running Time: 49:38
Download the .mp3

Categorized under books, Google, libraries, Wikipedia

4 comments to “Episode 48 – Balkanization of the Web?”

  1. Sean Kheraj : 26th November, 2009

    Regarding the discussion of the Syracuse University Library controversy, I wanted to relate the experience here at the University of British Columbia.

    For years, UBC Library kept a large portion of its collection in off-site storage, away from the actual library. This collection tended to be books that were under-used and older. This was a big problem for historians who tend to read old books.

    The renovation and re-design of UBC’s Main Library had a lot of what you discussed on the podcast, including abstract and somewhat purposeless “learning” and “teaching” commons (and of course there was the inclusion of a cafe). But it also included the construction of a massive Automated Storage and Retrieval System or ASRS. For those who haven’t seen anything like this, picture the movie The Matrix where instead of row upon row of stacks of human beings kept in pods managed by robots, you have row upon row of stacks of pods filled with books managed by robots. The system is integrated into the library’s online catalog and even features virtualized shelf browsing (for those serendipitous moments). Library users simply click on the book they want and the automated system retrieves the correct pod for the librarians at the main desk and the book is available for pick up in about five minutes. The benefit was that all the books from the off-site storage facility were brought into the ASRS.

    If you want to learn more about the magic of this incredible library technology (definitely more “gee-whiz” than compact storage), you read about it here:


    Keep up the great work on the podcast.

  2. Mark Sample : 29th November, 2009

    Thanks for another worthwhile discussion. Just one request…Bring back your picks of the week! The tail end of the podcast had a little too much live web surfing; I’d rather have heard ten minutes on the most recent essential tools or sites.

  3. edwired » Blog Archive » Balkanization of the Web? : 4th December, 2009

    […] Google)? The answers (or at least speculation about) all of these questions are available from the latest episode of Digital […]

  4. LISC NI Blog » Blog Archive : 7th January, 2010

    […] is also an interesting discussion of the issues on Episode 48 of George mason University’s Digital Campus which is well worth a listen. Tags: […]

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