Monday, April 09, 2012

Coping with metadata problems in book searches

I'll soon be facing the same issue and using the same workaround that did:

Whenever we can, we will supply WorldCat with an ISBN or other identifier to bring you straight to a book…but sometimes you will see a number of search results based on an author and Title. We would like this to be as seamless as possible, but the world of book publishing metadata is riddled with information gaps and geographic thorns.

ebooks need skimability

Stephen Johnson, talking to Findability:

If you could move one feature of paper books to digital books, what would that be?

Skimming. It’s a funny thing with print vs. ebooks; the digital age is supposed to be all about attention deficit disorder and hypertextual distractions, but ebooks lock you into reading them in a linear fashion more than print books do. It’s much easier to pick up a print book and flip through the pages, get a sense of the argument or structure, than it is with an ebook (or magazine.) It’s a very interesting interface challenge: I think it’s probably solvable, and I know many smart folks are working on it, but we don’t have a true solution yet.

I agree. It's one reason browsing in bookstores is still better than shopping online, even with Amazon's "look inside this book" - since flipping through the pages hasn't yet been implemented.

It's just a matter of time, though - I'd guess next year or two. Might just need the next generation of mobile CPUs & GPUs to ship. Flipping pages in a book requires some serious framerates!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The New Aesthetic

Bruce Sterling:
The evidence is impossible to refute. Anybody with a spark of perception who looks through this thing:
must recognize that modern reality is on display there. What we think about that, or do about that, is another matter. That it exists is not in question.

Also, be sure to read James Bridle and also this:
People are “acting” in ways we may or may not understand, which may or may not have an effect in the real world, whether it’s signing petitions, organising riots (on BBM), clicking, ‘liking’ KONY, whatever, the correct (maybe) response is not to have an opinion (default internet response, still) or a moral position, but to live inside the thing as it unfolds.

And there's even more!

We Are Creators, Not Consumers

My class reading this quarter is Mobile Design and Development, which you can read free online.

Author Brian Fling says:

We Are Creators, Not Consumers

The final principle of Mobile 2.0 is recognizing that we are in a new age of consumerism. Yesterday’s consumer does not look anything like today’s consumer. The people of today’s market don’t view themselves as consumers, but rather as creators.

He's talking about "user-generated content" as creation. But to me, "create" doesn't feel like the right verb for what makes social constructs happen.

Still, my reaction - being bothered by that equation and needing to probe at it like a sore tooth - tells me I should take a closer look at what is happening there.

Ok, brain, whatever you say.

(That's right, Pinky.)