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Managing the Brave New World of Online Content


In less than a generation, the Internet has revolutionized the way information industries communicate, gather knowledge, and distribute information. They depend on the effectiveness of search engines to trawl through this ever-increasing repository of data, but being able to find what they need is only the beginning of the problem. As part of this technological revolution, they have seen the migration of traditional forms of communication to digital formats. Without doubt, the Internet will continue to grow and develop, as will the means for finding what is most useful. To access this information and to work effectively, they need elegant and sophisticated tools that let them save, categorize, and retrieve this information.

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									                                                                                                                                                                 InformationToday             19
                                                                                                                                                            January 2010

      Insider’s Perspective
                                               Ebook Apps
Managing the Brave New World of Online Content Multiply
by STEPHEN FOLEY   |   iCyte                    formation from different websites into a             Good research de-

   [This column lets experts in the infor-
mation technology industry discuss the
                                               on iPhone
                                                single document for the sake of comparison
                                                is a time-consuming and often frustrating
                                                process. HTML pages often lose their for-
                                                                                                 pends on being able
                                                                                                 to resolve both of
                                                                                                 these issues effec-

challenges and trends in their special niche    matting when copied, and time is often           tively. Users need to                                     obile analytics company Flurry
in the marketplace. —Ed.]                       wasted trying to reformat documents.             be able to save the                                       made waves last November
                                                                                                 materials that inter-                                     when it released statistics de-

      n less than a generation, the inter-                                                       est them, and they                             monstrating that more ebook applica-
      net has revolutionized the way we
                                                Emerging Tools: Social Media                     need reliable ways of                          tions were being released to Apple’s App
      communicate, gather knowledge, and            In recent years, we have also seen the       accessing that infor- Stephen Foley            Store than to any other type of applica-
distribute information. While beneficial,       emergence of social media, a term that           mation once saved.                             tion, surpassing even the long-dominant
the sheer volume of information threat-         relates in part to the emergence of user-        As with more traditional forms of research,    games category. In its analysis of the
ens to overwhelm us.                            generated content. Although it is now a          material needs to be categorized to be most    findings, Flurry credited Apple’s smart-
   We depend on the effectiveness of            simple matter to create a webpage or             effective. Tags and the capacity to anno-      phone as an ebook platform, opining that
search engines to trawl through this ever-      blog, this has created a new challenge.          tate information are crucial. Reliable         the rise in apps showed that Apple was
increasing repository of data, but being        While we can search to find things we are        searching across databases with the abil-      “positioned [to] take market share from
able to find what we need is only the be-       looking for, trying to get a broad sense of      ity to share that information collabora-       the Amazon Kindle as it did from the
ginning of the problem. We also need ways       what has captured the interest of people         tively with other users is essential. Se-      Nintendo DS.”
to save, organize, and retrieve this infor-     is quite difficult.                              curity and privacy are equally important.
mation. Without the necessary sophisti-             Twitter, Delicious, and Digg are tools           iCyte ( and Zotero (www
cated tools, we will likely struggle to man-    that try to capture a sense of what inter- are two products that aim to
age the information available with either       ests people. Twitter does this by transmit-      meet this need. Both have the capacity
ease or efficiency.                             ting information quickly and simply over         to clip or save webpages; this informa-
                                                an enormous network of users. Links to           tion can be categorized with tags and
                                                sites of interest are disseminated with          notes. This has obvious benefits in terms
The Tools We Had: Printing                      stunning speed. Both Delicious and Digg          of being able to search and retrieve data
    As part of this technological revolution,   aggregate content and give a snapshot of         later on and makes comparisons a sim-
we have seen the migration of traditional       what people find most interesting.               ple and efficient process. Because the
forms of communication to digital formats.          Google’s Sidewiki is the newest addition.    URL is also saved, these systems virtu-
Newspapers, books, and journals are gen-        Those who have installed Sidewiki (part          ally replace the need for bookmarking.
erally available online. However, this shift    of the Google toolbar) can add a comment             Both products can be used effectively
has not necessarily lessened our attach-        alongside any webpage. Google’s intention        for student research and higher education.
ment to having things in hard copy. Many        is that people will post information that        iCyte has collaborative features, while Zo-
people, and particularly students, will print   is relevant and useful, helping other con-       tero can extract bibliographical data. Both
material that interests them. It is a simple   
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