VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Social Sciences POSTED ON: 7/14/2010
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.
InformationToday 19 www.infotoday.com 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- M 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- I 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 (www.icyte.com) and Zotero (www cated tools, we will likely struggle to man- that try to capture a sense of what inter- .zotero.com) 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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