What if librarians stopped focusing on developing their own site, but
instead found ways to contribute content to other people's sites in their
respective communities? We could develop a modular site, say using xml, and then work with others to incorporate what we have into their sites. Course sites come to mind. Instead of trying to get people to constantly link to our site, focus more on to getting in to theirs. I know some libraries do
this to some extent, but it never seems to be the main push. Am I correct in
this assumption?

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Hi Mark,
I love the idea of a modular site, where one could take whatever bits and chunks of other websites to create some kind of "MyHomePage." (Google does that on a very small scall - I wish Ning would, too.)

Take a look at this definition of Web 3.0 from Wikipedia:

"Web 3.0 is a term that has been coined to describe the evolution of Web usage and interaction that
includes transforming the Web into a database, a move towards making content accessible by multiple
non-browser applications, the leveraging of artificial intelligence technologies and the Semantic web
and three dimensional interaction and collaboration."

It suggests that part of the emphasis will be on ways to comfortably manipulate it to user needs. Of course, increasing web content will always be a characteristic of the net (the more content one provides, the greater one's profile), but a new direction would be how we can leverage, collaborate, or exchange with others to maximize the potential benefits.

I know in my institution that Google had asked us to send robots into our OPAC to pick data. (We held off, since it would have slowed the OPAC to a crawl - although I felt we should do it the next weekend.) That's the idea --- opening your virtual doors to others who will find a use for it.

Just some ideas...
Bob,

That's great. What's nice too about these options is it allows the end user to manipulate the content. I like that as a dual business model - consult for people who do not know how to integrate what we do into their work, and open up what we have for those that want to experiment.

It's funny how they are already talking about non-browser applications, when many of us librarians are still trying to has out this new fangled technology on computers! No really, I just read that some company is coming out with an e-reader that functions exactly like paper, including flexibility and contrast (http://www.plasticlogic.com/products.php). We need to start learning how to get our content out there because no one is coming to us.
A colleague suggested Netvibes as a solution for our work as liaisons with academic departments, precisely because it (potentially) does what Mark suggests. I plan on working with it over the next few days to see how flexible it really is. My goal with a tool like that would be to highlight library resources, while having faculty from our distance ed program suggest resources, too.

Our campus uses Blackboard for courses, and I'm trying to develop modular tools for them to use, as well, such as a test for evaluating websites that I can export to other Bb courses.

Three cheers for modularity!
YES YES YES! Thank you so much for this link to Netvibes, Phenyks! THIS is what I want of so many websites - especially Ning. Given available content, I want to be able to design the page the way I want. I'll have to experiment with this a bit. Will be I able to add a library OPAC search box to this page, even if they've not designed for Netvibes? I'll have to check it out, but I suspect this customizable front portal is the wave of the future.
I've had a lot of luck with Netvibes. I've gotten a student and several faculty to jump on the RSS bandwagon. In addition to that, I sent out an email to the DA Librarians' listserv and got a few other people to promote the service.

I feel as though RSS has changed the way I learn; I can absorb so much more information/news in such a short period of time.
In education, there was a flurry of articles on the Personalised Learning Environment, or PLE. Similar to Netvibes et al. The idea being that rather than trekking through many links to get to the Library, or course content, it could all be pulled into one place. We will still need to build stuff, and market it, but such sites will enable people to make easier use of what we have- and thus perhaps make more use of it.
Whoa! What a thread! (Thanks Mark.) Thanks Peter for this notion of PLE. I'm having a ball looking it up. I'm particularly entranced by this image, which seems influenced by 2.0 web ideas:

Personal Learning Environemt

Also the Personal Learning Environments Blog
And of course, the Wikipedia entry is a start.
yes you are

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