Information Access Seminar

"The Economics of Open Access" and "Metadata, Sex, and Amazon"

Friday, April 17, 2009
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Mari Miller & Avi Rappoport

Mari Miller: The Economics of Open Access

Mari Miller, librarian and liaison to the I School, will review issues in the economics of open access and resources she has been exploring for a bibliography on the open access movement (books, articles, blogs, websites, etc.). She will show where they are located online and in the library, and propose a collaborative model for developing it further.

Avi Rappoport: Metadata, Sex, and Amazon

Amazon failed in a big way on Easter weekend, and because it is responsible for about a third of all electronic commerce in the United States, it matters. If Amazon won't sell a book, or will sell it but will "de-list" it, the book practically disappears. The ways Amazon failed are many: it did not (and still doesn't) have a clear policy on adult (sex and sexuality) content, and there is evidence that it deals with adult materials in special ways. It placed too great a reliance on metadata. The technical infrastructure was too flexible, allowing changes without approval. Its communications to its customers, authors and the media were worse than nothing. And it had the bad luck to make a significant mistake regarding people who are highly articulate and communicative, at a moment when there are technology tools to support them, and the bad judgment to stay silent hoping it would go away.

Avi Rappoport is a metadata and search engine consultant with Search Tools Consulting.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015