Jan 7, 2010

Char Booth Reviews the Year in Information Technology

From Library Journal

Stacking the Tech | Twitter and the Visual Dataverse

By Char Booth, E-Learning Librarian at University of California, Berkeley

Sorry to disappoint, but this year-end review column is not about how Twitter "conquered the world in 2009." To be sure, Twitter played its part as the emerging technology darling of 2009, and it would be hard to overlook the 140-character behemoth’s startlingly rapid influence on web-based communication. Trending and real-time searchability have achieved social, organizational, and commercial utility to a degree and diversity unrivaled by any other social media platform, save maybe Facebook. Twitter provides libraries with myriad creative outreach applications and encourages what in my own experience can be wildly productive professional backchannel discourse. Plus, now that Oprah Winfrey and David Lynch are both updating regularly, the site might as well be canonized in the popculturium....

From the research perspective, as digital libraries grow in scope and complexity, data mining and results visualization is likely to become integral to many disciplines. At the 2009 Google Books Settlement and the Future of Information Access conference organized by UC Berkeley’s School of Information, the potential of using the GBS “research corpus” to perform vast textual searches on millions of books carries implications for information representation in libraries even on a much smaller scale. According to the excellent new book Search User Interfaces by Marti Hearst (available free online), effective visualization in search and retrieval has always been challenging from a usability standpoint. As librarians, we have a responsibility to consider how to harness visual communication to augment the discoverability and usability of our collections and services, and to provide support to users with graphical information representation needs.


Last updated:

October 4, 2016