Exhibit attendee Will Simpson, Software Engineer, Semantic, holds up the T-shirt he just received from Ontopia. Ontopia uses topic maps to facilitate document and data discovery. The expression on the T-shirt is derived from a quote by English novelist E. M. Foster (1879-1970) . . . "Only connect! . . . Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted." Dick Kaser ITI V.P., Content oi06 729093
Not a big smile from CSA’s Diane Hoffman as the shutter clicked, but a lot of excitement in her voice as she gave me a preview of CSA Illustrata, which is due to launch early in 2007.
Illustrata will provide researchers with the ability to do something they could never do before with scientific papers, namely, search the figures, illustrations, and pictures for information and data of interest.
Carol Tenopir (University of Tennessee) has published a paper (free for registration) on the initial beta test conducted among researchers. Based on that test, said Hoffman, the service has been redesigned and is now being tested by information professionals.
Illustrata will feature full search capabilities, retrieval of abstracts and index terms, and, thumbnail pictures of all the figures and photos. Click on a figure and it displays as a full image. Each image will be linked to the full text so that it can be considered in the proper context of the research article.
Diane called it "the first new innovation in indexing since ISI’s development of science citation indexing."
I was dazzled by the demo I saw. Watch for the public release of Illustrata in 1Q07 and see for yourself.
ITI V.P., Content
Remember when we thought Google was a funny-sounding name? Well, try "tesuji," a 100-percent open-source content management and search engine that’s the official search engine for Project Gutenberg. Tesuji "means the best move one can make in a given situation," according to the rules of the antique board game called "Go," said Anna Tothfalusi, M.D., account manager. Tesuji’s product line features four solution tools: Anacleto digital library, Anacleto corporate, Anacleto portal search, and Anacleto document management.
"We have chosen to concentrate on a few products to provide the maximum customization possible," she said. The site’s graphics and press materials are some of the best around. Company offices are in Rome, Hungary, and the United Arab Emirates (www.tesuji.eu).
Editor in Chief
Interested in keeping up with the economic news around the world? RGE Monitor, billed as "A Roubini Global Economics Service," crosses global borders and drills down to the economic news that you should know when you need to know about it. RGE Monitor’s team of economists and analysts slice and dice information about essential issues so you can spend less time searching and more time analyzing. Economic issues are sorted into handy bundles that keep the "Spotlight on the Top Issues" that can range from global to local in scope and all points in between. RGE chairman Nouriel Roubini, former White House and Treasury Department economist, originally launched the site because he thought coverage was not good enough to keep professionals informed on all fronts (news and blogs). "We are at the nexus of academic, political, and financial markets," according to Christopher Polony, senior account manager, who pointed to a lengthy list of clients that included Deutsche Bank, Bank of England, Japanese Ministry of Finance, and Peking University. Check out the site for yourself at www.rgemonitor.com.
Editor in Chief
I had lunch today with David Gurteen, Gurteen Knowledge. David chaired this morning’s opening session on social networking at the main conference. The session emphasized how social networking technologies and knowledge sharing techniques can be used effectively in large organizations.
David will also be helping me out with ITI’s Buying & Selling EContent Conference next spring, where we plan to use some knowledge sharing techniques as part of the program.
ITI, V.P., Content
Panelists at a session today on "The Value of Communities" discussed the relative importance of both virtual and physical communities. As I entered the auditorium Don Dixon, Senior Lecturer, University of West England (standing left of the lectern), and Past Editor of Knowledgeboard newsletter Ed Mitchell (at the mic.) were addressing the room.
Mitchell was stressing the importance of "contactivity." "Most of us at this conference are here to network," he observed.
The two suggested that the way to be successful in building virtual communities is to remember the importance of face-to-face meetings. A Wiki, for example, might not work until there is trust and common understanding among the participants. One might use a Wiki to flesh out a topic for discussion, but it may take a physcial meeting before the virtual conversation can get rolling.
The key, said Dixon, is "to get online and offline facilitators together to share their expertise."
It was Wolters Kluwer (left) who first introduced the idea of gauze screens as light-weight privacy walls in its stand at Online Information last year.
As things go, good ideas catch on . . .
The gauze screens were being used effectively by several other exhibitors at this year’s show, including Cambridge University Press (right) . . .
. . .and intelligence information provider Global Insight (below).
ITI V.P., Content
Google exhibited here last year, but they’re not on the floor in 2006. However, the news out of California today was Google’s abandonment of its Google Answers project. To be honest, I found Google Answers an illuminating insight into what ordinary people thought the answer to a question was worth. And it wasn’t much. But at least Google Answers required people to put a dollar value on answers. This is quite different from Yahoo Answers, which seems to feature inane, unimportant, and sometimes silly questions that can be answered by just about anybody with no qualifications that are immediately evident. If Google Answers is dead, can Yahoo’s version be far behind?
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Watch for a big push in ebooks, according to Gurvinder Batra, chief technologist at TechBooks. The industry conditions are right: There’s more than one ebook reader available now, so publishers have a choice. Batra is busy charting TechBooks’ future. The good news is that the company is growing (now 4,500 employees), but scaling factors (getting operations up to speed and training new employees) continue to be challenging. "Consumers are very demanding," said Batra. "We have to get it right the first time, every time."
Editor in Chief
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You never know what you will find in an exhibit hall! In my rounds yesterday, I came across this great robot made from Lego and coupled to a small portable computer. It was in the Fabasoft booth and was delivering candy (a.k.a. sweets here in the UK) from a dish into the hands of visitors. If you want to see it in action, click the arrow in the Flash window above.
Andrew Moore (shown in photo above) described Fabasoft’s product to me. It’s a content management system for very large enterprises that’s generally used in "back office" applications to index and control access to internal documents. Major users include some European government departments. Fabasoft is just beginning to enter the U.S. market and has established an office in Boston.
Great marketing, Andrew: use attention-getting attention technology to reel in potential customers, and then take the opportunity to discuss your product with them. It worked with me!
Columnist, Information Today