Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Data Filters

Information Overload | Information Literacy

We're all familiar with information overload, but how are libraries positioning themselves as information solutions. Information literacy instruction (ILI)
teaches our users to effectively navigate information sources based on
their needs and gives them the ability to critically evaluate the
information and their outcomes. Certainly, ILI gives people a sense of
empowerment by giving them the necessary filtering tools. However,
what if the information recalled still overwhelms? Faceted navigation and clustering may alleviate some of these concerns, but, after reading about ImportGenius @ Springwise, I wonder if libraries don't have the capabilities to bring more value-added, income-generating services to the public.


ImportGenius


ImportGenius takes public
data created by US Customs and packages it in a way that makes
searching easy in what was considered by most a massive data dump.
Subscriptions to ImportGenius run close to $400 a month and additional
fee-based modules can be added to the the base subscription.


The New Business Model


Free! Chris Anderson (Long Tail fame) wrote recently in Wired about what he believes to be the future business model--offer
introductory level services or products for free and then offer
upgrades to those at a premium. You can see this already at work with
services like WordPress and Picnik. Libraries already offer many services for "free." I think smart libraries that offer premium services, like Georgia Tech
and many others, are a very viable way to create additional revenue,
especially in the public sector. If marketed successfully, the
additional streams of revenue could fund the creation of more
information-based utility services (specifically, branded utility services based on the same revenue-generating model described above).


Key Take Aways


"Find a way to make public data more accessible, and you'll import some tidy profits yourself!" - Amber York, Springwise

"The first wave is freedom of choice and the second wave is freedom from choice." - Bill Joy, who inspired Peter Gabriel's The Filter (via: Contagious)

1 comment:

Bryan Loar said...

Springwise discusses Flat World Knowledge's open-access textbook beta program.

http://www.springwise.com/education/open_source_approach_to_textbo/