The featured blog is ‘Allan’s Library‘ which began in 2006. The blog focuses on ‘the science and evolution of Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web’ by Allan Cho, a programing services librarian at the University of British Columbia. What’s obvious from reading this blog is just how quickly the librarian’s role is evolving and how information is being managed in ever more different ways. This has numerous implications in the health (and other) sciences. As suggested above, Allan focuses on Web 2.0 and the semantic web and tells us in various posts that it is librarians who are at the cutting edge of defining the Web 2.0 and the semantic web. This is in part because the librarian has the role of being an information manager. On reading through Cho’s blog we can see the complexity of classifying information on the web and retrieving this in a useful way. There are various discussions around the definition of Web 2.0 including this article in which he discusses O’Reilly’s insights into Web 2.0 technology and links to a website which has lots of useful additional material. There is also coverage of more advanced academic material such as this academic library web 2.0 thesis.
Given the role that librarians are playing in defining the semantic web and web 2.0, Allan’s provides useful links to other librarian blogs that he follows, a discussion of the concept of the Librarian 2.0 and an article on the postmodern librarian. He also gives invaluable tips on search tools and search strategies. For instance in this article he discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of Google Scholar. In this article he discusses the invisible web and and makes the interesting suggestion that standalone pages without links as well as more recent pages might form part of the invisible web as well as the more usually recognised databases. In this article, Allan takes us through the process of conducting a search on a number of databases while here he give us some useful tips on searching the invisible web. Having such a large amount of information to deal with means making choices and in this article Allan outlines some of the recommendations of Barry Schwartz, a Professor of Sociology, in this regards.
A good majority of the articles introduce topics on Web 2.0 with a clear and simple presentation. He does in a small number of posts go into more advanced coverage of issues such as programming languages that are being used as the foundation for the semantic web. The articles are also interspersed with more lighthearted posts and supplemented with links to videos and presentations. ‘Allan’s Library’ is a blog which is regularly updated and which covers Web 2.0 and Semantic Web technology – keeping a finger on the pulse of this ever more important area.
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