Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm at JCDL 2009 in Austin

JCDL 2009 is about to wrap up. It's been a good conference with some interesting presentations, and I've enjoyed catching up with old friends. The conference is being held on the UT campus... short on grass but big on buildings. I think the UT football stadium is more impressive than many NFL stadiums I've visited. I guess that's what happens when you win a few national championships.

I especially enjoyed the two panels. The first panel, What should we preserve from a born-digital world?, basically came to the conclusion that everything should be saved. I concur... disk space is cheap, and it's hard to know what will truly be valuable years from now. I also enjoyed hearing about Megan Winget's work in preserving games.

The second panel, Google as Library Redux, discussed the unfortunate conclusion of Google's lawsuit with publishers and authors, agreeing to a settlement instead of pressing the court to settle the bigger questions in regards to copyright, orphaned works, etc. One of the more provocative statements came from Michael Lesk who said JCDL was irrelevant because there were no attendees from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. We are being ignored. Ouch. But he may be right. I see plenty of guys from Google et al. at the WWW and SIGIR conferences.

I gave a couple of talks this year (see my slides below). There was a lot of interest particularly in my Facebook paper, What Happens When Facebook is Gone?, where I discuss the ramifications of having all our data locked-up in the walled garden of Facebook. Carlton Northern, a graduate student at ODU, is currently working on a Facebook archiving add-on for Firefox, and hopefully it will be available soon.

My second paper, A Framework for Describing Web Repositories, is work pulled from my dissertation. In it I discuss how we can view web repositories (everything from a search engine cache to a web archive) in a more abstract manor. I propose some new terminology and an API that web repositories could/should implement to be helpful to clients accessing the repository's contents.

Tomorrow I'll be co-hosting a the InDP 2009 workshop. It's an all-day event, and I'll be flying home late tomorrow night. It'll be good to be back with the family.