The future of publishing and the end of standards

Terry Jones makes some excellent observations in his blog post “The future of publishing is writable”. Side note: if you are on campus and get the chance to take Dr. MacCall’s CIS 656 Electronic/Contemporary Publishing class I highly recommend it! A lot of time is spent discussing these same topics. One thought that I had while reading this piece though is how traditional methods of packaging information are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the digital age and Web 2.0 environment. At some point in history, books, journals and newspapers became standards for distributing print information just as record albums (be they analog or digital) became standards for music. At present it feels like we are witnessing a somewhat violent end to many of these de facto standards. People read what they want to know through blog posts and status updates and care less about obtaining whole albums than they do about individual songs. It leaves me to wonder what the implications for metadata are with all of this disruption of old practices. Standardization seems like a really critical aspect for ensuring interoperable metadata and for effective librarianship in general. While certain characteristics make it possible to categorize different information types, lack of standardization seems to me like a major challenge for the road ahead. Do any of my classmates have any thoughts about this?

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4 thoughts on “The future of publishing and the end of standards

  1. Pingback: Authority, Identity, Persistence, Libraries, and Money | MetaDamen

  2. We’ll talk about granular aspects of image metadata soon … for example, a football game image appears at first glance to be an independent object (as a book chapter might if it were acquired via its DOI (see http://wossametau.blogspot.com/2015/01/doi-and-crossref-explained.html), but really the football image has contexts related to its time/space positioning (when it occurred during a game and at what point on the field the action occurred) .. more later!

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  3. “People read what they want to know through blog posts and status updates and care less about obtaining whole albums than they do about individual songs.” I like the song analogy. It makes me think, how many times have I bought an album and only end up listening to 2 or 3 of the songs because they’re the only ones I like? In this era of small publishing, are creators “forced” to create “better” content? Are there higher stakes? Is that good? It might be. I think it’s becoming more and more of a reality whether it can be called “good” or not. I also think that with the present system of smaller and smaller publishing, standardization as we know it now is going to be really, really difficult. Things evolve so quickly. I think we’ll figure out how to keep up, but it may look different than we expect!

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  4. “One thought that I had while reading this piece though is how traditional methods of packaging information are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the digital age and Web 2.0 environment. At some point in history, books, journals and newspapers became standards for distributing print information…” Case in point – our reading list for this class! Links to individual blog posts and articles. What the heck would the metadata standards be for this list?

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