OCLC's Webscale strategy, connecting the world's libraries
The definition of Webscale is simple—operating at the scale of the Web.
The Web scales. And it allows organizations to scale. To increase and decrease capacity—to reach a broad, geographically diverse community, and at the same time scope services to focus on meeting the specific needs of their users.
The most successful consumer service providers in this environment—Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple—have a number of things in common.
- They aggregate massive amounts of data—about search, about purchasing habits, about relationships.
- They make it simple for users to register to join the community and begin contributing data.
- They create new value for their users based on that aggregation of data (e.g., Amazon’s recommender services).
- They provide platforms for the sharing of innovation (Apple’s app store) and the creation of partnerships (Amazon Web Services).
“The Web is all about scale, finding ways to attract the most users for centralized resources, spreading those costs over larger and larger audiences as the technology gets more and more capable.”
Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail and editor-in-chief of Wired magazine
OCLC’s strategy is to work collaboratively with libraries to build Webscale. This is rooted in OCLC’s public purpose and has two simple and related strategic components:
- OCLC WorldCat aggregates the data and makes it openly available to enable people to find anything available through libraries (furthering access to the world’s information).
- OCLC WorldShare provides the platform and services that allow libraries to share everything (reducing the rate of rise of cost through collaboration).
Libraries at Webscale is a report to the library community about the impact of the Web on our rapidly changing information landscape, with opinions and ideas from industry analysts, thought leaders and educators.