November 12, 2008    |   Vol. 1, No. 11    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

India Inc.: A Lesson in Business Design  (External site)

BusinessWeek   •  November 3, 2008

We can learn a lot from India's "what if?" culture. Limited resources force Indian innovators to open their minds to elegant, practical solutions for common problems.

RLG Partners may find that some of the innovations described here have a familiar ring, in particular the notion of pursuing cross-institutional collaborations to pool resources for collective gain. ( Washburn)

The Possibilities of a 'Portable Eye'  (External site)

The Boston Globe   •  October 26, 2008

Mobile text to speech translation. A new device for the sight-impaired from inventor Ray Kurzweil uses a cell phone camera to snap a picture of a document or Web page, and then reads the words out loud to the user. A slightly different version targets dyslexics who have difficulty making sense of words on a page and another model that translates other written languages into spoken English is in the works.

Another case of science-fiction-becomes-reality. I'm reminded how much I take visually represented text for granted. ( Proffitt)

50 Websites You'll Wonder How You Lived Without  (External site)

TechRadar.com   •  November 2, 2008

Expand your cyberhorizons. There's something for everyone on this list—from productivity enhancers to organizational aids to mobile tools.

I saw a few familiar names here (Evernote, Zoho, Slideshare), but mostly this list represents a dazzling array of services that were once desktop based, but are now in the cloud. I look forward to more interactivity between various services—that would really sell me. ( Proffitt)

The Novel by Tweet  (External site)

The Christian Science Monitor   •  October 30, 2008

Call it bit lit. Sites like Twitter have spawned a micromedia movement aimed at snaring audiences traditionally averse to classic fiction. In the spirit of "less is more," one author's working on micro-versions of Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, and Moby Dick.

Stand-up comedian Mario Cantone used to do a lovely five-minute version of West Side Story where he acted out all the roles, male and female. Another humorist whose name escapes me imagined what the Gettysburg Address might have been like if President Lincoln had access to PowerPoint. So I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone attempted a Twitter-sized rendering of Moby Dick. While I still prefer to receive my doses of classic literature full-strength, I do embrace the idea that "novel by tweet" could find useful application in the realms of grant writing, professional literature surveys, RFI's or reporting out at departmental meetings—140 characters or less! ( Massie)

Errors by Bloggers Kill Credibility & Traffic, Study Finds  (External site)

ReadWriteWeb   •  Octobber 30, 2008

Spelling counts...Just because blogging is a less formal means of communication doesn't mean spelling, grammar don't count. Readers' opinions start with how well you craft your message— pay attention to the details.

A glimmer of hope for those of us who value the proper use of language and articulate speech. Could it be that respect for good, old-fashioned copy editing, and other virtues of "real" publishing, may be revived in part due to the informality of the blogosphere? ( Dooley)

Beyond YouTube: New Ways to Find Video on the Web  (External site)

The Wall Street Journal   •  Octobber 30, 2008

Video search is improving. The "needle in a haystack" scenario is becoming more manageable. Check out some new tools for finding elusive video content on the Web.

Video search by supplied metadata is so last year. Locator services are now using "computer vision" and speech recognition to offer searching against the actual content of the video, as well as taking advantage of user input and popularity to help provide more relevant results. Some sites do manual selection, categorizing, and linking of videos to related authoritative data. Google is very much in the game, applying speech recognition on videos uploaded to YouTube's Politicians Channels and offering the ability to jump into the video at the point of the occurrence. Should we be doing this at home—or ensuring that our videos appear where they'll be indexed by others? ( Erway)

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Above the Fold is a Web-based newsletter published by OCLC Programs and Research. It has been developed to serve a broad international readership from libraries, archives and museums. News items are supplied weekly under contract by Suzanne Douglas, Ibis Communications Inc. Programs and Research items are supplied by staff in RLG Programs and OCLC Research. Please send comments and questions about this or other issues to rlg@oclc.org.
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