“TERRA: The Nature of our World” gets South by Southwest (SXSW) Nomination

I’ve mentioned the TERRA group project in previous posts. Earlier this month, I received some great news regarding the project. “TERRA: The Nature of our World” was nominated in the student/university website category by SXSW interactive Web Awards.

TERRA is a partnership between Montana PBS, The Media/Theatre Arts Department at Montana State University, Montana State University libraries, and various independent filmmakers. Montana State University libraries was brought in to build/code the site and content management (metadata, data preservation architecture…) The site was designed with a nod to the future of digital libraries. It’s a digital video library with commenting, ratings, tags AND a controlled vocabulary. And it’s all wrapped up with some AJAX functionality and a Dublin Core/OAI metadata backend. The TERRA group also experimented with syndicating our content as podcasts. You can actually search iTunes for TERRA and receive our podcasts. That’s powerful stuff and the reach of the site has been amazing. Just last week, TERRA podcasts were placed as default content in the download for democracy player, effectively doubling the TERRA audience in one fell swoop. More and more, I see leveraging these type of communities as the future of library content distribution.

As for the nomination, I am honored and just a little surprised. SXSW is the center of the web geek world and to even be considered is quite humbling. We’ve got some university press lately, but I didn’t see it going a lot further. (Check the MSU news release for complete details.) So, I’m heading to Austin, TX with a colleague in March. I’m excited to step off the library circuit and see how the other half lives. Stay tuned for SXSW updates.

And if the mood should strike you, vote for “TERRA: The Nature of our World” in the People’s Choice Award race at https://secure.sxsw.com/peoples_choice/.


Web 2.0 = Library 2.0: Offline 2007 (MT)

I had the opportunity to speak about Library 2.0 for the Montana Library Association yesterday. It’s a really great group. Engaged, interested, friendly… You get the picture. Greg Notess spoke about screencasting and made it look really easy. He was ponting to the ease of distribution for the video content he creates with sites like wink and YouTube. I surveyed some web 2.0/library 2.0 web sites and made the argument that web 2.0 is not about a single application, but rather a shift in what people can expect from web applications. The medium of the web is changing and the idea of the network is informing what the web can be. (Slides are available at my slideshare space).

I also got to see a few demos of protopage and Google page creator. I watched as several web sites were created and made live to the world during a session. That’s pretty useful web 2.0 stuff for some Montana Libraries without access to a server. Overall, it was a fun experience and it was exciting to see the group embrace what web 2.0 principles can do for library web apps.

UPDATE: Suzanne Reymer, the Montana State Libraries Statewide Technology Librarian, was one of the presenters on protopage and Google Page Creator and she has set up a new blog for Montana Library Association (MLA) 2007 at http://mla-conference.blogspot.com/.  I mentioned that the structured data behind blogs (think RSS) is the greatest innovation afforded by blog software.  I stand by that statement.  It’s given me hope for the semantic web.  But… blogs can also be useful in recording conference and event information.  Suzanne already knows this and she’s on the case.