World Wide Lexicon Toolbar meets my criterion for a piece of critical infrastructure: after two days with it I can't get along without it, and I plan to avoid any
browser that doesn't have it installed.
In many areas of publishing, there are enormous resources of free
online material and innumerable forums where individuals can quickly
and conveniently post their own observations. Since we are no longer
gatekeepers, publishers have to focus on how we add quality.
The depth of Gerard Salton's thinking, in a passage he wrote in 1966,
becomes clearer as one considers that the made his life-long career in
the field of information retrieval. Maybe the next generation of
Saltons will create search engines that vector-multiply the editorial
quality of documents into the relevancy rankings of search results.
The “Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP) is a new technical venture by an international consortium of publishers, and a proposed technical solution to the tug of war between publishers and intermediaries such as search engines and news aggregation sites. This article goes into some detail about ACAP and offers both a technical and a philosophical context for judging its impact and chances of success.
Several months ago, Tim pointed here to a survey on the O’Reilly Network asking why people contribute to online forums, wikis, and other technical documentation. We got 354 responses. Now see the results and my analysis.