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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Gorman: the bottom line

    As someone who has responded to Michael Gorman's postings on the Britannica Blog concerning web2.0, I have watched other responses with interest. Some few were formally asked to respond to the postings, and the last of these - by danah boyd (an ee cummings-like persona) - was Knowledge Access as a Public Good. I suppose that, in general, I agreed with Ms Boyd (a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley and a fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Communications) expressing as she does the thought that you shouldn't blame the medium for the message (you read it here first!), although much of what she says is generalisation rather than response. She does say that:
    The society that he laments has lost faith in the public good. Elitism and greed have gotten in the way. By upholding the values of the elite, Dr. Gorman is perpetuating views that are destroying efforts to make knowledge a public good.
    One sentence, however stood out particularly. It is not simply a condemnation of Michael Gorman's attitude towards the Siren Song of the tsunami of digital change (something of a mixed metaphor there, surely!), but a call to all educators and information specialists to understand - completely - the potential of Web 2.0.
    Why are we telling our students not to use Wikipedia rather than educating them about how Wikipedia works?
    A thought last expressed here on June 24th.

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