Access 2005

I’ll have to keep this rather short, since the hotel wireless network is being flaky (as usual) (in fact I am having to write this while standing in the bathroom — oddly the best wireless reception in my room).

Again, the conference organizers have proven why this is the only professional event I schedule in my year. I’ll comment on the earlier days a little later, but while day 3 is still rather fresh in my mind (as fresh as my poor, oversaturated mind can be), I’d like to touch on a few things.

1) Listen to every word Lorcan says, always. It blows my mind what an amazing asset he is to our community and how there are people (in my library) who have no idea who he is. His presentation this morning has completely energized me to kick it up a notch in getting our library more into our (and other) user’s “LifeFlow”.

2) Art and Peter proved that WAG needs no “G”. I’ve been working with Art on this WebDav/OPAC project for months (thanks to SUDOC, as he pointed out), and I never, ever would have dreamed of the things these two are coming up with. Cocoon is, evidentally, a very magical beast and the potential of storing these “trails” could have huge implications on the collaborative research environment that we are trying to create at Georgia Tech. Being able to chart the path of scholarship would make it easier to get to the giant to stand upon his shoulders.

3) Internet communication is lousy when trying to develop a new spec. Despite being there at the beginning (and being a very loud proponent of COinS), I could not wrap my head around the use cases for COinS-PMH. Oh, Dan tried to “learn me”, but it really took his presentation today to “get it”. I definitely “get it” now, and expect to see COinS-PMH all over Tech.

4) Hackfest is the greatest invention ever. And I honestly couldn’t imagine it working properly at any other conference (sorry, LITA).

5) This is why I’m applying to enroll in the Master’s program for Human-Computer Interaction at Tech. This, coupled with the previous two presentations (Art/Peter’s, Dan’s)… Holy crap. The world would be so different.

The U.S. is screwed. We have sold our souls, culture and future to corporate interests and I’m not sure how we can fix it. As Peter remarked to me, hopefully Cliff Lynch’s vision of a world where everything is digitized except the intellectual output after 1920 will light a fire under us. I fear at that point it may be too late, however. It looks like Canada’s future might be a bit brighter. Even if it isn’t, I’ll get fired up by the revolutionary rhetoric, any day.

Wow, I love this place.