Friday, April 25, 2008

Encyclopedia of Life - First Version

Last weekend, a friend, who is a "lichenologist" talked a little about the "Encyclopedia of Life" web site project that E.O. Wilson is involved in. I wrote about this project in my Blog almost a year ago, connecting it to efforts to create the Semantic Web and content contributions by interest groups via new social and interest networking efforts. The EOL is using a Wiki type format that is an advance form of the Wikipedia project which has become very popular on the web.

I looked at the EOL project again this week and want to report that it has progressed to become a "First version" work in progress that I thought my friend might interested in looking at and possibly contributing to in the future. The project is looking for species page Curators (authenticators) and "later in 2008 will set up a mechanism for anyone to contribute species-related content (photos, drawings, text, video, etc.). The curator(s) of the species will consider the submissions for incorporation into the authenticated species page."

The home page now has some detailed information about 25 exemplar species to show the rich and extensive information that will be possible with all species in the future.

Just for fun I decided to do a search on EOL for "Lichen" and found that almost all of the information is still to be contributed.

I also did a search for the Lichenologist, Roger Rosentreter, (resume to 1999) who is a Botonist for the Bureau of Land Management in Boise, Idaho. There were many search results and I will add one as an example that I found very interesting titled "Lichens and Wildlife."

Roger and his associates and many scientists, photographers and people with interest in individual species will have much to contribute to the Encyclopedia of Life as it develops in the next few years.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Here Comes Everybody - a book by Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky is a well known educator and writer about social network topics. I have followed some of his work for the past few years. On Thursday April 3, he was interviewed on the Stephen Colbert Report and what he said sounded a lot like the "Common Adventure" group organizing process I have described earlier in this blog.

He has written a brand new and exciting book titled "Here Comes Everybody, The Power of Organizing Without Organizations." And he is providing a new Here Comes Everybody blog to "chronicle and extend the themes of the book."

I have not read the book yet, but I have looked at some of the web reviews and a video of Clay talking about the book. A book review by Elizabeth McKenna of Radar Reviews notes that Shirky "... offers an extremely readable sociological text on how communication technologies (cell phones, Internet, etc...) strengthen the world's ability to form social and political groups with ease and provide significant platforms for even the simplest of citizens."

The video was recorded at the Harvard Law School on March 4, 2008. Here is a link to the video and I will provide a summary of important concepts he talked about. Sharing, Conversation, Collaboration, and Collective Action.

I intend to purchase the book and keep reading the blog and will write more comments here in the future.