Item 1: A visual map of 105 metadata standards used by cultural heritage organizations. Each standard was “evaluated on its strength of application to defined categories in each of four axes: community, domain, function, and purpose.” Woooow.
Item 2: The Oct. 2010 issue of American Libraries has a brief article on assistive technology, and mentions some “tipsheets” that have been produced by ASCLA (the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies). The following publication seems especially useful since there doesn’t seem to be that much written about assessing the accessibility of databases and other online resources (not that I’ve done a thorough literature review or anything…): “Think Accessible Before You Buy” : Questions to Ask to Ensure that the Electronic Resources Your Library Plans to Purchase are Accessible.
In other accessibility news, S.3304, the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act was passed by the Senate and has been sent to the President.
Item 3: Apparently Wired said the Web is dead (not dying; “dead”. typical). I have been fretting about my lack of engagement with all things mobile, and this stuff is just making me feel even more like I’ve been “left behind”. I have never used the internet on a phone or any other mobile device. Eek! But then, what is one supposed to make of glossy statistics like “only 23% of the traffic on the internet is actually from the Web!” (omg get apps now) VS. “Three-quarters of the people in the world are not yet online”. I think I have more to worry about than being Twitter-illiterate. Twilliterate?
It’s interesting, though, that mobile technologies are (supposedly) the future of the internet, and “mobile cellular networks already cover close to 90 per cent of the world population” [source] So mobile phones are nearly ubiquitous, but : “Whereas, by the end of 2009, most people in the developed countries enjoyed Internet access with a high-speed connection, broadband penetration rates in the developing world stood at a meagre 3.5 per cent.” [ITU report]
If there was more broadband penetration in the developing world — and if people had mobile devices that could access the internet — what would that mean for the WWW? The Wired article claims that “Within five years, Morgan Stanley projects, the number of users accessing the Net from mobile devices will surpass the number who access it from PCs.” This prediction is echoed in articles in the Wall Street Journal and, more recently, the Economist:
In Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia, there are 610m regular internet users but a staggering 1.8 billion mobile-phone connections, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In a report called “The Internet’s New Billion”, BCG predicts that by 2015 there will be 1.2 billion internet users in these countries—dwarfing the total in America and Japan.
These new internet users will mostly log on via their mobile phones. This tends to be cheaper and easier than any other option.
Could Wired actually be right about something and not just over-hyping like usual? Of course their perspective is more focused on the “first world”, but it’s interesting to me that different factors might lead to the same end result in both developed and developing countries. I can envision web browsers and PCs going the way of the telephone landline in the US.
Problem: I know nothing about protecting my personal information when accessing the internet on a mobile device, and the daunting task of re-learning about privacy and security issues is part of what has kept me from mobile-izing. The Economist article cited above mentions the issue of literacy and how you have to be literate to benefit from mobile access to the internet. I also wonder how many people are using the internet via mobile devices without being “literate” about privacy and security. Convenience and novelty seems to triumph over worry in many cases (except for mine, of course). What are the information literacy challenges that are unique to mobile devices? For starters, how about “How to Get Through a EULA – and Actually Understand its Implications.”