Ten years of Wikipedia – my personal greeting

It has been (already!) ten years since the Wikipedia started its activities as self-organized encyclopedia, global phenomenon gathering many volunteers world wide to collaborate in and contribute to this information and knowledge entity. As Social web researcher and an Internet Scholar I believe in the power of knowledge and collaborative ideas, actions as well as in free and open source information and knowledge, online communities and their power to make a difference. I’ve been writing (my Master thesis), bloggingparticipating, and contributing to this project, and for me Wikipedia is an excellent example of transparent, collaborative, and participatory information and knowledge movement and growing online community.

Working for over a decade in a related area, I perceive Wikipedia as an upgrowing phenomenon, a sustaining global change, where participation and interaction between contributors and users are very important. All of these present the future of the next generation of Web so Wikipedia has a bright future. With some concerns.

Being someone who’s involved indirectly and directly in Wikipedia and Wikimedia activities I want to emphasize three important points (not the only issues that Wikipedia has to embrace) in the years to come, as Wikipedia evolves globally sharing free information. First, it is increasingly important to have strong local chapters which are accessible to everyone. Achieving the balance is hard, but I believe that through the participation it is possible. All of you are showing every day that the focus on motivation and the mixture of the “ideology and fun” will deliver the strongest results. Beside further chapters formation, I’m also looking forward to seeing more lead initiatives in the higher education: engaging schools, universities and libraries, and social technology implemented in Wikimedia projects, which will increase the quality and the credibility of the content. And third equally important point is: I hope the focus, in the adolescence years of Wikipedia, will be on activities and projects in the developing countries, emerging, third world countries, where the access to the open and free information many times is not available. Also, I hope that the sharp divide between global West and global South and other developing ares in the world will slowly diminish.

With good hopes and good spirit, lots of good cheer, I wish everyone who is contributing to Wikipedia to stay creative, motivated, positive and inspired. I’m looking forward to collaborating with you in the upcoming years, I’m wishing you a happy birthday Wikipedia!

Global Voices: Digital School Project in Serbia

In my latest article for Global Voices I wrote about Digital School, a state-funded project that would allow to set up digital classrooms in Serbia’s primary schools. I’ve discussed some of the challenges that need to be addressed for the project to succeed. More about it in the Global Voices column. Feel free to leave the comment.

program of Wikimania, livestream, other info

Those of you who are not being able to join this year conference - Wikimania 2010 in Gdansk, below you can find some important information.

Schedule of the sessions, panels, workshops, events, and their description is on this wiki page, with the program at a glance.

All sessions are broadcasted via iStream and you can watch livestreamings of the sessions here, grouped in four halls for each session during the day. This also refers to concerts, after presentations events, and tonight is the screening of the movie “Truth in Numbers” followed by a panel discussion.

If you are tweeting, using Identica or other microblogging service, use hashtags #wikimania2010, #wikimania. The irc channel is #wikimania-gdansk on freenode#wikimania2010.

Tomorrow, Sunday 11 July,  I’m chairing the morning sessions, two panels: Academic Researchers and Wikipedia, in Concert Hall, so tune in.

Wikimania 2010

Wikimania is an annual international conference dedicated to Wikimedia projects around the globe (including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikimedia Commons, and MediaWiki).

This year’s conference will be held July 9-11, 2010 in Gdansk, Poland at Polish Baltic Philharmonic. For more information, visit the official Wikimania 2010 sitehttp://wikimania2010.wikimedia.org/

The event is a community gathering, giving the editors, users and developers of Wikimedia projects an opportunity to meet each other, exchange ideas, report on research and projects, and collaborate on the future of the projects. The conference is open to the public, and is a chance for educators, researchers, programmers and free culture activists who are interested in the Wikimedia projects to learn more, present and share ideas.

Wikimania 2010 will be a mix of submitted talks, open space meetings, birds of a feather groups, and lightning talks. Submissions will be discussed and selected in an informal process on the wiki.

As being said in the Call for Participation, this year Wikimania will offer three tracks for submissions for members of wiki communities and interested observers to share their own experiences and thoughts and to present new ideas: people and community, knowledge and collaboration and infrastructure track.

Deadline for submitting workshop, tutorial, panel, and presentation proposals is May 20th. Submit yours, no less than 300 words, and see you in July in Poland.

International conference for Digital libraries and Semantic Web 2009

electronic publishing,events,Italy,open access,Science,semantic web,technology — Tags: — Danica @ 2:15 pm, July 30, 2009

If you’ve recently noticed on my Twitter statuses mentioning ICSD2009 and reviewing papers and communicating with other reviewers and scientists, it was because two weeks ago I was denoted a role of Programme Committee member for the scientific conference on digital libraries and semantic web. Since I’ve never been before in the conference Board or in the position as reviewer of scientific papers – this experience is super interesting to me as I’m dedicated to these both acts.

There are plenty of good quality papers (at least those I’ve read) that cover variety of topics: from open access, open standards, content development (re:tools and techniques), to architecture for Semantic Web, methodologies, vocabulary and taxonomy development, intelligent agents in sem web, all in all very interesting compilation. If you happen to be in Italy in September 8-11, 2009, don’t miss this conference taking place at the University of Trento. More about it on ICSD 2009 web site and topics to be discussed on the conference.

My text on Semantic Web and eResources

I was browsing these days academic online databases and realized that some of my old papers gone missing.  Actually I was looking for a specific one that I wrote in the beginning of 2002 after Semantic Web conference in Rome, being inspired and I gave a talk at the annual Scientific conference in Belgrade, in the autumn of 2002, and the paper was later published in Proceedings that are removed and don’t exist online. I was talking about Semantic Web fundamentals and I had a feeling I was talking science fiction in front of the audience, but every now and then someone ask me to read my writings on semantics, standards, metadata, ontologies.

Since this was my first text on semantic web and the electronic information online, I’ve digged around  to find it in open accesses repositories and found some traces – though in Serbian and though in Cyrillic.I know that many international people who do speak English would like to read it, especially my metadata colleagues and supervisor who adores ontologies. Well, my academic, research and practioner’s interests have moved on since 2002, and frankly speaking I’m not huge fan if i had to chose, but anyways, would be nice if someone translate this text from the official publication from the conference.

Don’t expect fireworks as this was first text on semantic web being published in Serbia or Yugoslavia then. Since I don’t have time at this moment to upload all of my talks, papers, presentations, {I need idea how to sort out all of my papers, talks, texts, publicaitons in general – here}, and the wiki I’ve created some time ago – I’ve abendoned, and other presentations are either on SlideShare or some wiki, here’s and abstract in English, and if there’s someone interested to translate the text from Serbian into English – please do write at danica [at] danicar [dot] org, or give just send me the feedback. It’s very interesting text with some primers for those who want to know about semantics.

SEMANTIC WEB AND ELECTRONIC INFORMATION RESOURCES
Danica Radovanović

Abstract

The usage of electronic resources depends on good possibilities of searching and concept of the Semantic Web can be convenient solution for information retrieval (IR). WWW (World Wide Web) enables, with help of the search engines and huge number of available (meta)information, data that can satisfy user information need, but only at some extent. At the same time, there are more and more research efforts to increase the efficiency for IR until one gets as much as relevant information on the Web. As one of the latest results of this W3C efforts, Semantic Web presents a group of organized technological standards, IT products, and information linked in such a way that can be easily indexed and semantically filtrated through process of classification on global level. Semantic Web and its principles make IR easier because it can be also observed as very useful and successful way of representing data on WWW or as a group of globally linked databases. The architecture of Semantic Web consists of three important IT standards: XML (eXtensible MarkUp Language), RDF (Resource Description Framework) and the ontologies. Semantic web is still under development and is not in common usage but it promises that it will radically improve the possibility of searching, sorting and classification of information.

Key words: Semantic Web, electronic information resources, information retrieval, information representation, Internet, standards

Some random thoughts on Social web tools and Science 2.0

Recently I was asked by a colleague who is working on the launching of the new information management, knowledge management (KM) system about evaluating social networking tools (read: social software, web 2.0 tools) as potential implementation in the “old” web 1.0 models for web repositories (during past times we had locked archives, not open systems). Which made me think and evaluate that special project we are about to launch (note: since I’m not bringing out insider’s information on my personal blog, but on local work intranet blog, information stated here are my personal reflections on certain issue in general).

Having in mind that the open access databases, archives, repositories are hopefully present in technology, education, science, and that the iron metal systems are behind us (hopefully), let’s say that the technology, science, academia are striving to be open. A friend of mine in our talk this evening mentioned to me good news that his teacher, professor at University is referring kids to use Wikipedia. He also says that he can find, as being soon graduate Computer Science student, very useful tips and data on programming or scrips, coding right in Wikipedia.

The full text documents systems or reference ones beside the interactivity and collaboration (in the case of Wikipedia), and others academic document repository systems at institutional level for capturing and disseminating information- need what we call social software and the usage of social networking tools for sharing. Moving from static locked systems, new ones are a dynamic web-based applications that use an advanced open source software technology for facilitating interoperability and promoting coherence in knowledge management and information exchange (hello web 2.0, and web 3.0!). Such dynamic systems require sharing tools for exchanging data, browsing data, and merging records, collaboration (from Aim, bebo, Linkedin, Digg, Facebook to Twitter, Friendfeed, Netvibes, etc.). For example: something in the form of the widget like you see the one below this post (Share this! or Add this!) for the sake of social bookmarking and exchange data amongst IT professionals, academics, social networkers, researchers, everyday Web users.

And today another colleague asked me to talk about Twitter’s purpose and usability in such systems. I will just mention one thing here as it requires deeper analysis: Twitter is useful not only for dissemination of information or sharing any information, but also as interactive collaborative playground where everybody is there (Here comes everybody!) and especially after 3 years of being present not only as as micro-blogging tool but as well as a space for networked publics that looks like (and is) micro-global village with individuals role in it. So why Twitter? Simply, because everyone is there. Your allies. Some people more or less on Facebook or My Space or Linkedin, but Twitters’ infrastructure’s been spread in all human activities. Including science. Technology. Academic world. Celeb-circustry. You name it.

I’m looking forward to see how open access systems will and are responding to current changes in Social web fluctuations, but as far as we know it using social bookmarking, sharing, social software tools in general didn’t hurt any sci-tech system. It can make it only to be more open and dynamic.

eBook on developing issue: Identity in the age of Cloud Computing

Speaking about the books and identity, I want to point out the recent publication by The Aspen Institute – an eBook by J.D. Lasica – Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction. This eBook is the outcome of the Seventeenth Annual Roundtable on Information Technology which included 30 experts in identity and technology…

…and explores the transformative possibilities of this new computing paradigm for culture, commerce, and personal communication. The report also considers potential consequences for privacy, governance and security, and it includes policy recommendations and advice for the new presidential administration.

As there are lot of publications waiting for me to read, you can enjoy and download free copy of this book here.

reflections on ScienceOnline09

Hello from the other side of the pond! I am overwhelmed with positive energy. Finally found a bit of time to blog as the previous days and weeks were hectic, super adventurous and busy. Conference/unconference ScienceOnline09 is finished and my thoughts and feelings are extremely positive, warm and fuzzy at the moment as I’m trying to get together the highlights. First, wonderful organization of Bora and Anton, great number of super smart, creative, wonderful, inspiring people at one spot (research triangle park, Sigma Xi), variety of sessions, amazing brainstorms, interactions, serendipities, shiny happy people, what can I say? Make it happen next year to last a day longer! Beside my session on the open access, the issue of notworking vs networking in the networked world as well as on information society in Serbia and countries in transition I’ve been giving, here are some sessions that draw my attention: Open access publishing, Semantic web publishing session moderated by John Wilbanks from Science Commons, Web and history of science, Open notebook science, very interesting one on Reputation, authority and incentives / or how to get rid of Impact factor. Of course, there were many others interesting events going parallel in four rooms, so I was jumping for the rest of the conference from one to another – not to miss anything. The best part, beside interactive discussions and brainstorms were unconference discussions and brainstorms in the hall of Sigma xi and the lobby of the hotel – I’ve met again with old friends and colleagues, twitterati and also new wonderful, super smart, innovative, creative people that I’ve not only exchange information and ideas with, but made some plans in the future.

If you were present at the conference, upload your photos on Flickr pool and fill out feedback about ScienceOnline09. For others: check out blog and media coverage, follow livestream on Friendfeed.

As i believe that good things come in two, three, four … and infinite, I was in the meantime invited to legendary South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in March this year for the Interactive section (w00t!).

Don’t forget that the 2009 keyword is change! As so it is.

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