Jeffrey Pomerantz

Thoughts on ILS curricula

The Provost’s office at UNC issued a call for proposals for MOOCs back in November of last year. I’d been wanting to teach a MOOC for some time at that point, having taken 3 or 4 as a student by then. So I submitted 2 proposals, one for a Metadata course & one for an XML course. Obviously the Metadata course was the one that the selection committee liked, and the rest is.. Read More

Errol Morris, unintentionally on metadata

Errol Morris (one of my favorite filmmakers in any genre) has a column in the NY Times today: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire. Perhaps this is a result of me staring too long into the sun (or into my own navel), but it seems to me that this column is, at its core, about metadata, and how metadata changes our relationship to the thing to which it refers. Pictures are supposed to be.. Read More

Conversation with Gary Price

Gary Price posted an item to ResourceShelf recently about Fred & my new paper in RSR. And when he did, he emailed me to let me know he had, which I consider to be very good blog netiquette. He did the same thing when he posted a link to that paper when it was a wee technical report, so I can only assume that he makes a regular practice of alerting his link.. Read More

dLIST feeds my ego

I’ve recently discovered the joys of dLIST. This is particularly slow on the uptake of me, since Kristin has been telling me about it for over a year, & Scott is on the Advisory Board. Well, I’m slow but I get there eventually. Anyway I’ve started depositing preprints on dLIST. (See my author page.) Actually Scott beat me to it for the three papers we’ve co-authored. I mean, we know that online and.. Read More


I finished reading Olympos, by Dan Simmons, just last night. I won’t even try to explain the plot lines — it’s wicked complicated, involving the Fall of Troy at least 2500 years in the future, a “race” of robots named after Hans Moravec, and the next stage of human evolution. Anyway, one of those post-humans comments at one point that all of the “posts” are post-literate. Again, I’m not going to try to.. Read More

Microsoft Research Memex RFP

Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Vannevar Bush’s article As We May Think, Microsoft Research has put out an RFP the new Digital Memories (Memex) program: the Digital Memories (Memex) research kit gives a jump-start to perform research around storing all of an individual’s lifetime information, novel capture methods (for example, Bush’s head-worn stereo camera), linking of information, and use of meta-data. … We invite all proposals that deal with the fundamental aspects.. Read More

Blogs & Dig Ref

The latest news out of the IIS is that they’re working on linking WordPress to QABuilder (QABuilder is the IIS’ web-based dig ref app), as a project for AskNSDL. They’re calling this “Story Starters.” The idea of a reference blog is of course something that Fred and I have been thinking about for a while now. But Story Starters has an interesting twist that we never considered. Fred and I imagined a centralized.. Read More

The memex

Others have already noted that it was recently the 60th anniversary of Vannevar Bush’s article As We May Think. This post is really just an excuse to use this image of the memex. But while I’m on the subject, let me make this comment: I’ve always believed that Bush believed that someone would come up with a better name for his proposed device eventually. That if this device was ever built, or something.. Read More

Mooers’ Law

That’s Mooers, like cows. (Oh come on, don’t say you don’t get it: cows moo, they’re moo-ers, as opposed to humans who hear the moos, making us moo-ees.) Not to be confused with Moore’s Law. Anyhoo… I don’t even remember how, but I came across a reference to Mooers’ Law recently, so I found the paper that proposes it: Mooers, C. N. (1960). Mooers’ Law; or why some retrieval systems are used and.. Read More

Wikipedia Rapid Response

I’m posting this mostly for myself, to keep track of this link (Kristina take note) so I can use it as an example in class, come the Fall. Disaster Response, via Wikis, from The Chronicle of Higher Ed’s Wired Campus Blog How does Wikipedia, the online open-source encyclopedia, actually work? Web surfers got a close look at the process when users of the site edited an entry about the mass-transit bombs that struck.. Read More