Bamboo as information clearinghouse

"Not much time to discuss second question - what are the new technologies elsewhere? How do we keep a gauge and keep awareness up on what's being done? - this might fit into 6 and 7. Need to keep a finger on that pulse." (W2, Analyzing Directions, Group B)

"Do humanists need a single cyber-place to go to find everyone else?" (W2, Analyzing Directions, Group G)

"Concept of standards; instead of establishing standards, establish self-consciousness about standards. Create a system of peer review for standards and services." (W2, Analyzing Directions, Group H)

"Clearinghouse for what's happening in all these disciplines. Is the term "advocacy" appropriate? A lot of the deans don't know what's happening in all these fields; PB could be the place to go to keep up with what's happening. We could represent that with visualizations (use our own technologies) - could be very constructive." (W2, discussion of advocacy)

"Role for PB as a clearinghouse for resources - more effective, less tyrannical. Provide information- those who want to advocate more forcefully can then use that info as they see fit. Scholarly networks might come into play; clearinghouse could consist of information, also statements of principle - these could have PB achieve a more transformative impact; shouldn't just be neutral." (W2, Advocacy, risks and rewards, plenary notes)

"As a leader in this field, want to be a provider of information. Not pushing specific recommendations, but providing certain models that various groups have adopted, available for others to see." (W2, Advocacy, risks and rewards, plenary notes)

"be a clearinghouse, make this more about Bamboo as a clearinghouse of information and resources - encompasses elements of all the groups" (W2, Advocacy, plenary notes, plan)

"Practical application / how can we lead by example, what would we need to do to make that happen (this is the clearing-house and best-practices role). A part of this working group could be charged with creating a kind of top layer, to give access to information about best practices, standards, demonstrations - gathering from or pointing to other working groups." (W2, Advocacy, group notes, direction name)

"Scope: project in this area could be creating an active clearinghouse for identifying, collecting, disseminating best practices in DH; respect idea that there are profound differences between what different humanities disciplines do" (W2, Education and Training, plenary notes, risks and rewards)

"Priorities: Address how to develop templates for matters like best training practices, how universities could report on their digital projects, what worked, didn't, etc; report template for clearinghouse." (W2, Education and Training, plenary notes, risks and rewards)

"Can Bamboo offer a clearinghouse for standards and help people make informed choices? The kinds of standards we were talking about were less technical - more vetting, peer review, etc. - can this be shaped towards best practices for applying standards?" (W2, Standards and Specifications, questions and concerns, plenary notes, group 2)

"PB's possible role as a clearinghouse for info about standards, existing precedents/projects/etc. Raising the level of awareness, avoid duplication. This info role was also a role that's being claimed by other groups which have an existing community focus. What would the relationship be? (Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, etc). Bamboo could be a clearinghouse of clearinghouses - aggregate and make visible work of other groups; would require agreement on formats of information. Or, PB could work in partnership with one or more organizations - can we make you into the community expression/branch of this need that the group has articulated, but PB doesn't want to take on alone - conserve focus and allow it to put resources elsewhere." (W2, Standards and Specifications, plan, plenary notes)

"Priorities/scope: Thinking for furthering collaboration/conversation in DH. Building a discovery/use layer that's comprised of a tool registry and content/resource registry.Expose things for discovery, talk about what they're built on. Making it really easy for registries to be used, building up use cases and case studies and stories contributed to by all the people involved (humanities scholars, librarians, IT) - get use case from all their perspectives. Finding out about things that didn't work too." (W2, Tools and Content, plenary notes, risks and rewards)

"Thought about creating a repository in order to capture what's already out there (what we scoped out in the morning - a discovery and use layer). Clear needs for demonstrators: demonstrator wiki that would allow us to collect the items for the registry (tools, also could be tagged by the domain/activity/themes/degree of interoperability). Wiki would allow community to collect what's already out there. How can we cluster the themes that are already there, can integrate into use cases and list the kind of use cases people are doing with those tools? Demonstrator that would create a template for use cases and case studies" (W2, Tools and Content, plenary notes, plan)

"Agreement in the group - very important to not only capture tools and available content, but also the workflow that's attached to those tools - what do people actually do with that? Can capture scholarly activity more precisely and define it by domain. How the tools connect to different scholarly activities. Demonstrators: template that will allow us to define the typical problem - not just a list of tools, but what are they trying to solve? Can they be reused, reconfigured in a specific scholarly process?" (W2, Tools and Content, plenary notes, plan)

"High reward: scholars want to do this." (W2, Tools and Repositories II, plenary notes, risks and rewards)

"Registry for discovery of tools/services/content. Need to identify what core services are needed - access to data, common services we can use to access text/multimedia." (W2, Tools and Repositories II, plenary notes, plan)

"How do we expand on what's available and make it accessible?" (W2, Service Framework, questions and concerns, plenary notes, group 6)

"Distribution/promotion of available digital content. This is a goal PB might want to undertake, not just looking for things, but giving things more of a profile, so people know they're there and how to use them." (W3, Education, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

"MERLOT is not very useful. One has high hopes that you're going to get information, that you're going to get something you can use, but it's quite disappointing in the actual event. There are others to consider, will write a list. LOLA has good content, but not necessarily great categories ... it's in some respects a reaction to things like MERLOT. e.g., for content connection ... interesting model ... spotty, but interesting conceptually, based on Creative Commons licenses." (Shared Services working group, Program Document Sec 4 - Discussion Draft of 9 March 2009, 3/11/09 discussion notes)

"Do scholars at your institution think this this concept can provide value to them and others on their faculties? Not necessarily of transcendent value. It may be of more value to the technology/support staff, or to people whose work life revolves around the digital. Value is about competition for time and attention. Is something worth the startup time? See discussion above about what humanists are really working on. A place where examples/comparanda are gathered will be accessible to a larger audience, certainly. But it may be their support people (graduate students/library/staff) who actually use it." (Shared Services working group, Program Document Sec 4 - Discussion Draft of 9 March 2009, Elli Mylonas, 3/16/10 comment)

"We also discussed the issue of some kind of peer review and expert review? Where does expertise live in this system. How about curation? Amazon reviews are very useful, but that's because there are so many of them. What's to stop bad applications/solutions from being posted? Bad applications may even look like popular methods, because more than one person has tried them. (the most widely used solution isn't necessarily the best one). The Atlas is likely to be of immediate relevance to people in a support/implementation role. Faculty are trained to consult experts in other domains, not only in technology, but other areas of scholarship. Bamboo and the Atlas need to be careful of finding themselves in the role of "source of all knowledge" or being thought to strive for that role. Totalizing systems end up being fragile and vulnerable, the Atlas doesn't want to have those problems." (Shared Services working group, Program Document Sec 4 - Discussion Draft of 9 March 2009, Elli Mylonas, 3/16/10 comment)

"The totalizing question in library terminology - Is Bamboo making a union catalog for primary sources? What about the "critical corpus?"" (Shared Services working group, Program Document Sec 4 - Discussion Draft of 9 March 2009, Elli Mylonas, 3/16/10 comment)

"My hope from the 'Service Atlas' is that it would provide for the scholar/developer/manager a sort of global one-stop-shop for digital humanities tools, services and advice. In time it would be great if it even recommended groupings of tools&services that fulfill a particular research need or workflow - recipes of common services and not so common if this is possible? If I have understood the concept I think you've got all this covered! Maybe it doesn't matter too much what it is called, especially as you say it is the 'under the hood' concept. If the entry points are user friendly enough, by "exposure of information at multiple levels of detail" (this is important), hopefully people would engage." Shared Services working group, Program Document Sec 4 - Discussion Draft of 9 March 2009, Katie Hayne, 3/16/10 comment)

"One of the barriers keeping many scholars in the Humanities from fully exploiting digital resources in their teaching and research is a general lack of awareness of existing and developing digital collections that could serve their needs. Use is further hampered by a lack of awareness of effective ways to use this digital content." (Education working group, Jay Satterfield, 4/1/09)

"In some cases, scholarly communities have stepped in to mine the internet and catalog digital collections that are of potential use to their constituencies. A good example of this is the American Institute of Physics, which regularly polls Special Collections repositories for new collections related to Physics (and even offers grant money to process and create access to Physics-related collections). The Polar Library Consortium is currently surveying its members for digital collections related to the polar regions, in order to promote those collections as a group." (Education working group, Jay Satterfield, 4/1/09)

"The Humanities is so diffuse, and potential research collections are so diverse, that one of Project Bamboo's potential contributions could be exploring and enacting methods for creating widespread awareness of existing and emerging digital collections. A labor-intensive method would be to create a catalog of digital collections relevant to the Humanities. This would require constant updating, and heavy staffing. A better method is to find ways to encourage all digital collection producers to advertise their collections in a social networking environment for humanities scholars. If there were a social networking environment for humanities scholars who have created solid profiles of their research and teaching interests, then a digital collection producer could create a profile for its collection that would alert potential users of its availability. Also, scholars could tag existing collections to alert people with similar interests to their availability and usefulness. People could add teaching guides or other interpretive content to the digital collections. Over time, a database of collections with tags could be built that could then be mined." (Education working group, Jay Satterfield, 4/1/09)

"If you look back to old documentation and original proposals, we had a roadmap. Problem with roadmap: roadmap = going somewhere. What we've learned - everyone's project will take them to different places. How do we do this in different ways? Need to be able to capture/represent services and capabilities that can change over time. Atlas doesn't have a direction, it's the data collection behind all this stuff. Capturing how people are using things; building relationships." (W4, Overview of Program Document, Section 4: The Cloud)

"Information about that ultimately is collected inside the Atlas. From a tech perspective; someone doing paleography can look at it a different way. "I can have a conversation with a paleographer now I couldn't have before" using the Atlas." (W4, Overview of Program Document, Tool & Application alignment partnerships)

"Tools/content - fundamental area; many resources are there. Having a guide/index is crucially necessary. How is this related to Service Atlas? Capacities of each of our institution. This could advertise/promote collections not well-known. How many collections that have been newly digitized/enabled need to be advertised, searching cross-disciplines, etc. Working together for this kind of awareness, interoperability of collections" (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Faculty table discussion)

"Different communities have different perspectives. People who practice scholarship might be most interested in narratives? Technologists will try to support everything, with help of families of shared technology services. Is Atlas a common reference we can all get our head around?" (W4, Service Atlas, Steve Masover)

"Looking for real estate in San Francisco - mashup world; each piece available on the Web in a well-defined way. Someone can point to each of them and mash them together, to get a different perspective. Mashup data: six examples of more than 1600 examples of Google Maps mashups on Services Atlas: diverse collection of information that's familiar and important to each group and expressing the elements and relationship with each other with descriptive metadata. A gateway. Services Atlas isn't a user interface, but anyone can make a UI by using our API. PB plans to create initial views that meet immediate needs, but encourage others' development. Questions we can't answer: how will it work, what's the API, what will the UI look like, how many UIs will there be? Is this worth the investment? If so, we can start building details." (W4, Service Atlas, Steve Masover)

Q: "Are you seeing service atlas/API as a way of accessing PB specific tools/content/etc? Exposed to tools outside of PB? How broad is it?"
A: "Personally, I don't think borders are very clearly drawn yet. Language fudged in there in various different places. Could be that how we implement stuff re: narratives/content/tools - could ingest information from other repositories At the level of the Exchange, is that where we're ingesting things? Big answer: PB is concerned to expose as much of the world as we can ingest. Where that will happen, not sure yet." (W4, Service Atlas, Steve Masover)

"Discovery of specific relevant resources and other projects'. Support for isolated scholars. Support for early-career scholars. Discovery, communication and collaboration-enabled profile information. Different sites have different profile setups." (W4, Scholarly Networking, John Norman)

"Lots of the plan has a "directory like feel" - especially Services Atlas. Directory of services, resources, etc. I think here, need to be very careful re: being realistic about incentives. Never seen a directory that maintains itself over time. Sometimes seen one where there's a thrash of activity as people populate, but character is that they age and become out of date and look silly fast. Become resources no one trusts because they're obviously out of date, unless someone's really responsible for maintaining it. Gets to centralized vs. distributed, who's doing to step up to responsibility for managing. Please don't delude yourself that it's gonna happen somehow because everyone likes the idea." (W4, Reflection, 4/18/09, Cliff Lynch)

"Took qualitative approach to PB concepts. Providing a front 'age that will create a certain amount of enthusiasm for Hum scholars who aren't involved. First year goal: related to syllabus project. Scalability - developing that kind of tool, making syllabi more digital enhanced/friendly. Dealing w/ more advanced projects in DigHum; demonstrating range within DigHum. Facilitating more meta-critical awareness of digital culture/schools. Very much enhanced what it means to Hum scholars in particular. Feed back into Hum tradition." (W4 Action Plan - 3.5 Education Materials, discussion)

"Qualities of an Atlas project:
a. Richly nuanced and powerful knowledge base
b. a metadata activity and not code building
c. One layer doesn’t involve any human vetting—anyone in the bamboo community can add things but another layer would require filtering (for example, certain kinds of metadata/documentation is required to add a piece of software.
d. This is a metadata project and the content will come from other places within Project Bamboo
e. Data structures will be extensible to allow for user input and additions." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"First year:
i. Data model of the content types
ii. Research what similar systems already exist
Second year:
i. Create a proof of concept demonstrator with one user interface for services, content, and tools and use it to demonstrate what would be needed for Narratives, Recipes, and Activities.
ii. Further elaboration of the metadata repository and a basic implementation." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Chopping the audience down would facilitate making progress. Let’s pick a few sterling examples and build a working showcase that shows at least the basics of what we want to do. Even before this, by building 0.1 service atlas, we could show this as a concrete demonstrator for the narratives and recipes so that they know how they have to think about it." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"1. A complicated annotatable database
2. Distillation of a survey of surveys
3. There are in diverse places, partial pieces of the services atlas but they haven’t been brought together.
4. Scholarly narratives are being collected
5. Lots of lists of tools and services" (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"this wants to be a nuanced and powerful knowledge base and it sits at the front of this whole tools area, but it doesn’t seem to be linked well enough to the Tools.
a. The base objects in this nuanced database are the services, tools, applications, etc.
b. The diagram shows it well but the text does not
c. The atlas is a metadata repository for everything bamboo
i. Not itself a cloud item necessary
ii. In principle, create a data model and slap it up in FEDORA
1. Make a SAKAI widget to pull back services
d. Vetting: there is some notion that almost anything goes in, but some of the things will be given the bamboo seal of approval
Is it a set of RDF relationships—the idea of connecting up. It has to be richly connected within itself (recipes to the services they use, for example, to narratives that use it, etc.)
a. Users need to be able to edit the information." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Worthy—a further idea. Scholarly narratives, recipes, atlas, implementations, tools and services in the cluster, there is also a different sets of diagrams with the Explore plan build consortium there is the notion that there is community design and if so, the atlas is at the heart of that design. So you have something where you imagine what kind of tools people are thinking about building." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Can we imagine this being some kind of federated thing—yes.
a. We have a tough enough time documenting what we did in the planning process and yet that is very valuable—are people going to put in what they are thinking about?
i. If there was a wiki as a place where you can do your thinking and do the writing about it only once.
ii. Bamboo as a kind of consortium is a place where resources can be brought to bear to do work for the community
iii. Funding privileges the work and not the documentation
iv. Perhaps part of the basic criteria for getting the bamboo stamp of approval is to document your project or your service, application, etc.
d. A federated solution would allow this to be spread around.
i. Put up a recipe and other people then document the parts (e.g. other people’s undocumented code).
ii. One of the services in the service atlas is demonstrating how many people are interested in a certain thing.
iii. Voting-not so good
iv. Peer review is an option
v. Marks for how many projects are using it." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Can graduate students and library interns do a lot of the documentation work? But this is very variable from one place to another." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Existing lists
a. DiRT
b. SourceForge
i. Humanists don’t know how to get to SourceForge
ii. Doesn’t have any notion of a community planning to develop certain things. Doesn’t facilitate future development actively
c. Cpan (?)
e. Educause has many guides to tools
f. Google
g. What aren’t these other lists doing things for the community
h. What about a meta-list?
i. Worthy doesn’t see having a tool guide as having a value for the community because many already exist" (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Year 1
a. Data model of content types
b. Services content and tools
c. One user interface as a demonstrator
d. User taggable or extensible to allow for user input
e. Research existing databases and lists, and registries
Year 2
a. Use this demonstrator to demonstrate what would be needed from the narratives, recipes, etc. groups." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Major issue w/ service atlas - notion of relativity
Everything centers around service atlas
Real point is that it's linked with everything else
Match what we're trying to think of for 1/2 year timeframe - how do we get to some stage of having something, some kind of prdouct after a year, while still trying to figure things out
This is a tension right off the bat
Tool guide - were trying to figure out tool guide vs. service atlas
Some of that was tool guide was stuff that's fro wider web? Atlas is more for PB?
Operating prototype
Verdict: atlas is supposed to be richly nuanced powerful knowledge-base around tools, services, etc
Atlas is about metadata - need metadata development process
Trying to at the same time make connections back to narratives/recipes, also out into consortium * for explore/plan/build activities." (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas, discussion)

"Why don't we try to solve [what the Atlas is] as part of next version of strawman proposal and on the program document? There are some ways to clarify that too, including questions people have been asking re: Service * Atlas' relationship w/ other pieces. Differentiating factor: including tools/narratives/tool-content guide, but also goes back to web services POV. Layer of richness and abstraction of metadata activities. Part of what we hae to do is find ways to clarify description, more examples for what that looks like. Area in second vote that got the highest number of dots was the Service Atlas. Something powerful there, between Forum and Cloud." (David Greenbaum, W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas, discussion)

"A lot of institution are interested in the Atlas, a fair amount of good questions re: incentives/sustainability. Have to have sufficient/ongoing participation to generate rich set of content for Atlas. Some discussion about making stronger/articulate connections between research and pedagogy. Teasing out focus on pedagogy in multiple forms. What does that look like, how is that manifested in the Atlas?" (W5, Overview: Major Areas of Work)

"Started off w/ success factors, one thread was getting user content in atlas, getting scholars engaged; what are incentives? Notion of Bamboo Fellows. Help shepherd scholarly practices; Unsworth's scholarly primitives. Tools sustainable, incentivizing people to finish the job to make tools more sharable. How Atlas could be place to document and rate and evaluate and peer review." (W5, Open Discussion: Major Areas of Work, Atlas, Jim Muehlenberg)

Q: A lot of people have problems with Atlas scope - not just how it interacts w/ the other parts of Bamboo, more important problem of scope is what kind of registries and catalogs is the Atlas going to include? It's going to get out of date. If we try to make a way of aggregating all info of interest, it's going to be incomplete, arbitrary, and out of date. Need to define scope of the information that's in the Atlas - what info will we aggregate and make visible here? Information should be on one hand info about Bamboo services. Can include from other existing catalogs and resource discovery services. Trying to make our own registries and lists of stuff that might be of interest is where we'll get into problems." (W5, Preliminary Vote: Major Areas of Work)

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