Engagement with commercial industry

"academicalizing the commercial services that are out there" (Ex 1, 1b-A)

"persistence of data -- commercial services are attractive to faculty, but what if they go away? if something is open and standards based, where the data can be extracted" (Ex 1, 1b-A)

"what kind of shared and borrowed tools can we bring into the humanities?" (Ex 1, 1b-B)

"we will need the industry to participate; going between nonprofit and for-profit areas: that is scary" (Ex 1, 1b-B)

"are there universities that have hooked up with social entrepreneurs? (making nonprofit things profitable); can you take a nonprofit edu org and say, how can we scale this beyond the original community and not lose the ethos/mission but make them profitable, to make them enormous and help them do good in enormous ways; i.e., an economic model that can sustain itself in the future" (Ex 1, 1b-B)

"Tools (e.g. Virage) that are too expensive to purchase. How can we work with corporations." (Ex 1, 1b-F)

"Get M$ and Google interested. These companies will recognize it, make it industrial strength, and then fund and package it. Bamboo can also legitimize this pipeline. Bamboo should aim to build a data centric resource to be funded at a NSF level." (Ex 1, 1b-F)

"In development of tools that PB may produce, can tools be created for humanities scholars' purposes rather than having to make due with what's created in a commercial context." (Ex 1, 1c-C)

"Lots of tools we need can work for other disciplines-- interesting to collaborate and share, not stay limited at national level" (Ex 1, 1c-E)

"Humanities is about interpreting, it's not about transferring knowledge. If an institution is involved in teaching and learning, the old school is dissemination in lecture hall. New school is open-ended on the web. Is teaching and learning necessarily in a closed environment? Knowledge transfer generally ends up referring to external agencies. Linking with the outside world is something foreign to the humanities, when science tends to link to commercial realms more often. Continuing education, or connections to external mechanisms, are more difficult in humanities. What are the processes coming from the outside world that can welcome the humanities? How does industry respond to the humanities?" (Ex 3, 1c-B)

"Scholars have to build on commercial systems in particular ways. Amazon gives general user recommendations. We've had users saying "we don't want social tagging, it's done by non-experts" Social tagging has to be modified in ways that don't make money. "If you guys were using MathML in your browsers, it'd be a lot easier." > Mozilla did it, Microsoft said the community is too small, so forget it."" (Ex 3, 1d-D)

"People who design technology are learning a great deal from these early versions. Speech recognition reveals things linguists didn't understand before. When Google figures out how to figure out what you're interested in, it'll have figured out a lot about thinking. Take a pragmatic, capitalist motive to get all these people working on a problem with ramifications for scholarship" (Ex 3, 1d-D)

"Model like Amazon S3 - get content-free infrastructure for tools, set up your chunk of a virtual server (pick tools and click) and virtual pie piece is cut out for you. How useful would such a commercial-free .edu sponsored non-profit kind of infrastructure like that be? Amazon S3 could go away tomorrow" (Ex 1, 1d-E)

"Huge commercial sector that provides content for us. Less/no control over, input into. We're asked for input from commercial providers; trying to get that feedback from faculty/researchers/etc." (Ex 4, 1c-D)

"Institution could engage a third party for commercial exploitation Where might revenue enter? Is it a dirty word? Or viable for this type of exploitation? Leads to other possible types of business models." (Ex 5, 1c-B)

"Commercial vendors are developing tools for scholarships. Apple's Bento Box - looking like personal information environment that can handle media objects" (Ex 5, 1c-D)

"parallel computing / Infrastructure - access to it critical. support for prepackaged tools - e.g. Facebook, Zotero. Access to skills and support" (Ex 6a, 1a-A)

"Connecting to industry is important?" (Ex 6a, 1a-B)

"Almost all collaborative tools now are available from Google. So perhaps an academic service would be better. Why not just use Google? Fear of Google knowing everything I'm doing. Also, not as robust as an academic service might be" (Ex 6b, 1c-A)

"Commercial developers (Oxygen, as an example) are often happy, or proud that academic institutions use their tools. If Bamboo can encourage other projects along this line with other tools. True, but open-source software isn't free. Often cheaper for programmers elsewhere to write the software which is cheaper model for software. We are dependent on these tools, so they need to be open-source and in our hands. We rely on these tools for projects without infrastructure to build on. So, perhaps building a new infrastructure that is open-source. We are living in different time frames than commercial developers." (Ex 7, 1c-B)

"Can tools built to common standards coffer a compromise between commercial and open-source? Always an investment - no way to de-couple tools from standards in an effective way. True, sometimes the interface of certain tools require training that are beyond the scope of a projects. Return to a J-Stor for tools. A company like Oxygen has a better record for producing tools that are useful and sustainable, as opposed to Digital Humanitites Project. Should be careful not to be tied into particular commercial software. We haven't got a good track record for building useful open-source tools. But people have been building tools for themselves. We have to explore possibility of approaching open-source developers to make these tools more widely available and easier to use. If commercial activity stops at some point, it is important so that the base is available for open-source development" (Ex 7, 1c-B)

"Access to/interface with commercial entities - how do we add value to their products?" (W2, Analyzing Directions, Group I)

"Concerns not captured here: Google has digitized more material than all existing academic projects together - how do we access that? Google's going to set their own standards - we have to make those materials available somehow." (W2, Analyzing Directions, Group L)

"if we're talking about content partners, are we also talking about commercial partners and how much can we build? will we have trouble with the licensed content and we'll only have access to the open source content? commercial developers have more capital to invest in useful surfaces; in the future, content itself is going to be less important to these companies than these services they can provide. Bamboo: to what extent does it play with or against this trend? OR, how can we leverage industry? can we work with, say, google? or work with coding or commercial industries working on 3-d models of the book? but, in the end, we need to give them deliverables. how can we build something like google scholar UP so that it's more comprehensive? how can we work WITH industry rather than against them? need also to think about incentives for not just building tools, but also sharing them" (W2, Tools and Repository Partners, questions and concerns, group 12 notes)

"License holders have more capital to invest in services that add real value. Might content become less important than services that add value to content? And how should PB "battle" or otherwise engage with these efforts in order to both give to the commercial entities and get from them." (W2, Tools and Repository Partners, questions and concerns, group 12 notes)

"We started looking at industry partners, etc. - we'll hear from Microsoft tomorrow about their views of us. Not everyone has to be a formal member to contribute to Bamboo. Liaisons and affiliations - formalizing connections that already permeate this project. Other opportunities to engage, too. Consortium of institutions coming together; CIC could become a member." (W3, Straw Consortial Model, Chad Kainz)

"Various successful partnerships [for digital humanities centers] with IT on campus and commercial developers. Can bring focus and drive to a project - important in getting things done." (W3, Perspectives: Scholarly Practice, Anthony Cascardi, Director, Townsend Center for the Humanities)

"Companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft will/are offering utility computing services, cloud-based storage, etc. Teasing apart highly specialized from things like e-mail and storage that are hosted services already. Do as little as possible, code as little as possible, and take advantage of existing services." (W3, Perspectives: Information Technology, Alex Wade, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research)

"What Microsoft Research does: dialogs we've been having over 17 months, 2 years with Academic Community. Have been engaging specifically w/ scientists, tell me how we can continue the engagement w/ digital A&H. One way of taking MS software and extending it and making it more applicable to scholarly community. MS good traditionally for building out last mile functionality around enterprise computing. Not so much in academia, because not as much money to be made there. Trying to be that ecosystem, partner w/ individual universities, multi-university teams of extending MS." (W3, Perspectives: Information Technology, Alex Wade, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research)

"Partnering also w/ libraries, gov organizations, standards bodies. Add-in to insert CC licenses into documents - not just what people are doing cut-and-paste, but it links up to CC web service. Walk through a series of questions, query CC web service, then you can see the license and insert it into your documents. Puts in the visuals, and also machine-readable metadata." (W3, Perspectives: Information Technology, Alex Wade, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research)

"UC San Diego- domain-specific ontologies, go into Word, and markup different parts of texts in xml based on ontologies. Broad Institute and MIT - authoring environment of Word and gene pattern database; query from w/in document, get snapshot of data, download graphics and data set. Johns Hopkins- data archive project. Object reuse and exchange resource map - describing parts of Word documents. Where data set actually lives. Cambridge University - authoring chemical equations w/in word. Partnership w/ National Lib of Medicine- nice authoring environment for their xml dtd. Creating an xml file under the overs that can be uploaded into PubMed" (W3, Perspectives: Information Technology, Alex Wade, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research)

"Lots of things we're offering as platforms for things like research and collaboration. Researchers can come together, have shared space, create wikis and blogs - can archive and preserve sites. Hosted service for electronic e-jornals - spin up a new title, does all the back end workflow for peer review. Repository platform - don't want to compete with Fedora and DSpace, but partner with them to develop a common set of APIs to enable interoperability w/o needing to worry about what repository is in the back end." (W3, Perspectives: Information Technology, Alex Wade, Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research)

"Q: Consortia: a couple consortia that were mentioned here during the workshop - Sakai and Kuali - in my understanding they were a response against certain kinds of vendor/commercial provider behaviors for universities to consolidate economic power to build something that fit their own needs in a way commercial vendors were not meeting, reduce cost against high commercial prices for those services. People are here for PB because humanists/artists are often bypassed by commercial sector because isn't profitable. Related but slightly different question - what's different for Microsoft to be a partner in filling these kinds of tools for humanists that wasn't there before? Will we see ourselves creating a consortia for similar reasons as Kuali/Sakai when commercial tools are being made but not the way we like and not at reasonable costs
Or are partnerships reasonable for exploring?" Alex Wade: "Landscape is different because my boss came over from e-science in UK and started turning heads in Microsoft and saying they need to change the landscape. Microsoft - less about the pricing of it; they give away nearly the platforms to academia. The bigger issue is not listening to the need of scholars and researchers. Part of my frustrating in working / academia - pace at which change happens, ability to say "yes, that's a good idea, yes you can act on that" at Microsoft they say " go run with it, we'll fund it" - now frustrated w/ pace of the Office team, and even then they've only taken the top N% of features of interest to their top customers who are paying the bills. Like to optimistically say the environment is changing so we're trying to paint the picture that open source that we'll give to academic community + MS proprietary software = what we'd like to see. Best of both worlds - getting scalability/support of platform, flexibility to take it the last mile." (W3, Perspectives: Information Technology, Q&A)

"If it is a matter of making technical decision about large pieces of infrastructure relating to data storage or network traffic, industry will make those decision or narrow down the choices. Ditto for applications: there are, for instance, two or three relational databases that account for 95% or more of work that uses this technology. It's unclear, then, what needs regulating or coordinating with regard to those choices. Most of the stuff out there is written in six or fewer programming languages, and there may not be much virtue in reducing that limited diversity. Michael Pollan writes very eloquently about the monoculture of corn." (Tools & Content Partners working group, Analyzing Scholarly Narratives, Martin Mueller, 3/27/09)

"I turn from this confession to a look from the perspective of the Tools and Content workgroup at the scholarly narratives that concern themselves with the study of primary texts. Language here is the great divider. The work of very few PhD students in English, French, German, Spanish, or Russian will be affected by work on digitizing Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts or inscriptions from the Greek or Semitic parts of the Ancient Mediterranean. Can one talk about tools and content across different languages? This is a moment to nod gratefully in the direction of Microsoft and Apple. A decade ago multilinguality was still a big headache. Today your standard computer will move effortlessly across many languages both ancient and modern. The remaining bottleneck is the continuing ability of the modal American programmer to be surprised that there are people in the world whose native language is not English." (Tools & Content Partners working group, Analyzing Scholarly Narratives, Martin Mueller, 3/27/09)

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