ACAT Libhub

Posting to Autocat

On 1/6/2015 5:15 PM, Reese, Terry P. wrote:

An honest question — because I know that OCLC has invested a lot of work in moving data into the Linked Data space, specifically for their own internal use cases — but has releasing WorldCat as made any impact at all? If I go to a search engine, I’m not sure there has. I still can’t find a book I’m looking for in my library using Google — even though WorldCat presumably has made both records and holdings available. I don’t see this data being propagated into the knowledge graphs. I see an interesting proof of concept, but I think that is a far from “BOOM. Done”. But maybe you have internal information or statistics that show something different? I’m honestly curious. I’d be happy if to were so easy as saying that’s done, let’s see what’s next.

If I may step in: you have asked the big, $64,000 question. There are lots of people, and hugely powerful organizations, who have never really bought into the Semantic Web and are much more interested in advancing “search”–so much so that many people are predicting that almost no one will consciously search in the very near future. As the web takes over more and more of our everyday life, “big data” will get more and more information about us for the algorithms that will slowly ooze into every nook and cranny of our lives that that they can discover our deepest wants and desires even before we know them ourselves. At least in theory. (For the plans, see “Samsung Plans Only Web-Ready Products in Smart-Home Push” I am sure lots of other companies have exactly the same plans)

Although the idea of the Semantic Web sounds great, everything I have seen that uses it have been genuine snoozers (at least for me). One of the widest-touted examples is the Google Knowledge Graph but to me it seems useless in a practical sense. I haven’t read anything very positive about the Knowledge Graph, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it joins Google Squared, Google Desktop and the raft of discontinued Google products mentioned in Wikipedia

All that said, it certainly doesn’t hurt to at last use a non-1960s bibliographic format and to be able to share our records more widely–but we have to wait and see if anything will change. As Roy mentioned, OCLC bibliographic data is already available as (which is the *only* way the Googles and Yahoos will use our data), and it has met with profound silence and indifference among the public.

I agree with Roy. Let’s move on and do something that hasn’t been done, but perhaps we should at least try and find out what the public might want before we begin building anything. And not find out only by guessing, but actually do some market research.