Thread:Shifting the emphasis (1)
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The Two networks
The Internet is comprised of two very distinct sets of protocols. One centres around Informations and its construction, transfer and storage. The other centres around Communications and its connection, switching and recording. The first, since the advent of http, has seen the largest set of online repositories ever created. The second remains a comparative toddler whose evolution has remained retarded due, primarily, to a 'perfectly' good Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
The Two protocols
While the Information (I) Networks have swollen to generate a thousand http domains which contain tens of thousands, near identical (learning) objects, the Communication (C) Networks remain rooted firmly in the institutions created by Edison's invention. Now we are beginning to see a change.
The primary reason is because the new information model is Global. It exists on a World Wide Web and has opened Nationally educated minds to all sorts of new knowledge, and expectations. The secondary reason is due to the invention of a protocol called Session Initiated Protocol, sip, which can set up and tear down multimedia communication sessions between IP addresses.
In the search for a global model which brings the I and C networks together, there is always a temptation to believe a huge tectonic shift will take place. But change is always evolutionary. This one aims to create a communications model which helps individuals, when they discover a piece of information, to share in its understanding. It revolves around the development of subject specific Community hubs.
The danger here is that there will be a temptation to organise these hubs around the applications, which are used to build content repositories - a Wiki for you, a Moodle for me - rather than the communications hub which supports the development of an understanding = a global community's Communications Hub. The communication's hubs, we already know, consist of tools offered by the IP only networks like Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc = Instant messaging, chat, voip, and focus on the development of Skypecast-type functionality.
The former demands a librarian's approach. The latter requires the skills of a comms engineer. Progress demands the conflation of both scientific approaches. Their theories and practices need to be blown together. Where to start?
A starting Point
The Internet has its own Country are code. It is +87810. Each Community hub has a centre which looks, to some on the Web, something like this. This will depend on the community's preferred combination of applications of course. But we should remember that each domain is a book. A community's repositories consist of lots of books in lots of languages that require classification.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, it makes sense to bring an established bibliographic classification system to the (non) communication's parties. So, if we were to use the Dewey Decimal Code, the global classifier's community communication's hub, and their reference desk, could be found at *87810 025 423. From their hub, any global community could be found or constructed.
This is (just)a starting point. To discover if the the idea has legs, and might cause a tectonic shift, requires a proof-of-concept. Two parties which seem like a logical match for developing a protype are OCLC and Gizmo. The communities which might find it useful? That's up to you.
Note: The construction of community hubs by the combination of a telephonic prefix and bibliographic suffix is a patented idea.