Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day #1 of a new era (and thinking about technology)

The iSchool watches the inaugurationYesterday I watched the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama with a roomful of people on the Syracuse University campus. Yesterday was momentous on many levels and I'm glad that so many people stopped to watch and be a part of it.

While this blog is focused on digitization, it is important to recognize how technology is being used, because it will affect us at some point. For example:
  • Thousands -- of not millions -- of digital photos were taken yesterday. How many of those should be preserved and how?
  • Cell phone companies encouraged people to text message rather than making phone calls while in the D.C. area, because voice is more of a burden on the network. I suspect that some of the text messages might be worth saving, but how?
  • Lots of information was posted on web sites yesterday. Can it be archived? By the way, some people did take screenshots of the White House web site before and after it changed yesterday. Should the be saved somewhere?
  • People posted video messages. Can they be found and archived?
  • Can the stories of why this is important to people -- yes, all of those personal stories -- be captured and stored for prosperity? Some of these are already on video (news reports), but many others have not been captured.
We know how to save the paper records of yesterday, but not the digital records. And it is the digital records of yesterday that really capture what it mean to us. The raw emotions were Twittered, Facebooked, Flickred, etc., and we don't really know how to deal with them.

This is a new era and there are things we need to learn.

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