The best way to organize the catalog

I've been writing about some experiences with the small-net [fog of war]. I'm facing a permanent state of forgetting and excitement of finding the same things. The search engines aren't providing the solution to this problem. Their results are almost always disappointing. There are also several catalogs, which try to organize things in an old-school way. The indexes are like it was used to be in the '90s. But they are also like a walk in a disorderly maintained garden. Some information is in good order, and the rest is obscured by bushes and black weeds.

And we have [Collaborative Directory of Geminispace] announced. What are the most modern achievements in the internet directories business? It seems that there aren't many of them, and we are still in the '90s. So we had failed with the [ Gemini directory], and we have only a promise that it will be better with the CDG. And it's all.

I have a strange feeling that we haven't achieved much in these decades of IT development. Because IT stands for Information technology, and it's all about storing data. And we don't have many good ideas about how to organize it. The only thing that we are knowing is that the Google's approach isn't good. So we are copying the '90s catalog concept. We can add to it some AI, but all buzzy artificial intelligence is about some simple heuristics and they can't revolutionize that problem. We can add social abilities, so if we can't do that then probably some people (but who?) will do it.

It is said that the beginning of the Gopher protocol history had some [librarian background], and the data was to be organized as the professionals want to.

Gopher software has emerged rapidly as a powerful tool for providing library users with organized access to Internet resources. Building and maintaining Gophers is one way in which librarians' traditional knowledge and skills are being applied in a nontraditional area. In March 1992, the University of Michigan's ULibrary Gopher was created, mainly as a means of providing access to U.S. Census data and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Bulletin Board. In an effort to broaden the scope of the Gopher, librarians were asked to submit ideas for new resources to access. The result was the ULibrary Gopher Working Group, a team of eighteen librarians from six libraries on campus.

So we are looking for a professional librarian to enhance the Geminispace with a properly organized directory. But there is another possibility. That the whole concept of a well-crafted catalog, of every topic in the small net, can't be done. That it's impossible to change over time index, which should be capacious and fit every topic, which we even can't describe at the starting point. Maybe we are tempted by Google's marketing promises and it's some kind of the Perpetuum mobile. It is normal that we cannot see everything?

Last but not least is a question about seeing everything. Because if it's correct that we can't do so, we should focus on the idea of the local data. So we are set on some local context, where we are seeing some subset of the whole data. For example, the closest set of blogrolls (for example 10 people with the most recent 10 blogroll entries) is a whole zone of interest. And then, if there will be a need to direct attention to something new, probably it will show on one of the local blogrolls. And that will be enough. I think I lean towards the latter approach.

[The fog of war]

[Collaborative Directory of Geminispace]

[ Gemini directory]

[librarian background]


@ Sun 18 Sep 2022 07:15:16 PM CEST

tags: #searching, #gemini, #gopher, #directory