Monday, September 15, 2008

Brewster Kahle on TED

I love TED, short presentations that inform about the essence of things by people who live their subject. Brewster Kahle gave his presentation and I loved it. Brewster is a librarian, his approach to this modern age is one that you might expect of librarians. His approach is one of bringing things together, preserving them to make them available for all people.

Bringing things together needs doing for many different materials. Books, music, movies are all different and they all have their own issues. I love it that books that are either in the public domain or out of print are digitised and, at $10,- a book it is a bargain. I love it when he promotes the OLPC laptop as a book reader. I love it when storage is made available for movies and albums. When you hear Brewster talk, it can be done, it should be done we will give us the next generation we deserve.

When you listen or read about the Internet Archive, the way it works, it is interesting to compare it with another organisation; the Wikimedia Foundation. Both aim to bring knowledge to the people of this world. Both are not limited to one language and both give an exemplary example of how things can be done. The Internet Archive is much more structured, organised, relatively few people are involved but they are involved in a professional capacity. The Wikimedia Foundation involves people, communities to make new information available, as people volunteer their effort there is less structure, things get done when they get done.

When the Internet Archive provides the library, the Wikimedia projects provide the books and the people to read stories in the library. All people are welcome but like in a real life library not all the books are there. As both organisations provide a work in progress, it is exciting to know that such brilliant projects exist and that we are part of the world that makes this happen.
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