Remix Culture and APIs Oct 3

I have been contemplating the impact of API’s, interoperability, remix culture, folksonomy, and Web 2.0 on archival theory and practice. Reading about such topics is much like sprinting out beside a marathon runner with all the excitement of keeping up until conditioning and experience leaves you far behind. Sustaining a high technical literacy is an enormous task, it challenges (in my opinion) every archival element from appraisal to reference in ways few conceive today. Tommorrow’s historians and archivist will have to keep abreast of searching, indexing and auto categorization, data mining, and data analysis technology as often as IT specialist keep current with technologies today. Archivist in the future could be threatened by these new fluid boundaries between the production and selection. The universe of information available from the infinite reach of API’s is staggering. The disparate small and large efforts the few or folksonomy, learning ecologies and Paul Miller’s Interoperability researchers who require access to information from a wide range of sources will challenge traditional archivist in ways unforeseen. With much of the technology driven by business, much of the archival holdings could be farmed out or simply converted to just another silo of information with automated processes which rival the discipline itself.

While few silo historians and archivist have scarcely heard of the terms: Interoperability, Folksonomy, and Application Programming Interfaces; the technology exist today to allow researchers to span their search across independent databases, agency archival databases, commercial databases and museum holdings all at the same time from home.

I am not trying to sound the alarm but the inevitable intrusion of technology is coming quickly into the well established disciplines of the archival profession.

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~ by pencil on October 10, 2006.

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