SlideShare a Scribd company logo
don’t think websites: think data
[ the surprising conclusions of someone
who prefers content to technology ]




                                          www.slideshare.net/dmje
actually, the
  real title is this:
                          >

ten reasons why you should pay attention to the geeks
  because actually they have something quite important
 to say which us non-geeky people should be listening to
(you wouldn’t have come along if I’d said that before)
first, the geek snigger test
hardcore geek




http://xkcd.com/327/
amateur geek




http://www.neologies.net/2007/03/html-tattoo.html
(awake?)




http://boingboing.net/2006/11/02/hilarious-piechartvi.html
what will you come away from this talk with?
I want to:

1. Convince you that good content is
content that has been set free

2. Demonstrate 10 reasons why
machine-readableness is a good thing

3. Give you 5 ideas about how do “do it”

4. Not be technical*
             * depending on the outcome of the geek snigger test
...simple, really.
consider the value of locked-in content
http://www.ucas.com/instit/i/h60.html

locked in = single purpose
single purpose = waste
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/events.aspx




                                                                   http://unicorn.lib.ic.ac.uk/uhtbin/opac/webcentral

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8727
why are we here?


“..[to decide] the next steps
that need to be taken to
ensure the sustained
integration of digitised
content into research and
education ”
Catherine Grout, jdcc09:


       “content needs to
       be made available
       quickly, easily, and
       in a way that suits
       individual needs”
and the answer is...?
microformats
API            RDF
                                     OpenSearch
 RSS
              actually, it’s these: machine-readability


       RDFa

                        REST
JSON                                iCal
(i.e. stuff that a computer can
get at when it comes to your site)
“machine readable” is a bit of a mouthful, so how about..




   MRD:
   “machine readable data”
purists might argue with this
but we're going to ignore them
browsers (therefore people) read html


       <tr>
       <td colspan="2">
            <div class="mxb">
            <h1>John Simpson: Secret
            voices of the new Iran</h1>
            <p>John Simpson reporting
            from Tehran before his visa
            ran out on Sunday...
            </div>
       </td>
       </tr>
non-browsers read non-html



       <rss version="2.0">
           <channel>
           <title> John Simpson: Secret
           voices of the new Iran </title>
           <link>http://bbc.co.uk/.../</link>
           <description> John Simpson
           reporting from Tehran before
           his visa ran out on Sunday...
microformats
API           RDF
                              OpenSearch
 RSS
              these things are the non-html bit


       RDFa

                  REST
JSON                         iCal
geeks are signed up to MRD
the importance of this isn’t immediately clear
and certainly hasn’t been well communicated
now is the time to convince the non-geeks
that they should invest* in these approaches




* attention, not necessarily money
ten reasons to stop thinking websites

            ...and start thinking data
1: content is still king, and always will be
MRD is a content concern, not a technical one
2: re-use is not just good, it's essential
3: life is easier when you (everyone) can get at your data




                            "wouldn't it
                            be great if..."
archive?
...?


run a report?


            make it pretty?
 re-purpose?            make it more searchable?

           have a mobile version?

 run a kiosk?          build a widget?
4: content development is cheaper
launchball




www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/launchball
5: things get more visual
http://visibletweets.com/
seattle public library: http://bit.ly/Bmc8N
6: taking content to users, not users to content
your content on other sites
7: it doesn’t have to be very hard
8: you can't hide your content
http://developer.yahoo.com/yql




http://hoard.it
Thanks to Tony Hirst: http://bit.ly/8zwEn
9: we really is bigger and better than me
positive externality



“
next up are the Network Effects.

here’s a classic example: the more
people who own telephones, the
more useful they become.

There is a *positive externality* - a
user doesn’t intend for their phone
to create value for others, but it
does
     ”
                                                 46
10: traffic
but how?




           48
if you love it, set it free
(you lost control anyway)
don’t ever stop thinking users
microformats
API           RDF
                        OpenSearch
 RSS
                              start small


       RDFa

               REST
JSON                   iCal
always think: “what if...?”




                              52
never, ever procure technology again
without asking: “where is the [API]?”...
the takeaway thought


At some point in the future, you’ll
want to do “something else” with
your content. Right now, you have
no idea whatsoever what that thing
is.

These techniques allow you to make
a worthwhile investment in a future
no-one can know.
thanks for listening




                       mike.ellis@eduserv.org.uk

                          twitter.com/m1ke_ellis
                       electronicmuseum.org.uk
                       www.slideshare.net/dmje
thanks to these people, too




                   abstract            http://www.flickr.com/photos/toxi/292509986/
                   empty room          http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkmoose/2355080489/
                   answer              http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrs_logic/3320303076/
                   components          http://www.flickr.com/photos/storm-crypt/2078500698/
                   sea                 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezioman/410307927/
                   destroy purists     http://www.flickr.com/photos/apeology/2335392254/
                   print screen        http://www.flickr.com/photos/p1r/1351558354/
                   bad communication   http://www.flickr.com/photos/shelleygibb/3372412222/
                   pay attention       http://www.flickr.com/photos/subliminal/511527000/
                   ten                 http://www.flickr.com/photos/spilt-milk/164145237/
                   content             http://www.flickr.com/photos/p373/2537069802/
                   re-use              http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcusq/3032678489/
                   just relax          http://www.flickr.com/photos/victornuno/205239817/
                   cheap               http://www.flickr.com/photos/project-404/142767581/
                   visual              http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielaguilar/2967187605/
                   crowd               http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalieye/3265551769/
                   simple              http://www.flickr.com/photos/martynf65/3494532917/
                   hidden              http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiggywinkle/54801422/
                   social network      http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavog/4557105/
                   traffic             http://www.flickr.com/photos/djwudi/268382948/
                   free birds          http://www.flickr.com/photos/frankloohuis/468320896/
                   freedom             http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefgrunig/1732787905/
                   night fight         http://www.flickr.com/photos/strocchi/295280599/

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Don't Think Websites, think data

  • 1. don’t think websites: think data [ the surprising conclusions of someone who prefers content to technology ] www.slideshare.net/dmje
  • 2. actually, the real title is this: > ten reasons why you should pay attention to the geeks because actually they have something quite important to say which us non-geeky people should be listening to
  • 3. (you wouldn’t have come along if I’d said that before)
  • 4. first, the geek snigger test
  • 8. what will you come away from this talk with?
  • 9. I want to: 1. Convince you that good content is content that has been set free 2. Demonstrate 10 reasons why machine-readableness is a good thing 3. Give you 5 ideas about how do “do it” 4. Not be technical* * depending on the outcome of the geek snigger test
  • 11. consider the value of locked-in content
  • 12. http://www.ucas.com/instit/i/h60.html locked in = single purpose single purpose = waste http://www.jisc.ac.uk/events.aspx http://unicorn.lib.ic.ac.uk/uhtbin/opac/webcentral http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8727
  • 13. why are we here? “..[to decide] the next steps that need to be taken to ensure the sustained integration of digitised content into research and education ”
  • 14. Catherine Grout, jdcc09: “content needs to be made available quickly, easily, and in a way that suits individual needs”
  • 15. and the answer is...?
  • 16. microformats API RDF OpenSearch RSS actually, it’s these: machine-readability RDFa REST JSON iCal
  • 17. (i.e. stuff that a computer can get at when it comes to your site)
  • 18. “machine readable” is a bit of a mouthful, so how about.. MRD: “machine readable data”
  • 19. purists might argue with this but we're going to ignore them
  • 20. browsers (therefore people) read html <tr> <td colspan="2"> <div class="mxb"> <h1>John Simpson: Secret voices of the new Iran</h1> <p>John Simpson reporting from Tehran before his visa ran out on Sunday... </div> </td> </tr>
  • 21. non-browsers read non-html <rss version="2.0"> <channel> <title> John Simpson: Secret voices of the new Iran </title> <link>http://bbc.co.uk/.../</link> <description> John Simpson reporting from Tehran before his visa ran out on Sunday...
  • 22. microformats API RDF OpenSearch RSS these things are the non-html bit RDFa REST JSON iCal
  • 23. geeks are signed up to MRD
  • 24. the importance of this isn’t immediately clear and certainly hasn’t been well communicated
  • 25. now is the time to convince the non-geeks that they should invest* in these approaches * attention, not necessarily money
  • 26. ten reasons to stop thinking websites ...and start thinking data
  • 27. 1: content is still king, and always will be
  • 28. MRD is a content concern, not a technical one
  • 29. 2: re-use is not just good, it's essential
  • 30.
  • 31. 3: life is easier when you (everyone) can get at your data "wouldn't it be great if..."
  • 32. archive? ...? run a report? make it pretty? re-purpose? make it more searchable? have a mobile version? run a kiosk? build a widget?
  • 35. 5: things get more visual
  • 37. seattle public library: http://bit.ly/Bmc8N
  • 38. 6: taking content to users, not users to content
  • 39. your content on other sites
  • 40. 7: it doesn’t have to be very hard
  • 41.
  • 42. 8: you can't hide your content
  • 44. Thanks to Tony Hirst: http://bit.ly/8zwEn
  • 45. 9: we really is bigger and better than me
  • 46. positive externality “ next up are the Network Effects. here’s a classic example: the more people who own telephones, the more useful they become. There is a *positive externality* - a user doesn’t intend for their phone to create value for others, but it does ” 46
  • 48. but how? 48
  • 49. if you love it, set it free (you lost control anyway)
  • 50. don’t ever stop thinking users
  • 51. microformats API RDF OpenSearch RSS start small RDFa REST JSON iCal
  • 52. always think: “what if...?” 52
  • 53. never, ever procure technology again without asking: “where is the [API]?”...
  • 54. the takeaway thought At some point in the future, you’ll want to do “something else” with your content. Right now, you have no idea whatsoever what that thing is. These techniques allow you to make a worthwhile investment in a future no-one can know.
  • 55. thanks for listening mike.ellis@eduserv.org.uk twitter.com/m1ke_ellis electronicmuseum.org.uk www.slideshare.net/dmje
  • 56. thanks to these people, too abstract http://www.flickr.com/photos/toxi/292509986/ empty room http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkmoose/2355080489/ answer http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrs_logic/3320303076/ components http://www.flickr.com/photos/storm-crypt/2078500698/ sea http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezioman/410307927/ destroy purists http://www.flickr.com/photos/apeology/2335392254/ print screen http://www.flickr.com/photos/p1r/1351558354/ bad communication http://www.flickr.com/photos/shelleygibb/3372412222/ pay attention http://www.flickr.com/photos/subliminal/511527000/ ten http://www.flickr.com/photos/spilt-milk/164145237/ content http://www.flickr.com/photos/p373/2537069802/ re-use http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcusq/3032678489/ just relax http://www.flickr.com/photos/victornuno/205239817/ cheap http://www.flickr.com/photos/project-404/142767581/ visual http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielaguilar/2967187605/ crowd http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalieye/3265551769/ simple http://www.flickr.com/photos/martynf65/3494532917/ hidden http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiggywinkle/54801422/ social network http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavog/4557105/ traffic http://www.flickr.com/photos/djwudi/268382948/ free birds http://www.flickr.com/photos/frankloohuis/468320896/ freedom http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefgrunig/1732787905/ night fight http://www.flickr.com/photos/strocchi/295280599/