I had another thought (ouch... hurts...) which is this: if OCLC had to
open up its data, then it would have to improve its services to survive.
On Thu, 7 Feb 2008 10:28:14 -0600, "Danielle Plumer"
<[log in to unmask]> said:
> Kevin Kelly had an interesting post on The Technium last week about these
> sorts of issues
> (http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/01/better_than_fre.php), and
> his conclusion is exactly along the lines of Karen's post.
> His assumptions are:
> When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
> When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes
> scarce and valuable.
> So he concludes:
> When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.
> The things which cannot be copied are services -- he lists eight
> "generatives" that have value. These are immediacy, personalization,
> interpretation, authenticity, accessibility, embodiment, patronage, and
> findability. Trust is also mentioned as a intangible asset with
> significant value.
> I find that this is a compelling argument, and it seems to be in line
> with things I hear coming out of OCLC Research, at least, and from the
> folks at Open Library, too. It will take time for an organization with as
> much inertia as OCLC has to change its modus operandi, but I think it
> will come. However, unlike others, I tend to be an optimist in the
> morning and a cynic by nightfall, so we'll see...
> Danielle Cunniff Plumer, Coordinator
> Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative
> Texas State Library and Archives Commission
> 512.463.5852 (phone) / 512.936.2306 (fax)
> [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of
> K.G. Schneider
> Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 7:04 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Records for Open Library
> > Maybe Roy will answer that one -- but I doubt its that difficult to guess.
> > OCLC's primary value is its bibliographic database and the information
> > about its member's holdings. Nearly all of it's services are built around
> > this. If they gave that information up to the Open Library, it would most
> > certainly undermine their ILL, Cataloging and Grid Services initiatives.
> > However, if a handful of members in relation to their membership
> > participate in the program -- its no skin off their noses.
> > --TR
> You know, I realize that's the going-in thinking, and OCLC has shared
> with me. I fully understand the need for OCLC to protect its services.
> But I
> remember with a previous job that people (even some very important
> thought our product was our data, but it really wasn't: it was the
> we wrapped around the data, including maintenance, delivery, affiliated
> products, etc. It's true that the data had to be good, but that goodness
> didn't come with a core dump of one-time static data. Keeping our data
> closed ultimately harmed us, perhaps perniciously, and I wish I had done
> better job of championing a different path. I didn't have the skills or
> vocabulary and to this day I regret that.
> Karen G. "Been there, done that, got the teeshirt" Schneider
> [log in to unmask]