April 9, 2007

Shari, it’s good that you don’t listen to commercial radio because the whole payola thing is still very much with us. There were investigations and settlements in 2005 and 2006 and further situations are still under scrutiny. The fact that radio ownership is very limited with only a few huge conglomerates owning the vast majority of stations contributes to making our present day even more susceptible to corporate influence on what gets played. Live music is another area where there are big problems of this nature. Anyone interested might like to check out:

http://www.salon.com/ent/clear_channel/index.html

I found the Belkin article interesting in light of today’s ASIST presentation on Endeca. It would be interesting to investigate how the ease of presenting explicit facets (both subject-related and otherwise) would impact users’ views. Of course, it’s clear that highly structured information systems (like library catalogs) are going to respond differently than unstructured ones (like the web).

It seems to me that any expert (one who has read vast amounts on a subject) would probably understand the words that would likely be found in a relevant article (as well as the ones that would not). Maybe I hang out with a better class of clientele because I’m not so skeptical to say that “it will be the rare user who will understand these characteristics”.

Michael Fitzgerald

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