Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Talking of the CIG discussion, Euan Semple mentioned Mahalo, a human powered search service (note, as Phil Bradley points out on his blog, that it's not a search engine). Apparently Mahalo's guides spend their days searching, filtering out spam, and hand-crafting the best search results possible. I did a couple of searches and was quite impressed with the quality of the results - all good links.

They’ve now launched Mahalo Greenhouse , a place where the public can build search results that, if accepted by the guides, will be included in the Mahalo search index. Naturally the question is who are these guides and what qualifies them to make such decisions…

Will technology replace the research centre?

Will technology replace the research centre? How will the corporate librarian's role evolve? was the title of a City Information Group (CIG) panel discussion last Tuesday. The room was packed so it's certainly something that a lot of information professionals are worried about. Whether people left any more enlightened though is open to question. The two panelists, Euan Semple and Mike Angle had plenty to say but judging from the questions asked and the occasional raised eyebrow, many hadn't moved on from the old, Wikipedia is written by unreliable idiots/ blogs are for the sad and lonely, way of thinking. As Semple and Angle explained, these tools complement traditional reference sources. Also, it isn't an option to ignore Web 2.0, dismissing it as something for the young people. Perhaps the debate could have been given a bit more structure with the chair, Mark Chillingworth , editor of Information World Review, preferring to stay in the background. Still, a worthwhile exercise although whether it was worth £30 is a moot point. How does the CIG get away with it?