We’re just begining the monumental task of organizing and digesting the massive amount of documentation that came from the first Workshop in this project. During the workshop, I did a very quick demo of the revisions taking place on Open Context.
The site testing the new and improved Open Context is available at:
This development is in a very early stage, however, some key areas of progress are ready for evaluation. The major thrust of this development is to make content in Open Context much easier to repurpose and use with other popular applications on the Web. To do this, we’re making extensive use of the Atom syndication format, which is supported by weblogs, mapping applications, feed-aggregation and notification services, and much more. We’ll experiment with some reference implementations that use Open Context’s Atom services during the course of this project. A small taste of this can be seen in the photostream found on the right hand of this Web page. It draws from a feed of data (reachable with this link) provided by Flikr the popular online photo sharing site. With very little effor, this weblog is able to display and manipulate content from a completely different source.
This work highlights an important point. Open Context is just one very small component of a large universe of sevices and tools on the Web. Much of the value of this user-needs study may come more from interesting ideas about how to coordinate and choreograph these various services into something of great value for researchers, instructors, students, and other communities.