An Embarrassment of Riches - Part I

The Internet is too rich. Even powerful and sophisticated search engines, such as Google, return a lot of trash, dead ends, and Error 404's in response to the most well-defined query, Boolean operators and all. Directories created by human editors - such as Yahoo! or the Open Directory Project - are often overwhelmed by the amount of material out there. Like the legendary blob, the Internet is clearly out of classificatory control. Some web sites - like Suite101 - have introduced the old and tried Dewey subject classification system successfully used in non-virtual libraries for more than a century.

Books - both print and electronic - (actually, their publishers) get assigned an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) by national agencies. Periodical publications (magazines, newsletters, bulletins) sport an ISSN (International Serial Standard Number). National libraries dole out CIP's (Cataloguing in Publication numbers), which help lesser outfits to catalogue the book upon arrival. But the emergence of new book formats, independent publishing, and self publishing has strained this already creaking system to its limits. In short: the whole thing is fast developing into an awful mess.

http://www.doi.org/

Resolution is one solution.

Resolution is the linking of identifiers to content. An identifier can be a word, or a phrase. RealNames implemented this approach and its proprietary software is now incorporated in most browsers. The user types a word, brand name, phrase, or code, and gets re-directed to a web site with the appropriate content. The only snag: RealNames identifiers are for sale. Thus, its identifiers are not guaranteed to lead to the best, only, or relevant resource. Similar systems are available in many languages. Nexet, for example, provides such a resolution service in Hebrew.

The Association of American Publishers (APA) has an Enabling Technologies Committee. Fittingly, at the Frankfurt Book Fair of 1997, it announced the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) initiative. An International DOI Foundation (IDF) was set up and invited all publishers - American and non-American alike - to apply for a unique DOI prefix. DOI is actually a private case of a larger system of "handles" developed by the CNRI (Corporation for National Research Initiatives). Their "Handle Resolver" is a browser plug-in software, which re-directs their handles to URL's or other pieces of data, or content. Without the Resolver, typing in the handle simply directs the user to a few proxy servers, which "understand" the handle protocols.

The interesting (and new) feature of the system is its ability to resolve to MULTIPLE locations (URL's, or data, or content). The same identifier can resolve to a Universe of inter-related information (effectively, to a mini-library). The content thus resolved need not be limited to text. Multiple resolution works with audio, images, and even video.

The IDF's press release is worth some extensive quoting:

"Imagine you're the manager of an Internet company reading a story online in the "Wall Street Journal" written by Stacey E. Bressler, a co-author of Communities of Commerce, and at the end of the story there is a link to purchase options for the book.

Now imagine you are an online retailer, a syndicator or a reporter for an online news service and you are reading a review in "Publishers Weekly" about Communities of Commerce and you run across a link to related resources.

And imagine you are in Buenos Aires, and in an online publication you encounter a link to "D-Lib Magazine", an electronic journal produced in Washington, D.C. which offers you locale-specific choices for downloading an article.

The above examples demonstrate how multiple resolution can present you with a list of links from within an electronic document or page. The links beneath the labels - URLs and email addresses - would all be stored in the DOI System, and multiple resolution means any or all of those links can be displayed for you to select from in one menu. Any combination of links to related resources can be included in these menus.

Capable of providing much richer experiences then single resolution to a URL, Multiple Resolution operates on the premise that content, not its location, is identified. In other words, where content and related resources reside is secondary information. Multiple Resolution enables content owners and distributors to identify their intellectual property with bound collections of related resources at a hyperlink's point of departure, instead of requiring a user to leave the page to go to a new location for further information.

A content owner controls and manages all the related resources in each of these menus and can determine which information is accessible to each business partner within the supply chain. When an administrator changes any facet of this information, the change is simultaneous on all internal networks and the Internet. A DOI is a permanent identifier, analogous to a telephone number for life, so tomorrow and years from now a user can locate the product and related resources wherever they may have been moved or archived to."

The IDF provides a limited, text-only, online demonstration. When sweeping with the cursor over a linked item, a pop-down menu of options is presented. These options are pre-defined and customized by the content creators and owners. In the first example above (book purchase options) the DOI resolves to retail outlets (categorized by book formats), information about the title and the author, digital rights management information (permissions), and more. The DOI server generates this information in "real time", "on the fly". But it is the author, or (more often) the publisher that choose the information, its modes of presentation, selections, and marketing and sales data. The ingenuity is in the fact that the DOI server's files and records can be updated, replaced, or deleted. It does not affect the resolution path - only the content resolved to.

Which brings us to e-publishing.

About The Author

Sam Vaknin is the author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" and "After the Rain - How the West Lost the East". He is a columnist in "Central Europe Review", United Press International (UPI) and ebookweb.org and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com. Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.

His web site: http://samvak.tripod.com

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


How to Make Your eZine Work for You Long After Its Published

If you publish an email newsletter, do you convert the... Read More

Ezines ? An Excellent Approach To Internet Marketing

What is an ezine? An ezine is an abbreviation for... Read More

10 Valuable Tips For Ezine Publishers

1. Write your own articles.Your articles will give you an... Read More

Newsletter Software

Newsletter SoftwareWhat types of newsletter software can I use to... Read More

Finding the GOLD with Ezines and Google!

HiHow'd you go with your product search?Here's another way to... Read More

5 Tips for Catching Errors in Your Manuscript

What is your worse fear as a self-publishing writer? For... Read More

Increase Your Website Popularity with 500 Words

Are you looking to increase your relevancy in the search... Read More

Internet Marketing Idea: Publish an Ezine

Chances are if you surf the net much you have... Read More

Your First Newsletter: 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Annoy People

I read a lot of newsletters. Some are great and... Read More

You Can Publish an Ezine

Publishing an Ezine can be scary to the newbie. But... Read More

Emerging Trends in Web Content and Web Publishing

Content is King but the web pages are still littered... Read More

Top 10 Tips to Give Your Newsletter Impact!

There are thousands of email newsletters or "ezines" produced every... Read More

Why I Started My Ezine

Why I started this E- ZineSit back, and travel with... Read More

Are You Wasting Your Time With Free Ezine Ads?

There are lots of ezines (newsletters) out there that offer... Read More

Are We Dating or Married?

You've convinced me that I want to sign up for... Read More

Are Your E-Mails Bouncing? Hard Bounces, Soft Bounces, and Everything in Between

Are you doing "the bounce"? No, it's not a new... Read More

Self Publishing At The Speed Of Thought

Publishing, both electronic and hard copy, from articles to books,... Read More

Section Ideas to Include in Your Newsletter Design

A good newsletter template is not only consisted of a... Read More

Don?t Distract Readers from What They are Doing

I'm working on a report for a company that puts... Read More

The Sticky Issue of E-zine Schedules

While many new e-zine publishers are anxious about developing good... Read More

10 Winning Ezine Publishing Tips

1. Share your personality with your subscribers. Your subscribers are... Read More

Medium and the Message

A debate is raging in e-publishing circles: should content be... Read More

Newsletter Names - Creative Ideas for Newsletter Titles

Your newsletter name has a big effect on your readership,... Read More

What Every Ezine Owner Should Know About Unsold Ad Space

The deadline approaches and your ad STILL has not sold.... Read More

3 Money-Making Reasons for Displaying Your Newsletters on Your Website

Seeing is believing. Unless your website visitors can experience your... Read More

Good News About Getting Published

So you want to get a book published and add... Read More

7 Benefits Of Using Newsletter Templates

1. Time saver. To get going make a quick visit... Read More

How To Make Money Online With A Newsletter

Many online internet marketers tell us "its all in the... Read More

Writing Effective Newsletters

It's obvious but true that your newsletter can only be... Read More

How to Format Your Email Newsletter

When subscribers' email readers (programs) receive your text newsletter, they... Read More

What Ive Learned From My Subscribers

As editor/publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, I am fortunate in... Read More

How To Use Viral Marketing To Grow Your Opt In Email List

If you have read my article called "What is Viral... Read More

I Finally Discovered The Secret To FREE Content No One Else Has!

There are many tips and techniques to increase your search... Read More