|Weekly News Digest
March 19, 2007 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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OCLC Acquires TechAtlas Tech Planning Software
OCLC (www.oclc.org) has acquired TechAtlas technology planning software with a $1.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org). WebJunction (www.webjunction.org), OCLC's online community where library staff members share ideas and use online resources to help them in their work, will further develop this Web-based technology management and planning tool with particular attention to helping public libraries create E-rate-compliant technology plans. OCLC will now take over ownership of the TechAtlas product, and WebJunction will begin an intensive round of design and development work to extend TechAtlas features, such as expanding the ability to allow consortia to review and approve technology plans for their member libraries.
TechAtlas is a Web-based technology management and planning tool that provides an environment for small to medium libraries to inventory their technology assets and use that information as a starting point for building a comprehensive technology plan. For those librarians pursuing E-rate funding, the technology plan approval process can be automated through TechAtlas. State library coordinators have the ability to review and approve individual library technology plans without the need to send email or paper copies back-and-forth. TechAtlas can also be used by librarians who are not interested in obtaining E-rate reimbursements, but simply want to take control of their use of technology and build a plan that can serve as a road map for future investments and upgrades.
WebJunction will also be offering TechAtlas to librarians participating in the grant-making efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's U.S. Libraries initiative. Special TechAtlas features will help these eligible librarians deliver information to the foundation about their technology infrastructure, will assist in grant evaluation, and will provide valuable data to state library agencies on the public access computing "landscape" in their communities.
TechAtlas was originally developed by NPower, a national network of nonprofit organizations, to support a diverse community of nonprofit organizations. WebJunction staff members have spent the last several years working with NPower to enhance TechAtlas specifically for use by public libraries. OCLC will continue to support NPower's community of TechAtlas users while further developing the product as part of WebJunction's services for librarians. OCLC will continue to offer TechAtlas to WebJunction members at no cost.
Getty Images Scoop(t)s Up Aggregator of User-Generated Content
Getty Images, Inc. has announced its acquisition of Scoopt, a source for user-generated editorial content. Scoopt is an aggregator and distributor of photographs and videos captured by eyewitnesses who have an accidental front-row seat to headline-making moments. In the coming months, Scoopt news, sports, and entertainment imagery that meets Getty Images' editorial-quality standards will be released exclusively at www.gettyimages.com/editorial. Additionally, Getty Images will invest in technology upgrades and other enhancements to Scoopt to make the site more accessible to customers and to better position it for future growth.
Citizen photographers who submit imagery to Scoopt retain copyright while granting the agency a 12-month exclusive license that authorizes relicense to one or more publishers. Contributors benefit from increased visibility and a network of media contacts, earning a significant percentage of the value for each license issued. Both Getty Images and Scoopt encourage contributors to be respectful and to follow a code of ethics for image capture. You can find submission guidelines and additional details about Scoopt's photographer community at www.scoopt.com.
Getty Images plans to fully integrate Scoopt into its organization, harnessing the team's knowledge of user-generated editorial content. The Scoopt team will continue to operate out of the site's base in Glasgow, Scotland. Existing relationships with Scoopt partners and affiliates will remain in place until further notice.
Source: Getty Images, Inc.
Yahoo! Answers Adds Personal Networking
Yahoo! Answers (http://answers.yahoo.com), a Q&A site on the Web, has introduced "knowledge networking," an easy way for people to connect to others online and to build a personal network of people to exchange knowledge with on specific areas of interest. The new Yahoo! Answers Network is currently in beta.
Users can add other Yahoo! Answers users or invite friends outside of Yahoo! Answers via email to join their personal knowledge network. Once Yahoo! Answers users have added someone to their personal knowledge network, they can see if any of their contacts have asked a question, provided a great answer, or "starred" a question they found interesting for a personalized dashboard of all the topics and people important to them.
Yahoo! said it is working to increase the capability of choosing who users are sharing Q&A with in a personal network—including being able to block and ignore users and having greater control over the visibility of contacts and fans. In addition, it is also looking into adding the ability to import contacts from places such as Yahoo! Messenger.
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