I have been thinking about the language data marketplace (exchange if one prefers), and the role of archives in a world where minority language speakers are also internet users and digital file consumers. In particular I have been thinking about SIL’s Language and Culture Archive and the economic model called a two sided market. So, SIL as “Partners in Language Development” seems to be well situated for analysis using the two sided market analysis (matching linguist and professionals with language development skills, and persons with language development skills with interested parties in developing their language). On the surface, it seems that the SIL archive would also benefit from being the center of exchange between these same two groups. This is the subject of one of my slides for an upcoming presentation, therefore I sketched out the interactions various SIL staff might have with the archive to see if I could diagram the social interactions around language data in SIL’s two sided market. To my surprise, the two sided nature of access to data in the archive is not supported, thereby blocking a data-centric archiving service. It makes me wonder what the perceived value of the archive really is, and if the perceived value is low, then why bother? What is the return on investment (ROI) for users on either side of the market?
I tried to summarize the relationships between the various clients of the archive in the following image.
Media and relationships among different roles in SIL projects.
So, missionaries (like those with SIL International) and NGOs have been accused of being affiliated with the CIA beforeCitations 1 and 2 are from Wikipedia article on SIL International.. Elizabeth A. Cobbs. “Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil – book reviews” (Christian Century, November 1, 1995) … Continue readingGerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett: Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil (Harper Collins 1995), ISBN 0-06-016764-5. This book contains … Continue reading But the recent announcement that a doctor Renee Montagne and Julie McCarthy. 7 October 2011. Pakistan Doctor, Who Helped CIA, Accused Of Treason. NPR. … Continue reading NPR. 1 February 2012. Doctor At Bin Laden Compound Connected To CIA. http://www.npr.org/2012/02/01/146233625/doctor-at-bin-laden-compound-connected-to-cia [Link] helped the CIA has some serious implications, what about his Hippocratic oath? Doctors and humanitarian aid workers build trust with people. In some places this trust is hard earned and much unappreciated when someone (or organization) piggy backs on these relationships without consent, as was recently reported in The Atlantic. Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady. 15 February 2012. The Story of How U.S. Special Forces Infiltrated Pakistan. … Continue reading It would seem that for all the cries for ethics that academics make that this issue should be more in uproar than it currently is. I understand that war is war and that in war trust is just another item to be taken advantage of, but that is what terrorists do. Isn’t the difference between peace keeping and terrorism a matter of ethics?
Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett: Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil (Harper Collins 1995), ISBN 0-06-016764-5. This book contains allegations of Rockefeller’s use of American missionaries, and in particular, the Summer Institute of Linguistics, who cooperated in conducting surveys, transporting CIA agents and indirectly assisting in the genocide of tribes in the Amazon basin.
Renee Montagne and Julie McCarthy. 7 October 2011. Pakistan Doctor, Who Helped CIA, Accused Of Treason. NPR. http://www.npr.org/2011/10/07/141144760/pakistani-doctor-who-helped-cia-may-face-treason-trial [Link]
Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady. 15 February 2012. The Story of How U.S. Special Forces Infiltrated Pakistan. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/02/the-story-of-how-us-special-forces-infiltrated-pakistan/253100/ [Link]
This paper is motivated by an experience in collecting, analyzing, and then redeploying (sharing while making relevant to other corporate SIL functions) corporate intellectual assets. These assets are relevant to both products SIL products and services and corporate processes. This paper attempts to document some of the current challenges presented to the SIL staff person as well as present some items for consideration in overcoming these challenges. Continue reading →
Because I have been on the team doing the SIL.org redesign, I have been looking at the Open Source landscape looking at what is available to connect Drupal with DSpace data stores. We are planning on making DSpace the back-end repository, with another CMS running the presentation and interactive layers. I found a module which parses DSpace's XML feeds in development. However, this is not the only thing that I am looking at. I am also looking at how we might deploy Omeka. Presenting the entire contents of a Digital Language and Culture Archive, and citations for their physical contents is no small task. In addition to past content there is also future content. That is to say archiving is also not devoid of publishing - so there is also the PKP project [sic redundant]. (SIL also currently has a publishing house, whose content need CSV or version control and editorial workflows, which interact with archiving and presentation functions.)
Wally Grotophorst has a really good reflection on Omeaka and DSpace, I am not sure that it is current but it does present the problem space quite well. Wally Grotophorst. 4 March 2008. DSpace And Omeka. iNODE: The weblog of Digital Programs and Systems at George Mason University Libraries. http://timesync.gmu.edu/wordpress/?p=485 . [Accessed: 26 … Continue reading Tom Scheinfeldt at Omeka also has a nice write up on why Omeka exists, titled "Omeka and It's peers". It is really important to understand Omeka's place in the eco system of content delivery to content consumers by qualified site administrators.  Tom Scheinfeldt. 21 September 2010. Omeka and It's peers. http://omeka.org/blog/2010/09/21/omeka-and-peers/ [Accessed: 26 November 2011] [Link] [Also Posted on Tom's Blog]
@Mire talks about What DSpace could learn from Omeka.  @Mire. 20 May 2010. What DSpace could learn from Omeka. http://www.facebook.com/notes/mire/what-dspace-could-learn-from-omeka/393758568767 . [Accessed: 26 November 2011] [Link]
Wally Grotophorst. 4 March 2008. DSpace And Omeka. iNODE: The weblog of Digital Programs and Systems at George Mason University Libraries. http://timesync.gmu.edu/wordpress/?p=485 . [Accessed: 26 November 2011] [Link]
About two or three weeks ago Gary Simons and Paul Lewis co-presented on an Extension to Fishman’s Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (Lewis & Simons 2010)  Paul M. Lewis & Gary F. Simons. 2010. Assessing endangerment: Expanding Fishman’s GIDS. Revue Roumaine de Linguistique 55.2: 103–20. . Fishman’s scale for measuring Language Vitality and Language Endangerment has been around for about 2 decades (almost longer than me ;-)). The Ethnologue in its most recent version has started to list the position of the language on the EGIDS scale. This is something that the editors are looking to expand to all languages in the Ethnologue. This has some bearing on Language Documentation globally (as grant writers and funders look at EGIDS as a pivot point for language vitality) and because Language Documentation efforts usually (and typically) focus on languages on a 7 or higher on the scale (Shifting, Moribund, Nearly Extinct, etc). Continue reading →