C-Level View :: May 10, 2006

Worth Noting

New Functionality Unveiled for Mediasite.com — Searching Slide Content

Sonic Foundry announced this week that visitors to the rapidly growing Mediasite.com collection of rich media presentations now have a much more powerful search capability: Proprietary algorithms that incorporate optical character recognition (OCR) have enabled discovery of terms within presentation slides and graphics. For the searcher, this means you can now expect your search to be performed not only on titles and metadata, but on the content of presentation slides as well. And through an enhanced display, information seekers can zero in on the specific slide or slides containing their search terms.

The new search functionality has been deployed on the entire Mediasite.com public collection of almost 10,000 expert presentations spanning a wide range of fields and topics of interest to scientists, researchers, educators, and students (you can try it Mediasite.com now). The company also offers managed services and can apply the new search capabilities for private network content libraries. What’s next? Audio searching, of course, but that’s still under development.

[Editor’s note: Sonic Foundry will record several presentations at the Campus Technology 2006 conference in Boston, July 31-August 3.]

OCLC and RLG Organizations May Merge

The OCLC Board of Trustees and the RLG Board of Directors have announced their recommendations that the two nonprofit, membership-based information service and research organizations be combined effective July 1. Pending approval by a vote of RLG member institutions by early June, the two organizations will integrate their products and services, and RLG’s program initiatives will be brought under a new division of OCLC Programs and Research as RLG-Programs.

“It is time that RLG and OCLC take united action if we are to realize our long-held and long-shared mutual goal of providing information to people when and where they need it,” says James Neal, VP for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, and Chair of the RLG Board of Directors. “New challenges demand new thinking, so after deliberation and careful thought, both RLG and OCLC came to the conclusion that the best way to serve our members’ interests was to combine forces.” The integration of RLIN, RLG’s Union Catalog, with OCLC’s WorldCat, is among the planned efficiencies.

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