Reference Extract: in the right direction (updated)

If you read my earlier post (Reference Extract: Missing the Point) you may have noticed the shift in titles and opinions. Well, in the last 14 hours I wrote my blog post, emailed Dave Lankes my concerns and questions about Reference Extract, and got a very thoughtful and very exciting/ed 15 minute video response, explained where Reference Extract fits in the bigger picture of what his overall vision is.

Scapes is the project that Dave was envisioning and i was referencing in my previous post. Scapes is the library sponsored online learning/conversation environment that I’m so excited about. I was not wrong when i said that Dave has spoken about Learning Conversations and the library being a part of it. But he set me straight in terms of where Reference Extract fits.

In Dave’s video response (which, i have to say, uber cool… no one’s ever responded to me in that way before!) explained that the internal search within Scapes is the basis for Reference Extract. It makes total sense. The “database” you query to start your Scapes conversation has to start from somewhere. The results in Reference Extract may have even started from the conversations in Scapes and elsewhere. Reference Extract is a door in.

And “search Engines” are still apparently hot. Reference Extract has gotten a lot of press outside of Library Land. And although a lot of people still see it as a “librarians versus google” thing, Dave envisions it as a greater thing than that.

I very much appreciated his taking the time to answer my questions and concerns. “The success of libraries depends on engaged passionate people” and it’s very easy to stay engaged when the big players in your field are willing to respond to those digging questions, trying to make sure that innovation happens in good directions. So thank you, Dave.

And since it’s 2am and i’m snuggled in bed writing and thinking about all this, i will wait until the morning to send my response back. Because now that i know that RE isn’t off the path, but the first part of the path, I have more questions and comments for Dave.

Update 11/15: Check out Dave’s explanation video on how this all functions.