Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Response from AquaBrowser

In response to yesterday's post about the AquaBrowser word cloud, I was contacted by someone from its developer, MediaLab. He was very nice about the whole thing and said that I "certainly got their attention." He asked my opinion about having the option of minimizing or closing the word cloud. I think that could be a good feature, if only to save screen real estate. I'm also concerned about confusing our patrons with too many search options.

Let me also say that they are doing some interesting things with AquaBrowser. Today they announced that it can be run as a web-based service, which means that it could be always available. It's a very sophisticated search tool in many ways. I just get hung up on that word cloud! I've tried other similar graphical search tools and have had trouble with them, too. Maybe it's the way I'm wired. Here are some of them:


If you have access to an EBSCO database, it may offer a visual search that looks like this:

Everybody in the library biz is after the same thing; to explore ways to help people find what they're looking for. I know that's a priority for AquaBrowser and all library system companies that are using technology to make it happen. There are lots of new technologies that are becoming part of library systems and we're all looking at how to best use them. Sometimes I feel like Chief Brody when he said, "We're going to need a bigger boat."

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