Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Carnegie Mellon Technology in the Arts

had a great time. Greeted at the entrance of CMU by a talking computer that seemed to recognize my lostness - "Do you need directions" came the metallic max headromesque voice.... I wasn't sure how advanced this computer was and assumed it was referring to direction in the sense of a few meters, as opposed to some greater direction in life....Anyhow, i responded yes about the time a friendly human concierge arrived to get me to the first meeting of the day. Not sure whether the human was controlled by the computer or whether it was of higher elegance... anyhow....

And as it happened the first meeting "Funding Technology Projects" was right down the hall. Met with Mr. Mackie of the Andrew Mellon Foundation - he is the head of Research in Technology Funding. He emphasized open source "if you're looking to spend on proprietary software look elsewhere" (http://www.mellon.org/research_it.html) and also emphasized use of open standards (The Mellon Foundation (along with MIT and others) funded dSpace, which is something we already ascribe to through Greenstone). **** If we're interested in collaborating on a school bus full of digitization equipment this would be the guy to talk to. they are playing with huge sums of money and we should really try to start something with them "if we fund you once we'll probably fund you again" -- in other words they like long term relationships.

Although initially slated to speak on Joomla's content management system (marshallrotc.org Virginia Verified Voting) when I got to looking at the schedule two other presenters wanted to cover Joomla and so I shifted my focus to Greenstone and IBM's analysis of wikipedia showing the underlying stability of the wiki format. Also met with Ellen Arnold, who invited me to be a grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). I suspect this is a bit like being invited into the book of the month club, anyhow, I was earnestly flattered and accepted.

Otherwise enjoyed Pittsburgh a fair bit. Solid steel town, and affordable housing - imagine paying under 70K for a *solid* brick house? Went up Washington hill for the view, ate a hoagie, and went to a comic book convention across the street from my lodging. Very glad to be back, however must admit Pittsburgh is a most impressive and down to earth city. I also studied some of the requirements for funding in Pennsylvania, and would be glad to pass on some of that to the folks in Carlisle if they're not already well aware. The Bayer Foundation seemed very interested when I was talking about library->library services.