Monday, July 4, 2011

Feature of the Week: Next steps in BibSonomy

As all of you have probably noticed we are actively working on BibSonomy, releasing constantly new features and improvements. We are not only in the process of developing and implementing new features but we are also discussing the goals and features which we would like to achieve in the next one or two years, triggered by the current projects "PUMA - Academic Publication Management" and "Informationelle Selbstbestimmung im Web 2.0 - Info 2.0" both funded by the German research foundation DFG. With this post we would like to share our ideas with you and we hope for feedback from you. Some of these ideas are more concrete others are relatively vague. So, feel free to comment on all of them.

One of the next features which will be released soon will allow our users to rate bookmarks and publications within the system. We will make this rating information available for external systems like search engines. Thus such information is available to everyone as early as possible – similar to ratings e.g. in results of an online search for hotels. Following this line we plan to add a discussion functionality in form of tweets or comments in the usual way. It is also planed to extend BibSonomy to a full open reviewing system. The idea is to allow everyone to do all kinds of reviews – ranging from a simple comment for a web site to a full blown scientific review for publications.

Another potential direction we are thinking of is the better integration with eLearning systems. We will start with export functions but the plan is to find some way to allow for users of an eLearning system to add new posts to BibSonomy from within their eLearning platform.

With PUMA we started a first clone of BibSonomy together with our university library. It has a slightly different functionality but the core is the same. To be more flexible we will add open social features which will not only allow for a better integration of BibSonomy data into other systems (such as iGoogle, or many of your social networks) but also for a more flexible adaptation of our system's design. Another major feature will be the availability of synchronization options among systems to allow easy accessibility of your and everyones posts from any system (BibSonomy or one of the PUMA instances). We are working an a lightweight version within PUMA but the big solution is the goal we would like to reach in the future.

One current hype comes from the massive use of smartphones. We are thinking of developing apps for the most popular smartphone systems: Android and iPhone. One of the core challenges is the adaptation of the BibSonomy design for the small devices. However, we would not only work on improvements for small screens but also on the design for our regular web site. We are thinking about the improvement of the design and usability of the system in cooperation with professional design and usability experts.

Besides all these new features we will of course constantly work on the improvement of the system's speed, on the improvement of its current functionality and on fixing bugs.

We hope you will like the new features and we are looking forward to your feedback. Please let us know your wishes and we will try to find a way to incorporate them into the system.

Happy Tagging

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