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Sorin Matei on Project Bamboo and the role of mashups

Project Bamboo has been on my list of stuff to write about for a while. According to Project Bamboo website:

    Bamboo is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary, and inter-organizational effort that brings together researchers in arts and humanities, computer scientists, information scientists, librarians, and campus information technologists to tackle the question: How can we advance arts and humanities research through the development of shared technology services?

Not only is the project of intellectual interest to me (as someone deeply interested in the issues of "shared technology services") but also of great personal interest (since I know quite a few of the personnel involved with the project, including one of the co-project directors, David Greenbaum, who used to be my boss.) One particular angle I hope to explore is answering the question of what are the implications of Project Bamboo on Zotero and vice-versa?

The immediate prompt for this post is Sorin Matei's The Bamboo Digital Humanities Initiative: A Modest Proposal. Matei's post has been of sufficient interest to me that I using it to prompt some discussion in a community of humanists and technologists. Matei makes a lot of useful points, but the segment that caught my attention is:

    The role of the Bamboo platform would be to simplify this task by making access to tools, by enhancing our ability to connect digital objects and artifacts, our ability to connect with colleagues and students via simple, directly intuitive and universally available interfaces that all converge on the scholars’ desktop, preferably in the format of a word processor. [emphasis mine] Moreover, the platform should integrate in the most straightforward manner the learning and writing processes with those dedicated to publishing. This should be done in such a manner that dedicated genres and modus operandi (articles, book monographs, peer review, scientific validity checks, etc.) would survive, flourish even, under the new digital regime.

Amen. That's an approach I've been pursuing for a while now (in the Scholar's Box, for example)– and one I think that Zotero, as a desktop client, with some capacity for extensibility, can embody rather deeply.

Matei goes on:

    I stop here, rather abruptly, waiting for reactions. I am planning, however, to release a sketch of such a platform, including essential services and affordances. It will also try to leverage the idea of the mashup editor as basic architecture strategy, which could be use to support the infrastructure of the system.

I'm naturally intrigued as someone focused on mashups and interested in developing "Zotero as a mashup platform". Has Sorin Matei used Zotero? How would Zotero fit in with Matei's sketch of such a platform?

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