You’ll likely have noticed recently me talking about books I read on this blog. My friends and colleagues call me a connector..read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink for what that means. I generally get “connected” to books to read by other connectors. My most recent read, and directly connected to the future intention of ChemSpider is “Wikinomics – How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything”
For those of you who have not managed to stay up to date with some of the blog postings I want to reiterate part of the future mission for ChemSpider. Our intention is to Wiki-enable ChemSpider and allow people to add information to each and every chemical structure on the database. We have already enabled the curation of the data on ChemSpider as blogged previously (1,2,3). This is one level of community participation…check the results out here. Please keep curating..
What I like about the book Wikinomics is the the historical overview (of a VERY SHORT history) of how mass collaboration has affected the way we share information, how collaboration has impacted the world of software development (and how corporations are benefiting from the effort) and how technology in the time of Web 2.0 allows news to spread quickly and help people. This collaboration has given a lot of benefits to research, pharmaceuticals, and even to the world of mining, a fascinating story. I preferred the first half of the book and it did get a little preachy and repetitive but nevertheless is a great read. By the way…the author is Anthony D. Williams….no relation to the author of this blog…that would be Antony J. Williams. But hey, if people want to talk about me as a supporter of the world of Wiki then go for it…
At present the registration and structure deposition systems on ChemSpider are being completed and, fingers crossed, you’ll see it very shortly. The question then is what could mass collaboration mean in terms of extending the information associated with the chemical structures on the database. Imagine the addition of reaction details, images, connections to other websites, etc. Just imagine…and we’ll see if we can make it happen.