like place for Q'UO Channeling
05-22-2010, 03:47 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-22-2010, 03:51 PM by Steppingfeet.)
RE: like place for Q'UO Channeling
Dear Namaste,

I spoke with Carla and Ian, the archive website's webmaster, about how to honor and make viable your proposal without taking transcripts off of the website. A rudimentary and unsophisticated idea formed in a brainstorming session between Carla and I. It went something like this: As those involved in your project read the transcripts, they could create identifiers (similar to tags, I suppose) for each session, and enter those identifiers into a database available on your website. You could then somehow tap into and organize that database to form a series of topically organized links back to the sessions themselves.

I ran this idea by Ian who brought his technical expertise to the situation and was able to use language other than cave-speak. He says:

Webguy: In my opinion, it’s the details of this indexing project that would need to be looked to determine whether the project could be completed and whether the end result would in fact be useful.

This idea is equivalent to an index in a paper book (see the indexes in the Law of One, Books I - V). The art and information already exists about how to create indexes for books. This could be drawn upon by whoever would be heading up this project.

The difference between an index and a specific-phrase search that current search engines provide is that an index is a collection of topics appearing in a body of material that have been predetermined to be of relative “importance” with respect to that material as a whole, and are often topics that appear multiple times in different locations throughout the material.

However this list would be created, in the next phase, volunteers would have to be familiar with the contents of the index and then note in each transcript they were working with where any of those topics appears. It perhaps would make sense to simply indicate that a topic is present in a transcript, rather than indicate where in a transcript the topic appears, as it may be that the entire transcript is about a given topic, or that there are multiple locations of the topic within a transcript.

One of the initial difficulties of this project would be to determine the list of topics that would be in the index (both what to include and what to exclude), as this would involve a familiarity with and an appraisal of the archive as a whole. After that, bringing consistency to a number of different volunteers’ efforts in interpreting and identifying the key topics and where/if they appear in each transcript would also not be a simple task. Designing the database and the mechanisms of both loading up the index and the links to the transcripts on the L/L site, and then providing the search function for the database would probably be the easiest part of the project to do, but in itself is not an inconsequential task for someone with those abilities.

A single word index (with entries like “consciousness,” for example) is probably not practical, and is already a function duplicated and embellished by the search engines already on the L/L site. However, this would be one of the things that would have to be decided: when should a key word also be a key topic?

When the project was finished, the links that would be returned from a search of the database for a given key topic would be to single transcripts, and not to where the concept was located within the transcript. That latter function, as far as I know, would require code (bookmarks) to be added to the individual transcripts, which unfortunately will not be available to this project.

My opinion is that this is one of those projects that would consume a massive amount of time from many people’s lives but that would only in the end have a proportionally small value, if in fact the project could be completed and then kept updated with any new content.

Furthermore, I believe that improved document analysis and search engine functions will at some point likely automate this same indexing function, much as is being done currently for single words or specific phrases. Given what I believe is a large difficulty/usefulness value for this particular project, I would tend to recommend just waiting until Google or Bing or whatever have this capability as part of their own functionality.

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On the other hand, if there’s someone who wants to take responsibility for heading up the project and there’s a bunch of people who want to spend their time thusly, I think they’re the ones that would probably derive the most benefit from deeply reading the material (which, in my opinion, is the only activity necessary to promote in regard to the archive.) I would hope, though, that they would begin with a complete understanding of the work involved and the usefulness of the result, which will be the responsibility of the people orchestrating the effort to make clear.

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There is another approach that might have some value and could be considered which would not require the initial creation of the list of topics for an index. Volunteers could create a synopsis or summary of relevant topics for each transcript they read. This could be either a list of words and topics, or more like a series of statements of what they found a transcript to be about. This would also allow for the individual interpretive skills of each volunteer in determining what a transcript was about without having to involve a top-down awareness of a predetermined index.

These summaries could be made available on a separate site much as we already have the indexes for the transcripts on the L/L site that consists of the opening or group questions. It would also be possible perhaps to offer a keyword search of these summaries, using Google or Bing restricted to the site folder that the summaries would be stored in.

These summaries could then, at some future time, be considered separately to determining the subject base for a searchable index. They would thus have a two-fold value: an immediate value in helping people locate topics of interest in the archive, at least as determined by the volunteers creating the summaries, and at a later time they could be drawn on to determine the subject list for an archive-wide index.

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In either scenario, both of these projects need to begin with one or two individuals who have an understanding of the tasks involved and who would be willing to take responsibility for marshaling the time and resources that would be required over the extended period of time necessary to complete the work.

GLB: Namaste, if you are any other wants to proceed forward utilizing one of Ian's two proposals, please let me know. We can't of course provide the massive volunteer power needed to complete the project, but we can help in the process of planning, designing, and strategy.


Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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RE: like place for Q'UO Channeling - Brittany - 03-17-2010, 08:39 PM
RE: like place for Q'UO Channeling - Steppingfeet - 05-22-2010, 03:47 PM

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