July 15, 1998 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on July 15, 1998.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at email@example.com
I am certain that no one who is French or in France can be reading this today. The football news of Sunday must have made last night's Bastille Day celebrations the most memorable since 1789. French eyes everywhere this morning must be crossed, and / or seeing some Hexagone version of Hunter S. Thompson's bats. Français, françaises -- félicitations!
But there is even more excellence in France these days than football. There are rumors of an economic recovery -- per Time Magazine (?) -- even rumors of a political recovery: the Président and the Prime Minister actually have been seen competing for popularity, recently, in marked distinction to the pronounced unpopularity which both enjoyed just a short time ago.
In the spirit of the hopeful resurgence of France and things French, then, FYI France is pleased to announce a new feature, "How to Digitize a Nation...", which debuts today at,
or specifically, just for the feature itself, at,
The feature celebrates and analyzes recent French achievements in digitization -- of libraries, of "l'Internet", of public access, of texts and music and "multimédia" -- and suggests that some of the differences from the US experience which are developing in France's digitization may be more typical of the rest of the world than anything faced so far in Cupertino or along Leesburg Pike.
The feature also is an experiment in digital text presentation. Its basic structure follows that of an oral presentation made at the recent American Library Association annual conference in Washington DC. To that speech text notes and references and links and eventually images are being added -- the perennial problem of "versioning" will be addressed by "update dates", entered as each alteration is made.
Most important, however, the new FYI France "How to Digitize a Nation..." feature is designed to be used,
1) both "hypertextually" and sequentially, for those who still prefer linear thinking to jumping around, and,
2) both online and off- (i.e. printed, on paper), for those who still do not trust and / or just do not like the online media.
The feature responds to several requests received for a pedagogical device addressing digitization issues in France and the non - anglophone world. For teaching, things still are best if linear -- and in most places, still, paper works better than online and better even than anything else digital. The new FYI France "How to Digitize a Nation..." feature is designed, in other words, to serve both the digital and the non - digital user worlds.
If it works, please tell me -- via email to firstname.lastname@example.org -- and if it does not, please tell me that as well. In either case please tell me why: with permission I even will publish the comments online.
French readers / users once again should be assured that they and their country are not being victimized but, rather, held up to the rest of the world as a shining example -- both in this new "How to Digitize a Nation..." feature and generally in FYI France.
A US citizen -- francophile or francophobe -- is as entitled to understand and analyze a nation not her or his own as have been the many acute French observers, Tocqueville among them, who have taught the US so much about itself for so many years.
"France and the French" really is not the subject here, however. The question here concerns, instead, "digitization" generally -- the "Internet", and all of digitization's other manifestations -- and whether these phenomena really will "scale up" easily or at all to international applications, from their US origins.
"France and the French" simply have been generous enough to offer to the rest of us a leading, and at times shining, example, of some of the very "non - US" problems which digitization faces in France and Russia and Nigeria and Peru and China and Mozambique and the rest of the non - anglophone / anglocentric world.
Happy vacation to the French, and an eventual recovery from those joyful football hangovers. See you again in September.
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071 - 5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic journal, | published since 1992 as a small - scale, personal, | experiment, in the creation of large - scale | "information overload", by Jack Kessler. Any material / \ written by me which appears in FYI France may be ----- copied and used by anyone for any good purpose, so // \\ long as, a) they give me credit and show my e - mail --------- address and, b) it isn't going to make them money: if // \\ if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives are at http://infolib.berkeley.edu (search fyifrance), or http://email@example.com/ (BIBLIO-FR econference archive), or at http://www.fyifrance.com , or at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved.
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