What's in a name?Tuesday, December 14, 2010 12:42 PM Views : 2009Aristotle P. Carandang
'A rose by any other name remains as sweet'. This Shakespearean classic has become an ammunition of those who resist change. Perhaps, it could be true if we talk of Cojuanco, Lopez, Tan, Sy, Aquino, etc. But can it be true to Dela Cruz, Reyes, and Macaspac?
What if we talk about websites? Could the same adage be valid?
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is on its first step towards changing (read: improving) its website (http://www.dost.gov.ph) to the simple yet catchy 'science.ph'; shying away from the dot-gov-dot-ph domain. Well, according to the denizens of the worldwide web, especially those who breathe in the blogosphere, they say that there are not too many visitors in government websites compared to the commercial sites.
And this has to change.
On 20 December 2010, the DOST will launch the 'science.ph' project initiated by its information and marketing arm --- the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII), currently headed by Raymund E. Liboro, a name very familiar in the world of public relations.
The new website came from STII’s science.ph project. It was originally a search engine, a portal that goes into science information in the Philippines. The edge of this portal over other popular search engines is that science terminologies that can't be 'googled' can be found here. It was developed by STII; contents of which are information perceived as hidden, so to speak, in the archives of the different libraries in the country. It is a search engine that easily locates any hard-to-find S&T information in the Philippine databases. In the course of its natural progression, it has become an integral part of a bigger project called 'Ignite the Mind', another STII-led initiative.
Evolving to a website, the name "science.ph" is not only short and catchy but takes an appearance of a commercial website. It contains everything and anything you want from an S&T website. In fact, this portion called 'Blogs' is very much part of the new look. Here, important current issues can be discussed and shared with the growing number of Internet users. We are practically opening ourselves to the entire world.
Making a dent
Should this effort make a difference in information sharing, the DOST hopes to lead the rest of the government system in making more attractive, easily accessible, and information-rich websites. Taking a more critical look on the effort, I believe this is the long overdue 'coming out' of DOST and STII including all the DOST agencies and offices.
This is a bold step in sharing vital information and goings-on in the Department by demystifying the age-old belief that S&T information is only for the learned and that scientists live in ivory towers.
By the end of 2010, infrastructure for 'science.ph' is slowly being put in the rights places. And the beginning of 2011 will witness the rolling out of all its important components.
For us who are very much involved in content development and information dissemination, this is a welcome development. More importantly, the DOST has started to open up its doors not only to Filipinos but also to the entire online community all over the worldwide web.
This audacious step is expected to cater not only to intellectuals or the Internet savvy. This is for everyone regardless of age, creed, religion, sex, political and sexual orientations, and what have you. Now, who says that S&T information is for the geeks and nerds alone? After all, science and technology are very much part of every e aspect of life.