Friday, December 4, 2009
So, as we near the end of the year and all those lists chock full of prognostication appear this might be prescient. Imho, these lists and awards are simply meditations on the present but at least that's better than remediating the past. Hmm, or is it?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Twitter Now Asks “What’s Happening”
Posted: 19 Nov 2009 10:45 AM PST
Twitter has implemented a small change today, which by comparison to Retweets and UI redesigns isn’t such a huge deal but it’s definitely worth mention. Twitter’s prompting question above the box from which you Tweet from has been “What are you doing” since the microblogging platform launched. Today, it’s been changed to “What’s Happening.”
It’s a wise move because “What are you doing” seemed too narrow for the platform. Broadening the question to match all the things people use twitter for was necessary. Considering that Twitter is now used for breaking news, that term doesn’t really cover it. Here’s the full text of co-founder Biz Stone’s blog post:
People, organizations, and businesses quickly began leveraging the open nature of the network to share anything they wanted, completely ignoring the original question, seemingly on a quest to both ask and answer a different, more immediate question, “What’s happening?” A simple text input field limited to 140 characters of text was all it took for creativity and ingenuity to thrive.
Sure, someone in San Francisco may be answering “What are you doing?” with “Enjoying an excellent cup of coffee,” at this very moment. However, a birds-eye view of Twitter reveals that it’s not exclusively about these personal musings. Between those cups of coffee, people are witnessing accidents, organizing events, sharing links, breaking news, reporting stuff their dad says, and so much more.
The fundamentally open model of Twitter created a new kind of information network and it has long outgrown the concept of personal status updates. Twitter helps you share and discover what’s happening now among all the things, people, and events you care about. “What are you doing?” isn’t the right question anymore—starting today, we’ve shortened it by two characters. Twitter now asks, “What’s happening?”
We don’t expect this to change how anyone uses Twitter, but maybe it’ll make it easier to explain to your dad.
Cows for Kilowatts solves one of the most significant sources of water pollution and greenhouse gases emissions in most developing economies - slaughterhouse waste. The anaerobic fixed film reactor featured in the Cows to Kilowatts project cleans up the waste stream and converts the collected organic waste into methane. The methane can then be used to generate electricity, or function as cheap cooking gas.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The report, Twitter and Status Updating, Fall 2009, is linked here.
Lastly, and of note, the report states that 19% of internet users claim to use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to view updates about others. When Pew surveyed the same group in April 2009 and in December 2008, 11% of internet users claimed to use a status-update service.
Monday, October 26, 2009
First, some great video(s) of Howard Rheingold speaking on/to this. Check it out:
There's also an interesting article in the Charlotte Observer, OMG! Teachers Say Texting Can Be Good for Teens, that's got me fired up (in a good way). In short, a study by researchers (see http://www.csudh.edu/psych/lrosen.htm and scroll down to "Recent Research Study") says that texting may actually help teens in writing informal essays as well as other writing assignments.
Lastly, the official word from NCTE...adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, February 15, 2008
Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Twenty-first century readers and writers need to
* Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
* Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
* Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
* Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
* Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
* Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
Friday, October 2, 2009
"Every day, we are inundated with vast amounts of information. A 24-hour news cycle and thousands of global television and radio networks, coupled with an immense array of online resources, have challenged our long-held perceptions of information management. Rather than merely possessing data, we must also learn the skills necessary to acquire, collate, and evaluate information for any situation. This new type of literacy also requires competency with communication technologies, including computers and mobile devices that can help in our day-to-day decisionmaking. National Information Literacy Awareness Month highlights the need for all Americans to be adept in the skills necessary to effectively navigate the Information Age."
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Harvard's DASH for Open Access
September 1, 2009—Harvard's leadership in open access to scholarship took a significant step forward this week with the public launch of DASH—or Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard—a University-wide, open-access repository. More than 350 members of the Harvard research community, including over a third of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, have jointly deposited hundreds of scholarly works in DASH.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
San Francisco has a long history of innovation. We are home to hundreds of technology companies that are changing the way the world operates from Twitter to WordPress to Kiva.
In an effort to engage our highly skilled workforce we are launching DataSF.org, an initiative designed to increase access to city data.
The new web site will provide a clearinghouse of structured, raw and machine-readable government data to the public in an easily downloadable format. For example, there will be updated crime incident data from the police department and restaurant inspection data from the Department of Public Health. The initial phase of the web site includes more than 100 datasets, from a range of city departments, including Police, Public Works, and the Municipal Transportation Agency.
We imagine creative developers taking apartment listings and city crime data and mashing it up to help renters find their next home or an iPhone application that shows restaurant ratings based on health code violations.
The idea behind the site is to open up San Francisco government and tap into the creative expertise of our greatest resource – our residents. We hope DataSF.org will create a torrent of innovation similar to when the developer community was given access to the platforms behind popular technologies and devices like Facebook and Apple’s iPhone.
Our effort to improve access to city data has already led to the creation of new services never imagined within the walls of government. Earlier this summer, our Department of Environment released recycling data that was used by a third party to develop EcoFinder, an iPhone application that helps residents recycle based on their location.
By bringing city data and communities together in one location, we hope to stimulate local industry, create jobs and highlight San Francisco’s creative culture and attractiveness as a place to live and work.
As we look to deepen and broaden citizen engagement we will face common challenges: resistance to change, political will, and sustaining data streams from government sources to name a few. Collaboration with citizens, non-profits, vendors, academia, and our peers in government will be critical to overcoming these barriers. It will also take leadership as we’ve seen from President Obama and his CIO, Vivek Kundra to establish our ideals and set forth a shared vision for a more transparent and open government.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
My point is that Google's hegemony isn't strictly deterministic, nor is it monolithic. Ala Michel de Certeau, there are tactics to Google's strategies. Or, to invoke other revolutionary refrains, by any means necessary...using the master's tools to dismantle the house...etc. These adages are familiar and the point is that engagement with this hegemony is inevitable and necessary. It can even yield more socially just outcomes. The only untenable action that is truly stricturing and oppressive is the weak liberal (v. strong engaged liberal) lament made from privilege spaces (i.e., flagship research one schools) without any alternate path toward social justice (e.g., Google will give inner city kids in D.C. access whereas a local elite institution will not).
There are a few quotes below, some links, and a fantastic video of Rhea Ballard-Thrower (a must-view for librarians especially).
"The idea that a student in Boston at a very exclusive private school can read the same books that a student somewhere in an underfunded, urban public school, that they can have the same access to the same materials is actually just amazing," said Professor Rhea Ballard-Thrower, law librarian at the Howard law school. "Books are the great equaliser."
"This project is part of a larger effort to democratise knowledge," Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said during a forum on the book settlement, hosted by the Howard law school. "To me, this project is so crucial because it helps to level the playing field at the most fundamental intersection of rights, knowledge and advocacy."
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Mick Jones, famed Clash guitarist, has opened his Rock-n-Roll Public Library in London. The repository is based in an office near Portobello Road, west London, close to where Mick Jones formed The Clash with Joe Stummer in 1976. The "guerrilla library" will include 10,000 items from the guitarist's private collection.
There's a video too...it's below.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
For immediate use: Wednesday, July 22, 2009
ibiblio helps found open-source advocacy group
CHAPEL HILL – ibiblio, a conservancy of freely available information on the Internet based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a founding member of a new group aiming to promote use of open-source technology by the federal government.
The new group announced today, Open Source for America, is a cross-section of more than 50 companies, universities, communities and individuals holding that government can and should become more transparent, participatory, secure and efficient by using open-source software.
The group also holds that the open-source community can drive collaborative innovation for government; and that a decision to use software should be driven solely by the requirements of the user. For more information about Open Source for America, visit http://opensourceforamerica.org.
The term “open source” refers to software that is distributed with its source code, so that user organizations and vendors can modify it for their own purposes. Most open-source licenses allow the software to be redistributed without restriction under the same terms of the license. For more information, visit www.opensource.org.
ibiblio, accessed at www.ibiblio.org, was one of the world’s first Web sites and is the largest collection of collections on the Internet. It is supported by UNC’s School of Information and Library Science and School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“We’re delighted to help explain and promote the rewards and benefits of open sources to the government sector,” said Paul Jones, director of ibiblio and clinical associate professor at both schools. “Open code is a giant step toward providing the kind of transparency and accountability that democracies require.”
Only two North Carolina universities are represented in Open Source for America: Carolina and N.C. State University in Raleigh. Others represented are the University of California’s Irvine and Merced branches; Carnegie Mellon; Oregon State University; and the University of Southern Mississippi.
ibiblio’s goals include expanding and improving the creation and distribution of open-source software; continuing UNC programs to develop an online library and archive; hosting projects that expand the concepts of transparency and openness; and serving as a model for other open-source projects.
School of Information and Library Science contact: Wanda Monroe, (919) 843-8337, firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Journalism and Mass Communication contact: Kyle York, (919) 966-3323, email@example.com
News Services contact: LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I am not sure this is legal and it is totally Big Brother creepy. The press has called it digital/electronic/virtual book burning which seems apropos. I did read a rumor that the FCC was looking into the legality of this too. In a related note, I read that Apple also possesses a remote "kill switch" for apps on the iPhone, though AAPL hasn't used this and says the kill switch is only for apps that might be malicious to the iPhone as a device. There are two stories on the AMZN brouhaha....TechCruch here and Information Week here.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MDC Inc. are today announcing $16.5 million in
grants to 15 community colleges in 6 states to expand remedial education efforts that
appear to be having significantly more success than the norm. More than 133,000 students
take remedial courses at the colleges involved and the rate at which students move from
remedial to college-level work went from 16 to 20 percent for those involved. The
strategies involve the use of technology to teach basic skills, mentorships and better
coordination between high schools and community colleges. The five states and their
participating colleges are: Connecticut (Housatonic Community College and Norwalk
Community College); Florida (Valencia Community College); North Carolina (Guilford
Technical Community College); Ohio (Cuyahoga Community College, Jefferson Community
College, North Central State College, Sinclair Community College and Zane State College);
Texas (Coastal Bend College, El Paso Community College, Houston Community College and
South Texas College); and Virginia (Danville Community College and Patrick Henry
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The comScore study found visitors in Russia to spend 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month on average.
To put that level of ‘engagement’ in perspective: the average world-wide is 3.7 hours and 525 pages per visitor. Among the 40 individual countries reported by comScore, Brazil ranked closest to Russia at 6.3 hours, followed by Canada (5.6 hours), Puerto Rico (5.3 hours) and Spain (5.3 hours). The United States is ranked number 9, with 4.2 hours and 477 pages per visitor per month.
According to comScore, 65 percent of the worldwide Internet audience engages in social networking activities. More precisely, of the 1.1 billion people age 15 and older worldwide who accessed the Internet from a home or work location in May 2009, 734.2 million visited at least one social networking site during the month.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
In short, she is drawing attention to the proliferation of science journals over the past few decades and the increasing interdisciplinarity of these journals. This is impacting scholarly communication in profound ways, and this paradigm positions the library as a nexus for this scholarly exchange and curation.
In the presentation, Tenopir alerted attendees to the trend of how scientists are now reading a wider swath of journals than ever before. For instance, "in 1977 scientists on average read at least one article in 13 journals per year, in 1995 scientists read 18, in 2003 they read 23, and in 2005 they read 33. An increase in the number of journals and articles read means that scientists are now reading each article much more quickly than before."
There is cross-pollination between disciplines and fields as a result too. This is particularly appealing to my interest in the cultural study of scholarly communication in technoscience.
The panel also mentioned what most librarians already know: that interdisciplinary scholars are most inclined to discover (re)sources in other disciplines based on linked citations or other networked sources. The assertion was also made that researchers in a few recent studies were described as valuing textbooks and conference proceedings less, as well as being older. This impacts the preference for new types of library service and curation across a diverse demographic (not just "younger" digitally literate researchers). And lastly, the panel suggested that libraries compose multidisciplinary library teams that may be embedded in the library or in departments across campus. This is a particularly exciting rearticulation of space and outreach to.
There's a lot of inspiration in this...to that end you may want to check out Tenopir's recent journal publications (linked here).
Monday, June 15, 2009
This is a good listen from the folks at TechCrunch, who are doing process journalism REALLY well. The interview struck me because there is a lot of talk (and has been for decades) in English/Composition about process and post-process pedagogy, but from my experience it's mostly lip service at most places. The typical writing program ultimately seems to follow the NY Times model of putting out a perfectly "polished" piece, however untimely and non-dialogic it may be.
Friday, June 12, 2009
remix stands in the way of the digital revolution.
‐‐the false fellow travelers: they will wave the banners of change with continuity on their agenda. What's at stake is not simply continuity vs. change but honesty vs. hypocrisy.
‐‐all those who would falsely equate the tools of the present with a turn away from history in the name of presentism, voguishness, or vocationalism
These are just a few, and I'd love to post more but Tech Comm awaits. Check out the Manifesto. It's a quick and inspiring read. After you've read it, do something.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
"A research team led by Mike Crandall and Karen Fisher of The University of Washington Information School, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is examining the impact of free access to computers and the Internet on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities."
Check out their site and emerging data if you are interested (and you should be).
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
“The national broadband plan has the potential to benefit millions of people by enabling high-capacity, ‘future-proof’ connections to the Internet in large multi-user locations such as libraries,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of ALA’s Washington Office. As the premier public computing centers around the country, libraries can serve as “community anchor institutions” by providing broadband, Sheketoff said.
What an idea. As we are all dealing with new realities and developments, it is heartening to know that there are possibilities for re-imagining relations and communities. Re-thinking the importance of libraries to communities is especially appealing to me. It is a great example of rethinking the places that impact our access to spaces of community and connection. While this is indeed a potential boon to libraries, the implicit mandate is that the libraries and librarians facilitating this change are radically different in some ways. So, in working toward such realities we need to ask how technology and social practice has changed the ways that individuals and groups access information and their needs (both known and unknown) for curation of said information.
Yes, this is a call for things like "Library 2.0" and beyond, but it's also a situation where progressive librarians need to be adept at understanding new literacies and lost literacies when it comes to critically assessing user needs and resources.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
My point to all this is that in none of the scenarios did anyone argue that the new paradigm Twitter has ushered in will disappear (or lose influence/user preference). We,whether we use Twitter or not, now live in a context that conceptualizes communication, social relation, social access, and social identity way differently. In Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, Sherry Turkle is recasting Fredric Jameson when she writes, "In simulation, identity can be fluid and multiple, a signifier no longer clearly points to a thing that is signified, and understanding is less likely to proceed through analysis than by navigation through virtual space" (p.49). Turkle's prescience is probably even astounding to her.
With the ubiquity/mobility of Internet access and the waning influence of traditional textual mediums, our social realities and identities are rapidly changing faster than Turkle or most anyone else could have imagined. What was previously abstracted, apprehended only through the best postmodern theory (like Jameson), is now material---made apparent in our daily practices and inscribed in the corporeal and the now sentient places we traverse.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Failure to Launch ListMicrosoft Vista
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The report is a 10-year analysis of hiring trends and faculty composition at community colleges and public and private colleges/universities. The findings show accelerated erosion of stable faculty positions with respectable wages and working conditions. AFT's report also shows that the trend of exploitation continues when it comes to "contingent" labor and graduate teaching assistants. Individuals within the academy that were interviewed about the report's findings, from my perusal of early reporting, seem to lay blame on market forces. To that I say, of course BUT individual departments and schools have allowed this to happen AND have even embraced this exploitation to protect the privileges of the already highly paid and tenured who enjoy low(er) teaching loads and academic freedom. This lowers the quality of intellectual exploration and education, as the bulk of the courses taught are done so by contingent labor. It is disgusting to see those in a position to take a stand simply step aside; and, in many cases, to witness the eagerness of continued hocking of bogus goods to graduate students and the nontenured by way of false hopes and promises.
By not owning the consequences of silence and hypocrisy the tenured and tenure-track are killing the academy and its promise. You know who you are.
Here's a great chart, from InsideHigherEd's synopsis of the report, with some key figures.
Distribution of Teaching Positions in Higher Education, 1997 and 2007
|All Institutions|| || |
|--Full time, tenured or tenure track||33.1%||27.3%|
|--Full time, non-tenure track||14.2%||14.9%|
|Public doctoral granting universities|| || |
|--Full time, tenured or tenure track||34.1%||28.9%|
|--Full time, non-tenure track||14.1%||14.4%|
|Public four-year colleges and universities|| || |
|--Full time, tenured or tenure track||51.0%||39.0%|
|--Full time, non-tenure track||9.0%||10.9%|
|Public community colleges|| || |
|--Full time, tenured or tenure track||20.6%||17.5%|
|--Full time, non-tenure track||13.4%||13.8%|
|Private doctoral-granting universities|| || |
|--Full time, tenured or tenure track||34.9%||29.2%|
|--Full time, non-tenure track||17.3%||17.9%|
|Private four-year colleges and universities|| || |
|--Full time, tenured or tenure track||39.3%||29%|
|--Full time, non-tenure track||15.6%||17.2%|
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Regardless, the point is that the project is full speed ahead and it looks as if there's no turning back to the way things used to be when it comes to searching, retrieving, and accessing information/books. Being a library science scholar I can't help but think what this continues to mean for librarians. I am still working through scenarios, as every librarian should be, because these are exciting and quickly changing times. The main challenge/excitement for me is the fact that how we conceptualize the institution of library and the practices that articulate that institution is way different now.
Libraries will never be able to scan books as quickly as Google. However, we will be able to curate better (or with different objectives) because information seekers need curation that isn't bound up in selling something. It's a knowledge project, and as long as librarians recognize that we can move successfully around in these new spaces without old institutional strictures.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
"As digital archives have become more important and more popular, there are varying schools of thought among scholars about how best to guarantee that they will be around for good. Some think that the best possibility is for the creators of the archives -- people generally with some passion for the topic -- to keep control. Others favor acquisition, thinking that larger entities provide more security and resources for the long run."
And here's the rub...
"The fate of "Paper of Record," a digital archive of early newspapers with a particularly strong collection of Mexican newspapers, may be cited in the years ahead as an example of the dangers of purchase by a large entity. Paper of Record was purchased (secretly) by Google in 2006, and shortly after Google took over management of the site, late last year, the archive disappeared from view. After weeks in which historians have complained to Google and others about the loss of their ability to work, the previous owner of the archive has received permission to bring the archive back for some period of time, and resumption of service could start as early next week."
Please read more here.
UNC's School of Information and Library Science was ranked #1 in 2009. UNC SILS shares this distinction with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The rankings are here. Of particular interest to me, UNC SILS is ranked number one in digital librarianship.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
And now, the Mac devotee response to MSFT!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
but, back to my claim this is good stuff. seriously. i'm serious. are those the same?
Monday, March 16, 2009
I like the map function on the site that details total winners...way to go NC!
The only augmentation I'd like to see in the future might be the creation of a "monkeywrench" category...a space to profile the radicals that are challenging the status quo in (sometimes uncomfortable) lesser aggrandized ways. I'm thinking of social, economic, and literacy justice areas. Granted, many on this year's list do this; but, a whole category of monkeywrenchers would be pretty cool. Good stuff regardless.