Spring cleaning

May 30th, 2011

I just revisited this page for the first time in a number of months and was dismayed to find that the four most recent posts were all error codes. I tend blogs about as badly as I do houseplants.

Anyway, I’m cleaning those up and turning off the automatic Delicious feed for now, but have plans to bring more posts to this site.

Disruption, Aggregation, and Third Parties

November 29th, 2010

Disruption, Aggregation, and Third Parties

Interesting piece by David Crotty regarding the role that aggregator services play in the publishing and media industries today. From the article: "To create the custom experience your readers demand, you need to be able to deliver all of the products they’re after, not just the ones produced by your own company. Individual silos can’t compete in this environment."

He also points out the problem with using third-party groups to manage these aggregation services: they can then potentially take over the industry, as iTunes has with online music distribution. The solution for publishers and content producers is far from clear, but Crotty suggests that part of the answer may be forming coalitions among traditional competitors.

When librarians are obstacles

November 18th, 2010

When librarians are obstacles

Blog post from Molly Kleinman, taking on the accusation that librarians are frequent obstacles to innovation and progress. Key excerpt: "If they see us as an obstacle it is only a matter of time before we become obsolete. We want those experimenters and innovators to view the library as both a resource for and a partner in their work, and we can do that by funding innovation among our own staff, expanding our definition of the library’s role on campus, and embracing the possibility of failure. If we neglect to do these things, we don’t just risk becoming obsolete, we guarantee it."

Marred by Shelving

November 16th, 2010

Marred by Shelving

From Tom Peters, thoughts on the increasingly-frequent question of whether and how libraries can lend out ebooks. "We need a radical new way to circulate etexts," Peters writes, emphasizing that ebooks are simply not the same animal as their printed counterparts.

He concludes with the interesting point, "perhaps for all these centuries lending libraries have been good information services marred by shelving – by the need to process, handle, label, shelve, re-handle, and preserve all those pulpy, plastic, scratchable, breakable, eminently decayable text-bearing devices. If libraries got out of the device business, we could concentrate on content and services."

Jaz drives, spiral notebooks, and SCSI: how we lose scientific data

November 16th, 2010

Jaz drives, spiral notebooks, and SCSI: how we lose scientific data

From Ars Technica. John Timmer writes a nice overview of why digital preservation is important in the context of scientific data, and highlights just how easy it is to fall behind.

Start-Up Path Aims for More Personal Social Network

November 16th, 2010

Start-Up Path Aims for More Personal Social Network

From Claire Cain Miller, an overview of startup project Path, which aims to be a new kind of social network that limits the number of connections any one user can have to 50.
The idea of a more personal, intimate network is appealing on one hand, but Path ultimately doesn't seem to be a game-changer; I found the co-founder Dave Morin's quote especially interesting, regarding revenue for Path via advertising: “Because people are posting such immense amounts of information about their lives, there could be more opportunities for brands to talk to Path users in a more personal way than they ever have before.”
Just what I need… more "personalized" advertising.

E-Reader Sales Expected to Be Big This Holiday

November 15th, 2010

E-Reader Sales Expected to Be Big This Holiday

Julie Bosman reports on expected e-reader sales trends for the coming holiday season. Out of total book sales, e-books now constitute 9 to 10 percent of publishers' earnings, and analysts expect that the number of circulating e-readers will jump to over 10 million after this holiday season.

iPad Apps That Provide Recipes and Avoid Strife

November 15th, 2010

iPad Apps That Provide Recipes and Avoid Strife

Roy Furchgott of the New York Times reviews the Epicurious and Allrecipes iPad apps. While both apps sound interesting and useful, what got my attention was that he described the iPad as a "superior kitchen companion." My mom bought an iPad earlier in 2010 and does, indeed, use it in the kitchen; maybe she was ahead of the curve.

‘too hard to keep’ archive

November 14th, 2010

‘too hard to keep’ archive

Explanation from Jason Lazarus, the curator:

I have started an archive of photographs deemed ‘too hard to keep.’ Submissions may include photos of friends, family, pets, places/objects too hard to view again. The reason you can’t live with the photo or photo album I do not need to know. I am creating a repository for these images so that they may exist without being destroyed.

Interesting idea. He details the submission guidelines more on his (linked) blog.

Library Videos Won’t Survive, and There Go Our Circ Stats

September 25th, 2010

Library Videos Won’t Survive, and There Go Our Circ Stats

Annoyed Librarian writes about DVD circulation in libraries, arguing that libraries are in a losing battle against content providers when it comes to digital information. She writes, “With digital books, videos, and music, the creators have the control, and are so far doing a pretty good job of leaving libraries out of the loop. They don’t care about ‘information access’ or any of that baloney. They care about sales, and the less libraries are able to lend, the more sales they get.”

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