- The Obfuscation of Culture — Tumblr and LJ users sep ar ate w ords thr ou gh o dd spacin g in o rde r to fo ol sea rc h en g i nes. Chinese users hide political messages in image attachments to seemingly benign posts on Weibo. General Pretraeus communicated solely through draft mode. 4chan scares away the faint of heart with porn. More technically astute groups communicate through obscure messaging systems. (via Beta Knowledge)
- log2viz — an open-source demonstration of the logs-as-data concept for Heroku apps. Log in and select one of your apps to see a live-updating dashboard of its web activity.
- Doctorow at LoC (YouTube) — video of Cory Doctorow’s talk on ebooks, libraries, and copyright at the Library of Congress.
- When TED Lost Control of its Crowd (HBR) — golden case study. You can’t “manage” a crowd—or a community—through transactional exchanges or economic incentives. You need something stronger: shared purpose
Gamification is Bullshit, Design for Impact, Public Domain, and Network Analysis
- Gamification is Bullshit (Ian Bogost) — [G]amification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway. Bullshitters are many things, but they are not stupid. The rhetorical power of the word “gamification” is enormous, and it does precisely what the bullshitters want: it takes games—a mysterious, magical, powerful medium that has captured the attention of millions of people—and it makes them accessible in the context of contemporary business.
- Design for (Real) Social Impact (Vimeo) — single best talk I’ve seen on making philanthropy effective. (via Rowan Simpson)
- The Public Domain Review — an online weekly journal dedicated to treasures that have entered the public domain and articles on them. The home page currently features: Boris Karloff in “Last of the Mohicans”, the Boston Revolution in psychotherapy, “Was Charles Darwin an Atheist?”, the Orson Welles audio show, “100 Years of The Secret Garden”, a feature on a 1300 year old illustrated work on the Book of Revelations, and more.
- SNAP — the Stanford Network Analysis Platform, a library for network and graph analysis. (via Joshua Schachter)
Checking in on the Library of Congress' Twitter archive, one year later.
One year after Twitter donated its archives, the Library of Congress is still building the infrastructure to make the data accessible to researchers.
Curated Kindle content, digital lessons from a web documentary, and the pursuit of concise categorization.
In the latest Publishing News: Dave Pell describes his new Delivereads project, Pete Meyers says "Welcome to Pine Point" is innovative and plain lovely to look at, and Open Library's George Oates discusses how a minimum viable record might work.
Library Game, Mac Security, Natural Programming, Selecting Metrics
- Find The Future — New York Public Library big game, by Jane McGonigal. (via Imran Ali)
- Enable Certificate Checking on Mac OS X — how to get your browser to catch attempts to trick you with revoked certificates (more of a worry since security problems at certificate authorities came to light). (via Peter Biddle)
- Clever Algorithms — Nature-Inspired Programming Recipes from AI, examples in Ruby. I hadn’t realized there were Artificial Immune Systems. Cool! (via Avi Bryant)
- Rethinking Evaluation Metrics in Light of Flickr Commons — conference paper from Museums and the Web. As you move from “we are publishing, you are reading” to a read-write web, you must change your metrics. Rather than import comments and tags directly into the Library’s catalog, we verify the information then use it to expand the records of photos that had little description when acquired by the Library. [...] The symbolic 2,500th record, a photo from the Bain collection of Captain Charles Polack, is illustrative of the updates taking place based on community input. The new information in the record of this photo now includes his full name, death date, employer, and the occasion for taking the photo, the 100th Atlantic crossing as ocean liner captain. An additional note added to the record points the Library visitor to the Flickr conversation and more of the story with references to gold shipments during WWI. Qualitative measurements, like level of engagement, are a challenge to gauge and convey. While resources expended are sometimes viewed as a cost, in this case they indicate benefit. If you don’t measure the right thing, you’ll view success as a failure. (via Seb Chan)
HarperCollins' cap on digital lending caused a dustup across the publishing industry.
OverDrive announced a library lending cap would be implemented by HarperCollins for its titles. Also, in what slid a bit under the radar due to the HarperCollins news, Overdrive also announced it would begin auditing library digital lending territories.
As libraries stuggle for funding, we're forced to imagine a world without them.
Libraries around the world are underfunded and struggling to stay open. If they ceased to exist, how would that affect publishing?