In this issue:
O'Reilly Radar • April 29, 2009
When is a book not a book? When it's The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly. And even if the thought of working your way through a narrative that's been chopped up into 140-character tweets sends a chill through your soul, O'Reilly makes some good points about how the online medium "changes the presentation, narrative and structure of the book, not just its price or format." It's time to take a fresh look at the e-book and try to imagine how publishers could use the new medium to make the reading experience "richer, more accessible and more powerful."
NewScientist • April 30, 2009
Google-gazing. It turns out that real-time Web search information not only provides insight into what people are thinking about at any given moment—it's also a surprisingly powerful predictor of recent trends such as economic downturn and the flu outbreak. Google researchers found that adding data from Google Trends to trend prediction models used by economists amplified the results, delivering "better forecasts in almost every case." This is just one more example of collective intelligence trumping conventional wisdom.
Museum Marketing • April 2009
Everyone is a curator. Social network users spend a lot of time selecting and sharing content—"curating" their online space. This article suggests that museums are well positioned to leverage these activities by providing access to rich and interesting content that can be shared with others or "mashed up" as part of a user's creative outlet. MoMA's recent move to link its Web site to Facebook and Twitter is a start, and more museums should follow suit.
Slate • May 1, 2009
Are you bogged down in blogs? Slate pundit Farhad Manjoo says RSS Readers make it too easy to subscribe to any blog that catches your fancy—and then you're stuck with it for eternity, or at least until you unsubscribe. He suggests a way of organizing blog reading that does not clog up your inbox.
BBC News • April 30, 2009
Natural language Q&A. Wolfram Alpha, named after creator Stephen Wolfram, is the latest "computational knowledge engine" that responds to sentence querying, rather than keywords, and delivers the answer directly, rather than in a Web page results display. "Like interacting with an expert, it will understand what you're talking about, do the computation, and then present you with the results," says Wolfram. Alpha is free and will be launched sometime in May—check it out.
ReadWriteWeb • May 2, 2009
Is your Web site anthropologically correct? The subject of this article is another social Q&A site— Stack Overflow. Intriguing are the founder's list of mistakes that many Web sites make (hint: registration is a click-through killer) and the "nine building blocks of social engineering" that include things like Karma (people are willing to do for free what they're not willing to do for small amounts of money).
- Monster Mashathon Recap
- The California Ephemera Project Blog
- Out of the Locker Room and into the Classroom
- Impact Measures and Library Selection
- Digging into Digital
- Information Architecture and Music