Research Publications Newsletters Above the Fold Above the Fold - 20 October 2014

 
 

100 Ideas That Changed the Web

Brainpickings.org • 10 September 2014

How many ideas changed the Web? This is a summary by the marvelous Maria Popova of Jim Boulton's book of the same name. Depending on your age and your erudition you'll know some or all of what she calls out here. You will definitely learn and enjoy.

We've been away from ATF for a little bit with organizational planning activities, etc. I thought this was a great way to jump back in. I could not resist the juxtaposition of Hedy Lamarr and Henriette Avram.

I miss Henriette. She was born 95 years ago last week, 7 October. (Michalko)

 

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Q&A: The FT's Gillian Tett on Separating Digital from Print and Tailoring News to New Reading Habits

Neiman Lab • 30 September 2014

It's news but the value is context. The US editor of The Financial Times talks about what it means to be digital first, focused on putting out a fantastic website, and then using what they can from that in the print edition.

The FT is a bellwether as news and news organizations evolve. This is a candid discussion of where they are putting effort and how they are redefining the way they do their work—emphasizing breaking news in the morning, contextualized news throughout the day and longform leisure print reading on the weekend. See this memo to the staff from the executive editor. It's pretty firm. The emphasis on providing context for the news relates to the library domain and the ways in which collections now extend to processes and aftermaths. See the work done on The Evolving Scholarly Record. (Michalko)

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On "Dark Talent", MOOCs, Universities, and Startups: An Interview with Our First Professor-In-Residence

Andreesen Horowitz Blog • 25 September 2014

These VCs have a Professor-in-Residence. Professor Vijay Pande of Stanford University is joining the venture firm as its liaison to academia because so many of the companies they fund have their roots in the academy. He's got some interesting things to say about how universities can support entrepreneurs, the role universities play in innovation ecosystems, MOOCs as the "newspapers" of academia, and just what makes Stanford so special when it comes to startups.

Worth a quick scan. He has some interesting observations and the Stanford exceptionalism is present but manageable. You may know Professor Pande if you were in an office with geeks for any length of time because one of them would certainly have been running the Folding@home project software which attempted to understand protein (mis)folding through the use of distributed computing. And looked exceptionally cool. (Michalko)

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Beyond Forecasting: Creating New Strategic Narratives

MIT Sloan Management Review • 16 September 2014

Does your strategic story link to your past? How do you develop strategy in a business environment characterized by rapid change and considerable uncertainty about the future? The authors suggest that you must create a story that links a company's past, present and future. They discovered that, to develop innovative new strategies managers needed to craft narratives that linked elements of the company's past and present with a new vision for the future—a process that Sarah Kaplan and Wanda Orlikowski describe as rethinking the past, reconsidering present concerns and reimagining the future.

This is one of those articles that require you to register in order to read a limited number of free articles. This is worth the hassle. If you are a library manager trying to negotiate the deep change necessary in our domain this will be very helpful. The authors are very sensible and know that an innovative future is not about forgetting the past. All of us know that is a non-starter in library change efforts. What you want rather is to "engage directly with the past to shape a narrative that connects a particular understanding of history to a new future direction. (Michalko)

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Why Startups Fail, According to Their Founders

Fortune.com • 25 September 2014

Startups don't fail because they run out of money. When your Silicon Valley startup fails it has become customary to write a public postmortem. Medium, the publishing platform co-founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, is the preferred medium. An analysis of 101 of these produced a view of the reasons given for failure. An astonishing 42% were because consumers did not want the product.

Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley have burned through a lot of cash enroute to discovering the absence of a market need. I was glad to see the authors call out the Steve Jobs observation—"A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."—as having enabled the ethos of frivolous product development enroute to consumer indifference. It was only one of his dangerous lessons. (Michalko)

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How Do Trustworthy Leaders Behave?

Stanford Business • 19 September 2014

This is a short summary of some signs that a boss has your—and the organization's—best interests at heart. It's based on the work of the Stanford social psychologist Roderick Kramer.

I was glad that these observations weren't just another version of the personality cult view of business leadership. They stress that there have to be rules and processes that spread trust through the organization. It's as important to trust sideways and down as it is up. (Michalko)

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Guessing, Wearing, Swearing

IEEE Computer Society 2022 Report
IEEECS • February 2014

The Problem With Wearable Technology, According To "Blade Runner" Designer Syd Mead
Co.Design • 2 October 2014

Here's What All Those Nonsensical Restaurant Terms Mean
kitchenette.jezebel.com • 1 October 2014

The first is longform (Really. 163 pages) and identifies the 23 game-changing technologies that will have the biggest impact on our world by 2022. MOOCs are still on the list.
The second says what I wish I'd said about "wearables." Check out the further list of links at the end of the article.
The third is full of NSFW language that reminded me of my brief stints as a short order cook and a server. Read the comments for some good anecdotes. (Michalko)

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Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, in addition to individual academic libraries, what is the network reconfiguring?

Get the answer.