Rebooting Library Privacy in the Age of the Network

Harvard University Blog • May 19, 2011

Private matters. David Weinberger takes a contextual look at library privacy policies and suggests that the rise of e-lending will open up new avenues for networked sharing as well as boost requirements for privacy protection. Weinberger does a good job of pulling together the salient issues and projecting toward the future.

Worth some considered thought. I think he's right that the way in which the library manifests its respect and support for privacy will need to change if we are to be successful in the networked world. I am not sure that the local library, whether public or academic, is at the right scale to aggregate the social exhaust into anything meaningful. Lorcan has drawn our attention to this scalar problem for a few years now, e.g. "the social aspect of the creation and reception of knowledge has tended to happen outside the library, in the seminar room, the conversation, the review." ( Michalko)

Why We Need Two Separate Digital Library Systems—One for Academics and Another for the Rest of America • May 15, 2011

One size does NOT fit all. David H. Rothman uses the "good fences make good neighbors" adage to make the case for a dual digital library system that accommodates the needs of both academicians and ordinary folk. Check out Rothman's suggestions on potential synergies between the two systems—breaking down the work of digital transformation into smaller bites might make the whole process more palatable.

The DPLA discussion and working sessions have been remarkably open, making it quite clear that there's a lot more to be done before there is there. This particular post is by one of the most active commentators on the DPLA activity. Check this DPLA e-mail thread for a big (and deserved?) slap back on the idea expressed in this article. ( Michalko)

A Long-Wave Theory on Today's Digital Revolution

Strategy+Business • May 16, 2011

The future is flat. Historian Elin Whitney-Smith expounds on the history of information revolutions, from the demise of the hunter-gatherer society to the fall of Rome to the current digital transformation. Read this interview for her thoughts on what constitutes disruptive information, and think about ways to position ourselves as winners (hint: it's better to be an English weaver than a Spanish grandee).

A very intriguing précis of the forces that are shaping the change in whose midst we currently work. I like her calculation that "in recent information revolutions, there is a kind of rule of halves." That is, the next one takes half as long as the one that preceded it. And I was particularly taken with the event from which she dates the current digital revolution—1957—when the Tracy-Hepburn movie Desk Set was released. ( Michalko)

The Power of Curation—"The Drudge Report," Connectedness, Serendipity and Simplicity

Scholarly Kitchen • May 17, 2011

Who knew. A new Pew report shows that while it's no surprise that Google is responsible for directing about 30% of visitors to news sites, a whopping 7% of news site traffic is driven by the Drudge Report—more than Facebook (3.3%) or Twitter (1%). The results prove Matt Drudge as a successful curator and this article reveals why.

Worth a read for the overview of referral statistics and the tantalizing idea that there is a possibility for an "academic" Drudge Report. (Confession: the last time I looked at the Drudge Report was probably ten years ago when it looked like this. Still does.) ( Michalko)

The Sad, Beautiful Fact that We're All Going to Miss Almost Everything

NPR • April 18, 2011

Reality check. This thoughtful essay examines our limitations when it comes to absorbing all the good music, literature, art and other cultural treasures that comprise our human heritage. Author Linda Holmes suggests the only sensible responses are culling—eliminating huge swaths of material in an effort to conquer the remainder—or surrendering, which is an option we can all identify with.

My new favorite verb. Curation is for sissies and optimists.;) ( Michalko)

Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, what is "search engine interoperability"?

Get the answer.