The Long-Form Resurrection: Will Snappy Websites Kill Off Lengthy Magazine Reads?

The Independent • July 15, 2011

Thumbsuckers, unite. Fans of long-form writing will want to peruse this review of online curators dedicated to the preservation of "thumbsucker" journalism. "To paraphrase tech commentator Clive Thompson, it's the torrent of short-form thinking—the incessant texts, tweets, status updates and simplistic search engine optimization-geared news stories—that seems to have speeded up audience desire for lengthier, more meditative pieces."

What an unfortunate adjective. I hope it doesn't catch on. But I do believe that the "long-form" has caught on again. I've touted Longform, Instapaper, Readability and others in ATF for quite awhile now. This article ends with a very convenient list. Get there and start bookmarking. ( Michalko)

Goodbye to Bricks and Mortar

More Intelligent Life/The Economist • July 4, 2011

Libraries R Us. The days of bricks-and-mortar bookstores may be waning, but that may open new opportunities for libraries to fill the void. Where else will book enthusiasts gather to browse bestsellers, tap away on free wifi connections and maybe grab a cup of coffee while they're at it?

The suggestion that Borders sowed the seeds of its own demise by creating a "pressure-free" environment doesn't ring true to me. Amazon, eBooks, etc. seem to me to have reconfigured the landscape in which Borders and other bookstores operate. ( Michalko)

The State of Influencer Theory on the Social Web

SmartBlog on Social Media  • July 15, 2011

From Tipping Point to Six Degrees. Leveraging the power of influencers is an important strategy in building and maintaining online communities. Read on for a concise overview of competing influencer theories and their proponents. This is not a "how-to" article, but rather provides a solid background for further discussions.

This is a nice summary of the theories that have emerged around influence in the Web. The launch of the European music service, Spotify, in the US recently is a good example of leveraging Über-influencers to create demand. Lucky I knew one. Glad to have gotten an invitation. ( Michalko)

Is the Internet Bad for Our Brains? The Answer Is Subtle and Complex, But Quite Reassuring

Scholarly Kitchen • July 6, 2011

You knew it all along. This summary of a UK study titled The Impact of Digital Technologies on Human Wellbeing provides a quick overview of the findings, which refute popular claims that our brains are being rewired or seduced into addictions. Check out the article, and then click to the study's executive summary for a dispassionate look at how technology is affecting (and not affecting) our lives.

A very nicely presented (why don't more reports explicitly provide space for you to make notes?) and thoughtful report. Don't get into a Shirky, Carr, or Kelly cocktail argument without having read this. ( Michalko)

Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age

Rorotoko • July 6, 2011

Déjà vu. Author Ann Blair encapsulates her research on information management methods through the ages. This thought-provoking overview will inspire new appreciation for modern digital organizational and cataloging capabilities, as well as awe at human ingenuity in pre-digital times.

Select, Summarize, Sort and Store. We've been doing that for a long time as this article confirms. The mechanisms sure have changed. If you want to see what the "sorting closet" conceived by Vincent Placcius in his 1689 instructions for storing one's notes taken on slips of paper looked like, click here to go to the digital page image at European Cultural Heritage Online. ( Michalko)

Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, what schema reworks Library of Congress Subject Headings rules to produce a more machine-friendly schema that can handle a large volume of materials more cheaply and efficiently?

Get the answer.