Why Links Matter: Linking Is the Lifeblood of the Web

GigaOM • July 6, 2012

Truthiness gauge. Read blogger Mathew Ingram's essay on the importance of ethical linking in establishing the authenticity and integrity of online content. In the web's Wild West environment where readers must determine for themselves the validity of online content, links can serve as a valuable benchmark.

Linking isn't just polite it's a crucial element in the functioning of the web says the author. He's right. Maria Popova, the Brainpickings bricolage-ist, argues along with some colleagues for conventions that would separate politeness from citation. Not a bad idea. They suggest hat tip signified ↬ and via signaled with a sideways S (which doesn't display here). (Michalko)

Please RT

n+1 • Issue 14, Summer 2012

Tweet nothings? While Twitterverse is often excoriated as a repository of banality, the condensed format "in practice has often functioned in a way opposite to the blog. Of course a tweet is just a tweet, not to be made too much of. Even so, La Rochefoucauld, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, Cyril Connolly, the Kafka of The Blue Octavo Notebooks, Cioran—they would have been excellent tweeters, and the best tweets, today, rival their greatest one liners." Read on for a balanced view on the love-it-or-hate-it phenomenon.

I was hanging on with the author as a certain category of tweeting was dismissed as the "I have nothing to say but I want to say something" variety of communication. But when they went after David Foster Wallace as "accidental progenitor of the blogorrheic style" my hackles went up. If you've never read his essays Harper's Magazine, in a memorial gesture, generously made available as PDFs all his work for them. Try "Shipping Out: On the (Nearly Lethal) Comforts of a Luxury Cruise" which was eventually published as the title essay in his book A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again.


Leah Price on the History of Reading

The Browser • July 4, 2012

Why we read. Check out Harvard Program Chair Leah Price's five picks on the history of reading to learn why the afterlife of used books often depended on their paper quality; why the ascendance of rail travel over horse-drawn carriage led to a rise in readership; and why bodice-ripping romance readers feel empowered.

You'll note some books called out here that have been mentioned in previous issues of Above the Fold. I was particularly struck by Price's remarks about the anonymity that e-readers bring to reading in public. It echoed a remark by a colleague who allowed that he felt differently about interrupting somebody who was reading a magazine than someone who was reading a book. Now you can't tell. (Michalko)

Microsoft's Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture that Felled a Tech Giant

Vanity Fair • July 3, 2012

Paradise lost. Microsoft pioneered a prototype e-reader in 1998, but bureaucratic blinders and a bell curve culture has derailed the company's lead. Read on for insight into how not to manage innovation.

This is a nice summary of the full magazine article. If you can get a copy it's worth a read e.g.  Paul Allen's take on first meeting Steve Ballmer—he looked like a Stalinist police officer. (Michalko)

Global Cross Channel Retailing Report

Ebeltoft Group/Shop.org • July 11, 2012

Cross-connections. Peruse this report on current trends in cross-channel marketing for insight into the future of organizational communications. As businesses increasingly leverage multi-channel marketing opportunities, consumers will expect similar connections with their community-based organizations.

This is a hefty .pdf that is worth downloading. It discusses the different approaches different retail industries have taken to exploit the various buying channels like social-local-mobile, connected stores, or researching online and purchasing offline. You have to use your imagination, but consider the library in the retail information business and you'll see analogies. (Michalko)

Software Could Reconstruct Medieval Mosaics

The Art Newspaper • July-August 2012

Puzzling over the past. The British arm of the World Monuments Fund is sponsoring a project to reassemble some 5,000 medieval stained glass fragments from the famed Coventry Cathedral using software designed to piece together Cold War documents. Fund CEO Jonathan Foyle says the opportunity for medievalists is "like rediscovering [a painting from] Picasso's blue period in fragments in a basement. It is a magnificent puzzle."

Call me when you're done. (Chuck Henry at CLIR was always quite keen on the potential for technologies developed in the intelligence and forensic communities to be deployed in support of scholarship and commissioned a report.) (Michalko)

Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, where can you read about the possible impact of the DPLA on public library usage and funding?

Get the answer.