What Do University Presses Do?

University of Minnesota Press • 13 March 2013

Reminder. University presses perform a unique function in scholarship dissemination when they help transform limited-interest subject matter into popular reading. Read on for University of Minnesota Press editor Jason Weidemannn's story of how an anthropological dissertation on sleep habits evolved into the self-help book, The Slumbering Masses: Sleep, Medicine, and Modern American Life.

I'm not sure how typical this story or the press services outlined may be in the broader university press landscape, but it's a nice one to hear. I particularly enjoyed the infographic that accompanies the article. There's more about the dissertation to book traverse and about the book's content on Weidemann's blog. (Michalko)

When "Likes" Can Shed Light

The Wall Street Journal • 11 March 2013

Thumbs down. An algorithmic analysis of the "Likes" of 58,000 Facebook users extrapolates that data to make deeply personal predictions about a user's behavior in unrelated areas. Read on for more on why researchers say seemingly innocuous behavior, like "liking" Austin, Texas; "Big Momma" movies; and a statement about relationships, when combined, could be used to predict drug use.

Okay. This is upsetting in one way (that's scary they can be so accurate . . . ) and amusing in a lot of others, e.g., Applebee's is not associated with being single. Take the quiz. (Michalko)

How WordPress Thrives with a 100% Remote Workforce

HBR Blog Network • 15 March 2013

Remote control. Author Scott Berkun touts the benefits of working at home, based on his experience as a team leader for WordPress parent firm Automattic. One size does not fit all when it comes to managing a creative workforce—check out Berkun's lessons learned on how to encourage innovation amongst a geographically dispersed staff.

This along with the next article is a good point-counterpoint in the current debate touched off by Marissa Mayer's decree. Some sensible comments here—"Not all remote work is the same." My colleague, Roy Tennant, was sufficiently enraged that he let loose on the topic saying among other things "what does it mean to have a global organization, like OCLC does? It means that virtually everyone is virtual to someone else." (Michalko)

Telecommuting and Yahoo's Desperate Need for Innovation

IEEE Spectrum • 15 March 2013

Being there. San Francisco State University's John Sullivan backs up Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayers on her decision to switch to 100% onsite workforce. Google and Apple both prohibit telecommuting, and Sullivan says Mayers' move will put Yahoo on the path to becoming a serial innovator like its competitors. Sullivan cites Google’s data as the definitive answer on the subject, dismissing other viewpoints as "opinions" only. Read on to find out more on the critical roles that cafeteria lines and table designs play in fostering innovation.

Back at you strongly. Q: What about the Richard Branson credo: "Give people the freedom of where to work, and they will excel." John Sullivan: "So he's wrong, and he has no data to back up his statements. He's equivalent to Donald Trump. He has an opinion. Good for him." Dr. Sullivan also has a consulting business in web design and applications. This is their website. Make you confident? (Michalko)

Why I Stopped Pirating and Started Paying for Media

Lifehacker • 14 March 2013

Lose the DRM. Blogger Thorin Klosowski says his life as a media pirate, aka copyright infringer, was motivated by the clunky interfaces and irrational pricing models typical of digital content sales a decade ago. Now that's all changed, because it's actually easier to play by the rules. The lesson here for digital media? Make it easy, transparent and durable.

Cost and convenience are the variables in the equation. But there's other kinds of piracy—No TV, No Subscription, No Problem. (Michalko)

Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette

The New York Times • 10 March 2013

Don't write, don't call. Digital etiquette is a rapidly moving target. Who knew it was now a transgression to ask for directions or send a thank you? And forget about leaving voice mail! Check out Nick Bilton's blog on how communications' perceived value and deficit are changing expectations and tolerance levels.

Whether you find this informative will depend on the age group with whom you interact most frequently. Don't ask me, I still send postcards. It is no longer the postcard age. (Michalko)

Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, what new API provides a real-time stream of newly added records of library collections and published materials to WorldCat?

Get the answer.