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Would best-selling novelist Len Deighton care to take a walk? It was 1968, and the IBM technician who serviced Deighton’s typewriters had just heard from Deighton’s personal assistant, Ms. Ellenor Handley, that she had been retyping chapter drafts for his book in progress dozens of times over. IBM had a machine that could help, the technician mentioned. They were being used in the new ultramodern Shell Centre on the south bank of the Thames, not far from his Merrick Square home.
“With the glut of self-published books on the market, the biggest obstacle for authors is discoverability – to rise above the noise and clutter and distinguish one’s work. A Rotten Tomatoes sort of rating system seems inevitable.
While you can’t yet make a trip to Washington D.C. and have casual perusal of all the world’s tweets, the technology to do exactly that is readily available—for a cost. Gnip, the organization feeding the tweets to the Library, is a social media data company that has exclusive access to the Twitter “firehose,” the never-ending, comprehensive stream of all of our tweets. Companies such as IBM pay for Gnip’s services, which also include access to posts from other social networks like Facebook and Tumblr. The company also works with academics and public policy experts, the type of people likely to make use of a free, government-sponsored Twitter archive when it comes to fruition.
Rural Indian consumers need only dial 58080 from their mobile phone to be connected with Apna Chaupal. From there they can browse various subscription packs focusing on categories including agriculture, health, education, employment, entertainment and religion. The service is available in all local languages, with highlights including Mandi crop rates, love advice, astrology, English lessons, visa information, music and more. Subscription pricing begins at INR 10 for 10 days. It is also possible to request expert advice for solutions to specific problems.
About nine months ago, the founders of Readmill noticed a trend was crystallizing. The makers of the popular book-reading iPad app kept receiving requests for an iPhone version. It was the most common request among Readmill users, and it just kept reappearing. Demand never slowed down; it only increased.
So while the practice of reading is breaking out of its traditional confines – first bounded pages, then Kindles and Nooks, and now even away from tablets – its economics will, at least for now, continue to very much be dominated by the Internet-era’s traditional overlords. Sadly, even the snazziest iPhone app in the world isn’t going to change that.
Emily Lloyd:...is the name of a brief slide deck & guest post I have up at Tame The Web, a kind of part two to an earlier guest post on tweeting libraries. I've embedded the slide deck below, too--please set it to full screen if you decide to view it.
I spent a lot of time on Twitter last year, not as myself, but as my library system*. This deck covers some of what I learned. I strongly urge tweeting libraries (and nonprofits, and small businesses, etc) to follow their patrons. Many don't. It's too big a missed opportunity not to mention.
David Lee King with an interesting question, what do we think is important? Do our users agree?
Think about some of these things libraries have, for example:
-Library Catalog – interesting to our customers?
-Article Databases – interesting to our customers?
-Periodicals reading room …
-Reference desk …
I think our goal should be two-fold:
1.spend time, money, and expertise on stuff our customers care about
2.do stuff that our customers care about
This week's program deals with Wikipedia hoaxing, an Internet icon, and a miscellany of brief items.
Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. The list of hardware sought to replace our ever-increasing damage control report can be found here and can be directly purchased and sent to assist The Air Staff in rebuilding to a more normal operations capability.
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scholr.ly: Research, fine-tuned.
The first users in the early days of the Internet were professors and academics who shared their research and resources with unprecedented ease and speed. But nowadays, there is a dearth of lovingly crafted tools made for those who first popularized the Internet.