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Memetracking for science!

I’ve wondered before about how one might measure the spread of memes across blogland, and now Scott Eric Kaufman is doing exactly that in preparation for a panel on academic blogging at the MLA. Here’s the post explaining his project in full; here’s the basic explanation: Most memes, I’d wager, are only superficially organic: beginning […]

Specialty search engines and specialized book (un)recommendations

Wow. Google is now letting people make their own search engines. Just a few days ago I was trying unsuccessfully to find a specialized search engine only for opera companies and performers and performances; now I can make my own. I wonder if I can get extra credit for my Information Resources and Services class […]

If dissertations were software

In my systems analysis class this week, we learned about the differences between various models for software development, and we talked a bit about the circumstances under which you might choose one model or another. For instance: the waterfall model, in which the programmers and everyone else involved in the project move through a series […]

Clever relocation hacks

How on earth did people manage to move to new cities before the internet? Somehow, of course, they did. But, as is the case with a lot of other things that are much easier with access to e-mail and the web, it’s hard to imagine. At any rate, one of the perks of moving to […]

Public service announcement

I have an idea for colleges and universities looking to do a quick-and-dirty website usability check: Recruit every newly hired employee to provide feedback on their experience using your site. Hand them a questionnaire, convene them in focus groups with food as a bribe for participation,* whatever — I bet you’ll garner a ton of […]

Things I’m reading and thoughts occasioned thereby

1. Cole Swensen’s Oh, a very short book that does for opera what her later books of poems did for the Tres Riches Heures and the history of illumination. A fellow LibraryThing user recommended it, and I snapped it up, because I dug Goest big time, and there are so few poets who write about […]

Further LibraryThing musings

I’ve nearly finished entering the data about my books into LibraryThing. Some additional thoughts I’ve had while cataloging: The social data aspect of this is fascinating. I’m sure I’m not the only user who’s had the experience of entering a title, seeing that nobody else has it, and then noticing weeks later that someone else […]

The 21st century version of the fireside chat

One more reason why Barack Obama should run for president someday: He now has a podcast. What a great idea. (In other news: Finally upgraded to a paid LibraryThing account. The catalog is now at 276 books and climbing rapidly. My word, but I’m tired.)

In praise of the dijalog

Things I love about living in the 21st century (a partial list): The way the advent of blogs and social tagging services (del.icio.us, Flickr, and the like) has created so many wonderfully geeky conversations about low-tech tools like pens and paper and notebooks. That I can share bookmarks pertaining to the kinds of obscure topics […]

A (snowy) whirlwind tour of the NYPL’s image collections

If you haven’t yet visited the New York Public Library Digital Gallery, you must. Among many other things, it offers the joy of serendipitous image-discovery. I browsed around the collections for a while and then tried a keyword search for "snow." I used the selection tool to grab everything that looked particularly interesting, and ended […]