R.I.P. Delicious – or – Data Curation Thrust Into The Limelight

Yesterday I experienced an amazing thing. Around 2pm the interwebs went aflutter with the news that Delicious, the popular social bookmarking site, was going the way of the buffalo. I heard it first in the ReadWriteWeb editorial room, where I hang out as an intern, and then it spread like wildfire through the variety of communities I follow on Twitter (higher ed, academics, librarians/info pros, cultural journalists and webtech folks mainly.) As of right now, 1am Friday morning, there still has not been an official confirmation of what exactly is going to happen to the service from its parent company Yahoo.

However… the aforementioned amazing thing… the power of the social web kicked in and people started to talk to one another. At around 5pm, I saw this tweet from Laura Pasquini linking to a Google Doc of alternatives to Delicious. I was at the time writing a quick post for my Tumblr on a few services I had heard chatted about on Twitter throughout the afternoon, and this Doc had them all in there, with Pros and Cons. In the midst of all this, Marshall Kirkpatrick posted his love letter to Delicious, which I helped do some research on, so I started to monitor comments on his post for further engagement (as any good intern would do).

As the news grew and spread throughout the evening, I saw all kinds of new ideas, cool looking web apps to try out, and different ways of imagining data all being discussed because a valuable service we have grown so accustomed to might be shutting down.

The best part? I think this was a real kick in the pants that will get all sorts of different groups (computer science, digital humanists, techies, web geeks, information professionals, etc.) talking about the one thing we are all coming face to face with in the ever-expanding social web – data/content curation.

This is a topic I have grown really interested in over the past few months, and will be following very closely in the future. Now, I just have to find out how and where to save all my links, articles, and research. Where will you be moving your bookmarks?

Articles on the shuttering of Delicious:

HuffPo, TechCrunch, Gizmodo

Alternate services to check out:

Evernote, trunk.ly, kippt, pinboard, Curated.by, and Blekko

I’m in process of beefing up my Curation Twitter list also. Follow if you’d like. Who do I need to add?


Weekender Tip – Google Custom Search for LIS folks

I built something that could be useful for readers/writers in the Library world. Thanks entirely to the web hacking genius of Marshall Kirkpatrick over at ReadWriteWeb where I have been interning, and the generous list Andy Woodworth shared with me, I wrangled ~50 “top Library blogs” and shoved them all into a Google Custom Search.

How does that matter to me, you ask? Well, using this snazzy little tool you can plug in a term and search these top library blogs to see if it shows up.

How might this be useful? For example, I am researching a blog post for this here blog that will be on the topic of censorship. So, I click over to my Top Lib. Blogs CSE and plub in “censorship”, and BAM! I get a pageful of results that I can link to, read, argue with, etc.

Check out the LIS Blog Custom Search HERE.

What blogs am I missing that you read daily, that should be on the list? Here’s what I already have, please add/edit/suggest away (Google Doc). We can all utilize this to write more¬†efficiently¬†and share resources more effectively.

Cloudy with a Chance of Awesome

I am addicted. I’m pretty sure I’ve only considered myself “tech-savvy” for about a year now, but over the course of this year, I have become consumed. Never before in history has it been possible to be as connected or informed as we are now, and it is very exciting. In my shift from average internetter to digital citizen I have enlisted the help of social media, the glorious iPhone, and today’s topic, Cloud Computing. At once amazing and terrifying, the forecast for the next few years seems absolutely to be (cue cheesy Twilight Zone soundtrack)… cloudy with a chance of awesome.

Image from infreemation.net

My first experience with the cloud was probably similar to most others’; I realized I could email myself stuff (documents, reminders, etc.) and access it from any computer. After upgrading my computer, thanks to a winning scholarship essay, I enrolled for a years subscription in Apple’s MobileMe service. Then, and only then, did I start to get it. I could potentially save my entire hard drive off in the cloud of internettery, and never worry about losing/finding anything. Ever. Well, until the subscription ended. Which brings me to my present situation. I am getting a sense from reading around the web, and my social media channels, that cloud computing is the new black. And, hey I’m all for it. (I’ve been a bit of a computing productivity kick lately and am into trying out all the new, interesting web tools.)

Here’s the kicker, and the double entendre of this post’s title – is anyone worried about the what happens if the clouds clear/disppear? What about privacy and safety? I keep imagining what kind of movie Fight Club would have been if it were made this year (Tyler Durden takes out Google HQ, or somesuch). Are we concerned at all about trusting this unruly web of 1’s and 0’s to eternally archive our heritage, memories and humanity?

Now the flipside – As I said before. I’m all in. I love being able to access my calendar, email, docs, pics, presentations, connections, music (soon?) from any device with an internet connection. I would love to buy an iPad and use apps to curate my internet experience. I have high hopes that one day I will be paid to use internet and web 2.0 technologies to preserve culture in a library or museum.

Just saying, clouds get grey and sometimes it rains. I’ll probably keep my external hard drives another few years just in case. Do you surf the clouds?


Post inspired by – Kate Ray’s film Web 3.0 about the Semantic Web

Cloud tools I love:


Google Docs