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?


The eBook Problem – Solved?!?

This semester I have been interning at Brooklyn Public Library and the bulk of my work has been researching and figuring out the “eBook Problem” in libraries. More details about that and my internship are upcoming, but I just couldn’t let another day go without sharing this recent discovery.

I’m a Mac user through and through. And it frustrated me to no end that I got this radical iPad to read eBooks and yet I couldn’t check any out from the library because of DRM issues between all the publishers and eReader companies. This is an issue that is being discussed all around the library blogosphere, and will continue to be until a common filetype is agreed upon AND utilized across the board. In the meantime, worry no more. Enter Bluefire Reader.

*Note – Only Adobe EPUB and PDF files work with this App.

1.      Download Adobe Digital editions. This program allows you to open the digital eBook file that you will download from your Public Library’s catalog. You’ll need to set up an Adobe ID in order to use this program.

2.      Download the Bluefire Reader App from iTunes App Store on your device. After opening it, add the same Adobe ID you set up for Adobe Digital Editions.

3.      Go to the digital catalog of your library (hopefully they have one!), search for an EPUB or PDF eBook you’d like to checkout.

4.      Once you have entered your library card number and pin, click “Download” to get the eBook file on your computer.

5.      Open the .ascm file with Adobe Digital Editions.

6.      Connect your Apple device to your computer and open iTunes.

7.      With the device selected in the left, go to “Apps” along the top.

8.      Scroll down until you see the File Sharing panel. Under Documents click “Add” then navigate to where the eBook file was saved (most likely in your-home-directory/Documents/Digital Editions) and select the file(s) to add.

9.      Enjoy an eBook on your Apple device!

The same instructions in different levels of detail from Bluefire Reader are here, and from NYPL here.

I have spent the greater part of 3 months stressing about how complicated eBooks are for libraries, and trying to whip together a How-To guide to help patrons figure it out, when what I should have been doing is developing this App. Kudos team Bluefire.

Analysis from Audrey Watters over at ReadWriteWeb, Matthew Miller from ZDnet and Josh Hadro at Library Journal Insider.