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?

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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.

How my iPad went from “media” device to “work” device

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I don’t mean for this to turn into an iPad-dedicated blog, but again, it is highly affecting my tech habits and thus I feel compelled to share. 

I bought the thing to replace a laptop and assumed then that I wouldn’t be doing so much work on it anymore. For the first month or so, that was totally true. I watched movies (Netflix), read articles (Reeder), socialized (Twitterific), and generally played around. Which was awesome. But all of a sudden over the past month, I have been really looking at the device as much much more than consumption. 

After joining ReadWriteWeb as a research intern (a gig I am really enjoying and learning tons from) I have really been needing an extra screen to manage the variety of content I am monitoring now. So I started looking into new apps and ways to utilize the iPad as a content creation/adaptation tool. 

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My needs: 

Chat client

Document Editing (pdf and doc; highlighting, cut/paste, etc.)

MULTITASKING! 

Seamless interaction between apps

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Today I did my first experiment using the iPad as a work device. I am volunteering some free time (since I am STILL jobless in NYC) to help out @juliaxgulia with some work on the ArtsTech Meetup, and I am glad to say, after some fumbling the iPad turned out to work ok.

Issues I encountered:

Editing documents is not easy. I was working off a Google Doc Spreadsheet, which should be updated in the near future, and copy/paste was not as smooth as I had hoped. 

I have been using GoodReader for my doc reading and today it reached its limitations. I needed to edit something Julia sent to me, and couldn’t in GoodReader, so I had to copy/paste it to SimpleNote, edit there, then copy/paste to the email. It seems that there should be an easier way to do this. Receive emailed document, choose which app to open with, once in app edit at will and send back to Mail. 

I like to keep an eye on Twitter for news and interesting stuff, but while logged in to any app, of course it takes up the whole glorious beautiful screen. I think I may experiment with using my iPhone as a content stream to the side while working on the iPad. 

Now about multitasking, this is the complicated one. I like the fact that the iPad is a unitask device. It makes me slow down, consider what is in front of me, and follow through. That said, if it is to be a “work” device multitasking at some level must be introduced. It’d be great, as in my case today, if I could keep Mail open while editing and flip back and forth quickly. 

The biggest issue confronting me right now is that I am cheap and not willing to pay for apps that will do some of this stuff. But, I’m coming around. Highly considering IM+ Pro for a chat client and really crossing my fingers for that GDocs update. And I hear iOS4 is on the way for the iPad?! All my dreams are coming true! Now if I could just get a job that requires me to work like this all the time.  

Writing for the Web

Reading the Web

Is this the obligatory “finding your voice” on the internet post? I surely hope not. I’ve written those one too many times in the past 4-5 years. Lately, I’ve been doing some research on blogging, since it is obviously an interest of mine, and I thought it’d be useful to synthesize some of my ideas through this forum. Full disclosure – I am really hoping to land a job writing for the web in the near future and I really want to prove that I am not only decent at this, but that I take the time to really learn and explore new ideas.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I know that knowing one’s audience is one key aspect of web content. So what actually goes into creating interesting, thoughtful posts that generate good discussion amongst readers? Does one repetitively throw content at the projected audience? I think there might be more tact to this than our professors and other web curmudgeons would like to admit. The point is not to pigeon-hole your posts into one vein with one purpose. Although that can work for some, I think that’s where a lot of blogs go flat and stop seeing growth. Rather, it seems from my investigations, that you take an audience and introduce them to a wider set of content, stretching the levels of interest far and wide to force people to think outside the box and really engage and interact with your content.

Examples – Three blogs I am consistently fascinated by, that do web content very well in my opinion, are Profhacker, ReadWriteWeb and Mashable. Now one could begin to make an argument about where the lines are drawn between “blog” and “aggregation site” but we’ll save that for another day. All of these sites write consistently varied posts, in a variety of voices, with a range of topics that could be generally interesting to most web citizens. They all have a “audience” demographic they aim at, but the content is so rich that a variety of people can gain value from them.

I’d like to explore this further, but I don’t want to rant on and on, blogging about blogging for blogging’s sake. I suppose the point to draw here is that writing for the web seems to become a “common denominator” sort of drill, but with the assumption that the average reader is of a certain ilk, maintains a certain level of savvy and reads a certain way. (Don’t get me started on the information divide.) Thing is, I enjoy reading like this. A lot. I can only hope that taking in all this great content will work in my favor as I trek on toward employment in the hyper-modern, connected world.

Have you considered how you write/read on the web?

Why blog?

Social Media Landscape

Social Media Landscape

“Why blog when you can micro blog?” I ask myself this question every day. The time and effort one puts into blogging could be spent ingesting newer information, and that quick paced influx of media and knowledge constantly excites me. But, I know it is ever more important that I take the time to digest some of this information, and form ideas and opinions on things I really care about. Although I find myself more often interested in snippets of information than entire chunks, this blog could become the point where I learn to take those bits and make them cohesive.

Thus, Micah_2.0. Primarily, this site will function as a condensation of my various social profiles around the web, but I will attempt to actually write something once in a while. It seems my life is picking up enough momentum these days that I may actually have an intelligent, original thought every once in a while. Here’s hoping.

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The inspiration for trying blogging for the 3rd time came from this post at ReadWriteWeb – 5 simple steps to make social media work for Higher Ed. As I am currently pursuing an MS in Library and Information Studies, and am proponent and user of social media, and as higher ed is something I care about, work in, and follow daily, it made sense that I take the time to give this a shot.

Photo courtesy of Ivan Walsh with a Creative Commons Attribution license.