Good afternoon! Links today – and links sometime in the next two weeks, but precisely when will depend on what I find, since I suspect many of my regular sources may slow down a little over the next two weeks.
Today’s links include a lot of discussion about social bookmarking tools, changing how we look at doing things, and a hippo.(Actually, a hippo, a loris, a hydra, and an infinite string of elephants and camels. But who’s counting?)
As many of you have possibly already seen, news circulated yesterday that they are going to be discontinuing Delicious, one of the best known of the social bookmarking sites. The latest news (less than an hour ago!) says that they’re looking for someone to buy it, instead of shutting it down. Tech Crunch has commentary on the latest bit.
I’m seeing a lot of posts about alternatives and other details (on which more in a moment), but also some comments about how this is one of the risks of cloud computing.
Honestly, though, I think this is a risk with any computer technology (after all, a particular software program can become obsolete just as easily.) My personal practice is to make sure that any tool I use, whether on my computer, or in the cloud has an export option into a widely used format (plain text files, standard bookmark formats, comma separated values, whatever.) Or I make sure I never put anything I couldn’t bear to lose into that format.
Onto the links:
- Read, Write, Web has several articles on the news, including R.I.P. Delicious that includes how they used it to find great sources for further information and Delicious’s Data Policy Is Like Setting a Museum On Fire which talks about the social part – how to get bookmarks other people made that you found valuable.
- You can, of course, export your bookmarks using the Delicious export tool. Note that it won’t save tag bundles, but will save the tags themselves.
- A wide number of discussions of alternatives have sprung up
- A Google Docs page with details on other similar services (and comparisons to Delicious options.)
- Search Engine Land has a brief comparison of 10 of the better known services.
Of the available options, I’ve been playing with Pinboard for a couple of non-professional projects, and I plan to move all of my professional Delicious bookmarks to an account there as well. They note that they’re currently running slowly due to a lot of imports, so I may wait a few days to upload and rearrange bookmarks there. Note that I’m also mostly bookmarking things in public so I can point at them later (“For more, see this tag” kinds of stuff), not necessarily using other social tools (who else has tagged this) frequently.
Pinboard is a for-pay account, which costs .001 cents per user at the time you sign up. My original account for personal use was around $6.10 and they’re now up past $8.30 and rising. I understand they’re working hard to build out for the number of new users they’re seeing. However, that’s a one-time cost (similar to Metafilter) unless you want to pay for additional offline archiving. Diigo, in contrast, has ads on its free accounts, but the paid accounts are by month or year.
Changing the paradigm:
A lot of things in my list of links for this week are really about changing how we look at or do things.
- Not So Distant Future talks about how librarians are using the social web to a far greater extent than even their students, in order to find information, ideas, and tools to meet rapidly changing needs. Also about why this is so critical.
- Dean Dad talks about redefining victory, when it comes to being an administrator (in his case, at a community college). Victory isn’t about getting your way: it’s about getting people talking about what the options are to fill their needs.
- Two posts about how creating learning environments that draw from the best of gaming psychology showed up this week. One is part of a series of posts from Clean Apple, specifically about using assessment as learning and motivation. And then a post on the Independent School Educators Ning noted two TED talks: one by Seth Priebatsch called “The game layer on top of the world.” and one by Tom Chatfield on”7 ways games reward the brain.”
- And Jenica talks about the issues with customer feedback, and how to handle them in a world where that feedback is easier than ever to see.
- Finally, David Wedaman talks about the problems with workshops, and some ideas about what we could do instead.
- And Sarah Glassmeyer talks about the Loris in the Library, or how to look beyond our past tendencies in the library profession to change slowly, and what we could do instead. (She also talks about why those tendencies are there in the first place…)
And sometimes what’s going on isn’t what we think it is. danah boyd talks about a conversation with one of the folks at Formspring. As danah says:
She told me that they were working diligently to respond to upset parents who were outraged by anonymous bullying but that they had hit a stumbling block. As they started looking into specific cases of teens answering “anonymous” harassing questions, they started realizing that a number of vicious questions were posted by the Formspring account owners themselves. They appeared on Formspring as anonymous but they were written by the owner while logged into their own account. In other words, there are teens out there who are self-harassing by “anonymously” writing mean questions to themselves and then publicly answering them.
Other interesting things:
- What makes a cozy a good cozy? (Cozy being a term for a subgenre of mystery novels which focus on the smaller and domestic mysteries – Miss Marple is pretty much the original, and still hard to beat.)
- Math doodling. If you are like me, and had bad math experiences in your childhood, give these a try.
- The Berkman Center for the Internet at Harvard has announced a Digital Public Library initiative.
- Doug Johnson looks at some reasons for blogging. (He’s had some other great posts this week, too.)
- And there’s a nice roundup of tips for the end of the year regarding copyright.
And, oh, yes. I promised a hippo. This is not only a hippo, but a great quick reminder of the importance of critical thinking! (YouTube video,