Finally picking these up again: I miss how they make my life a bit easier to keep track of. (Coming up here sometime next week: a review of Oyster, the ebook subscription service you may be curious about.)
Continue reading Link roundup: September 27, 2013
I’m working on a new project at work, that we’re calling “14 things” which is modeled on the 23 things type projects a number of libraries and schools have used. (Why 14? Because that’s the number of posts that fit in our academic year, at a post every other week, and leaving out vacation breaks.) You can see all the posts in this series over at the work blog.
Our first one is up today, and I wanted to list a few resources I find helpful, but I didn’t want to do it in that post directly (for length and focus reasons.) So instead, you get it here, on my personal blog. (If you find these useful, you might also find my link roundup posts handy. I haven’t been doing them for a while, but there’ll be a new one up tomorrow, September 27th.)
I use Feedly, an RSS aggregator, to keep up with a number of blogs (currently 114, but a number of those update infrequently, and that includes both personal and professional interests.) Some of the professional ones:
- ProfHacker is a joint blog hosted on the Chronicle of Higher Education that talks about technology and academia. As you can guess from the title, it’s focused on the faculty side, but they have lots of great posts just as applicable for students or staff.
- David Lee King is a great source of information about the intersection of libraries and technology.
- Blue Skunk Blog: Doug Johnson is the director of libraries and technology at the Mankato MN school district, and he writes regularly about how you make all this stuff work in K-12 education. (He’s also been blogging for a long time, and will pull out old posts and revisit them.)
- I’ve been following Personal Knowledge Management, a blog doing something similar to our 14 things project, only about productivity in specific. (It comes from three librarians at Georgia Tech.)
- Nancy Sims is the copyright librarian at the University of Minnesota, and she has a great blog, with very coherent explanations of copyright and intellectual property issues, especially around Internet use.
I read a variety of library blogs, but particularly recommend Librarian in Black, Swiss Army Librarian, and Librarian.net as good general resources for people who aren’t librarians themselves, but want insight into the issues affecting libraries and the library profession. The Unshelved comic is also often funny and pointed all at once.
Longform searches out excellent long-form journalism. Many of the pieces they link are recent, but they’re also sharing older or archived pieces. They post a handful a day, and I’ve found it’s a great way to learn a little about a bunch of interesting things. I also read Metafilter (which has user-posted links to and discussions about various things online and offline) though it can be a little like drinking from a firehose. Their subsite, Ask.Metafilter is one of my starting points for questions where I want anecdotes or personal experience to help with a question. I also just discovered Now I Know which does a daily explanation of some interesting and obscure thing.
Finally, if you are job hunting (or know someone who is), have a job, or just like really practical (and often amusing) conversations about the working world, I highly recommend Ask A Manager - she has great advice, but also an awesome comment section.
Trying to get this out before I head off to Computers in Libraries this weekend, as I suspect I’ll acquire further links.
Libraries and Librarians:
- People keep asking me for advice about the profession. There’s a thoughtful (and thorough) article from Library Journal that addresses a lot of the things I try to talk about.
- In the course of my wandering on the ‘Net, I found this post from 2009 that’s a reminder that not everyone has hot and cold running Internet at home. (This is a reality for a bunch of people where I live.)
- There’s a really interesting alternative for OPAC terminals – I don’t think it’s hugely relevant for my place of work (because we use ancient machines because they still work, and we’ve got them), but I find the idea fascinating.
- There was an interesting NYT piece on the problems of online college classes (I continue to say “Idea decent, but can we talk more about how people use or don’t use the Internet before relying on this as the Next Big Thing, please?)
- John Scalzi’s personal history of libraries.
- The Northstar Digital Literacy modules test basic computer skills in a really well-done way. (Free, but site sponsoring has some additional options/benefits)
- “Just stand there in your wrongness” has a great take on learning from mistakes (and being smart people who mess up sometimes) via lessons learned from the West Wing.
- Doug Johnson revisited his “tech skills for incoming freshmen” (as in high school) recently, with an update for 2013. How many of these are you good with?
- Jenica Rogers has very smart things to say about the librarian tech skills gap. (And I really want to come back to this topic. When I’m done going to library technology conferences twice in a month.)
- Nancy Sims talks about releasing images to the wild, and the weird things people ask her about permission to use them.
- I have a bunch of saved links about the Edwin Mellen press issues (brief recent events version: they asked a blogger to take down posts that included criticism of the press. It gets more complicated after that) but rather than try and sort them out today, TechDirt has the best one-stop summary I’ve seen.
As you’ve probably heard by now, Google Reader is shuting down as of July 1. I currently very much like Reeder (which has said they intend to have a non Google Reader dependent version by July) but I’m still considering what I want to use for the professional blogs I read. Everyone and their cousin has an opinion about the options: if you’re looking for ideas, check out posts from LifeHacker, Doug Johnson, Steven Abram, CNET, Bryan Alexander, and the Gypsy Librarian.
Keeping track of all the bits:
- My current favourite version of explaining citation and how you do it (and why you care)
- I’m in the slow stages of poking at a project that will involve lots of reference and cited materials. I found this post on using Zotero and Scrivener (my long-form writing tool of choice) handy reading.
- I’ve also been doing more with Evernote. This post on tips and tricks and this student guide to Evernote both had some new things for me. And this LifeHacker post had some good bits too.
- I’ve been spending more time with Excel than I used to – here’s some interesting tips for manipulating date and time data.
- Someone on one of my harp (as in instrument) lists has been doing video tutorials of ForScore, a digital sheet music app for the iPad. (Digital sheet music was the “Ok, that’s why I actually need an iPad” thing for me, though I have not been as diligent about getting music on the iPad as I’d like.)
- One of the better descriptions of microbarriers in sharing information I’ve seen recently .
Information is good:
- I didn’t know that the PhD Comic had a YouTube channel, but they do, and there’s fascinating stuff in there.
- Is giving to get ahead good? Fascinating article, both for the research and for the presentation.
- Want a map of every meteorite strike on Earth? Here you go!
- Interactive historical maps, and historic maps of cities.
- I’ve been meaning to link to the really awesome info about the discovery of Richard III since it happened, so here, have the departmental website and data. (I’ve been pro-Ricardian since reading Elizabeth Peters and her Murders of Richard III in high school.)
Very pretty things:
- I got to see my very first real aurora last month (living in the rural north has benefits!) It was not nearly as flashy as the following link, but it was still stunningly amazing. It does mean I’ve been clicking on aurora pictures even more than usual, though, and I particularly liked this post from Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy with a time lapse movie made from aurora still shots in Norway by Nicholas Buer. Click(and as Phil says, full-screen) if you need 2.5 minutes of beauty in your day.
- Also, the 21 best astronomy images of 2012.
- (And the one a friend sent me on Wednesday, a gorgeous image of Saturn. And the Milky Way and a lighthouse. Look, I like pictures of stars and planets and stuff, okay?)
- If you are looking for something to read, the MeFi wiki index of questions about books is extremely comprehensive.
- The power of the books you read at 12.
- I’m not sure if this goes in books or culture, but how do you deal with fantasy agricultures (specifically, how do you grow wine in a country with seasons as messed up as Westeros?)
- Why we need comfort reading.
- Curious George’s great escape. (I half knew some of this, but it’s an amazing story.)
Copyright, so complicated:
Community and culture:
- AskAManager had a recent conversation about class – what things you need to know to work in a white-collar environment that may not be obvious if you’re not familiar with that kind of setting. It’s a sort of imperfect discussion, because the topic is So Big, but as someone who works with people from a variety of backgrounds, I think it’s a good start.
- Ann Patchett on independent bookstores. Specifically, starting one.
- I keep chewing over Anil Dash’s “The Web We Lost” in the way that makes me think there will be more writing from me about it eventually.
- Vienna Teng’s draft of the hymn of axciom – fascinating both for the content, and for the fact that technology makes this kind of sharing possible.
- TEDx and Bad Science: there’s a fascinating article from the TED folks about how to vet for bad science in TEDx talks – interesting both for the specifics, and for the general “how do we talk about evaluating stuff”. Bad Astronomy talks about it a bit more, too.
- 250 year old codes. Society of the Golden Poodle. Secret societies. What more do you want out of a story?
- Also in the history department: a Ponzi scheme for flappers.
- The Lying Disease: truth, lies, and the Internet.
- How Pompeii perished (and the misassumptions about the nature of geology that pervade our ideas about it.)
- The history and implications of the Zapruder film.