What We’re Reading — Week of March 21, 2011

The imperfectionists : a novel (Book, 2010) [WorldCat.org]

I thought this was terrific. The central character is an English language newspaper published in Italy, with a cleverly assembled set of short stories telling
its history, from its curious founding through periods of energized attention to a long twilight and abrupt end. Resonated with me.

Pandora’s Facebook Box – John Battelle’s Searchblog

I yam who I yam (but tell that to Facebook or Pandora)

The Internet: For Better or for Worse by Steve Coll | The New York Review of Books

Morozov’s “The Net Delusion” sounds like it’s a counter-balance to Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everyone”, detailing the malevolent uses of social media.
Wu’s “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires” is praised as a “tour de force” on rise and fall of information technologies and
expresses his concern on the contested future of the Internet. Wu (a law professor at Columbia) coined the phrase “net neutrality”, and this is one book I plan to read.

The NY Times: Un-Free At Last! | Monday Note

One of the clearer commentaries on the NYT’s new paywall and why “Keep it Simple, Stupid” is so important. I’m just glad I still have my print subscription to the Sunday Times.

Which cities produce worldwide more excellent papers than can be expected? A new mapping approach–using Google Maps–based on statistical significance testing

“Based on Web of Science data, field-specific excellence can be identified in cities where highly-cited papers were published. Compared to the mapping approaches published hitherto,
our approach is more analytically oriented by allowing the assessment of an observed number of excellent papers for a city against the expected number.”

We’re seeing more of these geo-data visualizations, like the NY Times’ Mapping America site based on US census data, and for me they often confirm expectations rather than reveal
surprising findings. So it’s interesting to me that the aim of this effort was to reveal the unexpected. Example map for Chemistry here: http://www.leydesdorff.net/topcity/figure2.htm

Resource Sharing in Australia: Find and Get in Trove – Making “Getting” Better

Great description of the challenges in providing a complete array of “get” options in the NLA’s Trove: buy, borrow (national loans), copy, digital view, print on demand and digitize on demand

National Library of Finland’s Digitalkoot, Europe’s first national crowdsourced digitization program

This nifty example of combining gaming with OCR text correction reminded me of the Waisda? games for tagging videos and the huge crowdsourcing success of the National Library of Australia’s historic newspapers (31 million lines of text corrected). Still early stages, but 25K volunteers in one month is pretty good.

One Comment on “What We’re Reading — Week of March 21, 2011”

  1. Hello. I’m currently working on my thesis on independent archival blogs in the NYU Master’s in Archives program. I’m focusing my thesis on independent archival blogs, or those maintained by individual archivists not associated with an archival repository, and how these fit in to our recent history of professional communication. I’ve created a survey which I am sending out to a list of archival bloggers and I was hoping you could take a few minutes to complete my survey. I’d really appreciate it if you can contact me by email so that I may send you my survey. Thank you so much for your time. I really value your opinions and thoughts on archival blogging

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