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Archive for October, 2007

Wordie tags tags taggishly

Wordie started out as a joke – a site that was all tags and no content. Now it’s added tags. I have to run for a train, so I don’t have time to all into its loop of metareference, but John McGrath explains it all here.

I started poking around at Madame Levy’s quilt gingerly. As luck would have it, the first link I followed was to Arcade Fire – Neon Bible live in an elevator. As I kept poking, I found more and more. As Frank Paynter, who pointed this site out to me puts it, this is curation. It is indeed curation as art. [Tags: ]

Angel investors tag cloud

Want to see quickly what sorts of things interest the Denver-area Angel Capital Summit? Visit the tag cloud.

It’d of course be interesting to track this cloud over time, or in comparison  to other groups of investors’ clouds, or to venture capitalist clouds, or to social responsibility clouds…

Harvard moves towards Open Access

According to the Harvard Crimson, the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences’ governing body has proposed an open access policy according to which faculty members would make their research available for free either on a university site or on their own site. This would be in addition to publishing in academic journals, some of which charge $20,000 a year for a subscription. It’d be an opt-out program. The Harvard Crimson has a good editorial supporting it.

Yay! Locking research up in for-pay journals slows the pace of knowledge. The peer review system — one important way ideas are vetted — does not require the existing print publication system. Harvard’s move will not only make more information more widely available, it may help nudge the system itself into a form that better serves our species’ interests: As more schools adopt open access programs, researchers will have an increasing disincentive not to lock their work up.

I’m actually not sure how this will work, especially with regard to its being opt-out. If I’ve just had an article accepted by The Journal of Hydroponic Pediatrics. do I then also submit it to the Harvard open access server? If so, in what sense is that opt out?

Obviously, I’m also interested in what sort of metadata and aggregation facilities Harvard will supply to make these articles easily findable.

But what pleasant questions to contemplate! [Tags: open_access harvard publishing copyright a2k]


James Vasile, who just gave a Berkman lunch-time talk, distributed a copy of a brief paper, “unlick the Rock,:” which is not yet up on the Web. In it, James suggests that we separate radio into its two functions: DJs who figure out what to play, and the delivery mechanism. Someone should create a plug-in (or sump’in) that lets everyone create playlists using simple HTML, and lets everyone listen to those playlists by scouring multiple sources for the music. So, if you have a copy on your disk, it’ll play that. If there’s an online distributor that has it available, great. If you have to buy it from iTunes, then it’ll let you. Or maybe you have a small p2p network of friends who are sharing music.

Interesting. It’d at least make it difficult to find someone to sue. And the publishers might make some money out of it. And, from my provincial point of view, it’d be a nice case of separating the metadata from the data…. [Tags: james_vasile internet_radio]

Karen Schneider moves on from ALA blog

Karen Schneider (the Free Range Librarian) is one of those strong-voiced writers who really make a difference in her domain. Now she is leaving the American Library Association’s TechSource blog — which she was instrumental in beginning — in order to follow her writerly instincts. Her last post is a message to librarians that usefully points them toward their fears. [Tags: ]

I like what Michael Wolff says in his Vanity Fair piece about his new news site:

The metaphor, for 150 years — from print to radio to network to cable — has been the front page: important stuff first. “It should have to do now with falling through something, or floating through the totality of information or of intersecting worlds and interests,” offers [Patrick] Spain, not a man wild with his metaphors. [VF, October, p. 126]

I’ve been saying for a while, and I think in Everything Is Miscellaneous, that the new front page is distributed across our day and our network. Much of it comes through our inbox. It consists of people we know and people we don’t know recommending items for our interest.

So, I was disappointed by Wolff’s new site, It presents a view of the news that’s much less hierarchical than a typical front page, and it’s well-designed for quickly finding what matters to you (including through editorially curated links), but: (1) It assumes its nine top-level categories reflect how every reader views the world; (2) Where are our voices? Comments? Blogs? (3) I couldn’t let it arise from my social network (where that network includes people I don’t know but whose views interest me). It competes with Google News, not with the intersection of Digg and FaceBook, which is what I’m waiting for. [Tags: news media michael_wolff ]

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