What's interesting today

Library Journal: EBSCO Releases Ebook Academic Subscription Collection
I’m sure I glossed over this when the information was released in early March, but I just read the print version of this blurb in the 4/1 issue of Library Journal and I’m highlighting it here for one reason: “. . . each title is offered with unlimited, simultaneous users.” This is important and I’m glad to see a publisher like EBSCO embracing this model. As the rep states, students don’t get it when an ebook is “checked out.” (And honestly, I understand the hows and whys of this and even I am annoyed that the waiting lists for ebooks are so stupidly long, it’s dumb.)

The Note On My Door: Counterintuitive digital media assignments
A post from a professor teaching a digital media class, who made his students do an assignment where they had to find a something that didn’t exist digitally. Librarian reactions are pretty much right on target, but I’m glad to see that the students found value in the assignment. Interestingly, this may get more and more difficult as libraries jettison unused print holdings or send them to off-site storage.

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NMC Horizon Connect Session: Howard Rheingold is Net Smart

Today I sat in on a really interesting webinar sponsored by the New Media Consortium. Howard Rheingold spoke about the five literacies he believes are key to using the web, and social media, well. Here are my notes, but you may want to check out the recording of the webinar as well. There was so much chatter going on in the chat box and on the Twitter stream that I’m sure I missed things, though I tried to stay focused on his presentation. Continue reading

What's Interesting Today

Library Journal: OverDrive to Distribute Harry Potter eBooks
Very cool news, starting later this spring libraries that subscribe to the OverDrive ebook platform will be able to offer the Harry Potter series! As is noted in the article, you’ll only be able to get them through OverDrive or on the Pottermore website – the ebooks aren’t available through booksellers.

Triple Canopy: Anonymity as Culture: Treatise
I’m not all the way through this, as it’s long and it being the workday, I got interrupted. But so far it’s a really interesting exploration of the history of anonymity online. Also the design is really cool, it’s very easy to read.

Library Journal: Elsevier Backs off RWA Support; Still Opposes Mandated Open Access
Elsevier has dropped their support of the Research Works Act (which, in true government style, would not actually make research work). They also opened up access to 14 mathematics journals. But don’t let this fool you.

Social Friction & Social Media

Social Media Collective: In Defense of Friction

This is a post from late November that I’m just now finding time to circle back to. I think it brings up a lot of good points about how making things seamless in social media isn’t necessarily always a good thing. Facebook birthdays are a good example, but there’s also the issue of apps posting our activity to our Twitter and Facebook feeds, sometimes without our knowledge. For example, all the “I’m listing to whatever on spotify” posts from Facebook – I kept clicking ignore. Likewise with some other social reader thing that was reporting the last five stories read on various news sites by a couple of people – don’t care, and I’m not convinced the readers even realized that was being posted. Continue reading

What's interesting today

Oops, forgot to publish this apparently. This is what was interesting on Tuesday.

InfoDOCKET: OverDrive Posts Public Comment Apparently in Response to Friday’s Librarian in Black Post
OverDrive has published a post on their blog that touches on the issues surrounding ebook lending for libraries who have borrowers outside of their designated geographic area. It sounds like none of the people who contacted OverDrive heard back from the reps they tried to reach, this is thus far the only response. Kinda lame, especially since the post doesn’t even acknowledge that it exists because of this latest brouhaha. But, certainly better than ignoring the situation altogether. OverDrive is between a rock and a hard place, but it seems like doing a better job about communicating what’s going on would help enormously. (And perhaps instead of libarians putting pressure on them, we could work together to put pressure on the publishers.)

LifeHacker: Your Facebook Has Two Inboxes, and You’ve Probably Missed Messages From the Second
Just one more data point in the “Facebook thinks it knows what you care about, but really it doesn’t” column. Apparently you can’t change this setting so get used to checking two spots for Facebook messages, one of which doesn’t have an obvious update flag.

What's interesting today

The Digital Shift: Facebook Settles Privacy Complaint with FTC
Oh, Facebook. How we love to hate you, and hate to love you. Zuckerberg has intimated (or perhaps outright said, the only quote I can quickly find is from an anonymous employee) that he doesn’t believe in privacy online. Thus, I call marketing bullshit on that quote of his about “making sure only those people you intend can see [your info].” Shocking.

Charlie’s Diary: Cutting Their Own Throats
An interesting angle in the continuing conversation/debate/rant about ebooks and DRM. The upshot here is that by a) requiring DRM and b) outsourcing sales of ebooks to vendors like Amazon, the Big Six are putting themselves out of business. I’m not sure it’s quite that drastic, but it hadn’t occurred to me that they’ve done what the music industry did when iTunes debuted, which is give control of their content to another business that is in the position¬† (or will be soon enough) of calling the shots moving forward.