Meredith Farkas is a switched-on librarian who is very keen on wikis. She has a blog called Information wants to be Free, which I read regularly and admire from afar, not fully understanding it. Later this month she is giving a talk in Vermont about using social software in academic libraries. It will be a great talk to attend, as she’s aiming it at people who aren’t previous users of blogs, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking, instant messaging and something called screencasting. She’s asking readers of her blog to comment on which items are most likely to be helpful — and there are loads of comments. Kind of makes English libraries look very behind the times. Most of them run to Internet access but that’s about it. I hope Meredith will, as seems to be her usual practice, summarise her talk on her blog after she gives it, for those of us unable to travel to Vermont to hear it in person.
Over at O’Reilly Radar there is a posting about the Google News alphabet. Brady, the poster, says: "When Google Suggest first came out one of my favorite pieces of commentary I saw was Erik Benson’s Google Suggests alphabet in 2004. Now that News Suggest has come out it seemed like a fun exercise to compare the two alphabets. The first term is from News, the second is from Web." Go over to the O’Reilly site to see the paired comparisions such as H – heather locklear, hotmail; W – white house correspondents dinner, weather– although they are interesting from a social trends point of view, they definitely lack the kind of dimension provided by Minx’s lists — naturally!
Darren over at Problogger (the guy who helps bloggers to make money, or failing that, helps them make their blogs better) is doing a blogathon to make some money for charity. He’s asked all his readers to ask him some questions, and then he’s going to blog non-stop for 24 hours to answer them all. I think I am about no. 79. Will let you know if I get an answer. (Unsurprisingly, my question is about indexing.)
On the important topic of net neutrality, Liz (M.E.) Strauss over at Successful and Outstanding Blogging has a net neutrality resource which she is regularly updating with new links. Everyone is campaigning to keep the legislators off the net, not least the inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, so Liz’s site is a useful resource both to find out why and to keep up with the latest on the topic. (A little-known fact about Tim Berners Lee is that his mother and mine were colleagues working on the Mark 1 computer in Manchester, UK, in the 1950s.)
My erstwhile colleague Chris Anderson has a very interesting post about the long tail (what else?) and Google. Chris discusses how Google searches are time-agnostic — "what matters to modern search engines is relevance." A little-noticed feature of this, Chris says, is that older content scores higher because it has had time to accumulate more incoming links. "Older is better" (right on!) As usual, Chris carries some interesting stats and insights into this long tailyness, the bottom line for him being that without search, only 12 per cent of his traffic is to his older posts, whereas with it, the amount goes up to 40 per cent. Old stuff really does rule! If you haven’t seen Chris’s blog before, take a look– his book is out very soon, and his blog is the diary he kept while writing it. The Long Tail will be as influential as John Battelle’s book on search, I predict.
What a strong, newsy post. It’s great to catch up on what’s going on. Cool about your mom.