Start the Week – 5 December 2011

Start the week is going on a break until 2012. I leave you with: The Next Level of Facebook Etiquette: Public Meltdowns and Poking a Dead Person. A very good piece on Facebook, and maintaining an online presence generally.

“Facebook destroys the hierarchy of closeness, and also of the relevance of information. Weddings, births and deaths are all announced with the same weight as lunches and naps.”

Happy holidays one and all!

Posted in Start the Week | Leave a comment

Start the Week – 21 November 2011

Bits and pieces this week:

  • A really good little content curation primer – in case you were wondering what this new buzz phrase is all about?
  • Using IFTTT for alerts in libraries – paper from the recent Library 2.011 conference about monitoring Twitter, and also introduced me to IFTTT, which looks really cool too.
  • Books in Browsers – the Internet Archive recently held this 2 day conference discussing all things future publishing. You’ll find a load of stuff to read here, particularly if you’re interested in eBooks. There are videos of most of the presentations on YouTube too. Oh how I wish I lived San Francicso!
Posted in Start the Week | Leave a comment

Start the Week – 14 November 2011

I discovered the SLA Future Ready 365 blog a little while ago. Although it’s a US organisation, much of the content is relevant to Australia, such is the nature of the Internet. A recent post, Getting the Most from Social Media from the Least Investment of Time and Energy, struck a chord. The key message is essentially – it’s OK to pick and choose your Social Media – you don’t have to do everything!

Posted in Start the Week | Leave a comment

Start the Week – 7 November 2011

Content curation appears to be all the rage at the moment, so I thought it would be good to highlight a couple of sites offering that service.

First up is which let you create a daily ‘newspaper’ sort of site which gleans content from your Twitter and Facebook feeds, as well as from RSS. To me it has some pretty serious drawbacks, in that you have little control over the content that appears in your paper. It also has set categories of news, e.g. sport, entertainment. It is often hard to deduce why a particular story has made it into a particular section. That said, it is very easy to set up.

Far more impressive, for me at least, is This ahs been in private Beta for a while but is now open to all. It is a bit of a hybrid between older bookmarking type services like Digg, but collects your ‘scooped’ content in a publicly accessible page containing all your curated content. Scooping is done via a nice bookmarklet, or from suggested content glean from Twitter and other sources matching keywords you suggest. It is not perfect, but is surely the best option at this point.

On a related note, I have just discovered It is not actually up and running yet, but hopefully will be soon (with help from some crowd financing). bills itself as ‘an open-source, community-moderated, distributed platform for sentence-level annotation of the Web’ which sounds great to me! I could say more, but there is loads more information on their site. I’m sure they can explain it much better than I can!

Posted in Start the Week | Leave a comment

Start the Week – 31 October 2011

Apologies for the lack of post last week, but we’re back!

It seems a little early for Best Of’s, but Time Magazine doesn’t care about that. Here are:

Talking of iPhones, iOS5 has been released. I installed it last week, which was not a fun process, but it does add some nice features.

One of the big additions is Newsstand, which is essentially a platform for purchasing digital magazine subscriptions, and seems to be going very well for some publishers. I wonder if scholarly journals might arrive there at some point?

Posted in Start the Week | Leave a comment


I attended the 2nd TEDxBrisbane conference at the State Library on Saturday. It was another great day full of (mostly) inspiring talks across a pretty wide range of subjects.

Whilst these might be a little ‘off topic’ for this blog, I thought I’d share some of the talks I found particularly good.

  • Most on topic was probably Matthew Thompson‘s three minute talk on fingerprint analysis research. Essentially he is working on improving the accuracy of fingerprint matching, thus reducing wrongful convictions.
  • Gordon Hamilton, the Director of the Australian Voices choir,  gave a fantastic talk about using social media as an aid in the production of music performed by the choir, including such delights as Toy Story 3 = Awesome, with lyrics made entirely from Facebook updates.
  • Continuing on the musical theme, Linsey Pollak showed how easy it is to make a musical instrument from household oddments. If you want to know how to make a clarinet out of a carrot, Linsey is your man!
  • Cathy Henkel, director of the documentary The Burning Season, told us about work to prevent deforestation in Borneo, the organisation Deforest Action. Its projects include Earthwatchers, which allows students to monitor satellite images of the forest and alert authorities to any suspicious activity.
  • And finally, there was Brisbane teacher Jean Madden and her Streetswags. To date Jean has provided her portable beds to over 18,500 thousand homeless people around Australia. Visit the site for details of how to help.

All in all a great day, and I even met a few librarians. I’m very much looking forward to the next one, which will hopefully be in 2012, perhaps we’ll see a few more librarians there too?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Start the Week – 10 October

Radio National’s background briefing has run a couple of interesting stories on Internet security issues recently:

Here is an interesting take on why you need to manage your web presence. Argues that it is increasingly important to get yourself online, and maintain a professional presence, if you want to improve your LIS career prospects.

and, here is an alternative view, from a recent New Librarian Symposium, that suggests a more blended (personal/professional) approach.

Posted in Start the Week | Leave a comment