Sunday, November 30, 2008


I am so confused...I've been getting the point that I don't know what comments counted where. ANYWAY here are some more comments!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

muddiest point

I understand why we all WANT libraries to have these huge presences online and in second life and in social networking websites. I get it - we need to reel in the new generation, convince them that libraries are important, justify our funding.

But is that really where we should be spending our time and money? I had this discussion with the head of Hillman Reference and it just seems like there are other more important places for reference librarians' time and expertise.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

week 13 notes

Let me start by saying that this link ( no longer works because Viacom has requested that youtube remove the video.

Also, didn't load, so I used the wayback machine. And to be honest, even with that I'm not quite sure what this place is. It seems to have been turned into a book whatever it was, but to me it just seems like a lot of people being nervous/paranoid about government powers to collect information on citizens. Yes, it is horrible that that 70 year old woman was detained because her name was similar to one on the terrorist watch list. But honestly - I'm not bothered by government powers. Also, please be nice. I know my feelings are very very different from those of most people, but I won't tell you you're crazy for being paranoid and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't tell me I'm a right wing nutjob for wanting the government to watch us and collect all sorts of personal information. :-)

- This website doesn't seem to have been updated for quite some time (the most recent news story took place when I was in my freshman year of college...and I'm in grad school now). But basically it seems to have been created to protest the something called total information awareness which seems to have been a program that would allow the government to collect and store for easy access/use, information about people who were considered a threat to the safety of the united states. As demonstrated by my previous answer, I think we know where I stand on this issues. I'm pro-information collection and I trust our government to use it wisely/correctly.

Jeffrey Rosen (Is Privacy Dead?)
- I found this interesting if a little slow. Rosen describes one case in which the need for privacy was balanced with the need for information (a scanning tool that instead of showing us naked shows just things hidden under clothes with a blob instead of a body), and then goes on to show us one case in which he isn't so optimistic (the use of surveillance cameras). That being said - his worries about NYC are unfounded. As someone who lived there I can say that you are basically on camera 80% of the time in NYC as it is (ATM/bank cameras, stores, people's vacation photos, etc.). The point that I most liked though was the assertion that people don't want privacy, they want control over how/when they're exposed.

Facebook video
- Eh. This is old news. Facebook isn't the greatest thing in the world in terms of information safety. But we all use it anyway. Companies also use it to check up on employees. I would like to point out though that Facebook started as something very different than it is now - when I joined in 2004 it was a closed system (only available to the ivy league students), now it's just a giant advertising website. But you still choose to open an account, use that account, and fill in all those fun bits and pieces.

Jonathan Zittrain (future of the internet)
-The author of "The Future of the Internet: and how to stop it" starts talking about the history of computers/the internet and then to the current situation (wikipedia). Also, I have never heard anyone actually articulate "pwnd", it was completely correct, but also super dorky. And I also enjoyed the mention of old school "phreaking" (and showed how much of a geek I am...for those of you who aren't giant dorks like me phreaking refers to hacking the phone lines - no longer possible but used a lot in the 70s and 80s).

muddiest point

Can something like CiteULike be considered a digital library? I can see arguments on both sides to be honest, and I'd like to know the prevailing opinions.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

week 12

Creating the academic library folksonomy: Put social tagging to work at your institution
- This article looks at the uses of folksonomy (taxonomies created by 'ordinary folks') in academic libraries. Suggests it would be particularly helpful for students who use the internet without knowing what is reliable, and for those topics that are particularly modern.

Using a Wiki to Manage a Library Instruction Program
- Looks at the benefits of using a wiki in a library instruction program, allowing librarians to share files online. Librarians can share problems and handouts. Points out the idea of mentioning if a professor's assignments tend to not incorrect or incompatible with current library technology.

- Introduces the ideas of weblogs and the uses, as well as the software available (or rather an overview of it). Finally, implications of blogs in libraries are discussed. RSS uses (no longer have to physicaly visit the website). Reference blogs as an alternative to reference binders (easier to find new materials). Suggests using blogs for class projects (better in theory than reality in my experience).

Wikipedia Video
- The founder of wikipedia discusses the uses of wikipedia, the issue of neutrality vs truth, and controversy in articles (particularly bush vs kerry in 2004).

Friday, November 14, 2008


muddiest point

A couple of other people have mentioned this and I'm interested/confused about it as well. When words for relevancy have multiple meanings (apple for tree, fruit, and computer company, to say nothing about the record company) do you just have to add modifier words to get a good search result? And how do you rank relevancy when there are so many possible answers just for the meaning of the word let alone the search?

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Week 10

Muddiest Point
- What exactly makes XML better? I see why we have CSS to replace HTML, but what benefits does XML bring to the table? Is it easier to debug? Is it just the newest thing that we're all supposed to like because it's new and shiny?

Web Search Engines: Part I
- Looks at basic search protocol for bots searching the internet - particularly relating to etiquette and the vast scope of the information spiders look for. (ignoring duplicate material, how a site is chosen to be crawled and how it gets to the head of the line, cloaking: providing different info to bots than to people visiting the page)

Web Search Engines: Part II
- This article looks at how search engines index what they've found. There are millions of words that the indexers have to go through. Also explains how search terms are related to what pages are returned and in what order.

The Deep Web
- Apparently this is actually advertising material...interesting. But basically the "deep web" are all those webpages which are dynamically created (as a result of a search) and therefore are unavailable to index with bots. When websites were just files it was easier, but newer technology has changed that. While the deep web's info greatly exceeds the surface web - but much of that data comes from places like NOAA, NASA, and the like - the type of information a normal search is not looking for.

Current Developments...
- Looks at the Open Archives initiative which attempts to share metadata from a variety of sources (sheet music was one project, another looked at resources regarding the american south).

Monday, November 3, 2008


I'm very proud of myself. With the exception of the flickr photo links, I coded this entire website myself from scratch. I didn't use any sort of editing software at all. That's why it's kind of ugly.