Blog posts

HEIs Get Facebook Fever (again)

Facebook rolled out its ‘ usernames’ function today. This is a new feature at Facebook which allows a user to claim their little bit of the Facebook namespace, along the lines of: http://www.facebook.com/[preferred_name]/ The process started at 05:00 am UK local time - on a Saturday morning - yet several people in my social and professional networks got up early to claim their personalised Facebook URL. Not all were successful despite this determination, and some ended up having to settle for some variation on their preferred username.

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day - Pattie Maes

Some time ago, Suw Charman-Anderson introduced the idea of an Ada Lovelace Day, to celebrate the achievements of women in technology. As part of this effort, Suw also created a ‘pledge’ on MySociety’s excellent and innovative PledgeBank service, which stated: I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.

Anything you quote from Twitter is always out of context

Brian Kelly posted Twitter Can Pimp Up Your Stuff - But Should It? a while ago. This post has caused me to think about courtesy and good practice. The aspect I want to talk about is Brian’s reporting of a conversation which took place on Twitter. I’m writing this to make a general point, not as a personal criticism of Brian who has well-established credentials as an experimenter with these technologies and who I know, from talking to him directly, is interested in these issues.

Smoke and mirrors, or good intentions?

Update: Karen’s presentation has now been made available. Yesterday, despite the best efforts of Worst Great Western, I travelled to the British Library in London to hear Karen Calhoun, Vice President WorldCat and Metadata Services at OCLC presenting on Working collectively – the way forward in an academic environment (not available online as far as I can tell). While Karen’s presentation was interesting it was, inevitably, mainly a sales-pitch for WorldCat, OCLC’s global-scale union catalogue of bibliographic records.

Facebook wants your attention, not your photos

There has been something of a furore over a recent change to Facebook’s terms of service (ToS). The Consumerist reported this as Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.”. The change in question was the removal of a clause stating: You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

Making developers happy

Since I joined UKOLN two years ago, I have frequently claimed that we ( JISC, the sector, our community) don’t do enough to support and listen to developers. Well, I’m just back from The Developers Happiness Days (dev8D) in London and I can certainly no longer say this. A solid week of developer happiness! A week of ideas generated, geeks networking with users, competitive and yet collaborative development, knowledge being exchanged….

OpenID and name authority

In his Science in the Open blog Cameron Neylon has written an interesting post, A Specialist OpenID Service to Provide Unique Researcher IDs? in which he asks: Good citation practice lies at the core of good science. The value of research data is not so much in the data itself but its context, its connection with other data and ideas. How then is it that we have no way of citing a person?

Consumption and ownership

I just read a really good post from Martin Weller on Ed Techie called Ownership ain’t what it used to be. Talking about web-based music sharing services such as LastFM, and having just signed up to Spotify, Martin says: It brought back to me some considerations I’d had about the nature of ownership. My generation will have a distinctly different concept of ownership to that of my daughter’s generation. For my generation you partly constructed your identity around what you owned - your bookshelf, record collection and DVD archive were important aspects of who you were (as anyone who has read Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity will appreciate).

Developer happiness

Are you a developer of software? Could you be happier? If so, come along to the JISC Developer Happiness Days event! From the website: Over four intensive days we’re bringing together the cream of the crop of educational software developers along with coders from other sectors, users, and technological tinkerers in an exciting new forum. Share your skills and knowledge with the coding community in a stimulating and fun environment and come away with new skills, fresh contacts – and you might even win a prize.

Push or pull?

A brief comment, as I hop across the North Sea back to Bristol. With the news that arXiv will now accept deposits from institutional repositories, Dorothea Salo continues her theme about a deposit flow which goes from author, to institutional repository, to subject/discipline repository. Dorothea offers some scenarios, including: Achaea University adopts a Harvard-style open-access mandate. If she wants her articles in arXiv as well, Dr. Troia must rather annoyingly dual-deposit… unless Achaea’s IR implements a deposit pipeline to arXiv, in which case the most she has to do is tick a ticky-box (and I can imagine ways to abstract away the ticky-box).