Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jody the Junglist

This is for my brother, who passed away. Here are 2 links. One from the BBC and video a great friend made of him. Thanks for everyones thoughts. Its appreciated.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bad day

Had the worst news when I was told my brother was murdered. Still numb.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Google storm rages on........

I recently discussed the fall out from Google Librarian central, which Steven Cohen had pointed out, had not been written in for 1 year. Well, they have finally responded, and told us there back. But only as a newsletter.
As one critic said:-

They've been thinking about how best to communicate with us, and this apparently is best done by closing the weblog and reverting to a newsletter. Is this one of the first examples of a company dumping Web 2.0 technology in favour of 1.0?

Meredith Farkas has been defending the Google line, saying:-

Some people are up in arms because they feel that Google has some obligation to libraries beyond the contractual obligations to those they’re working with. Some people feel like librarians have been used. I must be missing something, because I don’t feel anything of the kind. Marketing is designed to make you like a company or product. Their marketing worked.

Fair point Meredith, but as a company there making a profit of everyone's culture, there not doing this so we can access information. Google have said that:-

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

ut I'd agree with another view point, that :-

Google's real mission is to organize the world around advertising.

If there doing it on the back of being the only company making books available online, they have a monopoly to decide what goes up and what gets hits. But hell, Marketing is designed to make you like a company.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Interview on my other blog

As you may or may not know, I've recently started a new blog called SAVE SENATE HOUSE. Anyhow, two students have started a successful facebook campaign. I have just interview one and put it up on the site, so please check it out.

New book I have been enjoying

I've always been a big computer fan, since my first one back in 1982. I have also often thought about writing a book on the ZX Spectrum. Seems someone has got there before me, when I picked up Jack Railton's book 'The A to Z of Cool Computer Games'. Though not totally based fully on the Speccy, many games are discussed.

I'd still like to see a book or article on the 80's Politics of Spectrum and its games (for example Monty on the Run was a game about the coal miners strike and how the mole was trying to escape miners, flying pickets, or the game Morris Meets the Bikers', which was a game which was made by automata, who tried to make the games 'non confrontational', how 80's pc is that?_

Friday, July 04, 2008

An indepth look at Google library blog, or what happened

As many bloggers (1, 2, 3) and especially Steven Cohen deliberate the impact of Google Librarian Central blog and its disappearance, it seems little has been said why? Expecially from Google, but other sources. Perhaps google never got around to reading.

Firstly, Steven was not the first one to point out the demise of the blog, as it was discussed way back in January.

Secondly, Google now no longer has any competition from Microsoft in this area any longer. Therefore, the competition has disappeared in May of this year. But this does not still explain why they went 10 months without mentioning it?

In my opinion, Google was always a company and companies there are to make profits, and not to help society live a fruitful existance (unlike librarians). As Charles Arthur had pointed out :-

Google gets the book contents free, gets to sell adverts against them, and the publishers get ... what? The promise that they might sell some more books. It certainly sounds like something for nothing. And once again, it's Google that gets the something, and everyone else who is left scrabbling for the scraps.

Google should at least address this error. If they make a blog for librarians and then dump it, you'll really annoy people (as Steven has shown).

Also, it might make us look less uncritically at Google, and agree with one critic who says google is White bread for young minds

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Encyclopaedia Britannica Debate - Do schoolchildren and students know how to research?

The RSA in London has an interesting talk called 'Encyclopaedia Britannica Debate - Do schoolchildren and students know how to research?' Sounds like an interesting panel especially with Stephen Heppell. As its free i'll have to go, even though I fly out the next day.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Who needs a library when Tesco's is just as good?

I read with interest Pete Smith's blogs discussing how one councillor in Doncaster, the Director of Customer Services (sic), Stuart Hall, has had this to say about cutbacks that will materially damage the library service[whoops, Pete pointed out it was an officer not councillor]:-

“What is the point in buying new books? Tescos sell them cheaply and everything you need to know is on the Internet.”

Ummmmm. Now i'm not sure if I'd really like to see Stuart Hall's book collection, but is this guy for real? So, whats he saying? That libraries are dead? That a dumb terminal will give us the answers? That Jackie Collins new novel will show us the meaning of life?

How Google Used Librarians…and Got Away With It

A few blogs have been discussing Steven Cohen's blog on How Google Used Librarians…and Got Away With It (1,2).Steven, David Rothman and Siva Vaidhyanathan, gicve a good platform why this has occured. I was astonished when they pointed out Google hadn't even enter a blog entry for a year.

Phil Bradley (the english voice of reason) has some salient points also on the matter. Phil, like Steven Cohen has argued we should not just use (or is it BE USED) by Google. But to use other sources.

Anyway, all too sad and all to predictable.

Youtube librarianship

This is via Librarian in black, about Videos on YouTube for Librarians. It has 100 Awesome Youtube Vids for Librarians. I think I might have to bring this up in the Web 2.0 thing we're doing about at the library I work at and discussed before (1,2).