Archive for the 'Social Media/Web 2.0' Category

Spiro Reviews Last Year's Key Digital Humanities Developments

Posted in Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Digital Humanities, Mass Digitizaton, Scholarly Communication, Social Media/Web 2.0, University Presses on January 16th, 2008

In a series of three interesting posts, Lisa Spiro, Director of the Digital Media Center and the Educational Technology Research and Assessment Cooperative at Rice University's Fondren Library, has reviewed 2007's major digital humanities developments: "Digital Humanities in 2007 [Part 1 of 3]," "Digital Humanities in 2007 [Part 2 of 3]," and "Digital Humanities in 2007 [Part 3 of 3]."

Podcast of ALA's Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Initiative Group Meeting

Posted in ALA, Social Media/Web 2.0, Virtual Worlds on January 15th, 2008

A podcast of the first meeting of the ALA's Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Initiative Group is now available.

Here's the group's statement of purpose from its ALA Wiki entry:

To provide a group within ALA for members interested in fostering the practice of library work, the visibility of libraries and library workers, and the extension of library services within online social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. To provide a mechanism for sharing experiences and practices in-person or virtually through programming or asynchronous communications. To encourage wider participation by the profession and the association in virtual worlds. and To establish a forum across all types of libraries and at all levels of library employment concerned with the development of library services in emerging social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. This group is open to all members.

Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Culture, Digital Media, Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 8th, 2008

American University's Center for Social Media has released Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, which examines fair use issues in user-created digital videos. See the announcement for links to videos used in the report.

Here's an excerpt from the "Next Steps" section:

The effervescence of this moment at the dawn of participatory media should not be mistaken for triviality. The practices of today’s online creators are harbingers of a far more interactive media era. Today’s makers—feckless, impudent, brash, and extravagant as they often are—in fact are the pioneers of an emerging media economy and society. Recognition of the importance of fair use, within the copyright law toolkit for cultural creation, is both prudent and forward-looking for those concerned with maintaining an open society.

Wikia Search Debuts to Pundits’ Criticism

Posted in Google and Other Search Engines, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 8th, 2008

An alpha version of Wikia's open source Wikia Search has gone public, but the consensus seems to be that this user-tuned search engine has a long way to go to compete with the likes of Google.

Read more about it at "Jimmy Wales Argues That His Wikia Needs More Time," "Wiki Citizens Taking on a New Area: Searching," "Wikia Launching Human-Powered Search," "Wikia Search Alpha Preview Leaves Much to Be Desired," "Wikia Search Is A Complete Letdown," and"Wikia Search—Miles Behind the Competition."

Web 2.0 Meets EPrints: The SNEEP Project

Posted in Digital Repositories, EPrints, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 7th, 2008

The SNEEP project has released an alpha version of SNEEP.comment, which adds user comments to the EPrints repository software.

SNEEP is also working on a tagging component for EPrints.

Google Gives Wikipedia a Lump of Knol for Xmas

Posted in Google and Other Search Engines, Social Media/Web 2.0 on December 16th, 2007

According to "Encouraging People to Contribute Knowledge," Google has launched Knol, a Wikipedia competitor, in test mode.

Here'as an excerpt from the posting:

Earlier this week, we [Google] started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling "knol", which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it. . . . .

A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions. Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. . . . .For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. . . .

Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads.

Read more about it at "Google to Wikipedia: "Knol" Thine Enemy," "Google's Knol: No Wikipedia Killer," "Google's 'Knols' Aren't a Threat to Wikipedia," "Google's Know-It-All Project," and "Google's Units of Knowledge May Raise Conflict of Interest."

Sophie Project Gets $1 Million from Macarthur Foundation

Posted in Digital Media, E-Books, Social Media/Web 2.0 on December 4th, 2007

Thanks to a million dollar grant from the Macarthur Foundation, version 1.0 of Sophie, software that allows non-programmers to easily create multimedia documents, will be released in February 2008. Sophie runs on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. An alpha version and several demo books created with Sophie are available.

Here's an excerpt the project's home page:

Originally conceived as a standalone multimedia authoring tool, Sophie is now integrated into the Web 2.0 network in some very powerful ways:

  • Sophie documents can be uploaded to a server and then streamed over the net
  • It's possible to embed remote audio, video and graphic text files in the pages of Sophie documents meaning that the actual document that needs to be distributed might be only a few hundred kilobytes even if the book itself is comprised of hundreds of megabytes or even a few gigabytes.
  • Sophie now has the ability to browse OKI (open knowledge initiative) repositories from within Sophie itself and then to embed objects from those repositories.
  • We now have live dynamic text fields (similar to the Institute's CommentPress experiments on the web) such that a comment written in the margin is displayed immediately in every other copy of that book—anywhere in the world.

New York Public Library Makes 600,000 Digital Images Available to Kaltura Users

Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Culture, Digital Media, Research Libraries, Social Media/Web 2.0 on November 30th, 2007

The New York Public Library has made its collection of 600,000 digital images available for use by Kaltura users. Kaltura is a free, online collaborative video production site.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The New York Public Library and Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, announced today that the organizations have joined forces to further enhance online rich-media collaboration. The New York Public Library's treasure trove of 600,000 digital images can now be incorporated easily into Kaltura's group video projects. The library's digital collection includes a wide range of rare and unique images drawn from its research collections. These range from Civil War photographs and illuminated Medieval manuscripts to historic views of New York City, Yiddish theatre placards and 19th Century restaurant menus. Users can search, preview and add these library images directly from the Kaltura web site (To try it, go to http://www.kaltura.com, click 'start a kaltura').

"Kaltura is a good fit for The New York Public Library as we work to take advantage of the latest technologies and approaches to make our collection freely and widely accessible," said Joshua M. Greenberg, Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship at The New York Public Library. "We are excited to enable the use of our extensive Digital Gallery of historical images in Kaltura's cutting-edge and innovative application. Working with Kaltura was a natural step in enabling the creative use of these rich materials in the broader online world."

Kaltura enables groups of users to collaborate in the creation of videos and slideshows, similar to the way in which Wiki platforms allow users to collaborate with text. When creating a Kaltura video, users can upload their own videos, photos, audio and animation, can import their previously uploaded material from MySpace, Photobucket or YouTube, or they can access and import rich-media from various public-domain and CreativeCommons sources such as Flickr, CCMixter, Jamendo, and now The New York Public Library. Kaltura aims to team with additional databases and digital resource partners in order to both provide users with the widest array of rich-media, and to provide its resource partners with access to Kaltura's Global Network of users, content, and services that allows unprecedented collaboration around rich-media creation, remixing and distribution.

"We strive to provide users with the most comprehensive, enjoyable and user-friendly experience possible when creating their collaborative Kalturas in a fun, safe, and legal environment; The New York Public Library database is a huge addition to resources that we offer, both in terms of its size and the great value that it brings," said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura.

"Kaltura was built around the principles of openness and sharing with the mission to enhance collaboration and to lower the barriers of participation—it is through partners with a similar vision, like The New York Public Library, that we can achieve our goal of delivering the world's first open platform for peer production of rich media, with the broadest access to rich-media materials, resources and databases," Yekutiel added. "We are truly honored by this collaboration."

Center for History and New Media Launches ScholarPress: WordPress Plugins for Education

Posted in Social Media/Web 2.0 on November 17th, 2007

The Center for History and New Media has launched ScholarPress, which provides WordPress plugins tailored for educational use.

The first two plugins are:

  • Courseware: "Courseware enables you to manage a class with a WordPress blog, including a schedule, bibliography, assignments, and other course information."
  • WPBook: "WPBook works with the Facebook Development platform to create a Facebook Application (addable by users within the site) using a WordPress blog."

Major Internet and Media Companies Sign Off on Agreement about Third-Party Copyrighted Materials in User-Generated Content

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Social Media/Web 2.0 on October 19th, 2007

Major Internet and media companies, including CBS, Dailymotion, Fox, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Viacom, and Walt Disney, have agreed to abide by a new set of principles (User Generated Content Principles) for detecting and regulating the use of third-party copyrighted materials in user-generated content.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The principles, which are attached and available in full at www.ugcprinciples.com, call for a broad range of constructive and cooperative efforts by copyright owners and UGC services. They include:

  • Implementation of state of the art filtering technology with the goal to eliminate infringing content on UGC services, including blocking infringing uploads before they are made available to the public;
  • Upgrading technology when commercially reasonable;
  • Cooperating to ensure that the technology is implemented in a manner that effectively balances legitimate interests, including fair use;
  • Cooperation in developing procedures for promptly addressing claims that content was blocked in error;
  • Regularly using the technology to remove infringing content that was uploaded before the technology could block it;
  • Identification and removal of links to sites that are clearly dedicated to, and predominantly used for, the dissemination of infringing content; and,
  • Promotion of content-rich, infringement-free services by continuing to cooperatively test new technologies and by collaboratively updating these principles as appropriate to keep current with evolving developments.

You can read more about this at "Consortium's User-generated Content Principles Extend Far beyond Fair Use" and "Studios Unveil Their Copyright Protection Guidelines," and "Unprincipled 'Principles' for User Generated Content."

Free Flow of Information Act Passes House, but Limits Blogger Protection

Posted in Social Media/Web 2.0 on October 18th, 2007

The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 has passed the House, shielding most journalists and some bloggers who do not want to reveal confidential background story information during federal investigations. At the last minute, the bill was amended so that bloggers and reporters must derive "a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain" from their work.

Read more about it at "House Passes Federal Journalist Shield, Includes Bloggers" and "U.S. House Overwhelmingly Passes Federal Shield Bill, Changes Definition of Who Is Covered."

Web/Web 2.0 Tools

Posted in Coding, Social Media/Web 2.0, Techie on October 12th, 2007

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.


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