Since everyone and their mother is in the e-book business now, it makes sense that Google would jump in with its own digital book offering. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google's bookstore could go live as early as next month. The service, called Google Editions, plans to make its books compatible with as many operating systems and devices as possible. There's definitely a niche for an open bookstore, with Amazon focusing on its own Kindle software and hardware and Apple pushing the iPad. To make Google Editions a success, Google just needs to finalize deals with publishers and make sure it can compete with existing bookstores when it comes to selection and pricing. Publishers say this represents a test of whether e-books will save the book business once they're searchable, instant, and platform-independent. What do you think? Should Amazon and Apple be worried?
I'm not sure if this is cool or creepy. I felt a lot better after logging out of Facebook and then looking at it again to verify I couldn't see anything about myself or my Facebook friends. If you go to the site while you are logged into Facebook, you will see all kinds of things about what your friends like or posted.
This is actually how the Like button on this site works (beta from TypePad). You only see people on the left in the Like box, if you know them. Other people show up in the total but you can't see their names or avatars. Additionally, if you aren't logged in when you come to our site, you will only see the total number of persons who Like the site.
I'm darned close to uninstalling the Facebook Like button on this blog, just because there's too much experimental work being done on what we all signed on for as protected data. Just so you all know, I don't plan on collecting any data or looking at data if they exist. What I thought it might be good for was to automatically feed my posts to Facebook and give folks a choice instead of just broadcasting my posts. Frankly, though, it's not that big a deal for me to check the little box to share my individual posts (as I did here).
For the few of you who have already hit the Like button here, we won't be offended if you Unlike it. The newsfeed function in beta is not working at present, so these posts will be shared manually. If you care to stay, rest assured we will not be data mining these data.
Here is the disclaimer from the Like Button aggregator, should you decide to check it out.
Like Button is a collection of links shared by your Facebook friends from most popular sites. For you privacy concerned people: don't worry, like button has no access to your personal information. Think of each box as a very specific miniature Facebook page inside of this site. Like button makes a great home page. Got it? Hide this message
This year, the U.S. Census Bureau has a presence on all major social media sites as it attempts to count as many of the 300 million-odd people that live in the U.S. as possible.
It's the first year social media has played such a role in the Census, and it has come with a mixture of successes and failures. Critics say the content on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and a "Director's Blog" are good, but they argue the Census Bureau may have spread itself too thin. These sources say the agency would have been better off focusing on a single content hub.
Keva Silversmith, public affairs specialist with the Census Bureau, says the ultimate goal in using social media in 2010 is to increase participation and to facilitate a national dialogue.
"The Census only happens once every ten years," Silversmith says. "We need to remember why we have this national ceremony. And this is the first time we've been able to use social media to the extent that we are."
Yesterday, I tweeted out a video about the future of publishing (Book Publisher Tries Reversing the Fate of Industry with Viral Video http://ow.ly/1nyv7) that used an interesting approach to how the publishing industry currently reacts to consumer needs (or how they perceive needs, at any rate). The video essentially suggests that the industry should take the opposite approach to marketing and they will succeed in marketing the the "new" generation. All fine and well and the video was nicely done.
Interestingly enough, the video was, for all intents and purposes, a remake of the video shown below that addressed a misperception of youth (I presume Gen-Y) in a more general sense. Why the publisher replicated the video in this manner (as pointed out by Open Culture today) without any attribution is beyond me. It's a powerful idea - to turn an idea on its head. Maybe the actual author was the same and was leveraging his/her previous work. I hope that's the case because there's a temptation to think that the "Lost Generation" doesn't care about intellectual property and I would think that another misclassification of this generation.
Google launched a new service today in from its Labs called Google Reader Play. It is a more visual way to browse through the most popular items being saved and shared on Google Reader. When you launch it, you are presented with a large photo, video, or text excerpt on the main part of the screen, and can flip through by clicking on arrows or selecting an item from the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen.
Perhaps it's because I use social media for social justice purposes but I believe SocMe is just another tool in our toolboxes....
Today, the printed report, the copied flyer and the faxed document no longer seem to be the nervous system of political change. Faxes have been overtaken by email, newspapers by blogs, and reports by tweets. The global circulation of information has become faster and more compressed, as if someone had hit the fast-forward button on current events. Journalists, policymakers, and average citizens are hard-pressed to keep up with this often bewildering jumble of opinions and facts. The sheer acceleration and accumulation of data has also made the job of censors and resistant government officials more difficult, if not impossible.
The fast-forward button is still pressed down. With the advent of social networking sites like Facebook, pundits are heralding a new and revolutionary form of communication. Is Facebook a fundamentally new way of viewing and changing the world? Or, beneath all the hype, are these sites just a tool like any other in the activist, journalist, and civic toolbox?
I am pretty darned geeked about this news visualization tool over at Slate. It works much like Pearl Trees and links news topics that have been covered in a given day but, beyond that, when you click on a node, a list of relevant new stories appears on the right. To access the tool, click through on the static link below or the Read More link below the graphic.
Like Kevin Bacon's co-stars, topics in the news are all connected by degrees of separation. To examine how every story fits together, News Dots visualizes the most recent topics in the news as a giant social network. Subjects—represented by the circles below—are connected to one another if they appear together in at least two stories, and the size of the dot is proportional to the total number of times the subject is mentioned.
If you are one the many people doing awareness campaigns or writing letters for Bread for the World and like-minded organizations (as my husband and I have done for years), you might be interested and dismayed to know that the target for the Millennium Development Goals is far from being reached. Much of the blame lies in the failure of both government and business to leverage new technologies to address health and hunger issues worldwide.
"We are actually going to admit that we are way off achieving these targets and particularly on health," Principal Adviser to the United Nations Office for Partnership Denis Gilhooly said.
Mr Gilhooly said the three health-related goals of the Millennium development project - child mortality, maternal health and infectious diseases - were most at risk of missing their targets as developed and developing nations failed to leverage information communication technology to redress failings and high service costs in current health systems.
"Health is the biggest challenge because it underpins everything. The problem is that in the health sector we are living in silos. The doctors are one of the real problems because they are incredibly resistant to technological change and moving forward. There are also data and confidentiality problems that are inherent in health," Mr Gilhooly said.
This quote, also by Mr. Gilhooly, is really the crux of the issue, in my opinion:
"We have to get away from thinking of mobile as a cash cow and start seeing it as a social and economic enabler for the whole economy."
Interconnectedness seems to be a prevailing theme in my life, as of late. I'm currently reading a book called The Sustainable Network by Sarah Sorenson and had already started ideas spinning through by brain when Will Reichard began posting tweets and blog entries about telecom penetration and social acceptance of telephony. I'm not quite ready to qualify the direction I'm headed but I believe I'm able to better steer Research & Rescue in the direction I want, thanks to a great conversation with Will this morning. It will be an evolution and somewhat a return to its roots at the same time (more later on that). And, as I sat here this evening, procrastinating writing the real blog post on the ideas and direction, Benson Hendrix posted a blog entry similar to this one. Apparently, he had lunch with Will on the very same day and is doing some re-navigation of his own.
I don't know that I will change the blog because I enjoy being varied in my subjects but there will very likely be pages added that will take the new direction I am mulling. There! Now I have committed to doing "something". Thanks, Will, for getting me that far and thanks, Benson, for for putting something on your blog and making me feel guilty enough about my procrastination to write this. &:-)