Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call." The term has been around for several years and the momentum has been growing. We can now see it in the changes to stock photography, Dell's new release of Ubuntu computers and more.

Jeff Howe's book, Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business, was released yesterday. It's available at the ususal online sources and probably in a store near you. Yes, there are other books about the wisdom and power of crowds, but Jeff Howe is credited by Wired as identifiying the concept in 2006.

Here's a link to a Jeff Howe trailer about the phenomenon on the crowdsourcing website .

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Slide Rocket

Here's a new way to create, store and share presentations. SlideRocket "is a web application that provides everything you need to design professional quality presentations, manage and share libraries of slides and assets, and to deliver presentations in person or remotely over the web." Have you seen cool twirling, reflecting, flipping slides and wondered how to create that effect in your software? Here's an innovative solution. Build the presentation online in SlideRocket and then either share it with a URL or synchoronize it for presentation offline. SlideRocket --worth a look!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Being There

Finding Paths through the World's Photos
OK the write-up is a little obscure or esoteric or... just dang hard to follow, but the video is way cool.

University of Washington researchers along with help from Mcrosoft have developed a system that combines Image-based rendering (IBR) and navigation. Bottom line -- a bunch of folks take a bunch of pictures and then they are combined to make an interactive & navigable "you are there" photo experience.

More information at their site on Photo Tourism

Monday, August 18, 2008

Spongebob Squarepants does the movies!

OK, this has nothing to do with libraries or info science other than I borrowed the link from The Laughing Librarian. It is, however, a hoot! They dub scenes from Casablanca, Singin' in the Rain and The Godfather.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Discriminatory Hiring Practices?

I pass this sign every morning on my way to work. Can they really discriminate against non-falafels? Who will do the interview? What kind of commitment do they expect? What are the duties of a falafel?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

10 Technologies That Will Transform Your Life

Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but they will certainly cause a lot of change. What's number 10 and the first thing you'll see when you follow this link to Live Science? Digital Libraries! (Although it's a little puzzling to see stacks from a traditional library as the illustration.) There's a brief statement about each of the top 10 with links to more information. Unfortunately, each technology is featured on a separate page and you have to click through the ad-laden site to see each one. That's annoying, but it's often interesting to see what are identified as the top ten. This site has top ten lists on many topics.

Monday, August 11, 2008

CD Baby is an on-line record store that sells albums by independent artists featuring music that comes directly from the musicians and is not filtered through the usual record company-distributor morass. In a regular record deal musicians only make $1-$2 per album, if they ever get paid at all. Through CD Baby, musicians make $6-$12 per album and are paid weekly. The success of the formula is obvious when you see the numbers:
242,846 artists sell their music at CD Baby
4,574,622 CDs sold online to customers
$83,590,381 paid directly to the artists

Search by Style/Genre, Top Sellers, Location, Flavor, Sounds Like..., and even price!

via: Seth's Blog

Friday, August 08, 2008

ga ga goo goo

I have to post this if for no other reason than this software has such a great name!


From their site:
Bookgoo allows you to upload, annotate, and collaborate with your offline documents in an online way. Putting your documents on our website is only part of the story. We allow your documents to be highlighted and annotated in the same way you would mark up a piece of paper with a highlighter and pen. Moreover, we allow you to then share your annotated documents with friends, colleagues, professors – really, anyone! In turn, the people you share your documents with can highlight and annotate your document as well and provide comments on your annotations. Bookgoo facilitates the conversation on the document.

Webworker daily (another great blog) has a good post about it.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cleepr - Music Video Search Engine

Cleepr, the music video search engine, compiles popular and obscure video from artists as mainstream as Coldplay (Jeez - XM radio has an entire channel dedicated to Coldplay.) and as obscure as Johnny Foreigner and Pop Levi. While much of the content is streamed from YouTube and the like, the interface is nice and clean and features a cool tag cloud of the most popular searches. I am so out of touch.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

No Cell Phone Signs

So many creative librarians, but most library cell phone signs I've seen (and there are many on the Web) don't have much creativity, flair or humor. Most appear to be homemade: a cut and pasted unversal 'no' circle over a cartoon phone, printed, placed in a plastic holder and taped to the wall.

If a No Cell Phone sign is needed in the library (checkout desk, information desk, other?) why not a serious looking commercial sign like this one from or something homemade that engages your patrons?

I'm not working in a library now. The best I can come up with is the lame, "Don't make me come over there and shush you. Please turn off your cell phone while in the library." Surely the collective wit of librarians can come up with something effective and humorous. (I noticed that some libraries have gone the extra step and included exit signs reminding patrons to turn their phones on - a nice, user-friendly touch.)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Kinda want a Kindle

Amazon’s 10-ounce Kindle, which holds 200 e-books and can download daily editions of a couple dozen newspapers and hundreds of blogs has apparently reached critical mass. TechCrunch says Amazon has sold some 240,000 Kindles since November for near $100M in total revenue - pretty much what was predicted. Compared to the $1B annual business some analysts think Kindle can generate, there is obviously room to grow, but this does appear to be a good start.

As a well-known gadget freak and avid reader (with the Amazon purchase history to back that up!) I am sorely tempted to buy one. It is the memory of those tiny Palm-based eBooks that keeps me from pulling the trigger. I need to see one and so far no one I know owns one!