Episode 55 – Social History

21 April, 20104 comments

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Bryan Alexander of NITLE joins Tom, Mills, and Dan for a spirited discussion about what this week’s news about three services used by many educators–Twitter, Facebook, and Ning–tells us about how faculty and students should approach online services. We dig into the meaning of the Twitter archive going to the Library of Congress, Facebook announcing how it will spread to the rest of the web, and Ning closing its doors to non-profits. Many questions are raised (and a few answered) about the significance of social media becoming a dominant part of our online existence.

Links mentioned on the podcast:
Library of Congress Acquires Entire Twitter Archive
Facebook Launches New Privacy Section That May Make Your Head Hurt
National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
Pew on Social Media and Young Adults
Dan on sustainability in last section of “The Idols of Scholarly Publishing

Running time: 52:50
Download the .mp3

Categorized under Facebook, privacy, sustainability, Twitter

4 comments to “Episode 55 – Social History”

  1. Boone Gorges : 23rd April, 2010

    At the risk of gratuitous self-promotion, here’s the Ning-to-BuddyPress importer authored by yours truly: http://teleogistic.net/code/wordpresswordpress-mu/import-from-ning/

    It’s very incomplete, as Ning offers easy exporting of user and profile data, but not of user-produced content. And really, you can’t blame them to a certain extent. Beyond the obvious financial incentive for not allowing an easy export, there are also the technical challenges of exporting to a format that will actually be useful. We aren’t even really at the point where we have universal export formats for the relatively mature medium of *blogs*, much less the younger and more complex beasts that are *social networks*. Until such standards are agreed up and implemented in a variety of platforms, the only way communities can ensure the exportability of their valuable content is to have the ability to do a direct dump of the database, and access to the skills required to translate it into another usable format.

    It’s too bad that this is the case. The situation requires a pretty drastic trade-off between control and ease of use.

  2. Bryan Alexander : 23rd April, 2010

    One article agrees about LoC/Twitter and social history:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2251429/

  3. Tom Scheinfeldt : 23rd April, 2010

    Thanks for the links, Bryan and Boone. No shame in self-promotion. In fact, I’ll link to a Read Write Web piece on the Twitter/LC deal which quotes me pressing again my case for adequate funding for the new archival methods and tools necessary to make sense of social media archives.

  4. Briefly Noted for April 27, 2010 : Found History : 27th April, 2010

    [...] will already know my take on the Library of Congress Twitter announcement. But for those who missed our most recent podcast, I was also quoted on the matter in an article in Read Write Web entitled “Twitter Archive is [...]

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