If there’s one theme in this episode of the podcast, it’s content being hidden from the open web. The new social network Google+ lets you create “circles” that will allow you to post certain content to certain people and hide it from others, but just as with Facebook, it’s not at all certain that future historians will be able to see any of it, or at least not in context. Computer scientists at Old Dominion University are working to estimate how much of the open web is backed up, and we’re happy to learn that at least thirty percent of it might be available for future study. Blackboard, the original turnkey for course content, is no longer a publicly traded company, and according to the well-read Mills Kelly, that’s because Blackboard may be losing market share to free and open source software. Finally, Tom and Dan tell us a little about PressForward, the Center for History and New Media’s new publishing initiative, which is made possible precisely because so much good work is not in fact locked down, but is freely available on the web.
UPDATE: Google+ does indeed have URLs for individual posts — thanks, Stephen, for pointing that out in the comments. Also, we’d like to give proper credit to Tim Carmody for his remark on Twitter that Google+ “is the first general-purpose social network actually designed for post-collegiate grown-ups.”
Links to stories covered in the podcast:
Audrey Watters, Google Plus: Is This the Social Tool Schools Have Been Waiting For?
Jeff Young, Professors Consider Classroom Uses for Google Plus
Josh Lowensohn, Google+ Access Coming to Google Apps, Eventually
Jie Jenny Zou, Old Dominion U. Researchers Ask How Much of the Web is Archived
Audrey Watters, How the Library of Congress is Building the Twitter Archive
Steve Kolowich, Blackboard Gets Bought
Dan Cohen, Introducing PressForward
Running time: 53:50
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