Friday, December 17, 2010

Et tu, Delicious?

With more than a little regret and annoyance, I moved my Bloglines feeds to Google Reader when it was announced they would be eliminating the service. (Yes, Bloglines was subsequently purchased by MerchantCircle and users are to migrate to the new system.) Now Yahoo will be closing Delicious. After reading the notice, I logged in to Delicious and exported my 738+ bookmarks. The tags do not display in the html list, though they do in the source code, which makes recreating the portal a daunting task.

  • Yahoo Shutting Down Delicious, Buzz, Other Services
    "Part of our organizational streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond," a Yahoo spokeswoman said via e-mail. "We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate." -- Chloe Albanesius, PC, 12-16/10

  • Yahoo Closing Delicious
    "It’s a sad day for the many people who have come to rely on, a very popular social bookmarking site. Yahoo, which bought the site in 2005, is now in the midst of shutting it down after deeming it an ”off-strategy product.” This news comes to us via TechCrunch who verified the story with a WSJ reporter as well as with Yahoo itself, mere days after announcing it had layed off 4% of its staff in a recent downsizing exercise." -- Simon Cohen, Sync, 12/16/10

  • Is Yahoo Sutting Down Delicious? Yes
    "For a couple of days now, we’ve been hearing rumors that the Yahoo layoffs included the entire Delicious team. Now Former Yahoo employee and Upcoming founder Andy Baio has tweeted out the above Yahoo! product team meeting slide that seems to show that Yahoo! is either closing or merging the social bookmarking service as well as Upcoming, Fire Eagle, MyBlogLog and others." -- Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch, 12/16/10

  • Yahoo Plans to Kill Off Delicious Bookmarking Service
    "According to a leaked photo, Yahoo plans to close a number of services, including Yahoo Buzz, MyBlogLog and Delicious, the popular bookmarking site. Most of the closing services are Yahoo projects that simply never went anywhere, but Delicious, which Yahoo acquired in 2005, was once the king of bookmarks and helped popularize many of the key elements of today’s social web." -- Scott Gilbertson, WebMonkey, 12/17/10

It is simple enough to export my bookmarks to another service, there's a quick tutorial on how to export into Diigo and a convenient video highlighting their service (be patient,"As there are huge number of requests lately, it may take a while."). And these things happen when using a free, dare I say it, cloud based Internet resource. It just so happened these were two of my favorite early 2.0 tools.

The real issue here is people, reports are Yahoo laid off over 600 workers recently - among them the entire Delicious staff.

[Update] Delicious Blog 12/17/2010

What's Next for Delicious?
"Many of you have read the news stories aboutDelicious that began appearing yesterday. We’re genuinely sorry to have these stories appear with so little context for our loyal users. While we can’t answer each of your questions individually, we wanted to address what we can at this stage and we promise to keep you posted as future plans get finalized."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weekly reader wrap-up

Tomorrow is our last day before the holiday break. Those days are always full of general house-keeping , blog posts, changing phone messages, updating web information, and preparing my area for time off, are just a few tasks at hand. That said, here is my final weekly reader wrap-up for 2010 on a Thursday. Sometimes it is difficult to find items to share, while other weeks my reader overflows with interesting blog reading. This week fell in-between with so many end-of-year wraps in the mix; there are library, education, technology, and general interest links.

  • Study finds undergrads hitting the books less often
    "With final exams approaching on many college campuses, it won't be hard to spot stressed-out students hunched over laptops, hunkered down in library stacks or fending off fatigue with Red Bull. Sure, they're dedicated and hard-working. Or maybe not." -- Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/12/10

  • How Much is Enough?
    "I’ve been hearing more and more, recently, about people dropping out of service and professional development opportunities because they cannot secure funding from their institutions to attend." --Amy Fry, ACRLog, 12/13/10

  • "This is the first-ever survey reading from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project that exclusively examines Twitter users. In previous surveys, the Pew Internet Project had asked internet users whether they "used Twitter or another service to share updates about yourself or to see updates about others?" -- Pew Research Center Publications, 12/9/10

  • Researchers Create 3-D Models with Flickr Photos
    "An international team of researchers has developed a new way to turn photographs from the media-sharing sites like Flickr into intricate 3-D computer models using only a home computer." --Travis Kaya, Wired Campus, 12/10/201

  • Search and Insert YouTube Videos
    "Blogger supports drop-dead easy video-blogging -- if you have a video file, you can just upload it to Blogger. But when it comes to video-blogging, we know a lot of you also choose to embed YouTube videos to your post." -- Blogger in Draft, 12/14/10

  • 10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2011
    "2011 will also be marked by new developments that will shape the very fabric of our behavior, culture and identity. These developments will challenge us to consider important questions about the future of our experience as connected people and consumers. Here are key trends to watch in the coming year." -- Ravit Lichtenberg, ReadWriteWeb, 12/15/10

  • Generations 2010: Pew Internet & American Life Report
    "There are still notable differences by generation in online activities, but the dominance of the Millennial generation that we documented in our first “Generations” report in 2009 has slipped in many activities." -- Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Reserch Center, 12/16/10

  • LibAnswers Help Libraries Win the Race
    "Here’s a “too good not to share” story from our friends at Albuquerque/Bernalillo County (ABC) Libraries, who published a LibAnswer that received 11,000+ views in 5 days."-- Springshare Support Blog, 12/15/10

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From Common Craft: Project Based Learning

The Common Craft blog presented a new video yesterday, Project Based Learning - Explained: A Custom Video Project with BIE. It is a great resource for understanding what PBL is and what it can do for students in any classroom. The online education technology course I work with is project based and focuses upon 21st Century Skills for students as pre-service teachers. This is something that could be incorporated with information literacy instruction, especially when paired with active learning.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Protopage (replacing Pageflakes)

At the conclusion of this term, students creating their electronic portfolios were greeted with an unpleasant surprise when their Pageflakes portals were unavailable. The site suffered a number of significant outages between mid-October and the end of November and even this evening, is not available to users. I have been researching any number or web sites that could provide the same LibGuide-like results for students to use; the assignment is a great ice-breaker, students use a 2.0 technology and put the first building block in place with ease. I may have found a perfect companion to Netvibes, replacing Pageflakes, with Protopage.

A 2.0 start page, similar in nature to Netvibes, iGoogle, and Pageflakes (without the previously mentioned spotty usage reports) it provides users with opportunity to personalize their web experience.
"Protopage leverages Web 2.0 methodologies to create a very smooth drag-and-drop interface that acts more like your desktop than a browser home page, and not only does it have just about everything you will want in a start page, but it does almost everything well." -- The Scoop on Protopage, Daniel Nations, Web Trends
I registered for a free account and quickly created a usable page. Not as flashy as Netvibes, it does provide easy options for text with wysiwyg editors and 'sticky notes,' video with html options in the text editor and widget boxes for video, and several different options to create bookmark lists and news feeds.

This afternoon I wrote and revised a short series of storyboards for video tutorials. I used Screencast-o-matic, along with a little help from YouTube's Video Editor, to produce two video tutorials (in HD). The videos, Protopage Introduction and Adding Widgets to Your Portal, will be featured this spring replacing the Pageflake videos.

Next I plan to move forward with incorporating Google Docs Forms in the classroom. I used Google Forms to develop surveys for student input on LibGuides created for two courses (take a sneak peek at one embedded in a LibGuide) and would like to add forms as an addendum of sorts to the Google Spreadsheet assignment.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vanity searching, ego surfing ...

No matter what it's called, vanity searching, ego surfing, or Googling yourself - "A rose by any other name" - I never really considered the act a guilty or narcissistic pleasure as described in the opening paragraphs of the Time's article Why Google Wants You to Google Yourself. Within closing remarks and announcements at the end of my technology course, I remind students everything they created and presented online now belongs to them; projects may be marked private, edited and revised to suit their ongoing needs, or simply deleted. Regardless of their decision I advocate performing a vanity search, they should carefully evaluate the results and determine if their growing online persona is appropriate for a potential employer to view.

Generally speaking, I follow the advice and perform the same search on myself using Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ice Rocket utilizing various forms of my name (quotes, no quotes, middle initial, etc.). After the initial wonder finding blog comments, ALAO board meeting minutes, a email posting from grad school years ago, and more recently uFollow, I've not found anything unusual or needing my attention. That is, until last week. Search results yielded links to several very dated (six years ago) technology handouts and tutorials I developed had been uploaded from my personal university web site to a course material sharing web site.

I like to share; all of my instructional videos on YouTube are public and I've never denied a request for using one of my LibGuides, but finding these resources posted without permission was irksome. I searched the site for project guidelines, privacy notices, and contact information to request removal of items uploaded without permission. I sent an email request, complete with specific links and document titles, on Tuesday. I had an answer the next day complete with digital copyright statements showing they had complied with the law and a requirement I state - categorically - my ownership of said documents. I found it ironic they could post what did not belong to them, yet I had to 'prove' they were mine to have them removed. Official notice the four documents had been removed arrived via email late Thursday. Yesterday I tested the links and they were indeed no longer active. I also found three more items (update: they have been removed).