December 30, 2010

Favorite Songs of 2010

Here's a list of my favorite songs for this year. I added all but the Belle & Sebastian to a myspace playlist. Enjoy & support the artist whose songs you like!
Be My ThrillThe WeepiesBe My Thrill
Telegrams to MarsLittle & AshleyStole My Heart EP
Somethin’ StupidThe Secret SistersThe Secret Sisters
The CurseJosh RitterSo Runs The World Away
HormonesTracey ThornLove and Its Opposite
Beauty in the WorldMacy GrayThe Sellout
Better Off In TexasRaul MaloSinners & Saints
Tennessee MeThe Secret SistersThe Secret Sisters
Cornbread and ButterbeansCarolina Chocolate DropsGenuine Negro Jig
Nothing but the Whole Wide WorldJakob DylanWomen And Country
Ridin’ In My CarShe & HimVolume Two
Still Missing YouLittle & AshleyStole My Heart EP
Long Hard RoadSadeSoldier Of Love
I Didn’t See It Coming *
Belle and SebastianWrite About Love
Bad RomanceLady GagaThe Fame Monster
Why Does The Wind?Tracey ThornLove and Its Opposite
Anytime You Need MeMichael FrantiThe Sound Of Sunshine
I Want The World To Stop * Belle and SebastianWrite About Love
San Antonio BabyRaul MaloSinners & Saints
Hey Hey HeyMichael FrantiThe Sound Of Sunshine
(* not on myspace)

And in the shameless family promotion department, please check out my niece Rachel Austin on myspace; she has quite a lovely voice!

November 27, 2010

Finding Old Tweets

Tweet much? Want to study tweets, or review tweets from a recent (or not-so-recent) conference? I've been asked for recommendations on software that will archive tweets, so I thought I'd post my replies here for posterity. Also for my future self.

All The Old Tweets Are Found: Google Launches Twitter Archive Search reports Greg Sterling on Search Engine Land. A Google search will yield archived tweets; click on "More" to the left of the results and scroll down to "Updates."

Here are the results from last year's Science Online conference, hashtagged #scio10. You'll see a few recent tweets, but then you'll see a flurry of tweets from Feb. 2010 to the present (apparently the service started in Feb.) You can click on a calendar image to see tweets from a particular month or date.

(click to see Feb 2010 tweets about #scio10.)

I also tried another conference I attended, #asist21010, & was pleased to see pre-, mid-, and post-conference tweets. For something a bit more topical, check out #ItGetsBetter. Greg's Search Engine Land post goes into more detail, so I'll link to it again.

The Archivist Desktop By Mix Online (and Microsoft). Only available for Windows. They say: "The Archivist is a Windows application that helps you archive tweets for later data-mining and analysis. Start a search with The Archivist and get as many results as it can. The, leave The Archivist running and it will poll Twitter for that search."

Chris Pirillo tweeted about this in September: Archive the Tweets That are Important to You. There is a web version as well for non PC users.

Back in August, 2009, Read Write Web listed 10 Ways to Archive Your Tweets.

Of these, Twinbox looks really handy, as it downloads certain Twitter feeds directly to your Outlook mail client. Again, however, this is only for PeeCee folks.

If you are interested in assessing social media campaigns, you might also want to check out my list of resource to help you Assess Social Media Campaigns.

Tweet on!

October 31, 2010


Not surprisingly, the spate of concussions on Sunday, Oct. 17 yielded a lot of discussion among newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere on the safety of the game of football as it's currently played in the National Football League. Here are some of the items that caught my eye and are worth another look:
  • The November 1, 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated has CONCUSSIONS on the cover, complete with a stunning cover photo of Steelers linebacker James Harrison's hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Inside are several articles, including a conversation with Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis on concussions and modified play and a discussion of how players might better protect themselves from concussions (via tensing their necks).
    • I most enjoyed David Epstein's article Unexpected Findings: The Damage Done, which chronicles research at Purdue detailing the cumulative effect of minor hits to the head throughout a game and season.
    • Peter King's cover article includes a great description of Boston University's Ann McKee (associate professor of neurology & pathology; diagnoser of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in football players, in former NFL players) getting ready for a football-ful Sunday.
    • The articles are good, but the entire package is so well-done (and the photographs so striking) that I recommend buying the print issue, or reading it at your library.
  • The New York Times has been giving this a tremendous amount of coverage, of course. I particularly enjoyed William C. Rhoden's October 19 column Thirty-Yard Penalties Would Help Lower N.F.L. Violence and Michael Sokolove's Oct. 23 "Week in Review" essay Should You Watch Football? (yes).
  • Finally, Tweeter and blogger @concussionblog counts the hits at The Concussion Blog. It's a grim, but useful accounting of who got hit when, and not just in the NFL. Dustin Fink includes rugby, soccer, MLB, and more in his counting. He also does a nice job linking to current coverage of concussions around the country.
For More Information

July 21, 2010

My Summer Vacation

It's definitely summer here in North Carolina: we've had 36 days with temperatures at or above 90ยบ in June or July (in 1952, we had 45 such days in June or July, says the News & Observer), and things are hot & sticky down south!

It's not quite vacation-time in an academic library, and my big project is to redesign the Park Library's web site. More on that later; check out the current site if you like.

The only blog writing I've done is to participate in Bora Zivkovic’s ScienceOnline interviews at his personal blog A Blog Around The Clock. This was part of Bora's occasional interviews with some of the participants of the ScienceOnline2010 conference that was held in the Research Triangle Park, NC back in January; they are all interesting! Mine was recently posted, so feel free to pop on over to Bora's blog if you want to know more about my relationship with science and libraries.

Back to the website drawing board ... I will post about the new site when it goes live in early August.

May 03, 2010

Twitter & the Library of Congress

You may have seen that the Library of Congress will be archiving Tweets for the future. Here are my tweets on the topic, which should provide a brief summary of some useful articles:
How Tweet It Is!: Library of Congress Acquires, Saves Entire Twitter Archive, blog post @, April 14, 2010.

Retweet of UNC SILS PhD student @fstutzman: "Good American Prospect interview w/ Library of Congress (LoC) re: Twitter: Deal is signed, done, LoC doesn't know about opt out. Ugh." The Library of Congress Is Now Following You on Twitter. Phoebe Connelly, April 16, 2010.
Retweet of UNC SILS / JoMC professor @smalljones: "Archivist of the United States makes case for (LoC) saving tweets." AOTUS: Collector in Chief » Tweets: What We Might Learn From Mundane Details. David Ferraro, April 16, 2010.
Retweet of Duke's "Digital strategist and plate-spinner" @paoloman: Digital Domain - A Sea of History - Twitter at the Library of Congress, New York Times, April 30, 2010.

March 06, 2010

Facebook & Theory of Mind, or Why I'm No Longer Updating Facebook

Facebook is a place where you can communicate with your friends, family members, co-workers, ex-flames, maybe even your boss if you choose to friend her. Theory of mind is our "...intuitive understanding of [our] own and other people's minds or mental states, including beliefs and thoughts." (from A Dictionary of Psychology, edited by Andrew M. Colman. Oxford University Press 2009); it explains how we know what other people know.

What does this have to do with Facebook? In the old days, before Facebook's recent privacy changes, if Conchita posted something on Darius' wall, here's who could read it:
  • Darius could read it, because Conchita posted it on Darius' wall
  • Conchita could read it, because Conchita posted it on Darius' wall
  • Their mutual friends Albert and Brigadoon could read it, because
  1. they were alerted when one friend wrote on another friend's wall
  2. Albert and Brigadoon have access to Darius' wall because they are friends with him.
The above is still true. Here's what used to be true that is no longer true:
  • Conchita's friend Ephesus, who doesn't know Darius from Adama, previously could not see that she posted on Darius' wall. Additionally, Conchita's, family, co-workers, and other Facebook-defined friends who were not friends with Darius did not know about and therefore could not read that post. We all had a pretty clear notion of who would have access to that, and some measure of privacy WITHIN OUR FACEBOOK CONTACTS.
  • Now, Ephesus and all of Conchita's other Facebook "friends" know when she writes on ALL OF HER FRIEND'S walls, regardless of whether they know Conchita's friends or not. They also know when she comments on a photograph or a note or anything shared by ANY OF HER FRIENDS. If Conchita's not careful, they can even READ all of Conchita's comments to all of her friends.
As far as I can tell, there is no changing this setting. It is possible to hide some, most, or all of yourself from the World Wide Web, and from people who don't know you from Adama, but it is not possible to hide who you interact with on Facebook to the rest of your, and their, Facebook contacts.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation concurs: "These new 'privacy' changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before. Even worse, the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data." Further, a story in this week's Inside Higher Ed reports that "A small change to the settings for Gadsden’s [an East Stroudsburg University sociology professor] online profile allowed the 'friends' of Gadsden’s own 'friends' to read her updates, and in so doing created a controversy that the professor now feels could damage her career and her chances at tenure."

This major change to Facebook's privacy policy has rattled me; and although I'd long ago stopped posting anything personal, it has silenced my Facebook updates.

For More Info

February 15, 2010

What Can You Ask a Librarian?

A recent Library Hacks blog post at Duke's Perkins Library, Ever wonder what you can ask a reference librarian? prompted me to publicize some of the questions we've been asked at the Park Library. (I first posted this on the JoMC Park Library blog but thought it would be fun over here too)

Recent questions include (along with answers, where feasible):

Basic Questions, students asked for ...
  • Communication Yearbook by call number. (check the catalog)
  • Dissertations by former JoMC students (online! from 1997-present in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses full-text *)
  • Related: looking for a MA thesis by a former JoMC student (list is online)
  • How to request books from another library (Carolina BLU rocks!).
  • Printing, printing, printing! Lots of questions about printing. We currently don't have the "free" ITS printers anywhere in Carroll Hall, and we answer lots of questions about that.
More Complex Questions, where folks asked for ...
  • Alcohol advertisements from the late 1960s to present (Duke's Ad*Access is a great start, as are some of the other resources on this page)
  • Editorial cartoons (this research page can help)
  • An article from the Los Angeles Times from 1984 (we have the LA Times from 1881-1986 *& the most recent 6 months in LexisNexis *)
  • Tough one: readership of southern, American newspapers in the mid-1800s. We found some material in books and other old-fashioned sources.
  • Industry surveys of the motorcycle industry (I love these market research resources!)
  • Articles from North Carolina newspapers about an event that took place in southeastern NC in the mid-80s to mid-90s. The papers the patron needed weren't on microfilm ... helped her find the appropriate microfilm source and identify specific dates via the Charlotte Observer (available from 1985-present in America's Newspapers *)
Many of these links will work regardless of your institutional affiliation. The links followed by an * are available to the UNC community only.

The library staff and I are happy to answer questions about doing research in journalism & mass communication. You can reach me by email (swbrown @ unc . edu), by phone at 919.843.8300, IM to JoMCParkLib, and now you can even text Qs to us at 919-200-0713.

Ask us anything!

February 11, 2010

Caprica, Media, and Crisis Communication

I am a huge Battlestar Galactica fan, and I've been intrigued by the spinoff/prequel Caprica. This week's Caprica touched many of my interests beyond the sci fi philosophy that I like (one character asked another this week "Can you be free if you’re not real?") and the soap opera that I find addictive.

The first episode of Caprica included a massive terrorist bombing, and one of the terrorists may or may not be one of the main characters (who died in the bombing, but whose avatar lives on). The character's father, Daniel Graystone, is a corporate mogul (think Bill Gates or Steve Jobs). The episode features a lot of media reaction to the bombing and the daughter's possible involvement: many stories have appeared in the daily newspaper, the Caprican (which has its own page on the syfy web site), and a Jay Leno-like commentator spoke derisively about the characters' involvement in the bombing.

The media outcry turned so hostile that the company's stock began to tumble, and Graystone's assistant suggested some public relations assistance in the form of a crisis communicator. The side elements of media and communications added to my enjoyment of the show.

If you've watched Caprica, or you're interested in the media aspects, check out the Capricology entries on the ReligionDispatches blog. Some great academic minds are writing weekly posts about various media and religion aspects of Caprica. They include
  • Diane Winston, the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California.
  • Salman Hameed, astronomer and Assistant Professor of Integrated Science & Humanities at Hampshire College.
  • Anthea Butler, Associate Professor of religion at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Henry Jenkins, Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
Their thoughtful Capricology discussions enhance my enjoyment of Caprica, and this week's entry, Capricology: Week 3: Apotheosis, Anyone? cover many of the media aspects I've highlighted here.

January 28, 2010

Librarians & Scholars

One of my ScienceOnline goals seems to be happening: scientists and librarians are improving their (intraspecies?) communication. Several folks have blogged or FriendFeeded about the interaction between librarians and scientists. What really got me going today was Greg Laden's Do you think libraries and librarians are important?, which, happily, has been retweeted many times - mostly by scientists & other science folks.

Naturally, I think libraries & librarians are important to a variety of scholars, including scientists. I believe librarians have a perception problem -- many non-librarians think we sit around and read all day, go around shushing people, and date-stamp books. We do some of that occasionally, but we also do much more. I wrote this in response to Greg's question:
What we librarians are NOT doing well is communicating what we have to scientists & other scholars. We are also NOT making our material easy to use, the way Google is. Some of it is admittedly more complex than what Google is doing, but some of it is legacy systems (and mindset) left over from the days when the librarian was not the last person in the world you'd ask for help with research.
So, what's the solution? We must be where our scholars are. This can be done a few ways: "embedded" librarians who spend a good deal of their work time with their scholars, in their departments, at their meetings, working with their scholar peers. If this is not possible, and even when it is, we should also make it a point to engage with our scholars online and at conferences.

I am extremely fortunate to be truly live among my researchers at UNC's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as my office / library is right in the middle of the School's building, and I attend faculty meetings, see folks in the hallways, and otherwise spend most of my day with folks I am trying to support. I casually mention my research interests (usability, interaction of undergraduates with library materials, cognitive science) in conversation, and I listen to them discuss theirs. This interaction establishes that I am (moderately) scholarly myself, and it helps me integrate my scholars' & students' interests into the library.

It is not possible, or even desirable, for every librarian to be embedded with their departments in this way. There are other activities that can achieve the same goals, such as holding office hours in a department, attending receptions for faculty and students, and spending time physically in the presence of the scholars whom we are supporting.

Additionally, we should make an effort to engage with our scholars online and at conferences. There were several librarians at ScienceOnline, as John Dupuis notes, and I believe that we generated a lot of good conversations with scientists, journalists, and others about how librarians can help further their work. I know of at least one instance where this prompted a scientist to seek out a librarian at his home institution, and I'd guess that it's made many non-librarians realize some of what we can offer.

Finally, we librarians should be reading blogs and tweets of the scientists and/or scholars whom we support. This costs no money, and takes as much or as little time as you have to devote to it. By being in the conversation, we are starting to change the way scholars think of librarians -- one scholar, and one librarian, at a time.

ScienceOnline Posts about Librarians & Scientists

January 18, 2010

9 Take-aways from ScienceOnline10

Jonathan Eisen, aka @phylogenomics had a great post today entitled Top 11 things I learned at Science Online 2010 (#scio10). I wanted to blog about the conference myself but was stuck as to how to get started, and I thought I'd follow @phylogenomics' lead. I'll expand on some of these topics in future posts.
  1. Getting the Science Right, subtitled "The importance of fact checking mainstream science publications — an underappreciated and essential art — and the role scientists can and should (but often don’t) play in it" offered great insight into several different ways fact-checking is done (or not done) and how long it can take. It was great to hear experiences of the three speakers, Rebecca Skloot, Sheril Kirshenbaum, and David Dobbs.
  2. My presentation with Dorothea Salo on helping scientists find information was not incredibly well-attended, but between us, Dorothea and I made a big difference for a few people.
  3. The energy of bloggers, twitters, and science geeks was impressive and inspiring. It was a small conference (~250 attendees) and folks seemed eager to connect with all sorts of other attendees. This led me to be ...
  4. Motivated to start blogging again. It's been a hectic several months, including a 700-mile move, starting an awesome new job, and a 700-mile road trip to see the friends from whom I'd recently moved away. I foresee having a bit more time in the coming weeks, so I pledge to blog more - maybe once a week or so.
  5. The difference in writing styles in blogging, tweeting, and other kinds of writing. Blogging is harder than tweeting, srsly. Reading blogs is different from reading tweets, and also different from reading dead-print media such as magazine articles. Reading journal articles and books is different still. While this is obvious, it was good to talk about it.
  6. The value & simplicity of video. Lots of attendees were documenting the conference with Flip cameras. After seeing the ease of using the video cameras, and the immediacy of the message they conveyed, and a great session by Mary Spiro on video storyboarding, I was intrigued.
  7. Google Sidewiki sponsored a contest for a Flip camera for the most sidewiki annotations during the conference. Since I had achieved a modicum of interest in video (#6 above), I decided to explore Sidewiki. I'm glad I did, as it seems to have a lot of potential for libraries (about which more later, as in #4 above).
  8. Meeting tweeps, previously known and unknown, in person. Also, finally meeting a mutual friend after several years of mutual friendness. In both cases, meeting in person was greatly facilitated by prior connections, and good conversations started almost immediately. Next year, will meet even more previously-known tweeps.
  9. Speaking of next year, plan to stay in conference hotel. I live 30 minutes away from the festivities, and that was about 25 minutes too far. I was reminded of how difficult it is to attend a conference while living at home, as there is a disconnect between home life and conference life. Both would have benefited from my staying at the conference hotel for at least one night.
Take-away for all of you: if you're interested in the intersection of science and online activities, consider attending ScienceOnline2011.

January 11, 2010

ScienceOnline in Real Life

Finally I'm going to ScienceOnline! I wanted to go 2 years ago, but didn't have the nerve to sign up. I wanted to go a year ago, and although I found the nerve to sign up, I didn't go because I would be moving shortly and couldn't add One More Thing into my busy spring schedule. Now that I'm living in the Triangle, I'm going to ScienceOnline -- without even the hassle of a plane trip. Yippee!

As I read more about the workshops, program sessions, BlogMedia coverage and browse the list of participants, I get more and more excited. If you haven't heard of ScienceOnline, here's what excites me about it:

1. It's about science and collaboration, very broadly defined. I first heard about some of the folks involve at scio10 (as it's called) at the 2007 American Society for Information Science & Technology conference (which I blogged), and I realized that not only were some librarians doing cool stuff with technology, but some scientists were too. Jean-Claude Bradley impressed me as he talked about using wikis with his chemistry students; Bora Zivkovic neatly delineated different reasons for science blogging; and Janet Stemwedel talked about the value of blogging in the scientific process. Not only are scientists learning cool things about how the brain and mind work, but they are talking about it - so I was hooked both intellectually and technologically. I expect to witness and even participate in the science & technology at scio10.

2. Some cool librarians are attending. My e-buddy John Dupuis has collected a list of library people at Science Online 2010 at his great blog Confessions of a Science Librarian. I look forward to meeting him and some other science librarians I've met online over the years. Dorothea, who blogs as The Book of Trogool and I are doing a session creatively titled Scientists What can your librarian do for you?, with an accompanying wiki. I hope we get some good discussion and even learning as we try to give science folks the scoop on Libraries. If you can't attend, and you're a librarian or a scientist, check out Dorothea's slides as they are clever and informative.

3. A nice mashup of my interest in science, as evidenced by the "Science" in Cognitive Science and journalism, as evidenced by my new gig as librarian for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina.

Here are just a few of the sessions I want to attend ... tho' I'll probably only make it to half of these:
But really, it's 4: Awesome sessions for the science nerd at a level that a science aficionado can understand; advanced degree helpful but not required.