What a couple of weeks of change! If you have been watching your twitter stream or RSS feeds you couldn’t help but be surprised by some of the juicy tid-bits that have occupied social media. I can’t remember a week like this one for a while, which makes it all the more interesting as I prepare for my next round of subjects. One of these is #inf206 Social Networking for Information Professionals, a subject in which we not only use new media tools, but we explore ways in which we can use them to empower library services.
So here we are with a list of things for #inf206 to think about, and for the rest of us to be bemused by! I’ve plucked these tidbits from my tweets in the last few days.
According to Search Engine Land Google Wonder Wheel feature has been taken offline. A group of users who also used Wonder Wheel for keyword discovery and to spot relationships and new concepts were educators, librarians, and students. For example, a librarian might use it to help a user find new words to search with not only with but also using other databases. A teacher or student might use Wonder Wheel to identify ideas for a research project. Will Wonder Wheel be back and available soon? Google didn’t provide a timeline or commit one way or another if it will or will not be available in the future. At the same time Google Realtime Search has also gone off line. Google’s agreement with Twitter to carry its results has expired, taking with it much of the content that was in the service with it.
Meanwhile, of course, Google is occupying out social media time as we explore Google+. If you are interested, you can go look at 25 Google+ tips to enhance your Google+ experience. I like the way Google+ operates on my iPhone, but right now the idea of the personal shift required in moving to Google+ is ….well looking like a holiday job! Read Google Plus (Google+): The Painful Realization and you’ll see what I mean.
As an aside, I also was interested in a press release from IBM. For the first time, scientists at IBM Research have demonstrated that a relatively new memory technology, known as phase-change memory (PCM), can reliably store multiple data bits per cell over extended periods of time. (instantaneous memory 100X faster than flash) Solid-state flash memory is widely used as a storage medium in tons of consumer devices, from cell phones to laptops like the MacBook Air. While it has big advantages over hard drives in terms of speed and a lack of moving parts, it has a limited lifespan. Now IBM researchers say they’ve crafted a way of encoding data that works better than flash—and has a greatly increased lifespan. Where flash memory can typically be overwritten only 3,000 to 10,000 times, PCM can endure in the order of 10 million write-erase cycles. Read more at PCMag.
OK, I admit I don’t understand this fully – but I do understand that it promises more of what we like – FAST FAST FAST!
Meanwhile, in the global business world of books, Amazon.com has announced that it is set to acquire The Book Depository, a UK-based online bookstore that offers more than six million titles and ships to more than 100 countries. The Book Depository was founded in 2004 by Andrew Crawford, and in the last financial year its turnover was thought to be in the region of £120m.
So the rush of technology continues, and surprisingly we still can’t seem to quite believe the shift that technology is having on books. After all, we have been making the content for ebooks ever since we shifted from hot-metal presses to digital composition – so even before we had good ebook reading capabilities we were preparing for 21st century book experiences. I can’t be bothered engaging in the ‘best e-reader’ debate – because in the end the shift will happen somehow or another.
The promise of eBooks is definitely flipping our idea of what is possible. With the release next week of the pocket-sized, ultra-light ”flipback” book, it will be possible to enjoy the feel of a printed novel and the portability of an e-book. The books measure 12 by 8 centimetres and weigh less than 150 grams, barely more than an iPhone. The format was invented in 2009, when Dutchman Hugo van Woerden, the CEO of Christian printing house Jongbloed, was looking for ways to use excess Bible paper. He put the lightweight, high-quality ”onion skin” into a series of miniature sideways books that can be read with one hand, perfect for crowded buses and trains. Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/new-books-look-to-flip-ereaders-20110702-1gvym.html#ixzz1RBjLqHMT
- Google+ and Google’s Social Media Network (Day 12) (socialmediafish.wordpress.com)