On Being Fodder for Questionable Twitter Posts

Okay, I know this is starting to seem like an obsession, but I can’t figure out why someone(s) would be constructing tweets that consist of my blog post headlines and links back to my postings. I’m wondering how wide spread this problem is, so I constructed a list of URLs to blog posts based on the Planet Code4Lib Atom feed and pointed them to the Ubervu service. Ubervu has a view into the Twitter firehose, and constructs reports of Twitter mentions of URLs. For instance, I can see all of the odd headline tweets for my previous postings through this service. I can then easily scan through the list for other people that seem to be affected by this strange phenomenon.

Why I Need Twitter Distillation Tools

The following may not be news to those who regularly hang out in Twitter-land, but the extent of the problem recently became clear to me: there is a bunch of spam in Twitter. More specifically, there appear to be robots that do nothing but scan the web for keywords and create tweets with links back to them. There appear to be some that value this service (judging by the number of followers of these Twitter users), but for me it just adds to the general clutter I find in Twitter.

Midwinter Meeting Schedule (Plus News of a Free Midwinter Airport Shuttle)

The year is coming to a close, so that must mean that the midwinter meeting of the American Library Association is right around the corner. Yep, there it is — just two and a half weeks away in Boston. A conference in Boston in January — the rates have got to be cheap. 1 Given the fast approaching meeting, it is definitely time to strategize about how to tap into the pulse of library-land. Here is my plan so far. If you would like to get together in the spaces between meetings, or at the meetings themselves, let me know!

OCLC Introduces an API for Anyone to Access Book Data

OCLC announced on Monday the availability of a new API for querying the WorldCat database: the WorldCat Basic API. This is a big deal — it opens up part of the metadata in WorldCat to anyone who wants it (for non-commercial purposes). Previously, access to WorldCat data through the developer network was limited to institutions that are members of OCLC. Data returned includes text strings for author names and book titles, ISBN and OCLC identifiers, a link to the HTML display of the record on WorldCat.org, and an optional HTML-formatted citation.

Ohio Educational Technology Conference Program Posted

For those interested and involved with distance and technology enhanced learning or have attended one of the past ODCE/LLT higher education conferences, you’ll want to know about the Ohio Educational Technology Conference in early February.

The Ohio ETC is the combination of OLN/OhioLINK/OARnet conference and the eTech Ohio conference — coming together this year for the first time. There are many sessions directed towards higher education that shouldn’t be missed and opportunities to network with counterparts in primary and secondary education. The Ohio Educational Technology Conference has published its program guide for its annual meeting February 1 through 3, 2010 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. With over 300 concurrent sessions, 225 exhibitors, and acclaimed keynote and featured speakers (Adora Svitak and David Weinberger among them), it is sure to be a great event.

Registration is available on the eTech Ohio website. While there, also sign up for a “Hall Pass” that will enable you to create your own personal itinerary in the Ohio ETC Conference Planner. (Tip: when registering for a Hall Pass and are prompted for an Organization Category, select “Other” then select “College/University” under the Organization Type heading.)

Presentation Announcement: Re-Imagining the Bibliographic Universe — FRBR, Physics and the World Wide Web

Next Monday (November 30, 2009) a colleague at the Library of Congress will be giving a presentation on modeling bibliographic information based on a “Paper Tool” technique adopted from physics. The title of the talk is “Re-Imagining the Bibliographic Universe: FRBR, Physics and the World Wide Web and will be presented by Ron Murray (no relation), Digital Conversion Specialist in the Preservation Reformatting Division of LC.
Note!A PDF of the presentation slides (35MB ZIP file) is now available online.

The presentation is open to the public, and will be from 10am to noon in the Mumford Room (6th floor of the LC Madison Building). The abstract of the talk is:

Revised Google Book Search Settlement from a Library Perspective

Late, late in the day last Friday, the principle parties in the Google Book Search case submitted a revised settlement agreement agreement to the court. This post takes a look at the changes to the settlement from a library perspective. To keep this manageable, I’m not including discussion of library-oriented elements that haven’t changed; to read more about that I recommend the ALA/ACRL/ARL paper and/or previous posts on DLTJ. I’m also not including discussion on some aspects of the legal impact of the settlement (the appropriateness of setting policy via class action, the antitrust considerations of Google’s sole license to unclaimed works, etc.); for that I encourage browsing the writings of James Grimmelmann (any posting of his prefaced with “GBS” in the title). I will link off to some of the library-oriented discussion pieces of Grimmelmann and others in this post. If you really want the in-depth view of the settlement and the surrounding discussion, visit The Public Index, a website devoted to chronicling and commenting on aspects of the settlement.

OCLC and the Associated Press — Two Sides of the Same Information Provider Coin?

I’ve run across a striking similarity between the bibliographic utility business and the newswire business, particularly in the area of cooperatives. Two cooperatives — OCLC on the bibliographic utility side and the Associated Press on the newswire side — have the same pattern of activity:

  • both are membership organizations,
  • both seek to amplify the efforts of members (bibliographic records in one case, news stories and photographs in the other),
  • both are reacting to threats to content under its purview, and
  • both have prominent members experimenting with new forms of content delivery and use.

I’ll admit that this comparison between OCLC and the AP is not fully formed, but it has been running around in my mind long enough that it seemed appropriate to put it here. Feel free to run with this further if you think it has merit, or tell me that I’m nuts.

OLE Project Design Phase Final Report

There is an announcement on the OLE Project site that links to the final report as submitted to the Mellon Foundation. This version of the report has minor corrections in the text and now includes information about the group of libraries that have committed to the build phase of the project. Those libraries are:

  • Indiana University (lead)
  • Florida Consortium (University of Florida, Florida International University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, Rollins College, University of Central Florida, University of Miami, University of South Florida, and the Florida Center for Library Automation)
  • Lehigh University

OhioLINK is Seeking Two Senior Repository Software Developers

My place of work, OhioLINK, is part of a larger group called the Educational Technology Division of the University System of Ohio. In that capacity, we’re seeking two senior repository software developers to work in our downtown Columbus, OH, office.

The position description can be a little tricky to get to — the Ohio State University jobs website does not allow deep linking into job descriptions — so I’m reproducing the entire description here:

Position Information

1  
Both current Ohio State employees and the general public may apply for this unclassified professional position.