Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Facebook, good; MySpace, bad.

Social network researcher danah boyd has published an essay on class division on the Internet. She writes that Facebook and MySpace attract different demographics and each caters to its particular niche. Boyd believes that this is reflective of the class differences that exist in America. Differences which are based more on cultural values, lifestyle choices, and race than on income level. She struggles to find appropriate language to discuss this offering various alternatives including the tongue in cheek "good kids" for Facebook users and "bad kids" for MySpace. (Though she claims that good and bad is the dominant language that teens use to discuss who uses which site.) Boyd also suggest that if Facebook is more like Pottery Barn with its clean upper class look then MySpace has the glitzy, edgy appeal of Las Vegas.

This essay is a helpful reminder for the way that the Internet can connect but also reinforce divisions that already exist in society. Also how the choices we make in the medium and aesthetic of our communication effect how it might be received by others. A helpful reminder if we are to take seriously are call to minister to those on the margins of society.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Linking images

Here is 7 min. video on new technology (Photosynth) to among other things link photographs to create 3D models and create online newspapers that act more like print versions.

It is another example of the kind of interesting things you can do with metadata in an online world.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Scholarly Authority on Web 3.0

In the June 15, 2007 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, there was an interesting article called "Scholarly Authority on Web 3.0." It talked about the future of new web 3.0 projects, where ranking would not just be based on popularity. Web 3.0 programs would use computer algorithms that would weight sources on a variety of factors, including information about the author, importance within a disciplinary community, references, etc. This could help promote good academic scholarship on the web - and help people to find it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Academic Blog Portal

In the Choice cards, I came across this website:

It is a wiki that contains a list of blogs for different academic subjects.