Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Audiovisual Citation Guidelines

The British Universities Film & Video Council has just launched the most comprehensive set of guidelines for citing audiovisual materials to date. As authors of the guide point out, "existing guidelines for the referencing of moving image and sound are often insufficient as they are based on standards developed for the written word."

This 19-page guide, Audio-Visual Citation: BUFVC Guidelines for Referencing Moving Image and Sound, provides examples of how to cite feature films versus feature films on DVD or with DOI access online, extracts from features, extra feature documentary material from DVD titles, amateur films from private collections, film trailers accessed online, artist installation film, television accessed from DVDs or online or as part of online archive, advertisements accessed online.  You get the idea. Radio too. Music downloads, podcasts. Also new media examples of user-generated content, online-only programs and games.

“This guide now makes it possible for any writer (even a student) to lead their readers to the exact audiovisual source they are discussing"--John Ellis, Professor of Media Arts, Royal Holloway,  University of London 

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Blogging About Bitly

That's right, this post is about Bitly Enterprise, a company that advises about half of the Fortune 500 and over 75% of the world's largest media companies on how to get the most out of social media. Luckily for the resource environment there is the bitly Blog that sometimes does these great data posts.  The latest points to  breakdown of traffic from social networks by country  where nifty interactive world map illustrates how the proportion of a country's traffic from the social network you select (out of 16 so far, including Weibo, vk, etc.) compares to the proportion for the world as a whole. On a lighter note, last month prior to the Oscars, the bitly science team decided to mine their data for best picture and nominee popularity in social media.  There is also the Bitly Enterprise Blog that is more focused on social media news, including a Bitly Brief each week of important stories around the web. Mind you, these blogs are mainly for marketers, but they know and we know that includes the broader rubric, "content sellers," which pretty much speaks to us all.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Post-Industrial Journalism

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School has just published a 122-page report called Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present. It's divided into sections on the Transformation of American Journalism (Introduction), Journalists, Institutions, Ecosystems, and Tectonic Shifts (Conclusion). The report is authored by C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell, and Clay Shirky. 

From "Methods Used in This Report:"

More an essay than a piece of testable scholarship, we nonetheless drew on a variety of methods while formulating our analysis, recommendations and conclusions. Primarily, the research was based in qualitative interviews, conducted both one-on-one, on location, over email or telephone, and at the offices of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A significant amount of data was gathered at a closed-door conference at the journalism school on April 17-18, 2012, that involved 21 people.

For the most part, however, this essay draws on the industry experience and previous scholarship of its authors. It attempts to combine more traditional academic theory with current developments in the worlds of journalism and digital media–always a fraught task. To the degree we have succeeded, we hope that the report is neither superficial to those coming to it as scholars, nor overly dense to working journalists who may work their way through its pages.

Ultimately, we believe that this report should also serve as a call to further, more traditional academic research. Many of its conclusions can be tested through a variety of methods and with a variety of goals in mind. Insofar as the authors each work at different schools of journalism in New York City, and insofar as each is engaged in a different aspect of scholarly production for their respective home institutions, the future for ‘useful journalism research’ would appear bright. Ultimately, the conclusions and provocations of this essay will rise or fall based on changes within journalism itself.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Big Data--To Be Wowed or Wary: Two Views

I was lucky to be able to drop in on the Big Data Workshop here at the Annenberg School, Big Data and the Transformation of the Public Information Environment: Implications for Public Health (March 19, 2013), where panelists from academic and commercial sectors met to discuss the new information ecosystem (think tidal wave) produced from social media--Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and the like.  While most everyone in the room was either already working with this data--collecting it, asking questions of it, re-purposing it--or has designs on such, there is also a general buzz in the culture about the power and uses of big data. I'd like to recommend two books that tug in opposing directions on the topic. Neither of these are academic books per se but academics and non-academics are reading them. The first is upbeat and visionary:  Big Data: A Revolultion That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. Writes Lawrence Lessig, "Every decade, there are a handful of books that change the way you look at everything. This is one of those books. Society has begun to recon the change that big data will bring. This book is an incredibly important start. " And speaking of tidal waves, Clay Shirky's metaphor about water may a good way to think about big data. "Just as water is wet in a way that individual water molecules aren't, big data can reveal information in a way that individual bits of data can't. The authors show us the surprising ways that enormous, complex, and messy collections of data can be used to predict everything from shopping patterns to flu outbreaks."

But Evgeny Morozov isn't buying any of this in To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism. Observes the New Scientist: “Evgeny Morozov does a good job of dispelling 'big data' hype...If Silicon Valley is a party, Evgeny Morozov is the guy who turns up late and spoils the fun. The valley loves ambitious entrepreneurs with world-changing ideas. Morozov is, in his own words, an 'Eastern European curmudgeon.' He's wary of quick fixes and irritated by hype. He's the guy who saunters over to the technophiles gathered around the punch bowl and tells them…how misguided they are. Morozov should be invited all the same, because he brings a caustic yet thoughtful skepticism that is usually missing from debates about technology." 

Throughout the book two dominant ideologies, solutionism and "Internet-centrism," are questioned. Morozov contends that "Silicon Valley's promise of eternal amelioration has blunted our ability to do this questioning. Who today is mad enough to challenge the virtues of eliminating hypocrisy from politics? Or of providing more information--the direct result of self-tracking--to facilitate decision making? Or of finding new incentives to get people interested in saving humanity, fighting climate change, or participating in politics? Or of decreasing crime? To question the appropriateness of such interventions, it seems, is to question the Enlightenment itself. And yet I feel that such questioning is necessary. Hence the premise of this book: Silicon Valley's quest to fit us all into a digital straightjacket by promoting efficiency, transparency, certitude and perfection--and, by extension, eliminating their evil twins of friction, opacity, ambiguity, and imperfection--will prove to be prohibitively expensive in the long run...this high cost remains hidden from public view and will remain so as long as we, in our mindless pursuit of this silicon Eden, fail to radically question our infatuation with a set of technologies that are often lumped together under the deceptive label of "the Internet"...Imperfection, ambiguity, opacity, disorder and the opportunity to err, to sin, to do the wrong thing, all of these are constitutive of human freedom, and any concentrated attempt to root them out will root out that freedom as well." --Introduction (p. xiii--xiv)

As I write this these titles are not at Van Pelt yet; they will be soon. But I bought Annenberg copies so if anyone wants to intercept them before I send them off for cataloging, let me know.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Vogue Archive

On the heels of last month's Fashion Week we are happy to welcome a new addition to the Penn Library website,  The Vogue Archive. 

The Vogue Archive contains the entire run of Vogue magazine (US edition) from 1892 to the present day, reproduced in high-resolution color page images. More than 400,000 pages are included, constituting a treasure trove of the work from the greatest designers, photographers, stylists and illustrators of the 20th and 21st centuries. Vogue is a unique record of American and international popular culture that extends beyond fashion. The Vogue Archive is an essential primary source for the study of fashion, gender and modern social history – past, present and future.
The database will allow fashion design and photography students to find inspirational images, but will also cater for academic study. Fashion marketing students will be able to research the history of a brand identity by viewing every advertisement for a brand such as Revlon, Coty, Versace or Chanel between specified dates. Researchers in cultural studies and gender studies will be able to explore themes such as body image, gender roles and social tastes from the 1890s to the present.  --Proquest

What's really great is that as historical as the archive is, it will continually be current, that is, the latest issue will be added each month with no embargo period (thank you Conde Nast!). Users can search on all text, captions, and titles throughout the magazine, including advertisements and covers.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

March CommQuote

Applause as big data in the ancient world--I had a feeling I'd find this month's quote when I spied this Atlantic article title A Brief History of Applause, the 'Big Data' of the Ancient World by Megan Garber.  She writes: 
Applause, in the ancient world, was acclamation. But is was also communication. It was, in its way, power. It was a way for frail little humans to recreate, through hands made "thunderous," the rumbles and smashed of nature. 
Applause, today, is much the same. In the studio, in the theater, in places where people become publics, we still smack our palms together to show our appreciation -- to create, in cavernous spaces, connection. ("When we applaud a performer," argues sociobiologist Desmond Morris, "we are, in effect, patting him on the back from a distance.") We applaud dutifully. We applaud politely. We applaud, in the best of circumstances, enthusiastically. We applaud, in the worst, ironically.

We find ways, in short, to represent ourselves as crowds -- through the very medium of our crowd-iness. 

But we're reinventing applause, too, for a world where there are, technically, no hands. We clap for each others' updates on Facebook. We share. We link. We retweet and reblog the good stuff to amplify the noise it makes. We friend and follow and plus-1 and plus-K and recommend and endorse and mention and (sometimes even, still) blogroll, understanding that bigger audiences -- networked audiences -- can be their own kind of thunderous reward. We find new ways to express our enthusiasms, to communicate our desires, to encode our emotions for transmission. Our methods are serendipitous and also driven, always, by the subtle dynamics of the crowd. We clap because we're expected to. We clap because we're compelled to. We clap because something is totally awesome. We clap because we're generous and selfish and compliant and excitable and human.

This is the story of how people clapped when all they had, for the most part, was hands -- of how we liked things before we Liked things. Applause, participatory and observational at the same time, was an early form of mass media, connecting people to each other and to their leaders, instantly and visually and, of course, audibly. It was public sentiment analysis, revealing the affinities and desires of networked people. It was the qualified self giving way to the quantified crowd. 

It was big data before data got big. --Megan Garber, The Atlantic, Technology, March 15, 2013

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Teens and Technology 2013

Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and the Berkman Center for Internet and; Technology have jut released their 2013 report on Teens and Technology. Read the whole 19-page report or remain blogbound with the summary here: 


Smartphone adoption among American teens has increased substantially and mobile access to the internet is pervasive. One in four teens are “cell-mostly” internet users, who say they mostly go online using their phone and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
These are among the new findings from a nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that explored technology use among 802 youth ages 12-17 and their parents. Key findings include:
  • 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
  • 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
  • 95% of teens use the internet.
  • 93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.
“The nature of teens’ internet use has transformed dramatically — from stationary connections tied to shared desktops in the home to always-on connections that move with them throughout the day,” said Mary Madden, Senior Researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and co-author of the report. “In many ways, teens represent the leading edge of mobile connectivity, and the patterns of their technology use often signal future changes in the adult population.”

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rights in Data Handbook

As John Wilks and Alec Christie, editors of the RIGHTS IN DATA HANDBOOK, explain, there has been a lot of attention focused on data privacy and data protection (indeed their team at DLA Piper issued a handbook on the subject in March of last year, Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook), but "the issue of IP rights in data and databases has traditionally received almost no attention." The RIGHTS Handbook (January 2013 edition) is here to fill the gap.

This handbook provides a high-level summary, with links to relevant sources of  the different types of protection which are available for data and databases in 12 key global jurisdictions. For each jurisdiction we consider three categories of  database which may benefit from protection: original databases, databases in which investment has been made, and confidential databases. --Introduction

Besides the three categories of databases for each global jurisdiction, Significant Recent Cases relating to database rights are cited as well as Upcoming Legislative Changes. Each area of jurisdiction concludes with "Top Tips for Database Owners"--obviously useful for potential database owners but interesting as well to outsiders (academics dare we say?) looking to get a sense of what the issues are comparatively. 

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Historical Newspaper Feature: Illustrated London News

When it comes to primary source material for newspapers Penn Libraries delivers. Penn readers can step deliciously into journalism history with the Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003, which covers more than 7,000 issues over 161 years, with 260,000 fulltext articles and more than 1.5 million images. The enormously popular daily showed and told the British public about their world, from the Crystal Palace and the Crimean War battlefields through King Tut and the sinking of the Titanic to the death of Princess Diana and beyond.

On Saturday 14 May 1842, a publishing revolution occurred. The world's first pictorial weekly newspaper was born: The Illustrated London News. Its founder, Herbert Ingram, was an entrepreneurial newsagent, who noticed that newspapers sold more copies when they carried pictures. The inaugural issue covered a fire in Hamburg, Queen Victoria's fancy dress ball, the war in Afghanistan and the latest fashions in Paris. The ILN commissioned a galaxy of great artists and draughtsmen to cover wars, royal events, scientific invention, and exploration. In 1855 it launched the world's first colour supplement. Over the years the publication played host to distinguished contributors and continued to push the boundaries of journalism throughout its history.--GALE Cengage Learning (Publisher)

And don't forget, for a more staid take on London town and the Continent there is also The Times of London at your disposal, Times Digital Archive (1785-1985). 

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