from Pocket http://ift.tt/1xA5Jtn

Just sharing a link to a favourite blog of mine; the quality of posts definitely makes up for their relative infrequency! The posts provide examples of the use of ethnography in libraries, and I find discussion surrounding the methodologies employed to be often extremely useful.

The Story Behind That ‘Future That Liberals Want’ Photo

Samuel Themer never planned to be a symbol of everything that’s right or wrong with America. He just wanted to go to work. But when he hopped on the subway to head into Manhattan on February 19, the Queens resident was in full drag—he performs as Gilda Wabbit.

from Pocket http://ift.tt/2lA0Tht


A few days ago, the Twitter feed of a right-wing political magazine tweeted the photo above with the caption ‘This is the future that liberals want’. And it spectacularly backfired. My Twitter feed  – admittedly one which roughly reflects my political views and is therefore a bit of an echo chamber – was full of people commenting ‘well, yes, actually’; there were also plenty of memes using the same text but with different images – some serious, some ironic, some hilarious: my favourite so far is about gay space communism.

The article I posted is the story behind the image, and it’s quite lovely. Definitely worth reading. But it’s made me wonder about the way in which community cultures develop around the notion of endorsement. The tweeted memes had so many RTs and favourites. I’m thinking about the ways in which we instrumentally use Twitter to express community, identity or belonging without actually creating content ourselves. To say ‘yeah, me too!’ without actually saying it. It’s almost equivalent to the MOOC participants who would be classified as lurkers: they might agree with a comment, but express it only in the ‘up votes’ (or whatever mechanism is used)….

No one reads terms of service, studies confirm

Apparently losing rights to data and legal recourse is not enough of a reason to inspect online contracts. So how can websites get users to read the fine print? The words on the screen, in small type, were as innocent and familiar as a house key.

from Pocket http://ift.tt/2lCnKt1

An interesting article about how we don’t read the T&Cs, featuring a research study by two Canadian professors who managed to get a load of students to agree to promise a(n imaginary) company their first born children.

This has, I think, many important implications for the way we use technology. From a UX perspective, knowing that the T&Cs aren’t being read would mean that websites and companies ought to rethink the way they give information to potential customers, so they’re fully informed when they sign up. Somehow I can’t imagine this happening. The author of the article, however, suggests a sort of unspoken digital ethics contract (similar to the Hippocratic Oath), but how that might work is another matter.

There’s also how far we’re unable to do anything at all about terms and conditions we disagree with. If our use of a particular site is entirely optional then we can choose not to use it; if it isn’t – if our employer insists on it, or if it’s something expected of us – then we can hardly demand that Google or Facebook comes up with an alternative set of T&Cs just for us.

This is on my mind, particularly, as a result of an action I took in responding to the mid-term feedback from Jeremy. One of the points made – and a completely valid one – was that I might look to broaden my horizons in terms of the feeds coming into the lifestream. I added a couple of feeds and then looked to link up YouTube to the WordPress blog. And I was then faced with this:

Manage? I clicked on the ‘i’ to see what it inferred, and was faced with this:

At this point, I was turned completely off the idea of linking the two – any videos will just have to be – as Cathy brilliantly put it – glued on to the lifestream. I’m sure their intention is not particularly insidious, and I’ve probably already inadvertently given up lots of my data, but this seemed just a step too far.

But, on the other hand, at least it was clear.

Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures on Pinterest

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures: Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions: Amazon.co.uk: Bruce Hanington, Bella Martin: 8601200649796: Books http://ift.tt/2mSsqvJ

I haven’t read this book, but it was mentioned by a couple of colleagues in a Research group I’m in at work, so I thought it might be worth sharing. From a few books reviews I’ve glanced it, it appears to be full of innovative ways of doing ethnographic research (including, possibly, Dan’s break-up letter) – definitely something for my ‘to read’ list!


This was a bit fortuitous (and came about because I jokingly suggested to my manager in the first week of EDC that I was now an “automation genius”), but I thought I’d share the gist of what I said. I was speaking to HASS graduate researchers, so I tried to provide them with a few ways that I thought IFTTT might be useful for research. If anyone reading has other suggestions I’d be really grateful to hear them!

  1. Publicising your work: e.g. getting IFTTT to tweet or FB blog posts you write, reaching a wider audience without necessarily needing to do extra work.
  2. Curating research: e.g. using IFTTT to save tweets on a topic, or things said about you during a conference presentation, and put them somewhere you can safely retrieve them at a later stage (or when someone talking about the REF asks you about impact)
  3. Organising your life: e.g. there are IFTTT recipes for getting reminders about starred emails you haven’t dealt with, or saving contacts’ details somewhere sensible.
  4. Backing up your back-ups e.g. I talk about backing up work a lot; but it dawns on me that if you regularly back up to say, Dropbox, you could get IFTTT to back up your back ups to Google and Evernote and lots of other places.

How I feel openly posting ‘academic’ work on Twitter

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures: Pinterest: Chedsnehblogs ♡ www.chedsneh.co.uk http://ift.tt/2m7L2dY
That’s scary jumping, rather than anything else, just in case it isn’t clear. It was an ‘eeek moment’, a sort of worlds collide thing, because I use Twitter sometimes professionally but largely not these days… in any case, nothing bad happened!

From Wired magazine

Interesting article from Wired, 25th February 2017

In this article, Henri Gendreau traces the growth of ‘fake news’ – fake trends on Facebook, the concept of ‘fake news’ becoming known and publicised, the rise of Donald Trump and the rise of his engagement with ‘fake news’.

It’s a(nother) good example of the ways in which algorithms can shape culture, and again in a wholly negative way. It tends to be negative, doesn’t it? Or at least, it’s the less positive stories that are making the news.

So how do we deal with it? As a teacher of information literacy, these are both golden and worrying times – the need for critical information literacy has never, ever been greater.