It’s so exciting when you go out from your home, sweet home… away from the computer, without a tablet or a smartphone… just you and your full five senses… and discover what’s around you… just discover your neighborhood,  your house surroundings… the sounds of your garden in your own house…

Or you can go back to your screens and just google ‘Marseille night walk’ and discover a new way to just fool around streets and meet interesting people, and discover new stories behind a face, next to you, everywhere, far away. That’s Google with urban storyteller Julie de Muer and her team of local artists,  invited to experience something else but Google Maps.




Get Social!

Several times we are being talking in this blog about how libraries embrace social tools to improve the relationship with users and to offer better and new services.

A quick view to our tag Library 2.0 shows different posts about how libraries go social.

Today the UOC Virtual Library starts using Twitter as a tool to promote their services and collections and to present the librarians that work on.

There is lots of guidelines, explained experiences, advice or tips about how to use social networks on academics and in libraries too.

Allan Johnson, on his post ‘Using Twitter for Curated Academic Content’ proposes a workflow for a curated content on twitter.

In his own words: “It goes like this.  Throughout the week I scan through the content that comes through to my RSS reader (I happen to use NewsRack).  The content is a mixture of my main interests: academia, of course, but also fashion, design, media, culture, theatre, and architecture.  If I can read the post in less than 2 minutes (that magical cutoff point for GTDers) then I have a read, and tweet it if I think it is worthwhile.  But if it will take longer than 2 minutes, I send it straight to Pocket, a read-it-later app which links directly with NewsRack.”

Allan Johnson Curated Content Workflow

Allan Johnson’s Curated Content Workflow

And also interesting is his preferences on how to face the tweeting style solution that Academic Community managers face when start to use twitter:

Allan Johnson says:

“I am a big fan of the ‘whole-person’ style of tweeting, with a mixture of general chatter (e.g. “it’s Thai for dinner!”) and valuable curated content (e.g. “great article at http://…”).”

To resolve how to manage a library twitter account in terms of style of tweeting is not easy. We decided not to be stuck in one position, we decided to see what our users (and listeners) like or ask for.

LSE Impact on Social Sciences blog has some guides on how to use Twitter in research and also in teaching, and lots of interesting posts (mostly from guest bloggers) that explore Academics 2.0 as a subject.

On this blog can be found a guide to using Twitter in university research, teaching, and impact activities that I thing will be useful to us. Is a guide for academics and researches but is can be a good starting point for librarians…I don’t know why they always forget librarians! ;)

3 tweeting styles are identified in this guide, and a table analyses pros and cons.

Substantive updates style, strongly formal and corporate is the most comfortable zone if, as a library, you want to talk to the world but is so impersonal in a conversational network as is twitter.

In a Conversational style content is ‘eclectic, drawing on professional interests but also on personal life, commenting on current events, etc. and so covers diverse topics’ is purely Twitter but with eclectic contents many followers may not value many of the tweets

A middle ground style sounds perfect to me… but is a challenge to find the equilibrium and is not a formula there… how many conversational to be engaging? How many substantive to inform properly?

To resolve how to manage a library twitter account in terms of style of tweeting is not easy. We decided not to be stick in one position, we decided to see what our users (and listeners) like or ask for.

 Welcome @UOCbiblioteca!

GitHub was intended to be an open software collaboration platform, but it’s become a platform for much, much more than code. It’s now being used by artists, builders, home owners, everyone in between, entire companies … and cities.

The GitHub Revolution: Why We’re All in Open Source Now


Fool TechTeams!

April 1st is a day in the calendar we are waiting for.

Every year small and big companies and other Internet workers enjoy the healthy tradition to prank surfers around the web. Most of these pranks are hoaxes.

Hoaxes are attempts to make people believe unlikely things’

The most active and visible company to enjoy Fools Day is Google, of course.

YouTube asked to their users to vote the best video ever

YouTube finally has enough videos to begin selecting a winner.

What do you think is the #bestvideo on YouTube?

We’ve been thrilled with all of the diverse, creative entries we’ve seen so far, and we can’t wait to begin the process of selecting the best video. We’ll be announcing the winner in 10 years.’


Google treasure map

In September 2012 our team discovered a paper map that has been verified as Captain Kidd’s treasure map. However, we haven’t deciphered all the clues yet and its up to you to access his map and uncover the secrets. If we all work together, we can solve the mystery and find the long lost treasure. Read more on our blog:

But also Vimeo with the first cat videos specific site.


Or Skype, offering space calls to keep in touch families when they are travelling around the Solar system.

Twitter enjoyed April 1st Annncng Twttr: ‘Everyone can use our basic service, Twttr, but you only get consonants. For five dollars a month, you can use our premium “Twitter” service which also includes vowels.’

And recognizes that change is overrated and launches a new platform for no change  to ask to Ryan Gosling to stay beautiful and more no changes.

I’ve tried to find Library pranks but…

Enjoy these last Fool hours!

Theatrical release poster by Robert McCall

Tonight was Oscar’s night. The worldwide show about movies. A day to talk about films and remember how important is the film industry for all of us. Filmmakers show us a world of dreams, love, social fights and history. They show us our own nightmares too. And, in academia, movies are a great tool to introduce new creative perspectives to our discussions.

Like in literature, fiction is a key in building movie storylines. One of the most attractive kinds of fiction is the Sci-Fi. Stories that project possible futures based on what we know about science and technology and imagine possible future discoveries or uses of these technologies.

Dystopian projections of our near future are recurrent on sci-fi movies and TV series. We have famous examples in ‘1984’ or ‘2001’ to cite some classics.

As explained on the University of Edinburgh course I attended on eLearning and digital cultures: ‘Many strongly utopian or dystopian arguments seek to explain social, cultural or educational change in primarily technological terms. This is known as ‘technological determinism’ […]

This perspective says that technology is not a ‘tool’ – it actually drives change and creates society, not the other way around’

Hand and Sandywell E-topia paper (2002) describe three utopian claims about information technology, and three dystopian ones.

Utopian claims Dystopian claims
Information technologies based on electronic computation possess intrinsically democratizing properties (the Internet and/or worldwide web is an autonomous formation with ‘in-built’ democratic properties or dispositions). Information technologies possess intrinsically de-democratizing properties (the Internet and/or worldwide web is an autonomous formation with ‘in-built’ anti-democratic properties or dispositions).
Information technologies are intrinsically neutral, but inevitably lend themselves to democratizing global forces of information creation, transfer and dissemination. Information technologies are intrinsically neutral, but inevitably lend themselves to control by de-democratizing forces (hardware and software ‘ownership’ equals anti-democratic control).
Cyber-politics is essentially a pragmatic or instrumental task of maximizing public access to the hardware and software thought to exhaustively define the technology in question. Cyber-politics is essentially one of resisting and perverting the anti- democratic effects of the technology in question.
Hand, M. and B. Sandywell. 2002. E-topia as cosmopolis or citadel: On the democratizing and de-democratizing logics of the internet, or, toward a critique of the new technological fetishism. Theory, Culture & Society 19, no. 1-2: 197-225. (p.205-6)

Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. – Wikipedia

And is that ‘decline in society’ one of our trending topics on actual fiction.

How technology is changing our behavior. How some evil forces –the same evil forces that put us in this crisis- can use technologies to control us in a totalitarian way. There are our fears and filmmakers are aware of that. That’s why movies and TV series are talking about how technology works and facing us to a possible present-futures we are going to.

In fiction it is a growing dystopian projection of our nearly future and a scary fear of our technological present.

I like the expression Dystopian-Present to describe these unreal projections of possible missuses of the technology we already know.

But they are missuses or are where we are going all together?

We can find a great example of this new fiction contribution to the technological dystopian-present debate on Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ where every chapter try to explore the ‘side-effects’ of technology in our life.

If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side-effects? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror is set. The “black mirror” of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone. – Charlie Brooker

This fears about technological dystopian present are not conspiracy theories. Fears are born from the gap between who offers the technology and who uses it. The lack of transparency of the information needed to build trustiness is the key to change that scary story of us.

Cross-posting with idontlooklikealibrarian!

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