Passwords and Bookmarks

Two events in Mid-December forced me to change the way I interacted with passwords and bookmarks. I started using LastPass after the the Gawker hacking. I didn’t have an account there, but the password theft  pointed out the vulnerability in my previous password practices. I splurged and went Premium to have access on my phone. I think it was well worth $12.  I also switched to Pinboard after the Yahoo/Delicious brouhaha. I killed my Delicious account in mid-January. 

And now for something completely different, 7BF2AMYNQXNF. Yep, you guessed correctly. I’m claiming/reclaiming my blog with that short code.  


Why Twitter with protection?

I have been slow to warm up to Twitter. I created an account last June before ALA. I thought I might use it while in DC, but ended up not messing around with it. I think my slow adoption of Twitter is linked to how I use my cell phone.  I don't use my cell to txt and while I do covet my neighbor's smartphone…I am probably still a year off from buying something fancier than my Sprint Sanyo VI-2300 (nope it doesn't even have a built in camera). Horrors! My usage has increased over the past couple of months since I installed TwitterFox.  I've also added the Twitter application to my profile in Facebook, but I don't use it to update my Facebook status.

The thing I am still trying to figure out is why some librarian bloggers using Twitter protect their tweets. They have no problems writing blog posts, so what is the hesitation with sharing microblog posts?  I agree that it is more than wise to be professional in all public venues. In fact, David Lee King posted today about a SXSWi presentation on "social networking and your brand". One of the points made during the presentation is that tweets can be taken out of context very easily. However, I cannot really imagine the librarians protecting their updates are swearing up a storm or planning to overthrow the good folks at 50 E. Huron Street.

Cindi Trainor's post last week, "The Tweet heard round the world," is what caused me to start looking at how other librarians are using Twitter. I was a bit surprised to see who has chosen to protect their updates. I'm still curious to know why people made this choice. Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on why or if you have enabled protection of your Twitter updates and feel comfortable sharing.

Feel free to start following me. I don't have any plans to protect my feed, but I also don't plan on sharing family secrets.

Everything is Miscellaneous…

and so is this post. I have had a copy of David Weinberger's new book, Everything is miscellaneous: the power of the new digital disorder, checked out from my local public library for six weeks. I finally made myself finish it this week. I know that David has something important to say. However, I could hardly get past the use of the card catalog and Dewey as examples of the second order of order that we must overcome in the age of the third order of order to get through the book.

Yeah, I know his point is that our old school ways of applying control over the ones and zeros zipping around on the series of tubes is in the best interest of no one. I agree that users should be able to tag their content and share their knowledge online. I am a user of Flickr,, Wikipedia, and many other digital disorder tools. I do my best to educate our students and faculty about these tools. However, I wish David would have thrown us a bone and commented somewhere in the book that librarians are finally getting on board. Most librarians will agree that our roles have evolved tremendously over the past few years. I know many are still focused on metadata, but that is a necessary evil when you are standing with one foot in the digital world and one foot in the print world. I would hazard to say that a fair number of academic librarians have embraced the new third order of order, okay maybe not everyone

David writes, "There's something comforting about the sight of cards spooning in a library card catalog. A world of ideas and knowledge, more than we could ever absorb, is waiting for us, carefully indexed in those neat rows of drawers. And yet the second order masks a complexity that the third order confronts head-on: We don't really know what a book is." (118-119) He continues, "card catalogs have value because of what they leave out. Melvil Dewey himself designed the current standard card in 1877…Because it's not very large, catalogers have to make tough decisions about what information to include." (119) David includes yet another reference to the card catalog used by Brown and Duguid in the Social Life of Information, "you can sometimes tell if a card has been heavily consulted by how dog-eared it is." (119)

Seriously, when was the last time you used a card catalog?  For me it was 1988 and it was my local public library in BFE northwest Ohio.  I would have been much happier to see David pick on the card catalog's progeny, the OPAC. Unfortunately, the OPAC is missing and the closest mention is a comment about the "OCLC database of books" (122) being much like a card catalog. I am at a loss as to why he didn't use the name WorldCat or even do some research to figure out the name and that a free version of it is on the web where users can be kind of social and share reviews of books. 

I know, I know…I need to move past the whole card catalog issue. I am sure that Michael Gorman had a hard time reading this book too, but it may not have passed the "scholarly enough" test to land on his desk. David has an entire chapter titled Social Knowing, where he argues that Wikipedia is better than Britannica and provides many reasons why he has taken this position. I can not say that I agree with him totally on this point either, but anything that ticks off the media identified library standard-bearer can't be too wrong.

Karen Schneider's excellent review is on the TechSource blog and additional reactions are available on the book's companion web site appropriately titled, Everything is Miscellaneous.