Tuesday, November 25, 2008

T-T-Totally Cool!

This is an iPhone. This is an iPhone on the Ocarina app. This is t-t-totally cool!

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's All This About?

This morning, I took a look at The DIGITAL Archive blog, specifically the 'about this blog' blurb to the right, and I wondered if the words I had written several months ago describing the blog accurately reflected the nature of the blog and its readership.

After some thought (and editing), I believe I nailed down a more simplified description:

The DIGITAL Archive focuses on the Web and its impact on information professionals in libraries and archives..and anyone anywhere fascinated by the Web...
I eliminated the long list of web-related technologies, such as new media and social web technologies, and special topics, such as digitization and digital preservation, in favor of something more brief, succinct. However, I removed these words only for the sake of brevity.

For me, the Web (Web 2.0) covers all these areas - from digitization to social networking - and all the areas yet to be developed.

I still want to focus on the impact of these technologies on information professionals in libraries and archives, so that remains intact.

However, when I write, whether on the topic of technology or personal matters such as opinions on the archival profession, I have a type of reader in mind: It is someone who is not necessarily a librarian or archivist but simply someone who is enthusiastic about the Web, fascinated by technology, and whose vocabulary does not include the words "It can't be done" or "That's impossible" in regards to thinking or doing things differently.

Finally, I often fool around with The DIGITAL Archive's tag line. This week it is:

It's my digital archive, in Technicolor
Well, it is my digital archive, in color. When I blog, I do not write on behalf of any institution or archival association. I avoid archival public policy issues because, quite frankly, I do not know enough on the subject. As writers in other fields suggest, write what you know about, and that's what I try to do, with color.

Too often, people imagine the archives as nothing but boxes, darkness, dampness, dust, more boxes, and black & white photographs. While there is some truth to this, the buried truth, which needs to be unearthed (Archives 2.0 hint hint), is that there is so much color, so many colorful characters and events, so much rich content!

I guess I am a content agnostic. I do not have a preference. I will work with all kinds of content as long as there is a benefit to the audience. But being a history grad and a lover of stories, I guess I have a bias for archival content.

(Geez...so much for my sabbatical.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Friday Abstract: Taking a Sabbatical

In the past couple of weeks, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and contributing to the wonderful discussion and debate on Archives 2.0. To all those who participated, whether you agreed enthusiastically, disagreed vehemently, or simply silently considered the ideas, I tip my virtual hat to you all.


Because two years ago, when there were only a few voices out in the digital wilderness talking about archives, technology and future trends, none of this kind of vigorous discussion would have taken place.

I think we should all--yes, all of us--tap ourselves on the shoulder.

That said, while I remain enthusiastic about Web 2.0's impact on archives and hopeful that something truly positive and transformational can occur, I realize, personally, that I have been 'out of the game' (okay, out of work, really, but 'out of the game' sounds more, well, more sportive) and I must get back into the game, hunker down, and move forward, if not only for sanity's sake but also for adding meaningful words and thoughts to the discourse with a calm and discerning mind.

Between finding employment and blogging, I have to honestly side with finding employment, especially in these econo-lyptic days.

I will take a break from blogging, but will continue micro-blogging over at Twitter.

I am also working on a new blog. A few of you, by accident perhaps, may have already come across it. My intentions are not to keep it a secret for much longer; but once it is securely settled, I will provide more details.

In the meantime, I am posting a Top 5 list of popular posts and a Top 5 list of not so popular posts from The DIGITAL Archive's archives based on Google's metrics.

Top 5 posts:

Top 5 not so popular posts (but still good reads, I think):

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Get a Life, Google!

Google is digitizing LIFE magazine's photo collection.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Archives Funding Crunch

In good financial times or in bad financial times, it seems, institutional archives continue to operate, almost miraculously, with the leanest of financial and human resources.

With a global economic crisis on our hands, Kate over at ArchivesNext is conducting a survey to gauge how the economy is affecting your institution.

Impact of economy on your archives - What effect do you think the economic crisis will have on your institution?

(Check out the survey form.)

In looking at the responses thus far, the impact is being most felt in the areas of travel for professional development, equipment and supplies, and vacant positions not being filled.

Sounds familiar to me. All too familiar, even during the so-called good times, these areas are poorly funded.

As we say in French, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember. Never Forget.

"I'll never wear a poppy!  I do not support war!" said a woman after being offered a poppy.

Today, when you are observing a moment of silence for Remembrance Day (or Poppy Day, Armistice Day, or Veterans Day), remember those men and women who fought and died in wars and conflicts around the world.

Remember also that we, all of us, right here, right now, 2008, are part of a long, long thread of human stories, both told and untold but nonetheless intertwined and bound tightly together across time. Remember that we are part of a fabric of humanity that endured, in the last century, the depths of inhumanity and the heights of human selflessness.

We cannot disown the past, this dark part, thinking and saying that it was not our generation or our war.  For if any generation fails to remember the past, the past will surely return to plague the future. 

In preserving the past, in preserving the stories of those who came before us, by keeping their voices alive and available for the world to hear, whether with our bare hands or with technological wonders, we honor them...and we buy humanity some more time.  Maybe.

"On the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month..."

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Friday Astract: Guitar Hero Conference Jam

"I swear, this is the last one," wrote my anonymous source, who has been viewing and transcribing those flashy new Archivist ads filmed in the "Get a Mac" style. "The creative team behind the ads have run out of ideas. They're back to their day jobs."

Well, thank God for that.

This ad is titled "The Guitar Hero Conference Jam." Isn't Guitar Hero that popular video game where gamers twang virtual guitar controllers in sync with their favourite rock 'n roll songs?

Geez...I do not like where this is going.

Librarian Dude: Hello, I’m a Librarian.

Archivist Guy: And I’m an Archivist. What a minute, Librarian, what’s with all those suitcases and vendor logo covered tote bags? Are you going on a trip?

LD: Yeah, I’m headed to the airport. I’m attending a few conferences.

AG: What? Conferences? W-what kind of conferences?

LD: Oh, I’ll be checking out the Internet conference, the Web Users conference, the Podcasters conference, then I’ll be attending a conference online in Second Life—that should be awesome—and later on in the evening, we’ll be jamming with Guitar Hero at the County Public Library.

AG: Jamming at the County Public Library

LD: You know, Archivist, you should really come.

AG: Oh, no, I can’t. Awfully busy. You know, backlog, that sort of thing.

LD: That’s all right, next time. Hey, Archivist, you heading somewhere right now, maybe you could give me a hand with these…

AG: Sorry, Librarian, but I have a very big--VERY BIG--meeting with the Administration.

LD: Oh, meeting – what’s it about?

AG: The usual: Asking for funding to preserve and digitize historically significant private papers.

LD: Ouch. Good luck. Well, I'm off.

AG: [Whispers] I hope you encounter plenty of turbulence.

LD: Come again?

AG: Oh, I said, I hope you have a momentous journey.

[Fade to black]

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Archives 2.0: What could be

Lacking in originality, I googled Archives 2.0 and one of the search results that appeared was from a website / blog called Seradigm. Not entirely sure what the organization is about (it seems to be based in New Zealand), but it does have brief article / blog post on Archives 2.0.

You can also download the white paper: "Archives 2.0 - a summary of the way Archives NZ could use Web 2.0 technologies and approaches."

Read it and you decide if any of it makes sense.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Twitter Me This

What is the world’s most popular micro-blogging service and why is it important to you?

According to website ranking company Compete.com, Twitter had more than 3 million unique visitors in September 2008, making the free social networking and micro-blogging service the most popular service in its class. With so many people visiting the website, one naturally wonders, what’s all the fuss about?

What is Twitter
“To be or not to be,” wrote William Shakespeare in his tragedy Hamlet. Now if the Bard had penned his classic in our Internet-age, he would have surely adapted his famous soliloquy with a Twitter twist: “To Twitter or not to Twitter.” And indeed for millions of people, from teens to professionals to celebrities, to companies big and small, that is the question.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to post to the Web short (140 characters or less) status updates, affectionately known as "Tweets" in Twitter parlance, and to read and reply to status updates posted by friends. Developed by San Francisco-based Obvious Corp. and launched in 2006, Twitter asks users to post answers to one simple question: “What are you doing?”

Compete.com Graph: Twitter dominates the micro-blogging space, which includes Plurk.com and Identi.ca.

After you open a free Twitter account and create a profile, which includes a screen name, a picture or avatar of your choice, and a short biography, you can start posting tweets, setting in motion what Montreal Gazette reporter and online marketing expert Mitch Joel calls “permission-based stalking.” Status updates, or tweets, can range from the mundane (“Drinking a latte in Starbucks”) to the thought-provoking (“Are tax cuts the only solution to the economic crisis?”)

Social Networking Tool
Community and conversations are the engines behind Web 2.0, and Twitter ably demonstrates these qualities. The stream of tweets appearing on screen gives you a glimpse at what other Twitter users are talking about. If what they are talking about interests you, you can befriend them (follow); likewise, if others find what you tweet about of interest, they will follow you (followers). A small virtual community inside the Twitter universe is born and conversations may begin, with users replying to each other’s tweets.

But be forewarned: A torrent of uncontrollable tweets is likely if you follow too many people, and an interface shortcoming makes friends' replies to your tweets difficult to track since they are not threaded as they are in forums. Best advice: Like all social networks, you should make time to maintain Twitter to keep it effective.

Micro-blogging Platform
If blogging is the big, pensive, older brother of online publishing, then micro-blogging is the small, nimble, younger brother, who, in spite of its lesser stature, still emerges as a fast and mobile publishing platform.

This nimble form of publishing is clearly Twitter’s innovative strength, something which, when harnessed properly, can be an effective tool to communicate and disseminate bursts of information.

Twitter is a fun, sometimes addictive conversation-enabling, community-building service as well as a serious platform permitting users to market their services or promote their blogs, wikis, etc. But experimentation, cautious first steps, and the willingness to maintain the service are essential.

Several prolific bloggers, including tech blogger Robert Scoble and child star Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, regularly post tweets about their work and activities. Even CNN news anchor Rick Sanchez uses Twitter live on the air. Breaking news often breaks first on Twitter.

And, yes, if Shakespeare were alive, he’d be posting tweets, too.

This review originally appeared on the Technology Next Now wiki. You can follow the author at twitter.com/dkemper.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


If you are a reader living in the United States and eligible to vote, I have two words for you:


about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.