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Jared Dunn
257 followers -
Community Technologist and Librarian in Training
Community Technologist and Librarian in Training

257 followers
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For old Google Reader pals who really miss the much-lamented social features, this is looking like a very good bet. Nice simple/clean interface, no-frills and text-heavy, and has basically the same social setup as the old Greader, but with better friend discovery via Facebook and Google accounts. On the annoying side, you have to use one of those as your primary login, but supposedly they're working on that. 

The only missing link for me right now is outward sharing integration. It works with Pocket, but I use Instapaper, and there's no easy share button for Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinboard, etc. I can do that stuff manually, so it's not a dealbreaker, but still, that would make it about perfect.

The other crucial lack for many is an Android or iOS native interface. They say that's the first priority as they gain users and roll out a tiered freemium subscription model. I also like the idea of being able to pay for it, as that gives it a better chance of being around into the future.

At any rate, I hope a critical mass of people converges on one service, so RSS can be social again like it was back before they crippled Greader. This might be the ticket, but we'll see what develops in the coming months.

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Kevin Drum explains just what the hell is at stake with the seemingly endless Greek / Eurozone crisis. It's only our economic and Europe's political future, that's all. And with almost no input from democratic polities, of course.

For those trying to find GSLIS people on G+

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More good background on the legacy of Michael S. Hart and Project Gutenberg, and the context his work arose from and helped to create.

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PG is one of the many small hints and guesses that eventually led me to want to be a librarian / informaticist. Also, as noted in this article, I think it was a very important early example of the potential of the net as an intellectual commons, and of the potential for distributed online efforts to create massive public goods. We owe Wikipedia and the Internet Archive, among many other great things, to the vision of Hart and PG.

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"Information curators are that necessary cross-pollinator between accessibility and access, between availability and actionability, guiding people to smart, interesting, culturally relevant content that 'rots away' in some digital archive, just like its analog versions used to in basement of some library or museum or university."

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"The people who most heavily rely on pseudonyms in online spaces are those who are most marginalized by systems of power... Not everyone is safer by giving out their real name. Quite the opposite; many people are far LESS safe when they are identifiable. And those who are least safe are often those who are most vulnerable... What’s at stake is people’s right to protect themselves, their right to actually maintain a form of control that gives them safety."

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This is a good example of how online spaces that claim to be neutral, open, and democratic merely by virtue of the medium and the assertion are anything but. Also of how online media can effortlessly reproduce and/or amplify existing hierarchies and privilege. It gets mind-numbingly repetitive after awhile, but that's kinda the point.

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Can't say this surprises, or even really alarms me. In fact, it demonstrates that there's a real need and niche for the re-tooled modern library project. I think the real negative it does highlight is that we don't do outreach very well, or possibly that (under stress) we've done too much outreach institutionally and within the profession, and not enough to users. Also, most library systems still fail hard UX-wise.
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