Oct 022012
Digital Preservation: A Role for Public Libraries

This post is based on remarks I presented during a Digital Dialog at the University of Maryland, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, on 9/25/2012. I believe that libraries, archives and museums share a common need to aggressively promote their social mission. While there are fundamental variances among these organizations, current trends are driving […]

Sep 052012
The Year of Blogging Vigorously: Digital Preservation and Social Media Outreach

This post consists of edited remarks I gave to the 17th Brazilian Conference of Archival Science/XVII Congresso Brasileiro de Arquivologia held in Rio de Janeiro in June of this year.  These remarks will be published in Portuguese as part of the conference proceedings.  My original presentation was given using a set of slides, a copy […]

Oct 302011
Digital Preservation, Digital Curation, Digital Whatever: What's the Right Term?

There is a polite but persistent disagreement among librarians, archivists and other normally peaceful souls who care about keeping digital information accessible into the future.  The conflict is low key, as one might expect: no one is occupying reading rooms, much less being led away in plastic handcuffs. But there are few signs that all […]

Oct 102011
Innovation, Disruption and the Democratization of Digital Preservation

Innovation is one of those words that is as loaded as it is inescapable. It appears constantly on billboards, TV commercials and political speeches. I’ll wager every big organization in the world lays claim to the concept through a mission statement or some other purported self-description. Our hopes for improved institutional outcomes–from schools, from hospitals, […]

Jun 052011
Our Relationship with Digital Preservation: It's Complicated

Digital preservation used to be the affair of a few geeky keepers who recognized the value of lonely, obscure data.  But as information technology has spread across our culture, we are developing an intense, long-term relationship with digital content. Cyberspace When You’re Dead is a good example.  “Suppose that just after you finish reading this […]

Mar 282011
Support Based on Nostalgia: Will Self on Public Libraries

I came across a rather amazing interview with Will Self on the BBC Open Book radio program.  The subject was Self’s nominal opposition, along with a host of other well-known English writers, to the closing of public libraries in the UK for budgetary purposes. Self is a well-known writer and television personality recognized, according to […]

Mar 282011
Hanging on the Telephone: Technological Relic

The telephone call is now officially on its way to joining the telegram on the scrapheap of communications technology, according to The New York Times. Thank God for that. But before I vent on my feeling about phone calls, let me step back and attempt a bigger perspective. Nothing substitutes for direct conversation to accurately […]

Mar 222011

I assembled an archive of the great #nytmuseums tweet chat held last week; it’s a 49 page PDF document (over 1400 tweets), 522kb.  I can’t guarantee that I got everything, but it looks reasonably complete. The chat covered all kinds of things, but focused largely on how cultural institutions can use social media to meet […]

Mar 142011
Is The Digital Pileup Too Damn High?

Yesterday’s New York Times had an Op-Ed article about a problem I’ll bet you never thought of: The Digital Pileup. The essence of the article, with apologies to Jimmy McMillan, is that  the amount of digital information is too damn high.  Too much energy to run all those server farms.  Too much human cost “wading […]