The History of the Internet, Visualized

The Hamster Dance, c. 1997I love history. I love technology. Thus, an infographic detailing “The History of the Internet” should be right up my alley, correct?

Only if it is accurate.

Gizmodo recently released this detailed version of the Internet’s history, but there are some glaring errors. Where is Vannevar Bush’s Memex from 1945? What about the invention of the personal computer and the mouse? You cannot use the Internet if you do not have a computer.

For comparison, please check out The Computer History Museum’s Internet History (1962-1992).

Gizmodo's History of the Internet

Can you spot a few other things that “should” be mentioned in this infographic?

As for me, Internet history means one thing, and one thing only. The hamster dance. :)

What is “Digital Curation”? What Does the Phrase Mean to You?

This comic strip came out almost two years ago, in October 2011. I have wanted to post on this topic, but since I wrote one of my literature reviews for my dissertation on this very subject, I decided against blogging on it. I was a bit weary of the subject for a while, but it has since become fun again. So, here we go….

Dr. Cal Lee and Dr. Helen Tibbo define “digital curation” as:

Digital curation involves selection and appraisal by creators and archivists; evolving provision of intellectual access; redundant storage; data transformations; and, for some materials, a commitment to long-term preservation. Digital curation is stewardship that provides for the reproducibility and re-use of authentic digital data and other digital assets. Development of trustworthy and durable digital repositories; principles of sound metadata creation and capture; use of open standards for file formats and data encoding; and the promotion of information management literacy are all essential to the longevity of digital resources and the success of curation efforts.

Continue reading “What is “Digital Curation”? What Does the Phrase Mean to You?”

CBS News Examines the Internet and Our Right to Privacy

What if you are asked to resign your position because of a complaint about photos you posted to Facebook that you thought were private and for friends only — but weren’t? What if in the pictures you are perfectly sober, but simply posing with two glasses of alcohol, and reference a site that has a profanity in the name? What if the complaint about you to your employer was sent anonymously?

Erin Moriarity of CBS News examines these questions and more in the video below, “The Internet and Our Right to Privacy” from 48 Hours on February 6th, 2011. The producers write:

24-year-old Ashley Payne was forced to resign from her position as a public high school teacher when a student allegedly complained over a Facebook photo of Payne holding alcoholic beverages claiming it promoted drinking. 48 Hours’ Erin Moriarty investigates our ever changing rights to privacy.

There is an article that accompanies the video, ”Did the Internet Kill Privacy?“.

What do you think? If you put something online, is it automatically public, even if you mark it private? Do we have any right to privacy online? Is it morally OK, even if it is legal, for companies to compile profiles about us — without our knowledge and consent — based on our digital footprint?

YouTube Rewind 2010: Year in Review

What were the most popular videos on YouTube in 2010 across all categories? Employees at YouTube put together this compilation of the greatest hits of 2010, below.

You can watch all of the top 10 videos, as well as other video hits of the year, via a timeline of the year 2010 at The top hits of the year by subject are available at


Do you have any favorites that were posted/created in 2010 but that did not make any of these lists?

The Web is Dead, Long Live the Internet…and the Web?

Is the Web dead? What about net neutrality?

Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff’s August 2010 piece in Wired Magazine called, “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet” caused a bit of controversy. The authors argued that the Web is losing supremacy, and stated that our online world will be cordoned off into closed worlds via Apps (for example) over the Internet. In other words, traditional, pre-Internet business models will reign supreme again.

Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline, as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about the searching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explains how this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures.

They even created this nifty image below, showing the rise and fall of the Web.

The Web is Dead, Long Live the Internet

Image source:

Then there are the continuing arguments over net neutrality. In short, “net neutrality” refers to whether or not the FCC has the right to regulate traffic over the Internet, and whether or not companies can charge more for or block some types of traffic. For example, Comcast wants to charge more for Netflix’s movie streaming service, which sucks up bandwidth on Internet providers’ networks.
Continue reading “The Web is Dead, Long Live the Internet…and the Web?”

Digital Preservation Education for NC State Government Employees

This past week, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources released guidelines for state employees responsible for preservation of the state’s public record. I have included the press release below. Whether or not you are an employee of the State of North Carolina, if you are interested in learning about digital preservation, I encourage you to spend some time exploring the site.

The digital information of today is our heritage of tomorrow.” –Governor Bev Perdue

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources’ State Library and State Archives (Cultural Resources) are proud to announce a new website to guide local and state government employees responsible for the preservation of our state’s public record. The site,, has resources that can help North Carolina government employees – and those responsible for digital information in general – learn how to ensure that today’s digital information is saved so that it can become tomorrow’s heritage.
Continue reading “Digital Preservation Education for NC State Government Employees”

Oxford Launches Research Data Management Website

The following announcement was posted to the Research Data Management listserv on 14 November 2010 via S. Hodson. I thought it might be on interest to some of you.

The University of Oxford has recently launched a new Research Data Management Website:

The development of this resource was ‘a close collaboration between Research Services, Computing Services and the Bodleian Library and is an important deliverable from the EIDCSR project ( and

From the University of Oxford’s internal announcement:


A new website designed to support researchers with their research data management activities is now available at This has been developed by Research Services in collaboration with OUCS.

The website includes information about

· research funder requirements in the area of research data management

· services available within the University to assist researchers in this area

· guidance on how to produce a data management plan as part of a funding application

· further sources of advice and online guidance, updates and news, and tools and training available to help.

Previously, web-based information about research data management was available from a number of sites across the University but it was felt that a single source of `signposting’ information would be a valuable resource for researchers from all subject disciplines at differing stages of the research cycle, increasing understanding of the benefits of improved research data management, as well as communicating the range of services available.

The website is one of the project outputs from the JISC-funded ‘Embedding Institutional Data Curation Services in Research’ (EIDCSR) project, which aims to scope the requirements to manage and curate research data generated by Oxford researchers. The intention is that information available from the site will increase as policy and services in this area develop.

We would welcome your feedback and any help you can offer in publicising this site further (eg.linking to this from existing University websites). Please do get in touch by contacting either Kathryn Dally ( ) or Sian Dodd ( in Research Services.

Programme Website:
JISCMRD Netvibes:
Community Discussion List:
Twitter, Skype: simonhodson99
Programme Tag: #jiscmrd
Programme Manager – Managing Research Data
JISC Executive
Brettenham House (South Entrance)
5 Lancaster Place
London WC2E 7EN

M1: +44 (0) 7545 524 009
T: +44 (0) 203 006 6071

ICPSR also recently released guidelines for effective data management plans.

Preservation Policies, Forbes, and an Email Time Capsule

email preservationI’m often asked why the preservation of digital materials is so complicated. After all, isn’t it simply about the storage and migration, or emulation, of digital objects and metadata? Why do you need all of these policies and procedures around a data or digital archive? Why can’t you just store the digital files and leave them?

Recently, opened an email time capsule the company set aside a mere five years ago. The blog post illustrates some of the difficulties of preserving digital materials over time — in this case, only half a decade.

First, I’ll describe the purpose of the experiment.

The experiment, which we called an “E-Mail Time Capsule,” was part of a special report on Communicating. We invited our readers to communicate with their future selves by writing a letter, which we would store for them, and send at a later date.

Over 140,000 people participated, choosing whether they wanted their capsule “opened” in one, three, five, ten or twenty years.

In 2006 and 2008, we successfully sent over 40,000 messages. And now we’ve hit the five year mark, and are in the process of sending 17,000 emails to our users –half a decade after they wrote them.

Simple, right? You set up three geographically disparate servers, and set one to send if the first one doesn’t, and the third to send the emails if the first two servers fail. However, it wasn’t quite that simple, as the author notes.

Continue reading “Preservation Policies, Forbes, and an Email Time Capsule”

Social Media Explained in Plain English

What is “Social Media”? How did it develop? What does it do? How does it benefit consumers and companies?

That is, if you want to define the term “Social Media” to someone who does not work in technology, how do you explain it?

For example, SearchEngineWatch defines Social Media as a technical definition that assumes the reader is tech-savvy.

Social Media: a category of sites that is based on user participation and user-generated content. They include social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, social bookmarking sites like, social news sites like Digg or Reddit, and other sites that are centered on user interaction.

Maxi Bongio of CommonCraft uses a less technical definition of Social Media. He explains Social Media in plain English in the animation below, using ice cream and ice cream producers as a metaphor for the phenomenon. He explains how Social Media can help customers promote, rate, and provide feedback for current and new products. Primarily, it is a way for people to communicate with each other.

I thought the explanation of Social Media using ice cream and ice cream producers simplified the topic and made it easily understandable for non-techies.

What did you think of this metaphor? Does it fully explain Social Media? Would you delete or add in any information?