Tag Archives: web 3.0

Content Curation by people not Ai

Currently, I am exploring digital content curation and have been searching out visually interesting curation tools.

I initially started with Vodpod as a way of curating all the audio-visual material I stumbled upon. Vodpod is very effective for collecting videos and following the video collection streams of other collectors. You can collect videos from others that are of interest and others can collect from you. It is also a great place to store the gems you find. I have embedded a link to my vodpod account on my blog as a way of sharing further.

Another curation tool I started with last month is Via, my curation efforts are focused on the topic of Poetry, just one of the plethora of interests I have. When I first started with my curation, I would initially trawl through web search and scoop what I found interesting, I would even share some of my scoops via Twitter. However, it wasn’t long as a scooper that I discovered you could set up a search via the curate button. You effectively set up  a trawl through the web sources via keyword suggestions, and specify what sources to accept ie blogs, twitter, google etc. Content suggestions are gathered based on this and you decide whether or not to collect suggested content to your topic. provides opportunities to follow other Scoopers and to even offer suggestions for their topics. Potentially you can have an endless number of topics that are being curated concurrently.

What I have learnt from my adventure is

  • Even with my keywords, I still manage to come to content that has no relevance to my topic.
  • I still need to trawl the web to find interesting sources that have been missed. With the add-on button to my web browser scooping a page or video is very easy as it is just a click away similar to other bookmarking tools.
  • Many suggestions that have come my way have been great and I could easily have missed them if I had not set up the search and suggestion keywords via
  • I love the visual quality of as it looks like a scrapbook collection of clippings. These clippings are the links to the actual webpage, video or information source. This visual element is very effective when I look though my scoops as it jogs my memory immediately as to what the source is. Thereby, making access to the information quick.
  • Sometimes, I come to the suggestions page and there are about hundred waiting for evaluation. I sigh when I think of the work ahead of me in evaluating each suggestion and whether it is suitable to my topic. This could happen daily for avid scoopers… and if you are curating numerous topics, it could be a fulltime vocation!
  • I love the ability to curate something I love and feel passionate about. Combined with sharing via Twitter. hopefully, others can stumble upon the found items and enjoy them too.
Another curation tool I have stumbled upon is Pearltrees and I have started experimenting with collaborative curation in Pearltrees only a couple of days ago. What is interesting about Pearltrees is that visually it is similar to a concept map that can keep growing and expanding. You can as a result have a variety of interests branching off your initial pearl and further branches can keep travelling from joined Pearls thereby, creating a tree visually or an ever-expanding concept map. You can collect other curated pearls you find interesting or that relate to your Pearl topics; adding them to your chosen Pearl. This results in following the curation of that particular Pearl as it expands. You can request to team up and curate a topic/Pearl and more than one person can add content and potentially change the direction of the Pearl with sub pearls added that can then become sub teams.
I have only just started on Pearltrees and have a great deal to learn still but the following are initial learning points
  • It provides the ability to participate and curate on very diverse topic areas. For instance I have an Everything Library Pearl, a Literature Pearl, a Music Pearl, Visual Art Pearl and so forth. Within these Pearls I have sub topics and have joined teams. Potentially the branching out can continue forever.
  • Sometimes I have chosen not to join a Pearl but collect it and add it to my Pearl topic like I would add a webpage. However, this collected Pearl is a curated topic and not just one source of information. Thereby I follow it like I would follow a blog.
  • I have realised efficiency can be improved by working collaboratively on topic curation. Therefore, instead of everyone having a topic on ebooks for instance, you can have an aggregate of collectors/curators contributing to the same Pearl.
  • In a work context, I can see Pearltrees as an effective curation tool where teams can focus on specific topic areas in planning and then come back to a central point to put the ideas together.
  • There are forums within curating teams where you can post.
  • There is a search facility where you can search the whole Pearltrees based on keywords or just search within your own Pearltree to locate content.
  • I need to definitely work out effective categories or it can become unwieldy.
  • Just like you can share via social media. However, to be able to view a Pearltree a person would have to join Pearltrees.
  • I have had some technical difficulties with Pearls dropping into my dropzone, disappearing and not behaving as the videos suggest.
  • I have had difficulty joining my Pearls to topics. You are meant to be able to pick them up and move them to a chosen Pearl and they connect. A few times this has not occurred.
  • My brand new iMac doesn’t allow the program to work effectively and I am unable to utilise the trackpad to move the Pearls around.
  • Sometimes the add-on for my web browser has failed to work.
  • Even though you can embed your Pearltree on your blog, I have had great difficulty trying to embed it here as it would not work.
I can certainly see the benefits of Pearltrees and its potential for curation on an expansive level. Collaborative content curation is potentially very efficient.

Following are some videos specific to the areas discussed.

The Need for Online Curation
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Information is unstoppable!

‘The end of the library’ is a catchcry that many studying information studies have had to endure in one form or another over the past five to ten years or so, maybe even longer. Some of the following headlines and related stories point to the continuance of this threat and are an indication that the threat to information provision and libraries is far from over. Clearly, as the articles indicate, this is not specific to Australia but something that is happening in other countries including the United States and the UK.

Libraries fear funding cuts

Libraries fire up over funding cuts

Maroondah Library services cut as funding goes

Councils united in fight against library funding cuts

Funding cuts closing book on all 62 branches in Queens Library

Cuts threaten survival of Michigan Libraries

Michigan Library Community suffers ‘a perfect storm of funding cuts’

Library closure threats spark campaigns across England

In times of economic downturn, it appears that information provision is an easy target. How easy is it for an individual to be complacent within the sphere of the web and accept without question that the internet will provide the information sources without bias and in a timely manner. The corporate imperatives and controls are easily overlooked (I only need to draw your attention to Google as a corporate entity and its expanding control of the cybersphere as an example). Our trust in the altruism of information provision is not wavered, not even for a moment when we are confronted with concepts of privacy invasion, and if it is, we are somewhat apathetic or more realistically paralysed in our attempts to protest. What can we do? Can we refuse to participate? Is this possible? And if it is, then what class in society do we then occupy as a citizen in the information Age that we now reside in?

Choosing to take on the study of Master of Information Studies has been something that I absolutely love and relish. My learning has been immense and it appears this journey is occurring at the right time in consideration of my passions and skills. Right now, my love of all things audiovisual, coupled with my desire and urgency to document all things audiovisual so that we can share this heritage from the past,  now and in the future has been ignited further with my studies. My passion for democratic access to information has been reinforced and my belief in freedom of expression has been reinforced with my belief in participatory culture that is evident in the world of Web 2.o. Beyond this, I believe in a free web, free of controls and surveillance and one that can encapsulate human rights as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These ideals, I have discovered are encapsulated in the ideals of Tim Berner’s Lee and his vision of the World Wide Web. See the following clips for some inspiration.

What is my point in this post, I ask myself (beyond passion!)… I suppose what I am trying to emphasise is that the world of information is not dying. It is part of our DNA (in fact our DNA is an example of information, Gleick (2011.) as it encodes and shapes who we as individuals and as a society are) We are information and the way we relate is information. No matter how we/they try to control, block or divert the information and the sources of information provision, information will find a way to flood and flow. It is not something we can control, divert or suppress…. Even with funding cuts!

Gleick, J, (May, 17 2011, 11am), Mornings with Margaret Throsby, ABC Classic fm accessed from


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Filter bubbles and how to sidetrack them…sort of…


Bubble cc licensed and shared by basquiat (Jens Mayer)

I keep coming back to the concept of the ‘filter bubble’ or Web 3.0/semantic web. There is no doubt that finding ways to access data and information smarter is a goal of most. We all love efficiency. Furthermore, having an ability to sort the minefield of thought/information and knowledge in cyberspace, in an effort to access the information you need as quickly as possible, is something to strive for. The following youtube clip stresses aspects about the positive elements of the semantic web.

However, as Eli Pariser’s Ted talk ‘beware of filter bubbles’  found in my post More on filter bubbles, highlights, the algorithms that have been developed or are being developed are focused too closely on matching information to what has been mapped based on the history of prior search and click activity. This is clearly where the web starts to narrow over time and you end up being less exposed to wider viewpoints, or diversity of information. This is exactly what I do not want. It clearly takes power and choice away from the individual in making broader and better informed decisions about information. I tend to agree with Pariser in urging the developers, including Google, to extend the algorithms used to account for a diversity of information. Representing many and contrasting viewpoints in an effort to counter this narrowing effect of the individual ‘filter bubble’ is hardly something one can argue against.

I am always interested in alternatives in search strategies as a way to sidestep the ‘filter bubble’. After all, I still believe humans are more powerful than the machine. The following youtube clip is widely popular with almost 1.5 million hits by the time I have embedded it here. It goes part way to indicating the strength of tagging as a process of sorting the data on the net.

In my search effort to discover how to sidestep the bubble, I have been traipsing the cybersphere and trying to find out as much as possible. I found a post on heyjude, (as I like to follow Judy) titled  Google+ plus the deeper web quite beneficial. This led me to start investigating further as it prompted the formation of a question in my mind about alternatives in search on the net. I discovered the search engine Duck Duck Go and found their Privacy policy beneficial as they don’t track your clicks. A further search resulted in the following List of Search Engines providing a comprehensive list of search engines and a brief description of each. I had a click on a few, and I do concede it could feel a bit like overload but,  it is worth a try. Interestingly, Duck Duck Go is missing from this list which begs the question what other search engine is missing?

The following wikipedia article, Web Search Engine provides another comprehensive list including information on whether the search engine is currently active. For people using Firefox as their web browser, you can go to the search addons site here and peruse over 2000 search engines that can be added to your search tool facility. When you need to search the added search engines are accessed via a pop down menu where you type in the search in the top right hand of the browser.

I have found it more difficult to add extra search engines to Chrome and would love to find out how to do this best.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

More on Filter bubbles

The Semantic Web or Web 3.0 is something I have been concerned about for a while as is apparent from my post Digital native and Web 3.0~or what I saw at the post office today. Coming across this clip from Eli Pariser just brought back the focus again. For more on Eli Pariser and filter bubbles or web personalisation you can read the transcript of an ABC radio interview called Filter bubbles, the global internet and Wikipedia’s diversity. You can download the audio of the interview at the same link.

The Washington Post published Eli Pariser and the threat of the filter bubbles by Melissa Bell on 16/5/2011.

If you want to delve further then The Filter Bubble is worth exploring, the blog post Duck! Google’s Cutts responds to search filter bubbles by Search Engine Roundtable adds to the perspective and Julian Baldwin’s Filter Bubble’s, the Web as we never intended it to become (Startup opportunity) is worth a read.


Tags: , , , , , ,

How Google Search Works


Tags: , ,

%d bloggers like this: