Bookmarked The Library is Open by an author
Keynote for the 2018 Pennsylvania Library Association Conference
This is an interesting reflection on the place of libraries, situating things in the Open.


So what’s more interesting to me than whether Google could trounce a librarian in a smack-down (or whether libraries can add enough snack bars and media labs to make students think they have entered the Google headquarters) is how do the terms of the debate here shape what is possible for libraries? By associating libraries with the past, with guarded and dusty collections, with a provincial and conscripted sense of place, we rob them of the ability to engage in responsive growth and change. But we do this uncritically, since the past, collections, places– none of these are static or unchanging. What might be useful is thinking about how “place” can empower us to challenge the ways that the web is privatizing and work more effectively towards a learning commons that sustains the public good.

What kind of academic publishing channels do we need to assure quality and transparent peer review and open access to research by other researchers and by the public at large? What kinds of tools and platforms and expertise do we need to share course materials and research, and who should pay for them and host them and make them available? What kind of centralized standards do we need for interoperability and search and retrieval, and what kind of decentralization must remain in order to allow communities to expand in organic ways?

Liked ‘Do people like me?’ Why we ask Google unanswerable questions by an author (the Guardian)
A Google search, however, cannot give us the two things we most need: time and other people. For our day-to-day problems, a sympathetic ear remains the most powerful device for providing relief, if not a cure. For the bigger puzzles of existence, there is no substitute for long reflection, with help from the great thinkers of history. Google can lead us directly to them, but only we can spend time in their company. Search results can help us only if they are the start, not the end, of our intellectual quest.
via Doug Belshaw
Replied to In Defense of Google Plus by an author (Kevin's Meandering Mind)
But I have to tell you, Plus has been quite useful for a handful of projects that I have been involved in. In particular, the Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaboration (CLMOOC) has long used its CLMOOC Google Plus space (3,000-plus members) as a way to easily share media files, engage in quick conversations and check-ins, and organize Make Cycles.
Nice reflection Kevin.

One of the things to note is that it is not the death of Google Plus, but rather death of Google Plus for consumers. It is uncertain what this will look like. Surely they will allow users outside of the domain, but I am not sure how this will all play out.

Reading this update from a few months ago about the ability to add a Google Group to a community:

We’re adding the ability to directly add users and Google Groups as members of Google+ Communities. When a moderator adds a group, group members are automatically added to the community. Subsequent updates to the group membership are automatically reflected in the community membership.

I wonder then if the workflow will involve a process of adding people to a group and subseqeuntly to the community? If this is the case, it maybe possible to use Plus for CLMOOC (and any other project) as long as the community is housed in a particular instance of Google for Work.

Personally, I think that Plus has had its day, but if it works within the context in question then I still reckon there would be options moving forward.

Replied to Why Google’s feed succeeds when Facebook’s fails by an author (Duncan Stephen)
Throughout its history, Google has focused on what people really want from it. This is why its search engine has been so wildly successful. Google became so good at it, that it began to reasonably predict what I might be coming to it for. Nowadays it is bringing me things that I didn’t even know I wanted. That is seriously impressive.
Does that ‘seriously impressive’ ever make you seriously concerned about how they were able to make such recommendations? It makes me wonder about the shadow profile that Google are building? I prefer my own feed. That is how I found this post. It wasn’t via Google, it was via my own network.
Liked Google’s Reach into Classrooms (via NYT) by Kevin Hodgson
I am right now in the midst of teaching my sixth graders in a Digital Life unit, where we discuss and explore issues of privacy, identity, choices, and the ways corporations like Google are using our browsing histories and data to target us with advertising. You won’t find mention of that state of the modern day technology world in Be Internet Awesome.
Bookmarked Android: a 10-year visual history by an author (The Verge)
Ten years later, here’s a deep dive into every version of Android.
The team at Verge look back on 10 years of the Android operating system. With a focus on the stock open sourced code it is interesting to consider what has been developed outside of this. It is also interesting to compare this with Mozilla’s efforts to enter the mobile market with Firefox OS.
Liked The breach that killed Google+ wasn’t a breach at all by Russell Brandom (The Verge)
The concern is less about a breach of information than a breach of trust. Something went wrong, and Google didn’t tell anyone. Absent the Journal reporting, it’s not clear it ever would have. It’s hard to avoid the uncomfortable, unanswerable question: what else isn’t it telling us?
Liked What’s that you say? Present with captions in Google Slides by wiobyrne (Digital Breadcrumbs)
What’s that you say? Present with captions in Google Slides (Google) To help your audience get more out of your presentation, you can now turn on automatic captions in Google Slides. Yet another reason to use Google Slides.
Bookmarked RIP, Google+: long ailing and finished off by a security bug (Boing Boing)
By the time Google+ rolled out, there was already nascent discontent with Facebook. Google+ offered all the downsides of Facebook, but with fewer of the people you wanted to connect with.
Cory Doctorow reports on Google+’s demise, with the discovery of a bug associated with the API being its final flaw. He highlights the implementation of ‘real names’ and the push to integrate it within every product as two failures. I like how Dave Winer put it:

Products, to be any good, must be motivated, have a creative purpose.

Some would say that it was crushed from the beginning.

Last year, I spent a month wholely in Google Plus. My reflections can be found here.