Uber and Airbnb

I’m extremely uneasy about startups like Uber and Airbnb whose business models are grounded in sidestepping regulations that were originally intended as consumer- and labor-protection measures. People—both the service providers and their customers—love Uber and Airbnb because they offer greater flexibility and efficiency than traditional taxi and hotel services. Some of that flexibility is affordedContinue reading “Uber and Airbnb”

Looks Like the Internet: Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage Projects Succeed When They Look Like the Network

A rough transcript of my talk at the 2013 ACRL/NY Symposium last week. The symposium’s theme was “The Library as Knowledge Laboratory.” Many thanks to Anice Mills and the entire program committee for inviting me to such an engaging event. When Bill Gates and Paul Allen set out in 1975 to put “a computer onContinue reading “Looks Like the Internet: Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage Projects Succeed When They Look Like the Network”

No Holds Barred

About six months ago, I was asked by the executive director of a prestigious but somewhat hidebound—I guess “venerable” would be the word—cultural heritage institution to join the next meeting of the board and provide an assessment of the organization’s digital programs. I was told not to pull any punches. This is what I said.Continue reading “No Holds Barred”

Black, White, and Red

Steering partners and clients toward simpler web designs is one of the greatest services we can render. In consultations and collaborative projects, I often find myself advocating for less, less, less. This is especially true when it comes to color schemes—historians aren’t easily put off their beiges, navy blues, burgundies, and parchment textured backgrounds. IContinue reading “Black, White, and Red”

The Hacker Way

On December 21, 2012, Blake Ross—the boy genius behind Firefox and currently Facebook’s Director of Product—posted this to his Facebook page: Some friends and I built this new iPhone app over the last 12 days. Check it out and let us know what you think! The new iPhone app was Facebook Poke. One of theContinue reading “The Hacker Way”

Nobody cares about the library: How digital technology makes the library invisible (and visible) to scholars

There is a scene from the first season of the television spy drama, Chuck, that takes place in a library. In the scene, our hero and unlikely spy, Chuck, has returned to his alma mater, Stanford, to find a book his former roommate, Bryce, has hidden in the stacks as a clue. All Chuck hasContinue reading “Nobody cares about the library: How digital technology makes the library invisible (and visible) to scholars”