As a self-described ‘post-Lonely Planet’ traveller, I’ve been searching for new praxes of global adventure that make good excuses to run amok. For the months of January and February I toured Lisbon, Madrid, Modena, Bologna, Split, Belgrade, and Berlin, trying to understand their local hackerspaces. An example I was particulary fond of was Haklab Belgrade. Lessons to bring back to my budding Sudo Room hackerspace were abound there. I most thoroughly enjoyed the recounting and education about the former Yugoslavia and pontifications about that history affects modern organizing.
Existing not in commercial space at all, but a donated first-floor apartment, Hacklab, if used for it’s orginal intention, would be warming, showering, and dishwashing the everyday lives of at most 2 Serbian citizens.
It’s been traditional recently to hold Wikipedia Loves Libraries events during Open Access Week, and I fully support the practice. What’s also been traditional in a way that I wanted to change was the editathon format for those events. After scrunching my mind to brainstorm new experimental ways of holding these trainings and celebrations, I came up with Open Access Wikipedia Challenge. The challenge is to embed media that was harvested from Open Access journals in Wikipedia, and I created a special edition barnstar for completing it. This challenge is totally friendly to newbies and librarians as it includes over 1 hour total of six screencast tutorial videos that explain every detail right from the account creation, to transclusion, and each module has waypoint challenges.… Read the rest
We’ve heard that Wikipedia might be able to predict the Vice President, but what about the honcho himself? Using a combination of Python, R, and Wikipedia version histroy, I’ve delved inside the hivemind and emerged with some graphs that might have the answer. So without further ado, let’s try and predict the upcoming U.S. election.
Wikipedia didn’t come to be until after the 2000 elections, so we can’t glean a lot of good data here. And although Bush has basically always outpaced Gore in editor interest, presidents seem to always get a lot more attention after they’re elected as you’ll see.… Read the rest
I am a Wikipedian in Residence which, unsurprisingly, I often have to explain to people what that actually means. Yet, the occupation is on the rise, and I wonder when the day will come when such an explanation is not necessary. I investigated the history of the number of people in this employ while musing at GLAM Camp London, and had this output.
Searching through my draft blogs I find that the earliest is un-annotated, but prophetic collection of quotes I compiled in 2011. They are from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, that too-strong dose of propaganda that turned me off of the mystique of supposedly messianic technology. (Perhaps I don’t give enough weight to the fact that it was the first and last book that I read entirely on a laptop). I admit I was – and still am – wooed by the allure of technolust, but at that moment, I stopped seeing computational progress as a deliverance and started seeing it blunt tool, often overdressed.… Read the rest
Perusing the Jerusalem last night, unwittingly in my Wikipedia sweatshit, I was asked about my donation this year. On the tail of my positive response I richoceted the question. “Yes,” he responded “you had the picture of the cute girl [on the banner].”
Internal measurements of banner ad effectiveness are well examined in the Wikimedia foundation. If it’s found that pictures of attractive young female editors sell donations faster, should that be exploited. Or is sexism for a good cause, still sexism?… Read the rest
“No – your refrigerator is too low-fidelity to be counted as a phonograph: it cannot reproduce sounds at all.” (Hofstadter 406). This retort in Goedel Escher Bach from Achilles to the Tortoise represents the crux of the argument between Zen and the Pragmatist. While Achilles reacts sensibly to the inaudability of the cold plastic disk, isn’t the Tortoise in competition for Zen practitioner of the year?
In my most recent involvement with self-appointed subculture, the Zorba Festival, the nerve centre of all Negev Desert chill-outs, I lost a similar battle but wouldn’t know it until too late. The tent was in fact patchwork canvas over a geodesic dome, the time late, and the attendees personified bric-a-brac.… Read the rest