Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

filled with flots and jets i am today

One of the things I love about an aggregated informational world is the idea that if you’ve got enough information flowing past you things will wash up on shore. In the Wesch video there’s a bit about how a person finds significance based on our relationships/contrast with other people. That flow of what you and other people care about is important for significance I guess. You see how people who make stuff you care about care about certain things and you learn what you feel about things.

Journalism is about working yourself up into a lather over something you previously felt nothing about. It is diametrically opposed to what you do as a novelist, which is to very slowly discover what you feel about things. – Kazuo Ishiguro

I feel like aggregating information aids in both of these acts. You need that flow to see what other people are getting into a lather about and sometimes you can get into that lather too. There’s something to be said for having a pile of information you’re barely reading until you see people talking about the same thing so many times and it just bubbles up seemingly everywhere. I love that, especially when news is breaking.

And then there are the people who do the librarian/journalist type aggregation themsleves like @acarvin the NPR journalist who’s become the go to retweeter for the revolutions in the Middle East. He’s being the human in the middle putting an eye on things (and sometimes he, like others, gets fooled).

I can see how these software bits and the fancy learning environments are good for bringing information together but man oh man do I ever like the idea of the infopro (ie the person not the tool) as aggregator supreme. In a much more modest way I’ve been trying to play that kind of role in this class, going through the twitterstream and putting the conversations into a more followable format on Storify. This is not the most efficient means of aggregation, I realize. That Wesch video is talking about automatically pulling in everything tagged anthropology on Flickr, but I’m sure a lot of those pictures are absolute shit. If we’re filters we’re filters sifting for treasure. And it’s not easy.

The other day Jessamyn West posted a commencement address I really enjoyed, which included this:

Some of what I do is go places that “my people” don’t go to, represent us, and then come back and tell my folks what I found there, whether it’s being a techie at a librarian conference, a librarian at the tech conference or a rural librarian at the big city meeting. The world needs people who stay and people who roam, cross-pollinate, bumblebee style.

Sometimes I was surprised that I’d be one of very few people in my communities speaking out cogently and clearly for my ideas, against filtering, against digital rights management, for copyright reform and open access, that sort of thing.

Dorothy Day who founded the Catholic Worker movement sometimes called this isolation of idealism the “long loneliness” and said it could only be solved by the love that comes with community. I feel that by sharing your ideas and ideals with others, you’re not as lonely.

I don’t know, this idea of streams of information merging with each other and being separated out is important and kind of beautiful. I don’t know about the wisdom of crowds but I do love cross-pollination and that’s something that works if you’re aggregating across different ideas.

introduction for libr559m

From the Vista Blackboard discussion forum thingy, a piece of software I am not too big a fan of, for LIBR559m.

I’m Justin and I’m in Sydney Australia doing a SLAIS co-op term – two terms in a row, I guess – as a systems librarian doing tech support for piles of special libraries. I started at SLAIS last September.

I’ve had a blog since 2002 (Wil Wheaton made me do it). When I was in journalism school in 2004 we had a New Media class and talked about how the world was changing ad nauseum. And then I participated in the change (doing interviews about crowdsourcing from the citizen-journalism fringes). So when I talk about this stuff here I’ve totally got my journalist hat on. Fair warning. I see journalism and librarianship being pretty intimately connected and like getting paparazzi flashes in their faces during their private times.

I’ve got my blog for this class set up here, but my more general library/bookish site is, my personal blog is The Dubious Monk and I’m @jjackunrau on Twitter. Those’d let you know me a bit better and from some different angles (though I cuss in all of them – again, fair warning).

Looking forward to meeting you.

If you came over here from that you’ll notice there are several months worth of other stuff on this blog already. I imported some Librarianaut posts about library school and SLAIS over because, having blogged for nine years it felt really really naked to not have an archive.

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