Posts Tagged ‘lifestreams’

Scholarly Streams

November 10th, 2009

Streams aren’t new. Funding for streams, though, that’s new.

MediaCommons has just announced funding from the NEH to create “digital portfolios”:
“Given this proliferation, what we need as scholars may be less a system that will manage our communication for us than a system that will allow us to manage our communication, a system than recognizes that the key aspect of scholarly communication into the future may be less the distribution of the products of our research than the management of the social networks through which our research is distributed.” [emphasis mine] MediaCommons as Digital Scholarly Network: Unveiling the Profile System. Via @kfitz.

So scholars don’t have to roll their own,1 or depend on dubiously-funded startups.2

While the announcement implies “less is more”, Kathleen’s sample profile strikes me as a lifestream. Streams themselves are more “more” than “less”. (‘Firehose’ comes to mind.) So streams alone aren’t going to solve scholarly communication. But streams can be sliced and diced any number of ways. First the data. Then, if there’s interest, maybe some services.

  1. Personally I’m all for rolling your own. At least in theory. The first lifestream I ever noticed was code4lib’ber Mark Matienzo’s self-hosted planet , which aggregates his blog posts (both personal and work), tweets, youtube uploads, delicious bookmarks, and scrobbles. Brilliant, but thus far I’ve been too shy & lazy to follow suit. []
  2. FriendFeed popularized lifestreams. When Facebook bought FriendFeed back in August, my networks of librarians and scientists had several discussions of alternatives for scientists and other scholars. []

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