Monday, February 13, 2012

5 must-read blog posts to start the week

In my double life as a social media manager and history student I often find myself coming across thought-provoking articles and blog posts written by exciting thinkers working across history, culture, digital media, digital humanities and online storytelling.

In an effort to curate and share some of the big ideas that are currently making my brain melt - here are five of the best posts I read last week:

  1. I do love a good infographic and Reif Larsen has penned a love letter celebrating the narrative eros of visual storytelling. Appropriate for the eve of Valentines Day I think. You’ll love his definition of an ‘infogasm’.
  2. Social media and technology have made humanity more connected that ever but are these connections authentic? Historian Jason Farman explores the myth of the disconnected life and offers a historical overview of the persistent fear that emerging technologies  - from the printing press to the telephone – drive us apart in the ways that really matter. Reading about fears of ‘Kaleidoscomania’ in nineteenth century England made my week.
  3. Historians and archaeologists have already begun to harness the power of online crowdsourcing to engage communities – from enlisting the general public to help translate a 1000 year old Egyptian papyrus to training armchair archaeologists. Gamification occurs in the online world when crowdsourced tasks are turned into games. Tac Anderson explores the truth, lies and promises of gamification and argues that gameplay has the ability to  'unite leaderless groups around shared goals and objectives' and 'turn a crowd into a movement'. Powerful stuff.
  4. You've probably already heard people talking about Pinterest. Last week Techcrunch revealed it is the fastest growing site ever. I started exploring the platform last week and wasted far too much time on it. It's exciting because it is both visual and social and has created a multitude of possibilities for sharing and discussing images online.  Archivist Melissa Mannon agrees and has outlined why she thinks Pinterest offers new opportunities to engage audiences with cultural heritage.
  5. And since it is Valentine’s day tomorrow I hope you enjoy a wonderful post from a blog I can’t stop raving about – the delightful and frequently life affirming Letters of Note.

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