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Weekend Reading: Halloween Edition

Pumpkin carving

With Halloween waiting on the other side of the weekend, you might be looking forward to a weekend of pumpkin carving, haunted houses, autumn leaves, costumes–or grading. Personally, I like to enjoy this last weekend before the inevitable barrage of winter holiday decorations and music takes over every mall and shopping center until the new year.

Whether you’re procrastinating on work or enjoying a scary movie, here’s a few articles for the weekend:

  • If you thought the conversations about #twittergate in academia were loaded, check out Steve Buttry’s thoughts on the question: “Should a Journalist Livetweet a Funeral?” Some of the considerations might sounds familiar: The brevity of tweets often leads to an informal, breezy writing style that can seem disrespectful in the funeral context. When you livetweet, some tweets are seen by themselves, out of context. Reading some tweets by themselves may add to the feeling by some that this is disrespectful.
  • Alexis C. Madrigal takes on web 2.0 and the social web in “Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong“:  My whole Internet life involved sharing links with local and Internet friends. How was I supposed to believe that somehow Friendster and Facebook created a social web out of what was previously a lonely journey in cyberspace when I knew that this has not been my experience?
  • In a new Council on Library and Information Resources report, librarians and IT professional report on “Participatory Design in Academic Libraries: Methods, Findings, and Implementations.” In her introduction, Nancy Fried Foster notes: While it is easy to engage traditional specialists – such as architects and software engineers – in the design and development of spaces and technologies, it is not so easy nor so obvious how to engage lay people who will use what is built.
  • Robert Capps confirms the inevitability of failure I always suspected in “Why Things Fail: From Tires to Helicopter Blades, Everything Breaks Eventually“: Unexpected failure happens to everything, and so every manufacturer lives with some amount of risk: the risk of recalls, the risk of outsize warranty claims, the risk that a misbehaving product could hurt or kill a customer.
  • Whitson Gordon offers advice on getting organized in “Back to Basics: How to Simplify Your To-Do List and Make it Useful Again”: Some people think to-do lists are a waste of time, that they become guilt-inducing drugs that hinder you from actually being productive. Some say you should be able to remember everything you have to do. We tend to disagree: if you have the right attitude, a to-do list can be a great “backup” for the tasks in your brain.

This week’s  video is a reminder of a tradition Neil Gaiman announced last year, “All Hallow’s Read“–an event complete with scary book recommendations.

[CC BY 2.0 Photo by Flickr User Kenny Louie]

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