User-Generated Content Fun for Eggheads and non-Eggheads alike.

Incidentally — I recently learned that “Egghead” was a pejoratve — but I wouldn’t be insulted in the least should anyone refer to me that way; I think it’s a compliment.

Whether you are analyzing the data from your observations of butterfly migration or transcribing the interviews from your ethnographic field study of punk rockers, Jonathan Feinberg invites you to take a break and chillax with Wordle. Mr. Feinberg, born in 1967, works for Google, but his interesting employment history includes writing for O’Reilly Media, programming for Microsoft, and occasionally playing drums with “They Might Be Giants” and “Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories.”

What’s Wordle?

I found Wordle while searching for information at Elsevier’s SciVerse Hub. (It’s a good thing I did. No one should be searching SciVerse Hub on a sunny Saturday.) At the bottom of the SciVerse home page was Wordle word cloud. The cloud beckoned, “Create Wordle from an Author’s Recent Publications.” The Author Wordle posted at lets you enter an author’s name and then creates a word cloud composed of prominent words from that author’s publications [this is the Egghead Wordle]. Keep in mind that in a Wordle word cloud, as with any word cloud or tag cloud, the size of the words in the cloud is proportional to the number of times the word has been used in the body of content that Wordle is analyzing.

First in the list is an Author Wordle for Professor Jennifer Hedlund of CCSU’s Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice (I’ve worked with Professor Hedlund, CCSU is my home institution):

Second up is the Author Wordle for Jaron Lanier, winner of the IEEE’s Lifetime Career Award for contributions to Virtual Reality research:

And third among the images, because it’s all in good fun, is my Author Wordle:

Wordle isn’t just for authors.
Feinberg’s main Wordle lives at here. From there click “Create your own.” Just type in some words or paste in some text – anything will work (liner notes from a CD, full-text from your favorite book, a movie review, a transcript from “60 Minutes,” etc.).

This last Wordle was created from a script of an episode of the “Big Bang Theory” (note: Raj, who frequently whispers into the other characters’ ears, apparently had very few audible lines):

Enjoy Wordle!


my maps becomes my places

Never content to remain static long enough for an author to reference it in a book, Google has changed the name of its “My Maps” app to “My Places.” You can still create a map (which is what My Maps was) by clicking the “Create New Map” link, but if you’re writing about My Maps — you’d better revise. The name change is confirmed at the Google LatLong blog.

adding a sound file that is now hosted at the internet archive

To take advantage of the free hosting feature of the Internet Archive, I have saved this file at the IA

the national jukebox … have a listen …

Critics, including myself, of the extension of copyright that resulted from the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (a law that extended copyright to last for the life of the author plus 70 years), should be elated by the recent arrival of a new treasury of streaming audio offered by the Library of Congress. Called “The National Jukebox,” LOC launched access to this collection of over 10,000 sound recordings in May 2011.

Although the works in the collection would seem to be in the public domain (the materials date from 1901 to 1925) they are still copyrighted, because rights to sound recordings differ from those for books and sheet music; you can listen to the recordings, but you may not make copies. Nonetheless, the Sony Music Corporation granted LOC a “gratis license” to use the recordings, and even helped the Library digitize the master recordings. The license enables the mass distribution of these recordings as streaming sound files, and though the files cannot be downloaded, you may embed them on your website or store them in playlists.

Here is a link to a baseball oriented playlist I made at the Jukebox.

more interesting sites for maps

Today I “stumbled upon” a two sites featuring various user-generated maps; They are very interesting. Check out Geography Matters and Google Sightseeing.

crowdsourcing provides content for upscale company Tiffany

Mashable reports that jewelry juggernaut Tiffany & Company has launched a site called “Love is Everywhere” that features a user-generated content component (another case of end users providing content that ultimately results in promoting a business. The user-generated component is a map on which site visitors can identify a location, put their initials (and the initials of their partners) on the map, and add a very brief comment concerning why that locale is romantic.

readers’ advisory takes off when offered through facebook

I ran across two articles (running consecutively) at the Library Journal site that declare “how I do it good” stories about mounting day long Readers’ Advisory through Facebook. Both accounts are interesting and “novel” (I wasn’t able to find exactly the same type of program, day long or otherwise, through a Web search). In the first, slightly longer account of this type of RA, Alison Kastner of the Multnomah County Library (Portland, Oregon) states that her for member team of RA librarians interacted with about 100 patrons via the Internet on a day in June 2010. I was able to locate the Facebook transactions for a more recent Facebook RA Day (May 2011) at Multnomah; you may find the give and take interesting. In the LJ article Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Richard J. Rua mentions that his library’s Reconnect with Reading program also initiated an interactive Facebook RA Day. CCPL’s day long program attracted 200 participants.