Another roundup

I’m clearing out my Google Reader ‘to read’ list and posting quick links to anything that still looks interesting…some of this is kinda old.  Also playing around with themes on the blog itself, and I upgraded to the latest WordPress, which looks great…

Comments should be turned back on now, as well.

Interesting article from Read Write Web, noting that search queries are getting longer, or, at least, that the number of 7 word or 8+ word search queries has increased. Worth pointing out that though the increases are reasonably large in percentage terms (12% and 22% respectively) they are small in real terms – only around 6% of all queries are 7 words or longer. A case of increasing sophistication among search users, or the opposite – users typing in long and unformed questions? One commenter suggests autocomplete could be the reason, noting that typing curi in Google will give you the option of ‘curious case of Benjamin Button’. This makes sense – pre autocomplete, I’d bet a number of searches would type curious case button or some similar combination of words from the title, knowing that such a search would be ‘good enough’.

The article also points to an increase in the use of Google, from 66% market share to 72% between Jan 2008 and Jan 2009.

RWW also reports that citation manager Zotero is embracing cloud features, enabling users to sync between machines and backup their databases automatically online. More interestingly, it’s enabling social networking so you can connect with other users.

A poll on Law Librarian Blog indicates, unsurprisingly, that most law libraries are expecting budget cuts over one or both of the next two years, and most expect to manage this by cutting collections.

Techdirt has an article arguing that social pressure can solve the problems of copying/copyright infringement, even without the existence of formal copyright measures. I’m not sure that I totally agree, though they use an interesting example of online copying of content from Metafilter to another website. It’s mainly of interest to me because I’ve met the Metafilter member whose work was copied.

Techdirt also argues that the Google Books settlement was a bad move, because it has priced other players out of the market for scanning and indexing books. The argument being that prior to the settlement, there was at least an argument that such scanning could be fair use. Now that Google has set a price, it indicates that any other market entrant would have to pay a similar price. The result is an effective monopoly for Google.

Another Techdirt article discusses the Wall Street Journal getting rid of its research librarian. I won’t preach to the choir here, but note that the comments are (a) mostly supportive of the work that special librarians do and/or (b) posted by librarians [depending on how cynical you feel].

Interesting article on copyright in the age of YouTube, from the ABA Journal, via Law Librarian Blog. The article discusses fair use considerations in relation to YouTube takedown notices, safe harbour provisions under the DMCA, and discusses various recent cases.

About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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