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Above the Fold – Thoughtful Tech and Social Bits

At work I subscribe to Above the Fold from OCLC, an organization that tries to be both bibliographic (cataloging) utility and think tank on larger issues that could impact libraries and other culture/memory institutions.

From their archives page:

Above the Fold is a weekly electronic newsletter that seeks to bring attention to items of interest from beyond our normal reading sphere.

This serial publication serves a broad international readership from libraries, archives and museums and consists of a compendium of articles that relate to the work of the OCLC Research Library Partnership and the information context in which we’re all operating—but readers might not see in the course of their regular awareness routines. Each citation includes a short annotation explaining why we think the article is of interest. And each note is attributed to the staff member whose thoughts on the issue and its relevance can be tapped.

I find Above the Fold provides good food for thought week after week on the topics of technology, service and exploring information overload and changing habits in information consumption.

This past week’s Above the Fold featured a link to an article from Technology Review titled Why Publishers Don’t Like Apps. The short version – Apple charges 30% for the privilege of selling a subscription, the official auditor of magazine circulation can’t figure out how to count app subscriptions, and app programming is a highly specialized skill that usually has to be outsourced. Made sense to me and I’m usually suspicious of publisher complaints.

Some other stories brought to my attention this year by Above the Fold included:

  • 10 Things You Can Learn from the Apple Store
  • Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story than a Human Reporter?
  • Publish Rubbish or Perish—and Pay Through the Nose
  • The Kindle Index – Where I learn Anchorage is third in Kindle ownwership nationwide
  • Compete on Know-Why, Not Know-How

This weekly newsletter is interesting, free and short. If you’re a technologist or curious about how technology affects business and society, consider subscribing.

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