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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: google, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 132
1. Why sourcing photos matters – how misattribution is amplified on the web

I wrote an article for Computers in Libraries last week about the PicPedant account on twitter and the odd preponderance/problem of unsourced images flying around the internet. This is just a true thing about how the internet works and people have been misattributing things since forever. However, there’s a new wrinkle in this process where the combination of popular blogs/twitter accounts along with some of the “secret sauce” aspects to how Google works creates this odd phenomenon which can actually amplify misinformation more than you might expect. Here’s my example.

Hans Lansgeth

This man is Hans Langseth. I know this because I was a kid who read the Guinness Book of World’s Records a lot and I recognized him from other pictures. He has the longest beard in the world. The image on the right is a clever photoshop. However, if you Google Image search Hans Steininger, you will also find many versions of this photo. This is curious because Hans Steininger (another hirsute gentleman) died in 1567, pre-photography. His beard was also about four feet long whereas Langseth’s beard was more like 18+ feet long.

What happened? Many websites have written little lulzy clickbait articles about Steininger (sourcing other articles that themselves source actual articles at reputable-ish places like Time magazine which are inaccessible because of paywalls) and how he supposedly ironically died tripping over his own beard. They all link to the image of Langseth and don’t really mention the guy in the photograph is a different guy. The image and the name get hand-wavily semantically linked and search engines can’t really do a reality check and say “Hey, we use this image for a different guy” or “Hey, we can’t have a photograph of this guy because he lived in the 1500s”

google results for hans Steininger

Not a huge deal, the world isn’t ending, I don’t think the heirs of Langseth are up in arms about this. However as more and more people just presume the search engine and the “hive mind” approach to this sort of thing results in the correct answer, it’s good to have handy counterexamples to explain why we still need human eyeballs even as “everything” is on the web.

5 Comments on Why sourcing photos matters – how misattribution is amplified on the web, last added: 3/27/2014
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2. The Revolution in Interactive Storytelling Has Arrived, and Surprise, Google Is Behind It

Last week, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group released the second animated short, Buggy Night, in its Spotlight Stories, a series of interactive mobile-specific animated films available on Moto X phones. Like the first film in the series, Windy Day, which debuted last October, the new short relies on spatial awareness and the sensory inputs of a mobile device to create a distinctive storytelling experience. Readers would be warranted in expressing skepticism at the words ‘interactive’ and ‘animation’ being used in the same sentence. The concept has been touted often, yet rarely executed in a manner that suggests it could become a viable alternative to linear entertainment experiences. These shorts have finally proven, to me at least, that there is a promising future ahead for interactive animation and immersive worlds where multiple stories can unfold at the individual viewer’s pace, with no two viewing experiences alike. While it still requires some imagination to see where this could all go, and how it might eventually figure into our emerging augmented reality environment and mixed digital-physical world, the idea no longer seems as far-fetched and impractical as it once did. Before we imagine the possibilities, let’s look at the pathbreaking animated shorts that exist before us today. The stories of both Windy Day and Buggy Night are simple but effective ideas designed to explore the interactive concept: in one, a mouse loses his hat on a windy day, and in the other, a group of bugs attempt to hide from a hungry frog. Since most readers of this site will not have a Moto X readily available to experience these shorts, simply imagine that you are standing in the middle of an animated scene. The action takes place all around you in a 360 degree space. Anywhere you turn your phone—left, right, up or down—could potentially reveal something happening. The film’s running time depends entirely on how often you, the viewer, chooses to move your camera—the more you move it, the longer it takes to finish the story. This video gives a sense of the physicality of the viewing experience: The interactivity in these shorts not only feels natural, but adds immensely to the viewing experience. This success can partly be attributed to the amount of interactivity allowed to the audience. While control of the camera is ceded to the viewer, the overall narrative remains in the hands of filmmakers. It’s a careful balance between interactivity and linear storytelling that recognizes tried-and-true narrative structures can’t be reinvented—the only thing that changes is how we experience them. Over the years, we have moved from oral tradition to literary form, and finally, visual delivery systems like film and video. While each new mode of expression presents a distinct set of narrative possibilities, the underlying story form must remain intact, an idea heretofore not clearly acknowledged in interactive attempts. Google’s entry into interactive storytelling and immersive animation began almost accidentally with their purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2012. Eager to explore the untapped potential of phones as an experiential device, they launched an open-ended research group called Advanced Technology and Projects—ATAP for short—to foster innovation and develop next-generation concepts. Spotlight Stories is one of the ideas that has emerged out of ATAP, alongside complementary technologies like Project Tango. (Google sold Motorola a month-and-a-half ago, but as an acknowledgement of ATAP’s importance, the group was not part of the sale and remains a part of Google.) Google/Motorola also learned something that it took the computer animation industry decades to fully understand: if the creative potential of a technology is to be fully unleashed, creative people need to “challenge the technology,” as John Lasseter is fond of saying. Google hired incredibly qualified people to push the limits of interactive storytelling. The first two films have been directed by Jan Pinkava (creator and co-director of Ratataouille) and veteran animator Mark Oftedal (who animated on Toy Story and A Bug’s Life among other films). Another Pixar vet, Doug Sweetland (Presto), supervised the animation, and notable children’s book author/illustrator Jon Klassen (This is Not My Hat) styled the look of the shorts. Continuing this trend of working with A-list talents, another upcoming Spotlight short will be directed by Glen Keane. The Spotlight Stories aren’t just exploring new ways of telling stories interactively, they are also pushing forward the technological development of mobile devices. Google touts in their promotion of Spotlight Stories that mobile graphics processors now rival the capabilities of video game consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360, a fact that will come as a surprise to the average smartphone user who is accustomed to the primitive worlds of Candy Crush and Angry Birds. This dormant computational power is finally being used, and in turn, developed further to meet the demands of the Spotlight Stories. Among the numerous technological highlights, the shorts contain the first-ever real-time subdivision surfaces on a mobile device using Pixar’s open graphics standard, OpenSubdiv. Not so coincidentally, Windy Day’s director Jan Pinkava also directed the Oscar-winning Geri’s Game (1997), which was the first Pixar production to use subdivision. Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew, where next week we will dig more deeply into the creative and technological challenges of interactive storytelling in an interview with Jan Pinkava. (Disclosure: Google provided Cartoon Brew with Moto X phones to view the Spotlight Stories. The phones have been used for the sole purpose of viewing the shorts.)

0 Comments on The Revolution in Interactive Storytelling Has Arrived, and Surprise, Google Is Behind It as of 3/14/2014 6:41:00 PM
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3. John Steinbeck Gets Google Doodle For His Birthday

steinbeck doodle

Google has created a Doodle to celebrate John Steinbeck’s 112th birthday. Throughout his writing career, Steinbeck penned many beloved works including East of Eden, Of Mice & Men, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning title, The Grapes of Wrath.

To this day, Steinbeck is a widely respected and read author. According to SFGate, the organizers behind the Steinbeck Festival plan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath at this year’s event. In April, the Of Mice & Men play starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd will open on Broadway.


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4. Publicize to Your Google+ Pages

Back in September we announced some cool new ways to connect your WordPress.com site to your Google+ account. One major improvement was the ability to bring your WordPress.com and Google+ profiles closer together by sharing your content via Publicize.

Make your content visible on your Google+ Page

Today we’re happy to announce yet another way to integrate the two platforms. You can now use Publicize to share your WordPress.com content on your Google+ Page too!

While Google+ Profiles are used by individuals, Google+ Pages function as a space for organizations, companies, public figures, and other branded entities (for example: your blog!). You’d use your Google+ Profile to interact with friends and personal acquaintances; your Google+ Page would serve your public persona as a professional, business owner, artist, or blogger.

To get started, head over to your dashboard, then go to Settings → Sharing. When you’ve reached the Publicize screen, click the “Connect” button next to the Google+ logo. Once you’ve authenticated your account over at Google+, you’re set!

Screen shot 2013-12-04 at 5.21.57 PM

Choose between your Profile, your Pages, or both

It’s important to note that when you connect to Google+ and select an account authorized to manage Pages, you’ll have the option to select whether your content will be shared on your Google+ Profile or Page(s). You can connect multiple times to select both.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 10.12.17 AM

WordPress.org users: you can enjoy this feature, too! We have just released Jetpack 2.7, which also includes a Google+ Publicize option. You can visit the Jetpack announcement for more details.

Filed under: Features, Social, WordPress.com

9 Comments on Publicize to Your Google+ Pages, last added: 12/19/2013
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5. Shakuntala Devi Gets a Google Doodle for Her 84th Birthday


Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Shakuntala Devi’s 84th birthday.

Devi became well-known for her ability to generate complicated mental calculations which earned her the nickname, “the Human Computer.” Through her lifetime, she wrote and published novels, cookbooks, and nonfiction titles. Here’s more from the Times of India:

Shakuntala Devi figured in the Guiness Book of World Record for her outstanding ability and wrote numerous books like Fun with Numbers, Astrology for You, Puzzles to Puzzle You, and Mathablit. At the age of six, she demonstrated her calculation skills in her first major public performance at the University of Mysore and two years later, she again proved herself successful as a child prodigy at Annamalai University.”


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6. SundayMorningReads

I put down roots in the Haute this weekend. We’ve finally had a sustained break from all the rain and hopefully there will be no morefarm morning frost so I got vegetables and herbs planted in my garden.

There are a couple of pieces of land close to campus that have been divided into plots for community members to grow crops each summer. Sounds nice, huh? Well, it gets even better! There are tool sheds on the grounds with gardening implements and wheel barrows. Leaf mulch and horse manure mulch is available and area farmers provide inexpensive straw to help the soil retain moisture. This wonderful deal isn’t free. There are dates by which certain progress must be made and a portion of the harvest must be donated to the local food agency. Nope, nothing is free, but this comes awfully close!

My sister drives over from Indy and we’re farming together. We’ve planted cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes (too many!), sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers, turnip greens, okra, sage, dill, fennel, basil and catnip. While the herbs will be a welcome part of the harvest, they’re also strategically placed in the garden to ward off pests.

I’ll be balancing my time at the garden with the time needed to finish the few dozen books I have to finish for BFYA which will be at ALA in a few short weeks. I won’t do much there other than committee meetings and catching up with people I’ve probably never met before. If you’re going to be there, please let me know!

I do plan to see Kathy aka The Brain Lair and I’ll congratulate her in person for being named her local Teacher of the Year. This is an awesome accomplishment for any educator but, especially for media specialists/school librarians who most people don’t recognize as such. From the article, from knowing all the great things Kathy does, I know she’s more than deserved this award!

I never give a second thought about what I share here. I find information I enjoy and I look forward to sharing it. When it comes to the give-a-way on Anali’s First Amendment, I have had second thoughts. I so want to win one of those prizes that I hate to limit my chances! But I will, not only for the sake of my readers but also to help draw more support to The Arc.

Anali’s First Amendment is hosting the All Aboard the Arc annual fund raiser to benefit The Arc of Massachusetts, which serves men, women and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The blog has much more information about the Arc and ways you can donate to support this worthy cause. To help bring attention, there’s a giveaway and it ends Monday 20 May.

  • Firehouse Subs gift cards
  • Greyston Baker brownies
  • The Greyston Bakery Cookbook

Author Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass) also recently blogged about one of her passions, Partners in Print, an organization which supports literacy development mostly for ENL students. In the post, Medina provides unique insights into what it’s like being bilingual.

I have a co-worker from Congo who often tells me what a disadvantage she has because she’s not a native English speaker. (I’m smiling because she often reads these posts.) She’s lived here some 40 odd years, but still translates in her mind. One wouldn’t know this because she never misses a beat, no matter it be a technical cataloging question or a casual conversation filled with U.S. idioms.

Most native born Americans only speak one language like me and will have a difficult time understanding the difficulties these adults and these students, face. I am so amazed by their linguistic abilities, that I don’t see the problems. Thanks to Medina’s post, I understand more.

Don’t miss artist Jimmy Liao  (The sound of color )in the Gallery on the PaperTigers website.

Have you looked at Google+Hangouts yet? Again I say: Google concerns me. I was listening to a piece about Google on NPR this past week about their new voice search. The story also mentioned Google Travel which will read information from peoples’ photos to help plan vacations. They’ll look at both faces and places to determine your ultimate spot. One more way for them to collect data. No, I’ll not be using an Android, Google Chrome or Google Glass. I want to think I’m making you work for my information.

I don’t watch Scandal; I’m an Elementary girl. I think it’s interesting that while Kerry Washington, an African American woman, can be promoted for her sexuality, Lucy Lui, an Asian American woman, cannot. Neither can Sandra Oh who preceeds Scandal in Grey’s Anatomy. Read Lucy Lui on this topic :” I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It’s a very strange place to be. You’re not Asian enough and then you’re not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.” MORE

If you have time to up your professional reading this summer, don’t miss Voya’s 5 Foot Bookshelf: Essential Books for Professionals Who Serve Teens.

I’m so glad to be getting my hands in the soil! So thankful to be growing my own food and for the people I’m meeting in the process. I’ve found one more thing to help fill my summers days, but there’s always time for the things we want to do!


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Steve Jobs







Filed under: Sunday Reads Tagged: garden, giveaways, google, meg medina

3 Comments on SundayMorningReads, last added: 5/22/2013
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7. Google Game Inspires eBook Series

Google will publish a series of eBooks based on its Ingress game, a game that interacts with the real world through an augmented reality app. Watch the video embedded above to learn more about the game.

AppNewser has more:

Niantic Labs, the startup that lives inside of Google and has produced projects like the Google Field Trip app, has plans to launch a line of eBooks based on the augmented reality game Ingress. Ingress is an augmented reality game that Google launched this past November and it is currently in the invite-only beta stage. Ingress’s website boasts,”the world around you is not what it seems,” and Nianticproject.com is full of cryptic messages and codes.

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8. Google To Kill Google Reader; Digg Promises To Build New Service

Do you use Google Reader?

Google will end the RSS reader service in July, but AppNewser collected five alternatives to Google Reader. In addition, Digg promises to build a new reader in the coming months. Check it out:

We hope to identify and rebuild the best of Google Reader’s features (including its API), but also advance them to fit the Internet of 2013, where networks and communities like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and Hacker News offer powerful but often overwhelming signals as to what’s interesting. Don’t get us wrong: we don’t expect this to be a trivial undertaking. But we’re confident we can cook up a worthy successor.

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9. futurejournalismproject: Today’s Keith Haring Google Doodle.


Today’s Keith Haring Google Doodle.

0 Comments on futurejournalismproject: Today’s Keith Haring Google Doodle. as of 5/5/2012 10:11:00 AM
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10. What’s This Thing Called Google Knowledge Graph?

Do you remember the first search engine you ever used? Was it Alta Vista? (That dates some of us.) Was it Google? Have you noticed how search has changed over the years? Some search engines no longer exist, new ones arrive on the scene (and sometimes depart pretty quickly) and others change in order to remain relevant. The world of search is not static and Google’s Knowledge Graph that launched recently shows just how true that is.

[View the story "What's This Thing Called Knowledge Graph?" on Storify]

bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark

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11. French Publishers Drop Google Book Scanning Lawsuit

The French Publishers’ Association has reached a deal with Google Books which will allow Google to scan copies of out-of-print texts. According to a report in The New York Times,

Google has agreed to work with French authors and publishers to set up a way for them to sell these eBooks through Google Books.

Here is more from The New York Times: “The deal is modeled on agreements that Google struck separately with two leading French publishers, Hachette and La Martinière. Under all of these agreements, the publishers retain control over many conditions of the book-scanning project, including which titles are made available.” continued…

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12. Google Nexus 7 Tablet Will Recommend eBooks

Today Google introduced a $199 Nexus 7 tablet. At the presentation, Google presenters highlighted the 7-inch tablet’s best qualities as eBook reading device (video embedded above)–including a new service that will recommend books for the individual tablet user.

AppNewser has more details about pricing, specs and content on the new device.

Here’s more from PC Mag: “the tablet will come pre-loaded with the Transformers Dark of the Moon movie, the Bourne Domination book, and issues of magazines like Popular Science, Food Network, and Conde Nast Traveler, among others … The tablet will include a new recommendation engine via widgets on the home screen that will serve up app, book, or movie options. If you’re not interested, just dismiss it. Google promised that the recommendations will become smarter over time, the more you watch, listen, or read.”

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The following piece was sent to me by my cousin in Australia.
It has NOTHING to do with writing for children or books for children

UNLESS . . .
the Bible, children, and the Internet are somehow linked.

I just think it's a cool, fun, and really clever way to
HOOK technology to a Bible story.

In the beginning. . .

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself, a young wife by the name of Dot. And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade ...without ever leaving thy tent?”

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, “How dear?” And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and the delivery made using Uriah’s Pony Stable (UPS).”

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

1 Comments on HOW the BIBLE BEGAT the INTERNET?, last added: 7/4/2012
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14. Willie Real is a illustrator and animation concept artist based...

Willie Real is a illustrator and animation concept artist based out of San Francisco. He spent 5 years at Blue Sky Studios developing characters and environments on films such as Horton Hears A Who, Ice Age, Rio, and Epic. Recently he’s been doodling for one of those internet start ups. Lots more work on his blog.

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15. svff: fuckyeahillustrativeart: 2012 Olympic Google logo...



2012 Olympic Google logo illustrations by Sophie Diao 

follow Sophie on tumblr!

Hi wow thanks for posting these! I’m so glad people like them! However, I only did the shotput and pingpong doodles - the rest were done by Ryan Germick (opening, fencing, field hockey) and Sophia Foster-Dimino (archery, diving, rings, pole vault) - please head over to their respective blogs and give them some love!

Also hello new followers :D Looking forward to getting to know you all!

Wondering who drew the Google Doodles appearing during the 2012 London Games? They were created by a trio of illustrators: Sophie Diao, Ryan Germick, and Sophia Foster-Dimino, as mentioned in this tweet by Sophia.

I’ll repeat what others have said too: “Hey Google, please credit your illustrators publicly. This isn’t hard to do; magazines, newspapers, and other websites do it all the time.”

0 Comments on svff: fuckyeahillustrativeart: 2012 Olympic Google logo... as of 8/9/2012 1:59:00 AM
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16. Curious business

Children’s book illustrators and anyone absorbed in the curious business of children’s book illustration, Do you find it interesting, as I do that the big commercial for Google’s Nexus 7 features a little girl and her mom reading a Curious George story on the device? Google, in its elegant way used a simple illustrated page from [...]

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17. Google Forums for Writers & Publishing Professionals

Looking for some guidance with literary Google products? At a Social Media Week event in Los Angeles, Google’s Melissa Daniels and Jacky Hayward outlined how the tech giant reaches out to users in online forums.

We explored these forums, finding the most useful communities for writers and publishing professionals to explore. Follow the links below to visit:

1. Google docs forum about the online writing tool

2. Google Books API forum about the book search tool

3. Books on Google Play support page for digital book readers

4. Blogger forum for troubleshooting problems on your blog


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18. Will Google Glass Require a New Breed of Writers?

Writers could have a new kind of work in a world where everyone wears a computer. In an inspiring essay, The Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal looked forward to a world where everyone is wearing Google Glass–a pair of glasses that work like a computer screen.

While wearing these glasses, we would receive a stream of information about the world around us, but Madrigal reminded us that it will take a new kind of writer to create content for these devices. Check it out:

To me, in the extremely attention-limited environment of augmented reality, you need a new kind of media. You probably need a new noun to describe the writing. Newspapers have stories. Blogs have posts. Facebook has updates. And AR apps have X. You need people who train and get better at and have the time to create perfect digital annotations in the physical world. Fascinatingly, such a scenario would require the kind of local knowledge newspaper reporters used to accumulate, and pair it with the unerring sense of raw interestingness that the best short-form magazine writers, bloggers, tweeters, and Finderyers cultivate.

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19. Use Free Google Docs Tools: NaNoWriMo Tip #2


Need some help keeping your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project organized?

We asked the Google Docs team for some suggestion on how to use the free suite of online writing tools during NaNoWriMo. We’ve collected five ways you can use Google Docs below.

This is our second NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.


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20. How To Connect Your Google+ Account to Your Online Writings

Perfect Market chief revenue officer Tim Ruder has helped writers at media companies around the country create a stronger online footprint. At the AllFacebook Marketing Conference this week, he shared a crucial piece of intelligence for writers: your Google+ profile can help your online writings get noticed.

Google can connect stories you have published online with your Google+ profile, attaching your name, profile and picture to search results for your writing. Ruder explained: “Social brings a level of trust to results that is really powerful … Trust is shifting from publisher to little face–the picture of someone beside an article. That is a pretty indelible stamp of trust.”

Below, we’ve outlined the steps you need to take to connect your Google+ profile with your Google search results.


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21. Better Google Searches for Writers

Hands down, the Internet beats the old days when writers had to go to the library to research a topic. Now anyone can retrieve information with a few computer clicks. I frequently use Google in my searches and have discovered the following ways to improve results:

  • Use the asterisk (*) as a wild card with the words you’re searching. For example, if you wanted to search for me on the Web but couldn’t remember my last name but knew I was a children’s author, you could type Ronica * children’s author and related sites would pop up, providing my last name.
  • Use the minus sign before words you want to exclude from the search. Using a similar example, if you searched solely on my first name, Ronica, and a bunch of “Ronica Smith” sites showed up, you could eliminate Ronica Smith from your search by typing Ronica -Smith.
  • Put quotation marks around a word or two (such as “Ronica Stromberg”) to pull up sites only with the word (or words) as quoted.
  • To find the word you’re searching for on a Web site that came up, hit Control-F (Command-F on a Mac) and enter the word you’re searching for again. This will highlight the word you’re searching for. I’ve found this useful when a Web site has page after page of text but no clear indication where the word or phrase I’m searching for may be.
  • To restrict search results to a specific URL, add site: in front of the URL. For example, dognapper site:nytimes.com would pull articles printed about dognappers at The New York Times domain.
  • To find sites similar to one you’re using, type related: before the URL of the site (as in related:nytimes.com).
  • Use two periods between numeric ranges to find information about a range. For example, if you wanted to find information about gasoline prices between 1970 and 1980, you could type gasoline prices 1970 . . 1980. Writers of historical novels may find this particularly useful for research.
  • To use Google as a dictionary and look up the definition of a word, type define: immediately followed by the word.
  • To find the current weather in a town (in case you are about to set off on a book talk or other trip), type weather in followed by the town’s name.
  • To convert currency or measurements, use search formats such as 50 pesos in US dollars or 100 kilometers in miles.
  • To find the title of a song that lyrics come from, type some of the more distinct lyrics followed by :lyric. For example, when I type want to be a paperback writer:lyric, several sites appear, letting me know this line of lyrics comes from the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” song.
  • To get alerted about breaking news on a topic, go to http://www.google.com/alerts and enter the topic and your e-mail address. Google will then e-mail you the next time news on the topic appears on the Internet. I know a lot of authors type their name or key words from their works into this site to track online publicity and, also, to check whether their writing is being plagiarized.

Instead of doing a general search of the whole Internet, I may have only a specific area I want to search. The following are my favorites.

blogs     http://www.google.com/blogsearch

books     http://books.google.com/

finance     http://www.google.com/finance  This search of the latest financial news may be of particular interest to business and financial writers.

images     http://images.google.com  This site can be misleading. When I searched on “F. Scott Fitzgerald,” the name of one of my favorite authors, photos of him–and a bunch of other people–cropped up. Had I not already known what F. Scott Fitzgerald looked like, the site wouldn’t have helped much.

news     http://news.google.com/

patents     http://www.google.com/?tbm=pts

videos     http://www.google.com/videohp

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22. Who Will Win the Screenplay Academy Awards?

Who will win the Oscars for best adapted screenplay and screenplay? Below, we’ve linked to all the nominees in the top writing categories.

On Monday morning, this GalleyCat editor will talk about the screenplay winners along with a team of Oscar experts in a Google+ hangout. Here’s more about the virtual event:

Join GalleyCat’s Jason Boog, TVNewser’s Alex Weprin, FishbowlLA’s Richard Horgan and GoldDerby editor Tom O’Neil for a post-Oscars Google+ hangout. What book adaptations were snubbed? How did TV news cover it? Learn more about the history of the awards show and get the L.A. perspective.  All this and more on Monday, Feb. 25 at 11:30 a.m.  And we want to hear from you. With the hashtag #mbhangouts, send us your questions and comments on Twitter, Facebook or Google+


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23. Social media and the culture of connectivity

By José van Dijck

In 2006, there appeared to be a remarkable consensus among Internet gurus, activists, bloggers, and academics about the promise of Web 2.0 that users would attain more power than they ever had in the era of mass media. Rapidly growing platforms like Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005), and Twitter (2006) facilitated users’ desire to make connections and exchange self-generated content. The belief in social media as technologies of a new “participatory” culture was echoed by habitual tools-turned-into-verbs: buttons for liking, trending, following, sharing, trending, et cetera. They articulated a feeling of connectedness and collectivity, strongly resonating the belief that social media enhanced the democratic input of individuals and communities. According to some, Web 2.0 and its ensuing range of platforms formed a unique chance to return the “public sphere” — a sphere that had come to be polluted by commercial media conglomerates — back in the hands of ordinary citizens.

Eight years after the apex of techno-utopian celebration, a number of large platforms have come to dominate a social media ecosystem vastly different from when the platforms just started to evolve. It’s time for a reality check. What did social media do for the public — users like you — and for the ideal of a more democratic public space? Do they indeed promote connectedness and participation in community-driven activities or are they rather engines of connectivity, driven by automated algorithms and invisible business models?  Online socializing, as it now seems, is inimically mediated by a techno-economic logic anchored in the principles of popularity and winner-takes-all principles that enhance the pervasive logic of mass media instead of offering alternatives.

Most contemporary social media giants once started out as informal platforms for networking or “friending” (Facebook), for exchanging user-generated content (YouTube), or for participating in opinionated discussions (Twitter). It was generally assumed that in the new social media space, all users were equal. However, platforms’ algorithms measured relevance and importance in terms of popularity rankings, which subsequently formed the quantifiable basis of data-driven interactivity wrapped in “social” rhetoric such as following, trending, or sharing. In this platform-mediated ecosystem, sponsored and professionally generated content soon received a lot more attention than user-generated content. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook gradually changed their interfaces to yield business models that were staked in two basic variables: attention and user data. By 2012, once informal social traffic between users had become fully formalized, automated, and commoditized by platforms owned and exploited by fast growing corporate giants. Although each of these platforms nurses its own proprietary mechanisms, they are staked in the same values or principles: popularity, hierarchical ranking, quick growth, large traffic volumes, fast turnovers, and personalized recommendations. A like is not a retweet, but most algorithms are underpinned by the norms of popularity and fast-trending topics.

The cultivation of online sociality is increasingly dominated by four major chains of platforms: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. These chains share some operational principles even if they differ on some ideological premises (open versus closed systems). Some consider social media platforms as alternatives to the old mass media, praising their potential to empower individual users who can contribute their own opinions or content to a media universe that was before pretty much closed to amateurs. Although we should not underestimate this newly acquired power of the web as a publishing medium for all, it is hard to keep up the tenet that social media are alternatives to mass media. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly obvious that the logics of mass media and social media are intimately intertwined. Not just on the level of platforms mechanics and content (tweets have become the equivalent of soundbites) but also on the level of user dynamics and business models; YouTube-Google now collaborates with many former foes from Hollywood to turn their platform into the gateway to the entertainment universe. Newspapers and television stations are inevitably integrated in the ecosystem of connective media where the mechanisms of data-driven user traffic determines who and what gets most attention, hence drawing customers and eyeballs.

This new connective media system has reshaped the power relationships between platform owners and users, not only in terms of who may steer information but also who controls the vast amount of user data that rushes through the combined platforms every day. What are the larger political and social concerns behind deceptively simple interfaces and celebrated user-convenient tools? Where in 2006 the notion of user power still seemed unproblematic, the relationship between users and owners of social media platforms is now contentious and embattled. In the wake of the growing monopolization of niches (Facebook for social networking, Google for search, Twitter for microblogging) it is important to redefine and reappraise the meaning of “social,” “public,” “community,” and “nonprofit.” The ecosystem of connective media has no separate spaces for the “public”; it is a nirvana of interoperability which major players argue for deregulation and which imposes American neoliberal conditions on a global space where boundaries are considered disruptions of user convenience. Common public values, such as independence, trust, or equal opportunities, are ready for reassessment if they need to survive in an environment that is defined by social media logic.

José van Dijck is a professor of Comparative Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam; her latest book, The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media has just been published by Oxford University Press (2013).

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Image credit: 3D little human character X9 in a Network, holding Tablet Computer. People series. Image by jojje9999, iStockphoto.

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24. Toni Morrison to Headline Google+ Hangout & Digital Book Signing

Novelist Toni Morrison will headline a Google+ Hangout and a digital book signing.

Morrison will join the hangout from Google New York offices on Wednesday, February 27th starting at 3:00 p.m. EST.  You can watch this event online via the Google+ page, Morrison’s Google+ page or the Google Play YouTube channel.

Here’s more about the event: “Using a Wacom tablet, Morrison will sign digital versions of her newest national bestseller, Home, published by the Knopf Doubleday Group, and will be signing the Vintage Books paperback edition of Home for Google employees. The live Hangout celebrates the paperback release of Home, as well as the culmination of Black History Month events sponsored by the Black Googler Network.” (Image Via)

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25. Google Wants Authors To Drop Book Scan Suit

Google wants the Authors Guild to drop their bookscanning lawsuit against them. Yesterday, the company told U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan that the guild cannot represent “the owners of book’s copyrights.”

Bloomberg has the story: “Google said in court papers that because the guild doesn’t claim to own the copyrights at issue, it can’t sue on behalf of authors. Google’s lawyer also said today that the company’s scanning project has been an ‘economic benefit’ to many authors.”

The Author’s Guild, who has filed a class action lawsuit against Google seeking statutory damages on behalf of the authors who wrote the millions of books scanned into Google’s digital library, stands by their suit. Bloomberg has more: “‘It would be a terrible burden on the court if each individual author was forced to litigate,’ Joanne Zack, a lawyer for the Authors Guild, told the judge. ‘A class action is superior.’”

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