Connections and the Digital World

Happy Friday! I’m so happy it’s Friday, aren’t you? Today I want to share some links about connections, communication, and digital preservation, among other things. Really, it all made sense in my head when I was planning this blog post. So just bear with me and I’ll explain.

It’s no secret that I really enjoy Seth Godin’s blog posts and his post on Lost in a Digital World is a really great one. It is very easy to get lost in a digital world, being constantly in communication, but not communicating or accomplishing anything of substance. I know I have to consciously pull myself away from my computer (and my beloved Android phone) when I’m really working. I can’t multi-task–really, I’m horrible at it. And I think we need quiet headspace to really focus and accomplish things and be present enough to catch on to those fleeting ideas that just might change everything we are doing in our lives.

And, as we all know, the digital pieces of our lives and our communication streams are very fragile–not just in terms of the possibility of misunderstandings via email, but in the very preservation of the datastreams. Just go ask your friendly archivist about digital preservation and watch him/her twitch and start going on about preservation metadata standards (at which point you should offer to take him/her out of the archives and down the street for a nice cup of tea). So, for those who want to do something about preserving their personal digital data, check out Lifehacker’s article, Future-Proof Your Digital Photos with Better Archiving Techniques. Take a night and fix your photos. The archivist in the future who may receive your “papers” will thank you.

After being at one of the talks about technology trends at ALA Midwinter, I found this post from Gizmodo timely: 12 Technologies on the Verge of Extinction. So what technologies do you think will become extinct? It’s something fun to discuss with the archivist whom you’ve taken to tea (see above paragraph). Archivists love to talk about obsolete technologies and media.

Technology is great if used correctly and it can definitely help facilitate communication if used well, but I sometimes worry about getting lost in the busyness of the digital world and also about how digital communication is affecting relationships, or rather the strength or depth of relationships. (I promise no long philosophical argument; it is Friday.) We need more than simply being in constant digital contact with people; we need people who will support us and really mean it when they say, “I’ve Got Your Back.”

You need to have your core group of friends (and no, hundreds of friends on Facebook whom you don’t really know don’t count) who will be your cheering squad, your sounding board, and the ones who will believe in what you are doing when everyone else is calling your ideas crazy. Your task for the weekend is to figure out who has your back and who you would truly back, no matter what. And yes, if I tell you that I’ve got your back, I mean it.

The last bit of hyperlink fun for today is Neil Gaiman’s Another Year from New Year’s Day. Yes, I’m aware that it’s the 14th of January, but it is still a good read and if you somehow missed it, you should go read it. It will make you feel warm and happy. Bonus points for sharing it with someone.

To end and give you a nice break for work today, check out this wonderful Infommercial for the TARDIS (thanks to Hanna for posting the video on her blog):

Have a wonderful day and relaxing weekend. Read a lot, get outside if the weather is nice, and I’ll be back next week with more library, archives, and tech-related goodies.

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