URLs of wisdom (9th August)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.


  • A more pseudonymous internet – Is pseudonymity a good thing because it allows us to experiment with different personas? “The Elastic Self” is explained as people “search for safe spaces where they can safely and anonymously practice new ways of thinking and being. These interactions offer them freedom and distance from their existing relationships. They eventually use the experiences, relationships, and practices cultivated through their Elastic Self in other areas of their life.”
  • Does death change our online networks?  What happens to the online presence of someone you know when they die? Does creating memorial pages for them help the grieving process? asks Krystal D’Costa “These [online] community spaces also extend the management of the memory of the deceased to a larger group. Keeping a deceased member integrated requires a collective effort in remembering and is a delicate exercise. But should grief be managed in this way? For example, should the network have a say if family members want the memorial removed? Or vice versa?” 

Web/Social media developments

  • Your Twitter feed may soon be filled with accounts you don’t follow “This week, a Twitter user reported seeing tweets in his feed from an account he didn’t follow, because that account was followed by someone he did follow.” While a site-wide roll out of this would probably make my feed a noisy mess, I could see this feature could be useful if you could selectively enable it for certain people that you think are interesting and may link to interesting other people outside your existing network.


  • Cameron Neylon, Open Access Advocacy Director at PLOS,  urges science publishers (and academics) to think about the wider open knowledge community, such as that found at Wikimania 2014:  “It is comfortable to be the big fish in the small pond – to put up barriers and say “but we are different, we’re special” – but if we want to make a difference we should choose to swim actively in the main stream. Because that’s what this community is. The main stream of information and knowledge dissemination in the digital age.”
  • New report by JISC highlights a model for online behaviour to replace the notion of digital natives and digital immigrants: Visitors and residents is a new model for understanding online behaviour. It’s does away with the old, rigid notion that if you grew up with digital technology you’re a ‘native’ who needs no support to learn to work effectively in an online environment and that if you’re a bit older, you are an ‘immigrant’ who’ll never fully ‘get it’. That idea doesn’t serve either group very well. And age is often not a relevant factor in online engagement.”

Academia online


  • How to guide: using web tools (IFTTT, Zapier and Google Drive) to collate impact evidence from social media

Just for fun

Thinking about the best communication style for defending your thesis…?


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