Our Birthday, Twitter, Meet Heather Moorefield-Lang & Your Online Presence

640px-Birthday_candlesHappy Birthday to Us!
It was one year ago today that SLISbits made its way into the world as “a bouncing baby blog.” We’ve since made 12 posts and experienced numerous growing pains. In our second year we plan to double our productivity. Today we’re celebrating with cybercake and special bday wishes.

“I am so pleased to wish SLISbits HAPPY BIRTHDAY. One year ago when you were born, we didn’t know how you would grow! Your content is excellent and you continue to expand in coverage and depth. You are so mature for your age! You are getting international attention now and your counter keeps clicking with every new person that comes to visit. Keep adding all the great information about information science and the roles of libraries and cool apps and new technologies.  Don’t forget to feed your Twitter news and make sure your Facebook stays fresh and filled with important news. Congratulations on a great year, keep up the good work and thank your creators, Chris Billinsky and Jane Catoe.”  — From Dr. Sam Hastings 

Awww. We are loved. But, oops, you spilled the beans about our upcoming Facebook page.

Please wrap our presents in library or binary-themed paper such as this from Zazzle, Durham, N.C.’s Spoonflower or The Literary Gift Company.

Machine_languageALL A TWITTER
In an incredible turn of events, SLISbits has a sibling — a little bit. Is it a 1 or a 0? Both! Surprise – fraternal Twitter twins: “bit0” and “bit1.” The twins reside on Twitter and are inseparable — a bound binary pair. We hope you will follow and visit frequently @SLISbits.

UnknownWill the bounty never cease? There is yet another addition. Davis College has brought tech guru Heather Moorefield-Lang aboard as its newest SLIS faculty member. Many may know her from her Best Websites for Teaching and Learning talks at the college. She comes to us from Virginia Tech where she is the Education and Applied Social Sciences Librarian. Heather received her MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Take a look at her recently published ebook Tablet Computers in the Academic Library. Moorefield-Lang officially begins at USC SLIS in Fall 2014. We recently caught up with HML and plumbed the depths of her soul with 17 questions.

PC or MAC? PC, but I have an iPad as well.
Most used apps? Twitter, Pandora, Pulse, Record Pro, Dropbox, Electric Slide, Haiku Deck
Your go-to websites? Evernote, Make Use of, Twitter, Free Tech for Teachers, Apps Gone Free, I have other fun ones like Facebook, People and such, Ebsco and other databases but if you are talking for day to day there you go.
Most used browser? Tie between Chrome and Firefox
Most used search engine that is not Google? Safari
Pets? None, sadly I am allergic to all animals with fur and feathers.
Favorite weekend activities? Reading, walking, biking, hiking, going to movies, seeing plays, and when I have time, performing in plays, singing in church. But I am going to need to find a new church for that.
What kind of phone? iPhone
Heels or flats? I like heels — the funkier the better.
Books or eBooks? These days it is more ebooks but I still read plenty of print too. As long as it’s a book, I am happy, always need a book with me.
Favorite Web guilty pleasure? People.com (such brain candy, have to see what Prince George is doing)
Baked cookies or raw cookie dough? Baked and chocolate chip
What would the title of your biography be? @TechLib: One Librarians Search for Great Tech in Libraries
What kind of tablet? iPad
Favorite Social Media? Twitter, but I am sure it will change in a few years.
Beach or mountains? Beach, but I just moved from the mountains.
Why USC? The wonderful faculty, staff and students. I have been presenting The American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching and Learning to USC for the past three years and everyone has always been so welcoming. When a position opened I knew that really wanted to be part of this faculty and have been blessed with this great opportunity.

If you were a book, where would you be shelved? Find out with the Which Dewey Decimal Category Are You? quiz.

Your Online Presence in Academia
Whether or not you want it — you already have an online presence. Associate Prof. Titus Brown of Michigan State University says,

“If you are not curating your online identity, someone or something else is doing it for you.”

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com

Learn how to take control of your online presence below with links to short, easy-to-understand Slideshares and examples of effective academic websites. (Thanks to SLIS doctoral student Liz Hartnett for the tip.)

Software Carpentry provides a one-page list of action items, strategies and must-haves for a minimal online presence from Brown and Associate Professor Ethan White of Utah State University (both scientists), including a link to Brown’s Free and Easy to Use Tools to Make Your Research, Data and Code More Accessible and How to Build an Enduring Online Research Presence Using Social Networking and Open Science: The Voodoo of Blogging, Twitter, Figshare and Github, Among Others. If you look at nothing else, look at the Slideshares and the section on CV’s.

Other sites addressing online presence:
– Duke’s Center for Instructional Technology: How to Build an Academic Online Presence
In the Black’s  Who Are You Online? Creating a Web Presence for Academics: How to Make the Most of Your Online Profiles
Developing Your Academic Web Presence, a Slideshare by Sarah Goodier that addresses your “digital shadow,” the information about you on the Web that you can’t control.

You Want Curly Fries With That Big Data?Unknown-1

Just when you’re feeling good about getting your online presence squared away, it’s time to ponder what exactly it is you’re revealing about yourself online with all of your posts, tweets, Likes and tags.

Electronic Frontier Foundation’s You Won’t Like What Your Facebook ‘Likes’ Reveal shows the personal information marketers can determine about you based merely on your Facebook Likes, such as whether your parents are divorced; your sexual preference; your education level and much, much more.

If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at Jennifer Golbeck’s 10-minute TED Talk The Curly Fry Conundrum: Why Social Media “Likes” Say More Than You Might ThinkShe has a power-to-the-people stance, admonishes people to stop giving it away for free and advocates putting personal data back in the hands of its originators.

Watch dogs
In that same vein comes Watch Dogs Digital Shadow, a game promo site dedicated to showing users just what information they’re giving away. Tech writers have been posting like crazy about this recently. Kudos to the game designers and marketing team for their earned media. The sites (see below), which straddle the line between helpful truth and unvarnished product promotion, are put out by the game’s creator, Ubisoft of Montreal.  The game (for PlayStation 4, XBox 360 and PC) hits the streets May 27. It’s rated M for Mature so you’re going to see some trash, but nothing as scandalous as what the game is based on: the Facebook information it gleans about you to customize the game. The main character is gray-hat hacker Aiden Pearce. Enter his world with the preview and see what marketers already know, including what you look like, what you’re worth and your overall attitude. Go now … if you dare.

This site scares the bejeepers out of me. Which begs the question: Will my game be blank because Facebook will have predicted that I won’t go to Digital Shadow? It’s full of eerie sounds, shadowy images and unnerving phrases such as “You are not an individual: You are a data cluster,” that positively reek of 320px-Cornavadystopia. And I am a sucker for dystopia. So, I bit. It’s pretty fun, though my FB presence is slim enough as to be inaccurate. Results listed my brother and a friend as potential stalkers; listed potential Scapegoats that I couldn’t even identify; tagged me as “violent” based on my LinkedIn desire to re-enter the work “force,” and grossly overestimated my net worth. So, I feel better, but now really want to play this game.

Was that not enough eeriness for you? Then take a look at the Digital Shadow’s sister site: Watch Dogs We Are Data. Select London, Paris or Berlin and prepare to be further unnerved. The site brings up “active” maps that show traffic cams, WI-FI hotspots, tweets, Instagram photos etc. Watch little dots move around the screen, click on tweets and be amazed. Or horrified. It’s not the future, it’s the now. Seriously, kudos to the game designers and marketers. Perhaps it’s time to revive the old Shadow radio show tagline: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The shadow knows!”

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