Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Not a thing ...

Between the Facebook furore, and Avos' "upgrade" to Delicious which has essentially wiped out the carefully curated sets of useful open-web sources I'd assembled for my students, I'm not really feeling the cloud-based techno-joy this week!

(I *know* this is the risk we take when we commit our energy, our work, our words and pictures and communities to projects and products that will be bought and sold and monetised above our heads, but so often the opportunities are worth the risks, at least for a while.)

The Delicious thing could not have been more comically badly timed if they'd done it too us on purpose, though! The webstats say that the curated links master page isn't used that often, but, sure enough, Delicious manages to set all our links to private while it was busy loosing the tags, bundles and associated meta data, and I get two emails within a couple of hours from students who'd fallen into the newly created information pothole.

Those two students got a hand-picked list of resources (open web, subscription online, and physical) and hopefully the delay while I put the lists together didn't throw their plans too much. On the one hand, that's a better service: on the other, the hypothetical students who hit the dead links but *didn't* get in touch, have zilch.

Reviewing and re-thinking that curated-web sources section has been on my long range to do list for a while, waiting patiently in line behind my day-to-day job, and the One Big Thing project, and the slightly-more-urgent projects. It's just jumped up that list, somewhat. At least, reviewing the process has.

I'm not sure I want to invest the time it will take to pick an alternative and import my back-up file somewhere else until I've taken some time to review, and to think about how best my curating web resources might help my students find the information they need. Is this something I even need to do? What's the best way to do it with the tools I have now, vs the ones I had four or so years back when I started using Delicious because that was the best fit at the time?

The short term fix of just evaporating the links on our site, at least for the time being, is really tempting. If nothing else, to give myself time to reflect and review before I react.

* Photo by macieklew, used under Creative Commons, with thanks.

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