Autism, South Africa, Instagram, More: Thursday Buzz, September 3rd, 2015


The Internet Archive has launched a tool that tracks media mentions of US presidential candidates. I don’t think I need to tell you who’s in first place. “Today we are excited to announce three new visualizations that explore American politics through the lens of television: a live campaign tracker hosted by The Atlantic that offers a running tally of all mentions of the 2016 presidential candidates across national television monitored by the Archive, and two visualizations that show which statements from the first Republican debate went viral on television. Finally, an analysis published in The Guardian shows just how unique television coverage of the campaign is and how much it differs from print and online coverage. Candidates live and die by their ability to capture media attention. Now, thanks to Leetaru, citizens have the tools to examine the election media data daily.” I would love to see a crowdsourced effort to see how the media mentions stack up against candidate Facebook page reach.

Zooniverse is going beyond nature to a new crowdsourcing project: AnnoTate. “In addition to creating art, many artists wrote diaries and letters and made sketchbooks that contain rich details about their lives and creative processes. Help transcribe documents from the Tate collection, and reveal the secret lives of artists.”

New-to-me: there’s a database of spaghetti westerns! I had no idea. And the oldest movie in the database was made in 1906, so this particular movie subset goes back a lot further than I thought…

The Florida Institute of Technology has launched an online video library for parents and caregivers of autistic children. “The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology has launched, an extraordinary resource for parents of and caregivers for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)….more than 100 videos featuring experts from the Scott Center and Florida Tech’s distinguished Applied Behavior Analysis Program, as well as parents discussing their challenges…”

The government of South Africa has launched an online supplier database. “Businesses that want to be on the government’s supplier database can now register online; previously, they would have to fill in the forms at a head office. The Central Supplier Database (CSD) was launched yesterday by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in East Londen, in Eastern Cape. Nene said the database served as the source of all supplier information for all spheres of government.”

The Digital Library of Georgia has added a new collection. “The new collection, the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System Collection, includes photographs from the Augusta flood of 1888, nineteenth century stereographs, a 1922 Augusta Motor Club travel guide, and Confederate States Patent No. 60.”


Google Maps: now with wild tortoises! “The giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands have been stalwart survivors for centuries, but the last few hundred years have been rough. Once so numerous that sixteenth century explorers actually named the archipelago ‘galápago’ for the old Spanish word for tortoise, the rats and hungry sailors that followed them caused the tortoises’ numbers to dwindle almost to extinction. Today, thanks to the establishment of tortoise breeding centers and invasive species eradication programs carried out by the Government of Ecuador, the Directorate of the Galápagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation, the giant tortoise is back. And now, you can follow the giant tortoises all around the Galápagos with Street View in Google Maps.”

Instagram has made some updates to Instagram Direct. “Today we’re announcing improvements to Instagram Direct including threaded messages and sending content from your feed as a Direct message. Threaded messages make it easier to go back and forth with the people you talk to the most. Instead of creating a new conversation every time you send a photo or video, your threads are based on the people in them — and your moments flow along naturally. We’ve also added the ability to name your groups, a quick camera feature to respond with a selfie on the fly, and larger-than-life emoji for when there are just no words.”

News reader Feedly has some new features. “Before Google decided that its online news reading application Google Reader was too nerdy and niche to warrant its further attention, a small but devoted community of consummate news gatherers were able to create ‘bundles’ – groups of recommended sources that others could subscribe to and follow, directly in Reader itself. Now that concept is being reborn, thanks to Feedly’s newly launched ‘Shared Collections’ feature.”

LinkedIn has overhauled its messaging. “Rather than having a stale email-style inbox, LinkedIn is now revamping its messaging service to be a lot more like an instant messenger — you could even mistake it for Facebook’s. Two or more people can shoot quick messages back and forth in a single thread, and they can even now send GIFs and stickers, in addition to photos and documents.”

You have probably seen this everywhere on the planet, and I’m only putting it here for completeness, but Google has a new logo.


The American Libraries Association (ALA) is doing a free Webcast on digitization and libraries on September 10th. “Our expert panel will discuss digitization in both broad and specific terms, looking at current trends and long-term implications for the library community. Our panel for this episode will include:
– Susanne Caro, government documents librarian at University of Montana, author and frequent speaker on digitization and librarianship
– Alyce Scott, Lecturer, School of Information at San José State University”

Good morning, Internet…

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