Oklahoma Public Records, Penn Museum, Historical Istanbul, More: Sunday Buzz, January 8, 2017


Genealogists! The state of Oklahoma is preparing to launch a new Web site and make it much easier to access vital records. “The Oklahoma State Department of Health will debut on Monday a new website, OK2Explore… where users can search vital records as well as purchase copies. … This initiative allows genealogists and other historians to view Oklahoma birth records occurring more than 20 years ago and death records occurring more than five years ago, according to a news release.”

From Philly .com: Penn Museum launches website featuring collection, films, lectures. “Perhaps the most interesting and unusual aspect of the vast project is a section of the website featuring archival footage documenting museum expeditions and projects. There are about 40 films up so far. Film taken during multiple field trips in the 1950s and 1960s to Tikal in Guatemala, for instance, shows a landing strip being carved out of the tangled jungle of the Petén, archaeologists arriving via plane, luncheon under a tent, vine-enwrapped temples glowing in the bright sunlight, stele being excavated, and much more.”

A new site provides historical map views of Istanbul, Turkey. “A new online archive, created by Nil Tuzcu and his colleagues at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, allows viewers to pull the curtains back and observe some crucial milestones in the megacity’s evolution…. Here’s how it works: On the base map, users can overlay historical documents that go as far back as the 1850s and add georeferenced features like historical photographs. They can pile on multiple layers of data on the same map, or compare two milestones in a sliding window to see the change over time.”

In development: an online archive devoted to civil rights “cold cases”. “Federal authorities have noted that investigating his­toric cold cases is extremely dif­fi­cult due to fac­tors such as sub­jects or wit­nesses dying, lost evi­dence, or orig­inal inves­ti­ga­tions lacking the tech­nical or sci­en­tific advances to be relied upon today…. [Northeastern University Law Professor Margaret] Burnham is now leading an effort to create an archive of his­tor­ical records, legal doc­u­ments, video and audio record­ings, photos, and other mate­rials. Burnham is working with dig­ital human­i­ties scholars at North­eastern to build the archive, which is intended to pre­serve the his­tory of these cases and pro­vide scholars with a robust resource of infor­ma­tion on racial vio­lence.”

The Obama administration has created an online archive of social media posts. “According to ArchiveSocial, the platform on which the archive is hosted, this includes more than 100 social media profiles associated with the White House and more than 250,000 total posts.”


Google is shutting down the Google Hangouts API. “Draw with your face? Conference call ping pong? Not any more. Google today quietly revealed that it will shut down the Hangouts API, preventing new apps from being built and shutting off existing apps on April 25th. There was no blog post about this, just an updated FAQ and email notification to developers active on the API, forwarded to us by one of these devs.”

The Guardian: Facebook hires TV journalist Campbell Brown as media liaison after fake news fallout. “Facebook has hired former CNN anchor Campbell Brown to help build better relations with news organizations in the wake of the fake news scandal. The social media giant already has a team of staff to liaise with media within the markets it operates but Brown – an Emmy-winning TV veteran who also worked at NBC – at will lead this team, reporting into Nick Grudin, vice-president of media partnerships.”


Peg Fitzpatrick: How to Make Your Pinterest Pins Look Like a Million Bucks. “Designing great Pinterest pins has never been more important for bloggers! Social media algorithms and content glut are slowing traffic to websites. If your social traffic is slowing or you just want to add solid referral traffic to your blog, Pinterest is here for you!”


From Fast.Co Exist: How Nonprofits Are Using Instagram To Tell Their Stories In A New Way . “…in November, … Instagram added a feature to Stories that lets verified users create swipe-able pages inside those tales, which can re-direct viewers to outside sites. Cause groups can now share sizzle reels with images that prompt immediate action. ‘Nonprofits are using this tool to drive direct donations on their own website or through the recently launched Facebook fundraising tools,’ says Paull Young, a strategic partnerships manager at Instagram, in an email to Co.Exist.”


Pando — The most no brainer move of 2017: Medium should buy Patreon. “…there does seem one obvious, quick, and easy thing that Medium should do right this very second: Buy Patreon. [Ev] Williams says he does not want to continue to build on an ad driven framework. And he says he wants to make sure writers get rewarded by the millions of people who want to read intelligent content based on writing great content.”

TechCrunch: Facebook needs to crack down on fake “Live” videos. “Was that space walk or climb of a massive antenna tower really shot on Facebook Live? No. Is the point of Facebook Live to show a virtual clock counting down to the new year? No. Yet these are some of the videos that have crookedly taken advantage of the notifications and extra News Feed visibility of Facebook Live posts.”

The Jewish Museum did some research into the most popular items in its online collection. “Christian Boltanski’s Monument (Odessa) was the most viewed work in our online collection in 2016. Through found photographs of children, the deeply moving installation explores themes of loss and death perceived through the prism of memory. Unlike artists such as George Segal who directly memorialize the victims of the Holocaust, Boltanski has said: ‘My work is about the fact of dying, but it’s not about the Holocaust itself.'” Good morning, Internet…

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