Embedding 8tracks

I had to do a little troubleshooting when attempting to embed a playlist from 8track by following the instructions given on the shortcode guide to embedding from 8tracks,com. The shortcode link I created isn’t converting to the playlist, but remaining as an instruction which doesn’t appear to do anything…

[8tracks url=”http://8tracks.com/jellyfxsh/your-ego-is-getting-bigger-and-bigger-like-my-hand”height=”250″ width=”300″ playops=”shuffle”]

For those wanting to embed a playlist and coming across the same problems as I am, you can try the following:

1. Go to 8tracks.com and select your playlist

2. Click on the ‘Share’ button to the right of the audio player which looks like an arrow coming out of a box

3. Select the icon ‘Embed player’ <>

4. This will bring up a pop-up window where you can select ‘WordPress shortcode’, which will produce a code in the bottom of the pop-up

5. Copy and paste the code in to your new blog post.

I’d be interested to know if anybody knows why the original shortcode didn’t word for me? ?Has anybody else had the same problem?

Me, My Data & I

The Wikipedia entry on Information retrieval quotes the character Dr. Seward from Bram Stocker’s Dracula,

“But do you know that, although I have kept the diary [on a phonograph] for months past, it never once struck me how I was going to find any particular part of it in case I wanted to look it up?”

Diary-keeping is an age-old form of recording intimate personal information and Dr. Seward’s conundrum is one which still remains, though the rise of say digital journal keeping for example has begun to offer a solution. We’ve all experienced that feeling of knowing that we’ve written something down which we want to refer to later, but can’t find it again. Digital recording is making it easier to recall information, which can be accessed through search functions and the rise of the relatively new area of Personal Information Management (PIM) is making this all the more possible. Seemingly, it not just recording ‘useful’ personal data which is on the up, but according to Bigthink we are recording any personal data possible and in the process becoming “data-sexuals”:

“The datasexual looks a lot like you and me, but what’s different is their preoccupation with personal data. They are relentlessly digital, they obsessively record everything about their personal lives, and they think that data is sexy.”

This idea, (though a bit cringe-worthy) doesn’t seem so far-fetched when I think of the amount of personal information peers and colleagues put in social media – what they ate for breakfast, what they’re reading, what film they just saw, where they’ve been for drinks, what music they’re interested in and the list goes on. More and more of our personal preferences, choices and habits are going online whether it’s really of any use to us or not. It’s now even possible to record and publish online the contents or your bin and your heart rate in real time.

And of course all this information ends up in databases.

Our latest DITA lecture concerns databases and information retrieval, which introduced many of us to the (largely) hidden world of stored and categorised data behind the websites and search engines we all interact with on a daily basis. The amount of data held in databases which makes these platforms useful is incomprehensible, particularly when you think of the amount of connections and associations made between each object within them.

The Web 2.0 era in which we all find ourselves is characterised by an increased ability to interact with the net and influence and mould the ways in which information is presented, used and made. Becoming more personally involved with the databases that feed the world-wide web is practically unavoidable,with social media sites, search engines and online shops recording and constantly updating our personal data. It’s come as no surprise then that in this lecture, I began to wonder how much of these databases compiled by online platforms concern information about me and what form it takes.

I’d like to think that the parts of myself which end up in databases reflect well on me. I’d like to think that if I met the database me I’d be pleased with myself, but the trouble is much of the data about me isn’t consciously selected and recorded by me and of course neither is it controlled by me. I don’t know who can access it or indeed change it for whatever purpose, if they wished to do.

Beginning to think about databases has not only given me a greater basis of understanding of how digital technology works, but it also brings to the surface inevitable questions of what information is in those databases and who (or what) chooses that information and controls how it is used.

A good read which considers these questions along with how  personal data may be collected and used in the future is Evgeny Morozov‘s ‘To Save Everything Click Here,’ which I’d recommend to other DITA students interested in reading around the power of the internet and what it may have in store for us.

An Introduction

Welcome!

To Giu{dita} e Oloforne, my blog created to reflect on and contribute to the #citlis module of Introduction to Digital Information Technologies & Architectures (DITA). What better way to introduce a discipline than by an attempt to define it – according to Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville as outlined in the “polar bear book” (Information Architecture for the World wide Web):

Information architecture is…

1. The combination of organization, labelling, and navigation schemes within an information system.

2. The structural design of an information space to facilitate task completion and intuitive access to content.

3. The art and science of structuring and classifying websites and intranets to help people find and manage information.

4. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

Within the four walls of this blog I hope to engage with the content of the module and explore these and other definitions in an attempt to understand and practice the art (or science) of information architecture within my current role as a law librarian and beyond.

Rationale

As a novice blogger, my decisions on the structure of this blog will no doubt alter over the following weeks through trial and error. With a host of options, bells and whistles at my disposal my main priority has been to use as little as possible to the greatest efficiency. The template of the site was chosen largely out of aesthetic appeal (who doesn’t like a big picture of a fresco), but the components within the site hopefully will show a greater level of thought and consideration.

Pages:

I’ve selected two tabs to remain static: the first to list posts as they are posted and the second About with some basic information about the author, their position and contact details.

Widgets:

  • Search – basic google-style search to ease navigation
  • About Me – a brief biography, which allows the viewer to see the author of the blog
  • Twitter feed – listing the 5 most recent tweets, which will largely be relevant to the library world
  • Recent Posts – this will allow the user to view any previous posts in chronological order, which until there is a larger body of posts will be the quickest way of navigating amongst content
  • Blogroll – showing useful links relevant to posts and library science at large

The order of widgets is based largely on my own experience of viewing blogs and the how useful I find the information they provide. This order is likely to change to reflect any categories which evolve from the posts I make and to show archived content as it becomes available. As this blog is new, I think the priority is showing clearly who is the author and what other news and information from other sites are linked to it, to give a better idea of the intention and approach that will be adopted going forward.

I’ve chosen to list the widgets in a single right-hand sidebar. Primarily this is a result of the site template I have selected, but this was also chosen as it follows a common structure of blogs, which no doubt is done so as it allows more content to be view on the homepage and in my experience it’s where the eye naturally falls on opening a page – it also doesn’t seem to be off-putting when reading a post and doesn’t bombard the user with too much intrusive information.

Please watch this space for upcoming posts and feel free to comment on, criticise, advise and share anything.