A Universe Explodes is an unusual e-book in a variety of ways. Best viewed on a mobile device, it’s about 20 pages long and has 128 words per page. Only 100 people “own” the original version, though the book itself is free and can be read by anyone at any time. Each copy can be shared with up to 100 others, but first each owner must personalize it by removing two words and adding one to every page. Since each copy is subtly different, they are all considered “limited editions.” Owners are required to share the book with a friend once they’re done editing it — and each time the e-book is passed on, more and more words disappear until there’s only one left per page. READ MORE: This experimental e-book gets edited every time it changes hands | engadget
Since its 2006 launch, Buzzfeed has become an Internet institution by recognizing and capitalizing on the insatiable life-cycle of viral media. The idea behind the website is relatively simple: bring together trending content (e.g., news, celebrity gossip, entertainment, quizzes) from around the web and organize it into a format that is short and eye-catching…
…Buzzfeed’s business model relies on shareability, something it has in common with today’s library, which is why library website designers have the opportunity to learn from Buzzfeed’s overwhelming success. Here are the top lessons library website designers can learn from Buzzfeed… READ MORE: 5 Lessons Library Websites Can Learn from Buzzfeed | Weave
[O]ver in France, they really are taking the idea of attacking new forms of libraries to incredible new heights. There’s a French startup called Booxup that is taking the above personal lending library concept and making it digital. You get an account, scan your books, upload a list of those you’re willing to lend to others, and the service connects willing lenders with willing borrowers, putting books that would otherwise be collecting dust on shelves to good use actually being read and educating and entertaining the public. Neat. Except… not so neat, according to French authorities who are claiming the whole thing could be illegal: READ MORE: No Library For You: French Authorities Threatening To Close An App That Lets People Share Physical Books | Techdirt
In March, a group of New York library officials released a statement declaring that a “staggering infrastructure crisis” has crept up on the city’s public library system. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, one branch is “routinely forced to close on hot days” due to problems with air conditioning. Others are plagued with water-damaged books and facilities that are too small to accommodate everyone in their community.
General interest public libraries are no less necessary than they were in 1901, when Andrew Carnegie donated the equivalent of $147 million to construct 65 of them across New York City, but their focus is increasingly shifting away from books and toward things like English classes, job training workshops, community meeting spaces, or just places to read the news online for those without internet access.
While the public must continue to fight for these more practical resources, a number of oddball independent libraries cropping up around the North American continent offer an experience that can’t be found in their traditional counterparts. These boutique libraries are working to stretch our very idea about the word “library,” creating a real living community around the often very lonely act of reading.
READ MORE: The Rise of DIY Libraries | VICE
When General Stanley McChrystal started fighting al Qaeda in 2003, information and secrets were the lifeblood of his operations. But as the unconventional battle waged on, he began to think that the culture of keeping important information classified was misguided and actually counterproductive. In a short but powerful talk McChrystal makes the case for actively sharing knowledge.