8 Blog Commandments

Dear Blog Contributers/soon to be contributers: As a follow up to what I discussed at the PCC meeting, here is a blog checklist for things people can keep in mind when they post to the blog. A version of this is also posted to the Programming and Communications Folder, under the Blog section. Things to make sure you do when writing a blog post: 1. Compose the post: Use lots of short paragraphs instead of one long paragraph (if you are quoting from another source, edit it down/summarize if it is too long. 2. Add a lot of links. 3. Make the title direct and catchy. For example, Damon Griffin did not title his summer reading exhibit post “Books to read this summer” he titled it, “Summertime, Living’s Easy.” While this is catchy, a more direct title might be “Summertime, reading’s easy.” 4. If you are adding a photograph: Either drag it directly from the window in to the body of the post (this works for images from google), or use the photo upload icon—the square at the top of the post box—if it’s from the hard drive. 5. To Embed a Video: If it is too long to upload with the video upload icon, please refer to Karen for help. This will involve going in to the html. 6. Before submitting the post for review, proofread for spelling and grammer. 7. Add categories this post pertains to, and at least 3 tags. 8. Comment on other posts as often as you can. More comments means more discourse.

Images and belonging

I was fascinated to read in this morning’s Boston Globe that a new and compelling image of Phineas Gage has recently been uncovered.  Gage is the famous 19th century Vermonter who was shot through the head with a piece of iron in an industrial accident, and survived–but with his personality completely changed. He became the subject of one of the most famous medical cases in history, illustrating the functions of different parts of the human brain. The photo was identified because the owner scanned it and posted it on Flickr.  What a great example of how content on the open web takes on a life of its own, and becomes something entirely different from what we thought, something that no longer belongs to us alone. In this case, the owner of the photo (it’s actually a daguerreotype) originally thought it depicted a 19th century sailor with a harpoon.  But a Flickr viewer recognized it as something else.  High resolution scanning and zooming confirmed that the man is indeed Gage   Now the daguerreotype is no longer just a curio belonging to a collector, but an cultural artifact that belongs all of us. I wonder what our viewers will uncover from the images published in the NU library’s Archives and Special Collections.  Are there Phineas Gages in our digital collections, waiting for you to discover them?