BetaNews: Happy birthday Internet! 50 years old today. “50 years ago, on October 29 1969, a packet was sent between two computers — one at UCLA and the other at Stanford Research Institute — on the ARPANET. This doesn’t sound hugely exciting, but it was first step in the creation of the Internet.”
Boing Boing, with a couple bad words, which I am censoring because I’d like this to actually get to your inbox: A plugin to force Twitter to respect your settings and stop showing you “top” tweets. “Twitter has a setting that (nominally) allows you to turn off its default of showing you ‘top’ tweets (as selected by its engagement-maximizing, conflict-seeking algorithm), but periodically, Twitter just ignores that setting…”
The Distant Librarian: Thoughts on building my first bar chart race with Flourish. “If you’re on social media you’ve probably seen a bunch of bar chart races pop up in the past couple of weeks. The folks at Flourish have a good post chronicling the ‘new’ phenomenon. Even better, Flourish created a template which makes it pretty easy to build your own, so that’s what I did. Here are my thoughts on the process, along with some suggestions for making it even better.” I had never heard of bar chart races. Watch the video, it’s wild. And if you want more background, as Paul noted the Flourish blog post is a good place to start.
Slate: Twitter Has Finally Made It Easy to Set Your Timeline to Reverse-Chronological. “Almost three years ago, Twitter introduced one of the most controversial changes in its history. It began using a ranking algorithm to decide what tweets people would see at the top of their timeline. Until then, it had (with some exceptions) simply shown users all the tweets from everyone they follow in reverse-chronological order. There was an option to turn off the algorithmic ranking, but it was hidden within the Twitter settings, and its function wasn’t obvious.”
MakeUseOf: 7 Nifty Tools You Can Use to Create Project Timelines. “You may have seen a timeline of a friend’s journey on Facebook over the years and thought that was a particularly attractive and striking way to condense information into a simple diagram. But timelines are not limited only to Facebook users.” This is a weird but interesting mix of project management timeline tools and historical timeline tools.
Muhlenberg College: Muhlenberg’s Distinguished Guests. “What do Muhammad Ali, Eleanor Roosevelt, Billy Idol, Maya Angelou and Carrot Top have in common? Not much—except that they all came to Muhlenberg during the 20th century (in 1970, 1942, 1983, 1991 and 1993, respectively). The Muhlenberg College Timeline of Visitors, a new digital exhibit on the Trexler Library’s website, catalogues nearly 800 visits in five separate timelines: academic, arts, politics & civil rights, popular culture and religion. Click on a visitor’s name and it calls up an image of that person, usually from the student newspaper (The Muhlenberg Weekly) or the yearbook (The Ciarla), as well as a paragraph or two detailing their time here.” What a fascinating idea.
Wired: Pinterest’s New Feature Takes The Algorithm Out Of Your Feed. “The beauty of a site like Pinterest lies in how little you have to do to use it. Choose a few things you’re interested in—vegan food, knitting, travel—then kick back and enjoy scrolling through algorithmically generated collections of images…. But sometimes, you want to see what you signed up to see, and not what the machines think you might like. So today, Pinterest is introducing a new feed populated only by the people and boards you follow.”
The Google Maps “timeline” feature is now available on iOS. “What was the name of that antique store I popped into the other day? Where was that coffee shop we discovered on our last vacation? Did I drop off the dry cleaning on Tuesday or Wednesday? Answering questions like these used to take some guesswork (and a great memory). But with Your Timeline on Google Maps, Android and desktop users could quickly revisit the things they’ve done and places they’ve been. Starting today, Google Maps users on iOS can join in on the fun and see a daily snapshot of their life as well.”
Nieman Lab: The Atlantic brings readers into its archives with timelines based on their birthdays. “The Atlantic is 160 years old this year, which has gotten it thinking about ways it can tap its archives. On Monday it launched ‘The Atlantic Life Timeline,’ a feature that lets readers see their lives in the context of events the magazine has covered.” Looks cool both for history and genealogy.
Genealogy timeline tool Twile is now free for everybody. “Twile is a UK-based interactive timeline of everything that’s ever happened in your family. The timeline consists of photos and milestones—such as births, marriages, and deaths—that tell the story of your family from your earliest known ancestor right through to today. Family historians can import their family tree from any online genealogy service and then add more recent events from their own life before inviting family members to explore and contribute.”
A new Web site for creating timelines has been launched (PRESS RELEASE). “To get started making timelines, users create a free account with Panda Timelines. … At the top of each timelines is a title, followed by an optional description field. Adding a banner image is an effective way to communicate the timeline’s theme visually. Three privacy settings are available to timeline creators. Private timelines are viewable only by the user, while public timelines can be seen by anyone. A third option is to choose a password that can be given to a select few friends and family. Each event on the timeline includes a title, date and, if necessary, time. The description field allows for a deeper explanation of the event’s significance, or for providing supporting details and notes. Hyperlinks can direct visitors to outside sources of information.”
Hey! Joyce Valenza’s got a nifty roundup of time-lining tools. “Timelines are a perfect tool for inquiry projects. They force students to see contexts; to make critical decisions about relative importance; to make connections among people, events and movements; to visualize history and processes; to discover patterns and sequences; to examine cause and effect; and to juxtapose content from across disciplines and media.”
Larry Ferlazzo has updated his “best of” tools list for making online timelines.