Spark 166 - December 18 & 21, 2011

On this episode of Spark: Library Hacking, Niche Publications, and Enlisting Online Influencers. Click below to listen to the whole show, or download the MP3 (runs 54:00).

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Book Release as Political Campaign

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Baratunde Thurston is a comedian and author, as well as the web and politics editor for The Onion. His first book How to be Black will come out at the end of January, and he has an interesting approach to marketing it. He has amassed an advance street team of volunteers - volunteers he vetted for their social media influence, and has now sent forth to campaign for him and his book. (Runs 14:08)

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Living With Transmedia

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These days, it's not enough to simply watch a TV show. You're asked to follow the show on Facebook and Twitter, download the companion app for your smartphone, and buy tickets to the touring stage show when it visits your town. These techniques are sometimes called "transmedia" and Steve Rubel, the executive vice president of Global Strategy and Insights for the PR company Edelman, talks about how to manage time and attention in a transmedia world. (Runs 7:08)

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Hacking the Library

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Jon Kalish brings us the latest DIY trend: hackerspaces popping up at public libraries across North America. He'll tell us why the re-purposing of public libraries is revolutionizing the way we think about libraries, turning them into places where we can make things. (Runs 8:13)

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Library Innovation

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According to David Weinberger, libraries have access to huge amounts of information that they're simply not making use of. David is the co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, and two projects he's working on, ShelfLife and LibraryCloud, are designed to change the way we find and access library information. (Runs 8:46)

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Niche Subscriptions

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Cathi Bond is here to talk about the trend of niche publications - having a subscription that's not to a magazine, but to actual physical objects that come in the mail. It's a different, analog approach to customization. Hyper-curated almost. And Cathi and Nora wonder if it's an example of a post-digital fetishization of artifacts. (Runs 7:08)

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