Category Archives: tech

General technology issues

Using the Macintosh clipboard for text without formatting

I have been a Macintosh user for almost 15 years (give or take a lapse or two) and I have never wanted to copy and then paste text from one application to another with fonts, style or other formatting information. In order to work around this “feature”, I often have to keep a text editor open just to paste the text into it and then copy and paste it in the application document I originally intended.

There has got to be a better way.

I’m sure there are all manner of utilities that will clear the text formatting or an OSX Service that will do the same. What I’m asking is for is a way to make the system default not use the formatting information when I either use the Cut, Copy or Paste from the Edit menu, or more truly, when my long-trained muscle memory uses the keyboard for such a task.

I will be wonderfully happy if someone can point me to an application that can help. Even better, if there is some system setting that I can tweak that has been hidden from me all these years.

Alexa's Public Crawler Database

What a great idea Alexa ( the Alexa Web Search Platform, computing and storage resources for rent to analyze large percentages of the entire Web. The opening of this to anyone with an analytics or business idea is certainly a Web 2.0-kind of thing. Outsource your data collection and hardware to analyze it.

Now why not a program for academic research access to the data stores?

WWW2006 Workshop – Logging Traces of Web Activity

I am one of the organizers for the WWW2006 Workshop – Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection at the WWW2006 Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland in May 2006.

We invite position papers for the WWW 2006 workshop “Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection”. Many WWW researchers require logs of user behaviour on the Web. Researchers study the interactions of web users, both with respect to general behaviour and in order to develop and evaluate new tools and techniques.

Traces of web activity are used for a wide variety of research and commercial purposes including user interface usability and evaluations of user behaviour and patterns on the web. Currently, there is a lack of available logging tools to assist researchers with data collection and it can be difficult to choose an appropriate technique. There are several tradeoffs associated with different methods of capturing log-based data. There are also challenges associated with processing, analyzing and utilizing the collected data.

This one day workshop will examine the trade-offs and challenges inherent to the different logging approaches and provide workshop attendees the opportunity to discuss both previous data collection experiences and upcoming challenges. The goal of this workshop is to establish a community of researchers and practitioners to contribute to a shared repository of logging knowledge and tools. The workshop will consist of a panel discussion, participant presentations, demonstrations of logging tools and prototypes, and a discussion of the next steps for the group. Participation is open to researchers, practitioners, and students in the field.

The deadline for workshop proposals is January 10, 2006. I hope to see you there.

New Book: Theories of Information Behavior

I am remiss in mentioning that a new book, Theories of Information Behavior, I have written a chapter for is finally out.

From the blurb:

This unique book presents authoritative overviews of more than 70 conceptual frameworks for understanding how people seek, manage, share, and use information in different contexts. A practical and readable reference to both wellestablished and newly proposed theories of information behavior, the book includes contributions from 85 scholars from 10 countries. Each theory description covers origins, propositions, methodological implications, usage, links to related conceptual frameworks, and listings of authoritative primary and secondary references. The introductory chapters explain key concepts, theory, method connections, and the process of theory development.

Check out the Table of Contents (pdf file). (I’m the last chapter in the book, it’s funny that the chapters are organized alphabetically by the title of each chapter.) link to Theories of Information Behavior. American Society for Information Science & Technology Member Price is 20% off now.