07 June 2010

Murdoch and the British Library, plus Digg in trouble?

Today's Guardian newspaper has a couple of items of interest in its Media supplement. Front page news is that James Murdoch is making a bit of an idiot of himself again - all in the family aim of taking over the world's media. Now he's complaining about the fact that the BL aims to digitise pre-1900 newspapers from its collection - all of them out of copyright, of course, and excluding (sad to say) the Times - part of daddy's empire. In fact, again sadly, the BL is collaborating with a commercial digitisation company which will charge for Internet access to the files. They will only be freely accessible if you use them in the British Library at St. Pancras - shame! This is part of the national cultural heritage and, as taxes already paid for their acquisition, the digital versions should be freely available.

The second bit of news is about the problems the bookmarking site, Digg, is having - digging itself into an early grave, perhaps? Apparently it has lost one third of its users, dropping to 24.7 million a month in April. The writer of the item attributes this to dropping the "Digg bar", which kept users on the site - but who knows, perhaps people are just getting bored with bookmarking?

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