Preservation problems

The New Age: Leaving Behind Everything, Or Nothing At All
As for his own digital legacy? Moser says, “Please throw it all in the Pacific Ocean with a big block of concrete around it. I mean, it probably won’t help because I’m sure that Google has it in a cave in Idaho somewhere,” he says. “There’s this incredible amount of you that exists and that isn’t protected, that you don’t really have any say-so over. Where before you could just burn letters and diaries, you can’t exactly wipe every hard drive and scrape the cloud clean. I think the only thing on our side is that probably by the time, if I’m granted a normal life span and die in 40 years, there will be so much of it that nobody would possibly ever want to bother,” he says.

Note to self: must sort through those old boxes in the loft, those old university zip disks and SyQuest cartridges might still be up there. Though of course I’ve nothing to play them on if I find them…

Gmail's beginnings and consequences

How Gmail happened: the inside story of its launch 10 years ago
But serious search practically begged for serious storage: It opened up the possibility of keeping all of your email, forever, rather than deleting it frantically to stay under your limit. That led to the eventual decision to give each user 1GB of space, a figure Google settled on after considering capacities that were generous but not preposterous, such as 100MB.

An interesting read about the cautious beginnings of what now seems like such a no brainer. But consider that passage above with this one from Barclay T Blair, information governance expert, in a post entitled “There is no harm in keeping tiny emails”. He had found an article that

“There is no harm in keeping tiny emails”
I thought it nicely summed up the attitude I encounter from IT and others in our information governance engagements. Ask an attorney sometime if there really is “no harm in keeping tiny emails around in this age of ever-expanding storage space.” The drug dealers of the IG world have really done an incredible job convincing the addicts that the drug has no downside.

An unhealthy medical market

Why doctors still use pen and paper
This is a generic problem in society. We have lots of information, and we don’t always know what to do with it. Your doctor, your nurse, is not prepared to process the information they already have. It’s already overwhelming. And adding more in will just make it even more anxiety-provoking and overwhelming.

Hadn’t really thought about this point of view before. But surely this is the reason to move more online, not to stop from doing so?

Kent Police fined £100K after leaving confidential documents and tapes in disused police station

Kent Police must pay a £100,000 fine after a potentially ‘enormous and damaging’ security blunder. It comes after confidential information, including copies of police interview tapes, were left in the basement of the former Gravesend police station.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonline/news/police-fined-100k-for-damaging-14425/

NHS patient data made publicly available online – or is it?

“The shambles that is NHS England’s Care.data patient data sharing scheme suffered another blow this week as it is revealed that patient-level data was available publicly online.

“Ben Goldacre has tweeted that Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) — the psuedonymised data collected about patients when they visit hospital, which includes patient age, gender, ethnicity, diagnoses, operations, time waited etc — were made available publicly in an online tool created by a mapping company called Earthware.”

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-03/03/care-data-leaks

However, at the bottom of the article:

Updated 20:40 03/03/2014: Earthware UK has issued a statement saying the data it used was mock HES data, not real patient data.”

Earthware UK say in that statement that:

  • The map displayed mock data held by a third party who provided this data to Earthware via a web API
  • We do not hold nor have we ever held HES data on our servers
  • No patient identifiable data was ever displayed on the map

http://www.earthware.co.uk/default.aspx

So, something or nothing? Can’t tell.

More on care:data

The new wave of information governance tools

“Is records management being subsumed into information governance – or is it a separate discipline that will help to shape information governance but will retain its own distinct identity and purpose?”

http://thinkingrecords.co.uk/2014/02/18/the-new-wave-of-information-governance-tools-what-do-they-mean-for-records-management/

James Lappin brings us a great roundup of the current tools and concepts in the records management market. I was about to add that none of this is getting any simpler, but perhaps it’s that over-simplifying push towards the middle that confusing us all.

Hoarding data – are you buried alive?

"I had a long day at the office the other day. And it really had been a long day. I’d spent what felt like an eternity talking to a client about developing a business case for cleaning up their network shared drives and improving the way the use it. The whole notion just seemed so silly – not the improvement part mind you – the part where we have to bend over backwards to quantify the problems they were having with the network shared drive."

http://idm.net.au/article/009907-hoarding-data-are-you-buried-alive

Case studies on capturing executive e-mail

"I found the first report helpful because even though the team was unsuccessful in selecting an email solution, they shared a detailed explanation of their experiences and lessons learned. The second report touches on a number of issues surrounding email management: auto-classification, user motivation and time available for categorization, training, and scalability."

http://saarmrt.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/capturing-executive-email-at-the-university-of-michigan-campus-case-studies/

Sounds like an uphill struggle all right. I’m finding it hard to visualise an e-mail management system that will actually work as well as we want them to, without significant buy-in from the user. It’s not that we lack the self-discipline- well, no, it’s not just that we lack the self-discipline, there needs to be a considerable time-investment made by the user in actively managing all this – methodically, consistently, deliberately moving e-mail out of their good-for-reading-and-sending-e-mail system and into a good-for-storing-and-searching system.

I mean, we all have an hour and a half scheduled into our calendars every Friday afternoon for this, right? I can’t see how it all would work if not. Surely it’s up to us, the users, to get us out of this mess ourselves, rather than waiting for a technological solution?

E-Ark gets £6 million to save digital data

Professor Anderson said a major issue to overcome is navigating different legal systems and records management traditions. He said the task of creating and building an infrastructure usable by all countries across different types of organisation as an enormous jigsaw with hundreds of pieces that need to be examined and assessed. “We will take the best bits from the systems we see and our aim is to create something that we know large organisations and archivists alike are crying out for," said Professor Anderson.

http://www.itpro.co.uk/storage/21528/e-ark-gets-6-million-to-save-digital-data

There’s more on this project on the University of Portsmouth’s website. I feel like I ought to wish this well and be full of enthusiasm (they certainly have some great records management tools and guidance they’ve been gracious enough to let me re-use at my previous institution), but they have an absolute mountain to climb. An “enormous jigsaw with hundreds of pieces”? Yeah, and then some!

4 steps to an effective Enterprise Information Management business case

"The most interesting trend I saw last year from the perspective of our content technologies consulting practice was the increase in clients asking us — rather than vice versa — to provide them with an enterprise information management (EIM) strategy (rather than an enterprise content management, records management, content management, business process management, e-discovery, mobile, social content, or any combination therein strategy)."

http://www.cmswire.com/cms/information-management/4-steps-to-an-effective-enterprise-information-management-business-case-023774.php

An upcoming change of job means these records management links may not be as useful from next week, as I’ll be moving away from the topic back towards a more general student admin role. But I’m finding these things interesting nonetheless.