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University of Michigan School of Information


Fun Size for 7/1/20: "Don’t click this link"

The world of information - in Fun Size!

UMSI's Fun Size digest features tiny, delicious news tidbits relating to information and library topics. Reach us at [email protected].

Social media marketing 101

You want to fish where the fish are when you’re trying to reach specific audiences on social media. Hootsuite has 14 helpful reminders on how to get the most out of your social media marketing in 2020, which include sensible prompts like having a goal, listening to what’s being said about you and knowing where your audience hangs out online.

Mysteries by mail

Quick, the game’s afoot with two new puzzles for literature lovers to solve, reports the New York Times. Dear Holmes, named for the immortal detective, involves players in a case with letters sent through (gasp!) paper mail; a new mystery starts every month. Dear Reader, playable on Apple devices only, is “a game of literary wordplay” involving animated puzzles based on classic novels and poems.

Sexpot pie

Speaking of puzzles, a New Zealand baker is still trying to figure out why Facebook closed down his account after tagging his gourmet meat pies as adult content. Maybe it was the parsnip mash topping – something only an adult would eat. Yahoo! News shares this spicy item.

They’re (mostly) not playing

In June, the Verge reported that IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition software, citing its use in mass surveillance and racial profiling by law enforcement. Within days, Amazon and Microsoft issued similar statements and called on Congress to govern the ethical use of this technology.  Despite its noble stance, Microsoft continues to offer Face, a very similar product, for general purchase.

Seeds of knowledge

What happens when you cross a librarian and a woodworker? According to, you get the Bird Library, a backyard birdfeeder complete with a seed-scattered checkout desk in Charlottesville, VA. That would look adorable next to these picnic tables for squirrels.

Dark victory

A brilliant data visualization is able to take mind-numbing numbers and present them in context. The website Flourish has a dramatic visualization showing global deaths due to various causes, such as malaria, terrorism and drowning, between January 1 and May 23. Watch the rise of COVID from dark horse to runaway winner.

Fun for all

If crosswords and jigsaw puzzles seem too solitary, there are lots of online games to play with friends.  Writing for Mihir Patkar recommends five free multi-game apps and websites, including some that could even help you make new friends. Card games, board games—even Yahtzee.

Don’t click this link

You know you shouldn’t. You know it’s probably spam or worse. And yet… so tempting. Limarc Ambaline, writing for KDNuggets, shares some good advice on how to spot deepfake videos and AI-generated content and how to protect yourself against misinformation.  

Along those lines, in her article for The Conversation, computer science professor Jeanna Matthews outlines three things you can do to battle the bots, fight the trolls and roll up the sock puppets.

New member perks

From Reuters: Google’s new privacy policy will automatically delete some search history after 18 months and YouTube video views after 36 months… for new users. So, bonus for the four people in the world who’ve never used Google.

News from UMSI:

What everyone wants to know: What will fall look like on campus this year? U-M President Mark Schlissel has announced “a public-health-informed in-residence semester.” Read more.