Update: As I type this, we’re approaching 40 mil impressions, 15k tweets with the hashtag #pdftribute.
I would really like for this to not be a flash-in-the-pan protest. I am sure that as the days pass, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, #pdftribute will quickly die down.
We don’t yet know what will arise out of it. Can I suggest that if you want to be apprised of the fall-out, you follow @pdftribute on twitter? Following anyone involved (e.g. myself @evavivalt, @venturejessica, @neuroconscience… the list goes on, as this is a community effort now) will surely get you updates, but what I am thinking of is for people who just want a rare, curated update. Thanks so much for contributing to this project! Aaron’s death was a tragedy, and I hope that as we try to move forward, we don’t forget the brilliant man who started it all.
This is the first thing I’ve been associated with which has really gone viral. The closest before that was the Kickstarter for AidGrade, which did get picked up by Freakonomics and Marginal Revolution, among others, but didn’t get tweeted around like there was no tomorrow.
Aaron Swartz’s death affected me like it did so many people. After I started to tweet this to people, Jessica Richman (@venturejessica), who is much more twitter-savvy than me, suggested using the hashtag #pdftributetoaaronswartz, which I then suggested shortening to #pdftribute. We both tweeted and tweeted, and others also joined in and tweeted and tweeted, and Anonymous picked it up, and it’s really taken off! So far we’re at over 3.5 million impressions, over 500 tweets per hour. I don’t feel like this process is “owned” by anyone. So many people have contributed so much, and it clearly has struck a chord for a reason.
Where will this go? Well, maybe someone can scrape the pdfs together into a repository. Maybe #pdftribute can be a pledge to avoid paywalls in the future. Maybe we can push journals for more change. JSTOR’s gradual opening has been heartening, but there is still more to do. Would welcome thoughts or suggestions in the comments or on twitter.