mamamusings: November 4, 2003

elizabeth lane lawley's thoughts on technology, academia, family, and tangential topics

Tuesday, 4 November 2003

internet librarian: levine/cohen on rss

One bonus for me of attending this conference was getting a chance to meet Jenny Levine, the Shifted Librarian! (She’s on the same network that I’m using (“Deep Blue Wireless”, $8.95/day), so if she had a Mac we could use Rendezvous to share information and collaborate. But she’s not. There’s an amazingly small number of laptops here, and I’ve only seen one other Powerbook. Huge change from tech industry conferences.)

She and Steve Cohen are talking about RSS;it’s a basic introduction to RSS, for people who aren’t familiar with it at all, so I probably won’t blog much about it.

Most of the presentations I’ve seen today, this one included, start with a list of characteristics, rather than showing the functionality first. A list of aggregators at the beginning is less helpful than a list of aggregators at the end. Start with the “why should I care”—then dig into the what and how.

This is the first time I’ve ever actually seen the Radio aggregator; explains a lot about why so many Radio users tend towards the “link and comment” approach, and often incorporate large verbatim components from the sites they’re commenting on.

Didn’t know that Yahoo! Groups provides RSS feeds. Need to look into that.

Jenny’s showing some useful sites that generate Javascripts with RSS feed content for your web site, complete with style info. Feedroll is one. Seems like a good interface.

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internet librarian: notess on "harvesting blogs"

Points out that we’re still in a “hunting and gathering” mode; there’s no comprehensive, accurate search.


Oh my goodness…he’s showing an RIT student’s post on LexisNexis. Pretty entertaining. “I never realized that RIT’s library bought access to LexisNexis and any RIT student can log in and do searches for free.” I’m delighted that the student is blogging, and that he found and appreciated the library content—but disappointed that our students don’t all know about these resources. This speaks to a need for better, more targeted marketing by our library (and I know they’re not the only ones).

He mentions and demos a lot of blog search tools, some of which were new to me. I also didn’t realize that Micah Alpern’s “trusted blog search” tool could search blogrolls now.

Final points, which I may use to start my presentation:

(What happens if we roll back the clock ten years, and substitute “web” for “blog”? Or much further back, and substitute “book” for “blog”?)

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Liz sipping melange at Cafe Central in Vienna