Rhode Island Blogs and Feeds Presentation, 10/25/2005

A Lively Presentation on Blogging in Special Libraries

j Baumgart


SLA RI Chapter / URI GSLIS Student

Formal Dinner & Colloquium

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why should librarians care?

· Feeds and blogs are great and powerful

· Librarians have not only a role in using feeds and weblogs, but also encouraging their clients to use the technology.

· If we drive technology in our organizations, we probably have a role in encouraging others to use the tools.


Raise Your Hand If You …

[Of an audience of about 45 library and information science professionals and students,]

· Know what weblogs are [most people]

· Read blogs [most people]

· Blog [only 4-5 hands]

· Blog anonymously [most of the 4-5 bloggers]

· Are here because you personally want to learn more [almost everyone]

· Are here because your employer is considering or already using the technology [almost everyone]

[I should have asked how many were there because a parent or spouse made them attend, too.]

What is a weblog?

· Definitions vary

What is a weblog?, 2

· Blog software enables easy updating of Web pages

· Bloggers don’t necessarily have to know HTML

· There are many different kinds of blogs, different kinds of platforms for blogging

· Can blog on the Web, on an intranet, on your desktop, etc.

Examples of Blogs

· ResourceShelf: http://www.resourceshelf.com/

· Rowland Institute at Harvard Library Blog: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/rihlib/

· SLA Annual Conference Blog: http://slablogger.typepad.com/sla_confer…

Why blog?

· Communication

· Knowledge management

· Annotated list of links

· Networking, community building

· Sharing sources

· Easy to archive and retrieve material

Why read blogs?

· News

· Professional development


· beSpacific: http://www.bespacific.com/

· LISNews: http://www.lisnews.com/

· Issues in Scholarly Communication: http://www.library.gsu.edu/news/index.as…

Why read blogs?, 2

· Be/stay informed

· Get someone else’s personal perspective, view of the world

· Time management

– Portals and KM: http://billives.typepad.com/portals_and_…

Blog to inform library users

· The Northwestern University Library has a blog  http://www.library.northwestern.edu/news… ), which appears on the homepage  http://www.library.northwestern.edu/)

Communication tool among staff members

· EMU Reference Desk: Notes & Queries: http://emuref.blogspot.com/

More examples

· List of library weblogs: http://www.blogwithoutalibrary.net/links…

· Library Weblogs  http://puck.emeraldinsight.com/vl=317972…) takes a scholarly look at fifty-five library blogs.

XML Feeds

Raise your hand if you …

· Know what XML feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.) are [many hands]

· Receive feeds [about the same number]

· Use an aggregator or news reader [fewer hands]

· Are here because you personally want to learn more [many hands]

· Are here because your employer is considering or already using the technology [a few hands]

· Have coded your own XML feed [no hands]


· Powerful way to distribute and receive content

· XML file on a server

· Usually appears when there’s new content

· Most people use software to read them

· Possible to route feeds to Web sites

XML feed headers, 1

<?xml version=”1.0″?>

<!– RSS generated by UserLand Frontier v9.0 on Thu, 13 Oct 2005 14:53:25 GMT –>

<rss version=”2.0″ xmlns:dc=”http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/”>


<title>j's scratchpad</title>

XML feed headers, 2


<description>A blog about news librarianship and related topics, like blogging, feeds, wikis, copyright law, and journalism.</description>


<pubDate>Wed, 12 Oct 2005 04:00:00 GMT</pubDate>

<lastBuildDate>Wed, 12 Oct 2005 21:51:07 GMT</lastBuildDate>

XML feed headers, 3


<generator>UserLand Frontier v9.0</generator>

<category domain=”http://www.weblogs.com/rssUpdates/changes.xml”>rssUpdates</category> <managingEditor>jkbaumga @ [e-mail address]</managingEditor>

<webMaster>jkbaumga @ [e-mail address] (j Baumgart)</webMaster>

Blog post in XML, 1


<title>More Thoughts on PowerPoint</title> <link>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/2005/10/23#a4093</link>

<description>I used PowerPoint for the presentation I gave on Wednesday. Using slides makes it easier for people in the audience to see the information I’m presenting. However, I often find myself feeling “locked in” to PowerPoint. Switching from PowerPoint to browse the Web seems so clunky to me. […]</description>

Blog post in XML, 2

<dc:creator>j Baumgart</dc:creator>

<category>No Department Assigned</category> <guid>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/2005/10/23#a4093</guid>



Feed examples: Web sites and weblogs

· Librarians’ Index to the Internet: http://lii.org/ntw.rss

· Dysart and Jones: http://www.dysartjones.com/atom.xml

· Jenkins Law Library: http://www.jenkinslaw.org/webblits/rss.p…

Use of feeds by libraries

· University of Alabama RSS Feeds for Recently Cataloged Titles: http://library.ua.edu/rss/

· University of Pennsylvania’s Online Books Page has a feed for the New Listings page: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/new…

More feeds from libraries

· Yale’s Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library provides a feed for its newsletter: http://www.med.yale.edu/library/

· More feeds from college and university libraries: http://directory.edufeeds.com/index.php?…

Feed examples: news

· National Public Radio: http://www.npr.org/rss/

· The Providence Journal: http://www.projo.com/rss/

· The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/

· CNN: http://www.cnn.com/services/rss/

Assorted feed examples

· Buoys: http://www.gomoos.org/rss/hourly-buoy-da…

· Weather: http://www.weather.gov/alerts/ri.php

· Traffic alerts: http://www.traffic.com/Providence-Traffi…

Feeds used on sites

· Flight data: http://www.flightview.com/TravelTools/

· the World as a Blog: http://www.brainoff.com/geoblog/

· Portals:

– http://my.harvard.edu/

2 main kinds of feeds

· RSS: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss

· Atom: http://atomenabled.org/

· Both are XML feeds

· Differences: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/20…

Feed Relationships

XML –> RSS –> Atom

· RSS is a kind of XML

· Atom evolved from RSS.

Signs something offers a feed

· Icons

· Text

– Subscribe

– Syndicate

· What works best?  http://bokardo.com/archives/interface-el…

Differences between reading a feed and a site

· Lose niceities of the Web site

· Stream of content with no distractions

· Easy to find what’s new


· Aggregators read feeds

· Many kinds

· Good aggregators should handle various feeds and files

· Public vs. private aggregators

Desktop news readers

· Come in all flavors

· NetNewsWire: http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/

· Pluck: http://www.pluck.com/

· BlogBridge: http://www.blogbridge.com/

· MSN screensaver can be aggregator: http://screensaver.msn.com/

Web aggregators

· My Manila aggregator: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/ aggregator/

· Bloglines: http://www.bloglines.com/

· My Yahoo!: http://my.yahoo.com/

· Google Reader: http://www.google.com/reader/things/intr…

More about news readers

· Review of PC aggregators: http://www.pcworld.com/resource/printabl…

· Review of Mac aggregators: http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/20…

· Six readers: http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/Arti…

· List of aggregators via Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_aggreg…


· Send files via feed

– Podcasting

– Vlogging, or video blogging

Library/Librarian Podcasts

· List from Open Stack’s Greg Schwartz, who also podcasts: http://openstacks.net/os/archives/000838…

More about feeds

· RSS Feed bibliography: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~CYBERSTAC…

· An Introduction to RSS Feeds: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/20…

· The scratchpad’s Feeds department: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/ne…

· RSS4Lib: http://blogs.fletcher.tufts.edu/rss4lib/

Finding feeds and blogs

· Look for syndication/subscription hints on sites

· Some general Internet search engines

– For a specific feed, try looking for the title and add ‘feed’ or ‘RSS’ or a similar term to the search query.

· Search engines specializing in feeds

· Directories

Search engines specializing in feeds and blogs

· Feedster: http://www.feedster.com/

· Technorati: http://www.technorati.com/

· Daypop: http://www.daypop.com/

· Share Your OPML: http://feeds.scripting.com/

· NewsIsFree: http://www.newsisfree.com/

Finding feeds and blogs: directories

· Blogwise’s list of blogs: http://www.blogwise.com/

· Open Directory Project’s list of LIS weblogs: http://www.dmoz.org/Reference/Libraries/…

· SciencePORT: http://www.scienceport.org/

· Syndic8: http://www.syndic8.com/

Managing feeds

· Create one feed from many

– Frankenfeed: http://frankenfeed.com/

· Tag feeds:

– RSSor: http://rssor.utblog.com/

– FeedAlley: http://feedalley.com/

– feedmarker: http://www.feedmarker.com/

Time management/

information overload

· “Don’t feeds and blogs mean you get lots more content with no more time to read them?”

· Yes, actually it does

· But using a feed to read a source saves lots time and makes it easy

· Blogs can be great digests

How to start blogging

· Think about what you want to blog/need from a blog and select appropriate software for the task.

– This is not necessarily easy. It’s similar to picking library automation software.

· Blog platforms may be similar, but they aren’t the same.

– More details about picking blog software: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/st…

How to start blogging, 2

· Take some time to really learn about the system you choose.

· Find out your support options: discussion list, superusers, help desk, etc.

· Market your blog

· Start casting those bottles into the ocean

– (I’m being figurative here. I’m not advocating for pollution.)

Collaborative blogging

· Multiple people can contribute to a blog

· Works well for projects with multiple contributors

· Like all group projects, people need buy-in and encouragement

Blogging on multiple blogs

· What goes where?

· Posting the same item in multiple places

· Managing multiple blogs

Thank You!

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