Week 4 Case Studies: RSS & the Library

September 27, 2006 at 5:42 pm 4 comments

Kansas City Public Library presented their RSS feeds as Subject Guide.  Their list was straight forward and the feeds were broken into a categories so you can select was is most relevant to you.  The Movies & TV Guide was pretty fun.  The How Do I Guide seemed useful but I’m not sure I’d need an RSS feed for all the new How Do I’s that come out.  The standard Libraries Guide section was as always interesting and useful for staying on top of what other libraries are up to, and especially useful for LIS students J

Hennepin County Library’s feeds were pretty good but the layout of the page was a bit confusing. For example the Book Lists feed looked like it would take you to another page before providing the RSS feed but it goes straight to the RSS XML feed, so you’d have to subscribe to the feed before previewing what it offers.  I couldn’t figure out how to subscribe to the Catalogue Search Feed at first.  The description of the feed says you can but I didn’t see the RSS/FEED button at the bottom of the initial search page.  It wasn’t until I clicked on one of the results that you see the RSS button.  This makes sense but it wasn’t intuitive at first and the description didn’t make it clear.

The NHMCCD custom feeds seemed pretty standard, however it was nice that clicking on the link showed you a sample of the current contents of the feed, allowing you to choose from another list of narrowed feeds under the given subject.

Tacoma public library also had pretty standard feeds, upcoming events, broken into children’s events and upcoming events in general.  There were feeds for holiday/closure schedules and new arrival feeds broken into categories so you can get current information about only what you really want.

University of Oklahoma Libraries RSS feeds again seemed to have the standard components on News & Announcements, New Books, and New Electronic Resources.  You were not taken to another page before you clicked the RSS button, which I think would have been kind of nice, but at the same time listing the RSS feeds this way seemed clean and straight forward.  It was also standard in that it had links and explanations of what RSS is and how to use it, and like all the other sites it had links to RSS readers/aggregators.

Western Kentucky University also had a very clean looking presentation of their RSS feeds.  It was very clear from their main page what has and RSS feed and what does not. You can click on links and go to a page on Announcements and view them or you can click on the RSS link and get the RSS subscription URL without going first to the page.

I am really starting to get into and understand RSS feeds, but you can only subscribe to so many before it’s not better than visiting all the sites.  I don’t have very many feeds added to my bloglines account beyond the ones for this course and sometimes I find it hard to keep up!  So I guess you just have to decide what’s appropriate to have as a feed (how often do you need to be updated) and what is appropriate to visit occasionally.  How are you guys deciding what you add as a feed and what you don’t?  I’d love to add feeds like mad but the reality is that I’d never get to read them all!


Entry filed under: Case Study Comments, LIS 757 Weekly Reading Comments, Uncategorized.

Rojo VS Netvibes: Netvibes All the Way Week 5: More RSS business

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karen  |  September 29, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    How do you decide what to add as a feed? I think that’s personal preference. You need to look at what the site offers and decide if it’s information that’s important for you to know when it’s updated. Some of the sites I’ve seen allow you to see a preview of what the feed will look like so it gives you an idea of what you’ll be getting if you subscribe. That might help a bit. You could add feeds like mad and then delete them if you don’t find them useful or if you don’t end up reading them (kind of like giving away clothes that you haven’t worn for the past season).

  • 2. Vicki  |  September 29, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Karen, I think your right. It can be overwhelming at first but once you find your groove it can be very positive! I like the idea of adding feeds you like even if your not sure how much you’ll read them, take them for a test run and if it doesn’t work out like your “closet clean-out” analogy, get rid of them! Right now I’m doing a great job collecting more and more and more and I’m starting to see what I read and what I don’t. For example, Blogline Jokes feed was the first to go 🙂 Thanks for the note!

  • 3. amanda  |  September 30, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Vicki – I too am constantly “cleaning house” in my Bloglines account. I have a fairly liberal policy when it comes to adding feeds: if I’ve just found it and something I read was interesting, I’ll add it. New feeds stay on “probation” for about a week and if nothing else from the feed has interested me all week, it’s gone.

    Having said all that, I do still have an unhealthy number of feeds in my aggregator (I refuse to admit how many). But I’ve been using RSS for so long now that reading my aggregator is no different than reading my email: I have both open all day and I read things (well, “scan things”, I should say) as they come in throughout the course of the day. Ultimately, it’s all about finding your groove with RSS!

  • 4. Wei Zhang  |  October 1, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    I would like to say I have been in the information sea since I surfed the Internet in 1999. I always find it challenging to identify what kind of information you want on the Internet. Now RSS feed shows me a good way to aggreate what I interested in. But I still want to say sometimes I am overwhelmed in the information sea because I have been offered too much information via RSS.

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