Week 5: More RSS business
I really liked the Rich Site Services: Web Feeds for Extendd Information and Library Services article. While there was a lot of overlap with the information read on RSS feeds last week, this article clearly lists a number of uses for RSS feeds as an information services. I’m quite excited about the E-Journal feeds now. There are so many Library Journals and Information Management Journals that I would love to follow but it is a painful task when you have to go to each site regularly. Being able to aggregate all the journal feeds in my Bloglines account (which I’m loving more and more everyday now that I’m in the swing it) will make my life so much easier and increase the likelihood of reading them more regularly. The section of the article which I found particularly interesting was the discussion of “Potential Possibilities” and ways for publishers and vendors to get on board and make the RSS feeds and even more valuable tool for libraries. The article also talked about the idea of database and OPAC vendors offering a web feed option. In fact we saw a library catalogue in our case study from last week that had a library catalogue search with RSS feed options.
The Weblogs and RSS in Information Work article considers weblogs as more than a professional awareness service instead it considers them an information resource as a library services. The article discussed how weblogs and RSS feeds used together can be a more enhanced service than weblogs alone. The footnote that directs you to the Blogarama blog directory was pretty neat and really easy to use.
I also liked the quote, “so technically there is no reason for an organization of whatever size not to blog – the ease of use means contributions don’t have to be limited to those with great IT confidence, and in some organizational blogs the content can come from a range of people.” This is what I’ve been saying at work over the last few weeks that we’ve been contemplating the use of blogs as a collaboration and knowledge management tool.
Oh and Heather after reading this article I think I better understand what you were saying about “TOO MUCH EMAIL” and I am now re-thinking my idea of having the news feeds for my IM Issues publication coming to my inbox Heather you were right and this article backs you up, “some aggregators can alert you by email when there is new material available. This is fine for saved searches and some blogs, but not recommended for rapidly changing sites like BBC news! Indeed it’s too easy to get overwhelmed by material when you just add one more source that looks interesting, and then another. And if you miss checking for a few days you could have hundreds of items to look at…” I can see how it would be very overwhelming for news feeds so I think I’ll stick to the Bloglines approach.
The Success Story: RSS Moves into the Mainstream at the University of Alberta Libraries article was good as it gave an overview of the typical uses of blogs and RSS in libraries. My only complaint about the article is that when he referenced Amanda’s blogwithoutalibrary.net he didn’t link to it, or any of the other sites he mentions! I think I’m a lazy reader and if it hadn’t been the blog of someone I know I doubt I would have taken the time to copy and past the link into a new window (which is what I had to do). Sorry for the mini, un-related to the topic at hand, rant J
Bloglines, Flickr, and del.icio.us make RSS delectable – Well I was pretty excited to read this article as it had an eye catching title. And as it turns out the read was as good as its title! I was particularly interested in the standalone newsreader flaw they point out:
“There are various standalone newsreader programs available for pretty much any computing platform. Some are quite good, but they all share the same flaw: information about what feeds you subscribe to and which articles you have read stays on your individual computer. What if you use the Web both at home at at work? How do you synchronize your feed-reading experience? …While it is true that some standalone newsreaders have this feature, it only works with the same software on each system. What if your office system is Linux and your home machine is a Mac? You’re out of luck.)”
I have to ask why would you want a standalone reader then? What is the benefit if you can get a web-based reader like Bloglines, etc. and read it anywhere there is an internet connection?
When the article started talking about Flickr I also got excited because it is something I am about to get started on so I can share my wedding planning progress with our friends and family. We have engagement party picks, dress picking shots, and soon we’ll have Jack & Jill photos, bachelor & bachelorette party photos, and of course most importantly the Wedding photos! This is the one I’ve heard the most about any feedback on a better tool for this purpose would be more than welcomed J The article states some of the downfalls as:
“By default all pictures are public, so a Flickr search returns all your photos tagged “newyork” as well as all the photos others have tagged “newyork””.
“…it is still in beta. While it works well, the site does go down from time to time. Second, the free Flickr membership is limited to 10MB of picture uploads a month. That’s a lot of little cameraphone pictures, but only a handful of full-size digital camera photos. If you are using a “real” digital camera, you should scale down the pictures before uploading them. Also, you can only see your last 100 uploaded pictures (older pictures are stored but not accessible unless you upgrade your account).”
“The real power of Flickr is available if you upgrade to a Pro account for $60 per year. The Pro account has an upload limit of 1GB per month, and gives you access to your original full-size images. When you upload pictures to Flickr, they are automatically scaled to a variety of sizes for display. The largest size you can access with a free account is 640×480 pixels. If you have a Pro account, your original image remains available. This makes Flickr a great place to archive all your digital images, not just ones you plan on sharing with others.”
So I guess the bottom line is you get what you pay for when its free and you get what you pay for when you pay for it 😉 Oh and before we end the Flickr discussion, if you don’t know anything about flickr this article provides the link to a sample flickr photostream.
I think its pretty awesome that every photstream has a corresponding RSS feed. 2 of my very good friends one in Manitoba and one in
Ottawa have recently had kids. I’ve been out of the loop and wait patiently for the occasional emailed update photo, or for the hardcopies to arrives weeks later in the mail. I talked to them at the end of the summer about getting a Flickr account and now I can see the pics almost as soon as they take them. Now all I have to do is get them linked into my bloglines account!!
The section on “Bookmarks the easy way”, made me say “wow this author is reading my mind today!” He says, “like everyone else, I have saved many bookmarks in my browsers over the years, only to forget I’d ever saved them” – this is exactly why I can’t stop talking about del.icio.us I’ve got my sister going on it now for her essay articles, my fiancé is now using it heavily at work and at home and I am growing to love it more and more everyday J I even have one person in my network now thanks Heather! Why do I love it more and more you may ask? Well how I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bookmarked something at work, something at home, and something at my parents place and when I needed I’m never at the right PC. Because it’s web-based and I’m rarely in the same place day to day it has made a world of difference! GOSH I shoulda been checking these things our waaaaaaaaaaayyyy before this class!