August 28, 2004


Another collection of feeds, arranged by industry (46) and city (42). You do need to register to access the articles. [link via TVC Alert]

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I just linked to one of their articles, but the site itself is worth a mention. What I like most about BusinessLogs is that they're writing about best practices with blogs (including this one about having content ready to go when your blog goes live).

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"Fear of RSS"

From Paul Scrivens on BusinessLogs, a good article that promotes the use of feeds by comparing them to the other ways we try to keep track of the web sites we regularly read. [link via Furl/RSS]

There are many sites that I keep track of and I will never remember them off the top of my head. I don't remember all the sites in my RSS reader, but I don't have to since it does all the remembering for me.

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ACS Wrap-Up

In between my poster sessions and other activities at last week's ACS National Meeting, I gave a crash course on RSS to two reps from the ACS Publications Division. I had been corresponding with one of them over the summer (following up from SLA in Nashville) about the possibility of creating feeds for their journals. They currently have one feed, for the Nanofocus section of Chemical & Engineering News. I showed them Bloglines, we looked at the other journal web sites that are using feeds like BioMed Central and IOP, and we discussed the challenges of offering feeds for licensed resources when readers may not have access to the articles themselves. Hopefully, they'll move ahead quickly on adding feeds for C&EN and the journals.

I also stopped by the Nature booth and asked that they consider adding a feed for their book reviews. The RSC and PNAS reps had no idea what I was talking about but gave me business cards for the people I should contact.

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August 20, 2004

Webfeeds: Computerworld and EContent

Two computer science magazines with extensive sets of webfeeds:

Computerworld has the standard "breaking news" feeds, plus 70 topical feeds (.net to XML), 16 Knowledge Center feeds, 10 industry feeds, and another 40+ feeds for special coverage topics like electronic voting and viruses/worms.

EContent has set up their feeds based on their research centers: KM & Collaboration, Content Management, Search Technology, etc. They also have a "breaking news" feed, and you can set up your own search-specific feeds. Wired also has this customized search feed option.

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August 19, 2004

Brief Hiatus

I'll be in Philadelphia next week for the American Chemical Society Meeting, presenting a poster on our library's content management system. I'm also going to meet with someone from the ACS Publications Division who wants to talk about RSS (I spoke with one of his colleagues at SLA in Nashville). I would love to see them set up feeds for their journals.

I'll report back when I return.

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.Gov Feeds

If you're interested in how government (local, state, federal and foreign) agencies and departments are using RSS, then RSS in Government is a must-read. They also have some good category-specific feeds.

I'd like to see more federal agencies and departments embrace feeds for news delivery, particularly the ones that release reports that would be worth a mention in our science blog at GSU. However, I did some searching and found these:

  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission - a feed for product recalls.
  • National Weather Service - The NWS has embraced RSS with its Experimental Listings of Watches, Warnings, and Advisories by State and Territory. You can get a severe weather alert feed for your state, which is a bit experimental. I have to admit, if Atlanta's under a severe storm warning, checking the Georgia feed in Bloglines is not going to be my first thought. They also have feeds for lots of observation stations (39 in GA) of you want to keep up with current weather conditions.
  • National Hurricane Center - Feeds for Tropical Cyclone Advisories: one for Pacific storms and two for Atlantic storms (English and Spanish)
  • U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake Hazards Program - keep up with recent earthquake activity for the past day and past 7 days (magnitude > 2.5 and magnitude > 5.0)
  • Department of Defense - 6 feeds: press advisories, news releases, contract announcements, transcripts, speeches, and American Foreign Press Service news articles. I wish this page were a little more prominent (it's under Press Resources on the DOD site) , but it's a good start and I'd love to see more departments offer this at the top level.
  • US-CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) - I've never even heard of this agency, but they have several feeds for broadcasting cyber security alerts, bulletins and tips - for techie and non-techie audiences.
  • National Guideline Clearinghouse - a "what's new" feed
  • U.S. Census Bureau - a feed for the "New on the Site" page, very helpful for a site that gets updated as much as this one.
  • National Institutes of Health - for press releases
  • State Department, USINFO - feeds for top stories: Washington File, democracy, economic issues, global issues, human rights, international security, + 6 for regional news.

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All Headline News (a webfeed for beer)

All Headline News - you get the typical "top" headline feeds, plus the "More Headlines" menu offers dozens of additional, specialized feeds on topics from Aboriginal to Zoos. Want a feed for news about coffee? Yoga? Genomics? They're all here. [via TVC Alert]

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August 18, 2004

internet, web, net

Wired announced this week that they would no longer capitalize internet, web or net, effectively placing them on the same level with books, television, and radio. Cool. They're not proper nouns, so they shouldn't be capitalized.

Now if someone could finally settle "one-word-or-two" confusion over web sites and webpages.

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Webfeeds: NPR and Greenpeace

National Public Radio has added more feeds, including ones for their programs. I tried the Fresh Air feed and got links back to the audio segments. And kudos to NPR for placing a link on their homepage! [link via LawLib Tech]

Greenpeace has 5 feeds, including "clippings" feed of Greenpeace mentions in the world press. [link via Library Stuff]

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Amy mentions a Reuters article that uses "webfeeds" in the explanation of RSS. The term was apparently coined during a contest on her site, and it looks like it's starting to take hold.

I like it. Webfeed gets the concept across while encompassing RSS, Atom, XML, etc. I'll probably have at least one presentation this fall, and I can already see how starting with webfeed and then going into RSS would work.

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Teaching a Blogging Workshop

We did a one-hour blogging workshop last week as a breakout session for our library's Personnel Development Day. I hadn't expected much interest, but the workshop filled up. We had 20 people, including paraprofessionals, new librarians and our university librarian. It was also a good mix of departments: special collections, cataloging, acquisitions, access & media services, even a few people from our department who aren't involved in the blogs.

Here are some suggestions if you're doing a workshop for your organization:

  1. Keep it simple and cover the basics. What are blogs? Where do you find blogs? How do you set one up? How do you keep up with reading your favorites?
  2. Offer a variety of examples, but ask your attendees about the blogs they read as well.
  3. Ask your audience about their blogging experience. Of the 20 people, I think we had only 1 or 2 that had blogged before the workshop.
  4. Make it hands-on, if at all possible. We got everyone set up on Blogger so they could leave the workshop with their own blog. We also showed them the template and talked briefly about customizing their blogs (using this one as an example). Here's the one I set up. We also mentioned Typepad as a good alternative to Blogger and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  5. If you have an hour, keep any discussion of RSS to a minimum. We demonstrated Bloglines as the tool they could use to keep up with blogs and news sites, but really didn't have time to go beyond that.
  6. And remind your attendees that when they are blogging (whether they continue their "test" blog or delete and start again), that they should consider the purpose of the blog and the intended audience because those things will impact everything from what blogging option they select to layout, tone and marketing.

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August 11, 2004

Test Post

This is a test post for our GSU Staff Day program on blogging.

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The Blog Herald

The Blog Herald looks to be a decent source for news related to blogs and the blogging industry. Recent items include Chyrsler's monitoring blogs to get feedback on new vehicles and reports that the IOC may ban blogging in the Olympic Village because of media broadcasting restrictions (they see bloggers as journalists, though I'm sure that all of them would consider themselves athletes first and foremost). The BH also has a feed for the site in several flavors.

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August 10, 2004

Nature Feeds (Redux)

Nature continues to expand out their RSS feeds: 26 at last count. There are 2 TOC feeds for the flagship journal, as well as feeds for 14 review and research journals, 4 job feeds, a feed for their new site, and a feed for their Web Focus on access to scientific literature.

And the surprise? The page with the list of feeds is still buried in the Nature Publishing Group Web site.

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Clippings Feature in Bloglines

I just noticed this great feature in Bloglines, which may have been part of the upgrade earlier this summer. But more likely it's just a case of my being oblivious. With each entry, you'll see a Clip/Blog This link. This lets you save that entry in the Clippings folder, which is a great way to "mark" those postings to review later. The clipped entries also include the original timestamp and the link to the original source.

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August 03, 2004


The RSS Weblog mentioned Forbes' new list of feeds. This is another one in the "we have lots of feeds but we're not going to make it easy for you to find them" category. IMO, this is just as bad as not having the feeds at all.

Forbes now has over 40 feeds. Most of them fall into broad categories: business, personal finance, work, technology and lifestyle. There are also feeds for latest headlines, news from the markets, columnists and investment newsletters.

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This is one of those new, nifty tools that I'd love to try out, but honestly do not have the time to do so. You can create a calendar of events, from an individual to an organization, and then create an RSS feed for that calendar.

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Wikies 101

In the new, Chris Hayes offers a nice introduction to Wikies.

We used an internal Wiki last year to write up our self-study report for the library's administrative review. Since there were six of us, we decided it would be easier to have the report online (in a password-protected location) where we could all update it without e-mailing drafts back and forth. The experience wasn't bad, but as far as I know the Wiki been abandoned for now. We moved to a content management system this year, so we're using the CMS to write, share and update documents. We're using it for everything from literature review lists to policy drafts like the Blog Style Manual, and two librarians recently placed a copy of their article in the CMS so they could work on it. Considering how many times Doug and I sent copies of the two articles back and forth while we were writing and editing them, this last idea makes a lot of sense. The CMS has become our de-facto Wiki, even though it's missing features like the ability to track editing changes to the document.

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