Friday, December 15, 2006

Lifehacker lists Google Reader as one of the best apps of 2006

The best apps of 2006 include Google Reader, according to Lifehacker. Even managed to convert the writer from Bloglines, which is what I've been using for a couple of years now. Includes tagging and will apparently "be second nature" for Gmail users. I have Gmail but I wouldn't consider myself a full-fledged user (I forward my Gmail to my work address). I'm going to try Google Reader anyway. The major improvements took place in September '06.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

LibWorm: Librarianship RSS Search and Current Awareness

LibWorm: Librarianship RSS Search and Current Awareness. I guess this is what we've been waiting for! This is a project by David Rothman and Frankie Dolan.

Productive Strategies: Free Academic Podcasts

Productive Strategies: Free Academic Podcasts is a list of public course lectures available as podcasts (public because they're not restricted to students registered in the courses). Doesn't seem terribly scalable: how far can you go with a list of feeds organized by course title?

RSS Feeds into Images (GIF, JPG, PNG)

Transform your RSS-Feed into an image seems like it could be useful if you're trying to avoid JavaScript in your page (saw this on ResearchBuzz). Not sure how useful this is but it's kind of interesting to follow these tools to see if they catch on--and why. Also not sure about accessibility. Nice that the site talks about respecting copyright: you can't integrate just any old feed out there into your site.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

RssFwd: Convert RSS feeds into emails

RssFwd is supposed to work nicely if you're interested in converting RSS feeds into emails. It was mentioned in passing on ResearchBuzz in a post about cyclic RSS feeds (if you can figure out a neat use for that, let me know).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

RSSPECT - automatic and free RSS feeds for everyone.

RSSPECT - automatic and free RSS feeds for everyone. Is this the answer we've been looking for. Only 4 free RSS feeds per account.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Justia Blawg Search

Justia Blawg Search is a handy tool for searching law blogs (or blawgs) but unfortunately, as Stephen Cohen points out, you can't create an RSS feed to get notified of future posts relevant to your search. Too bad PubSub seems to have tanked.

RSS and the UN

Check out UN Pulse: RSS feeds from UN bodies if the United Nations interests you: their feeds are nicely rounded up here so you don't have to go hunting around for them. Not sure how the publishers of this list will update it (will they update the post? that doesn't seem ideal), but this is pretty handy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

LISZEN: Search 500 Library Blogs

LISZEN: Search 500 Library Blogs

Should we add this to our online workbook?

Monday, October 23, 2006

5 Reasons Why RSS Feeds are Not Popular | Hiveminds Magazine for web publishers and community builders

5 Reasons Why RSS Feeds are Not Popular, Hiveminds Magazine for web publishers and community builders. Thought some of this was on the mark. It's a little extreme, mind you: even if some feeds "die," there are so many others out there to keep people busy that it hardly seems to be a problem. There is so much information out there that I'm almost relieved when a feed dies or fails...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


a wiki page listing academic blogs by subject area.

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Oprah-style" explanation of RSS

Nice diagram on this page that demonstrates how RSS is used to keep up!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Microsoft Max (in Beta)

Microsoft released a feed reader/photo sharing tool in one.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

RSS tutorial from a Library

A little text-heavy but great content!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Medical Librarianship Blogs

David Rothman created a little Wiki to keep track of all the Medical Librarianship blogs out there. As soon as it's "complete," he's going to post an OPML file for the whole set.


A 5-minute podcast for library news.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wikipedia updates via RSS

This makes perfect sense, but I don't think I ever used this feature of Wikipedia. Anyone can subscribe to any entry in the world's most famous Wiki and receive updates when content has changed. Think of the possibilities: subscribe to the page of your favourite band and find out when a new album has been released or when a tour date has been added; subscribe to the page on a topic of interest and see what others are saying about it. This could be useful.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ning - DIY Social Software

This is really interesting. This website lets you create your own social software tool, and hten immediately share it with others, who can then modify it to create a new tool. It's just amazing to see all the inventive purposes to which people can put this to use.


A resource for sharing podcasts. Could be interesting for libraries - perhaps a "Best of Healthcare for the week of ______" type of thing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Blog Templates

Courtesy of Phil Bradley's column in Library + Information Update (June 2006), here are some useful sites for finding blog templates and tips on designing your own.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Rocketboom's Post on Net Neutrality

The best and most entertaining explanation I've yet to see.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Creative Commons Add-In for Microsoft Office

This is pretty cool - the add in add a function to the "File" menu that lets the creator of a file in Office to assign a CC license. I'm going to download this on all my PCs!

Monday, June 19, 2006

How libraries are applying blogging, podcasting, and RSS technologies

A short, but maybe useful slideshow. Same goal as our workshop, different approach.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, Discourages Academic Use of the Encyclopedia

Article in The Chronicle of Higher Education in which it is reported that Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, had this to say to students at a conference at the University of Pennsylvania:

“For God sake, you’re in college; don’t cite the encyclopedia.”

They're thinking of putting together a fact sheet for professors. Too bad they didn't mention librarians (then again, maybe we don't need a fact sheet!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

If Amazon sucked like our OPAC

As an instructor for online information retrieval, I have come to appreciate alternate interfaces for the same underlying database. They allow you to explore the database in different ways, and to hone your retrieval skills.

This example though, is just for fun. If Amazon sucked

Federated tag searching

Tagfetch searches a bunch of social software sites that use tagging to "fetch" related content to your tag search. Sites searched include Flickr,, etc... They also have a blog.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

New RSS feed from PubMed

PubMed now has a feed for New/Noteworthy. Mostly for librarians or very keen PubMed users.
PubMed New & Noteworthy

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Truthiness vs. truthfulness

This comment by Julia Hobsbawm in The Guardian sort of reminded me of a bunch of press wires I recently came across via PubSub and the whole deal with communication and authority. What exactly is a press release? I don't mean to sound like a complete idiot but I find the concept incredibly bizarre. The press needs to be spoon-fed? Try setting up a matching search in PubSub Press Releases to get an idea of what gets fed through these things.

What does this have to do with blogging and RSS other than the PubSub connection?

Judging by the rise of the commentariat, which blends fact and truth with opinion, and by the rise of blogs which challenge to some extent the notions of trusted truthfulness by "authority" media brands, truth still sells, but not as much as it could or should.

I'm not exactly sure why blogs challenge the notion of trusted truthfulness (credibility is hard to achieve in the blogosphere, and for good reason); and despite the mostly negative comments this comment got (or meta-comments, if you will), I found the piece kind of interesting. But don't take my word for it. [Source: Canuckflack]

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Why Technology Negotiations Are Different

Why Technology Negotiations Are Different isn't specifically related to libraries, but I found it somewhat relevant nonetheless. Sort of reminds me of some of the issues we face with integrated library systems, communication problems between techies and non-techies, the temptation to hold onto old ways, etc. I really think we should be exploring the business and marketing literature more than we currently do. [Source: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge]

Friday, May 26, 2006

PubSub lets you 'filter' your feeds

Ok, so Steven Cohen addressed my question (ok, I'm a little embarrassed) about restricting the posts you get from a particular feed to those containing keywords or sentences of your choosing: it can be done in PubSub. I just built 4 subscriptions. Now I just have to wait and see what happens.

PubSub defaults to an OR operator between terms, which is pretty logical here IMHO. I didn't see any mention of truncation (I may have missed it -- I'm kind of impatient) so I just added as many variants of words as I could think of. And they've even set up a group of library weblogs, so happy librarians can filter feeds within their very own circle. Just 'focus your subscription' on 'weblog entries' and check off 'The Librarian List'. Super! There's a 'Comics List', a 'Fashion List' (Lorie?), a 'Law List', a 'PR List', and a 'Real Estate List' too.

More info on PubSub syntax here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I give up on FeedRinse

FeedRinse is driving me nuts: It promised to answer all my wishes and then stomped all over my dreams of tailored RSS results. I have no idea how it's filtering ResourceShelf, but it's certainly not using the keywords I entered. I thought maybe the keyword 'EPA' was messing it up (perhaps it was picking up any post with words containing those three letters in succession?) but when I removed it, the results were the same: wrong. Plus, it won't let me add any new feeds, so I think it might consider five attempts to set up a feed filter as five filters, regardless of whether those feeds were deleted or not. I was psyched, now I'm annoyed. Guess you get what you pay for... but I'm certainly not upgrading! I'll stick to PubSub. Just wish I could use a matching engine on a specific feed with PubSub... hmm?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Social software and current awareness

I thought this was pretty well laid out: traditional publishing just can't keep up with social bookmarking and other web 2.0 phenomena.

Librarians Do It Better

Cancer patients may want to consider getting search help from a librarian. This isn't exactly news to us, but it's nice to see it in the more mainstream media (if Yahoo! News and Reuters Health can be called more mainstream, that is).


Ok, Feedrinse is really cool if you're getting sick of sifting through hundreds of posts to get a few nuggets. I think you can create up to 5 keyword-based feeds from pre-existing feeds, and if this actually works well, I'll be a happy camper. I've created a keyword-limited feed from DocuTicker, for example. I'm going to try it out on ResourceShelf now.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Example of a Feedpass page created from the McGill Library bulletins. It seems to be somewhat delayed in that the latest posting listed is May 15 -- and I posted on May 17, as well as on May 19 (although that bulletin had an expiration date which may explain why it didn't display in Feedpass). Cool tool though: it incorporates social bookmarking and even makes it easy to subscribe via email. [My source: Library Stuff]

LexisNexis Canada - RSS Updates

Canadian RSS feeds from LexisNexis. [Source: Library Stuff]

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Kebberfegg: Keyword-based Feed Generator

This looks pretty cool: You type in your keywords, select the category/ies such as 'multimedia', 'news and other news search engines', 'other' (love that one), 'press release wires', 'scientific and medical', 'tags and site submissions', 'technology', 'web search engines', and/or 'weblog search engines'... and stare in awe at all the feeds which are automatically generated for you: 'Kebberfegg builds RSS feeds around the specific information you're looking (for) and in the types of sources you would probably find most useful.' [Source: Search Engine Watch]

Ponyfish RSS Feed Creator

If you'd like to create a feed for a site which doesn't have one, Ponyfish allows you to do so.

Blogs Sorted Other than Chronologically

Western Springs Newspaper Obituary Index is an example of a blog which isn't sorted chronologically. This walking paper gives you the info on setting something like this up yourself in WordPress.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Blog search engine: Sphere

Sphere is another contender in the blog search engine category. I can't say I'm any more or less impressed with it than the other engines we've been using, but it's similar to Feedster and PubSub in that you can create customized feeds. [Quasi-review: Search Engine Watch. Sphere: A New Approach to Blog Search]

Blog This!

Blog This! page which includes the bookmarklet, just in case you're demonstrating and Firefox hasn't been set up in advance (hint hint). Oh ya, it seems to be malfunctioning today. I can post from Blogger but not using the bookmarklet. Bummer.

RSS Feeds - More than just news

RSS Feeds - More than just news offers some good if not obvious (and already known) examples of where the technology is headed.

Monday, April 24, 2006


MultiRSS :: Multiple RSS Feed Readers, One Solution.
One button to allow anyone to subscribe to your feed, rather than a different button for each reader. Save space.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

SDI in ALEPH 500

ALEPH allows SDI but it just hasn't been 'activated' here, so to speak. Apparently nobody has shown interest... Anyway, RSS will be available with v. 18, and we're probably not going to migrate until the Winter break or even Summer 2007. Hmm.

Integrating RSS Feeds Into WebCT

Low Threshold Applications: LTA #44 -- Integrating RSS Feeds Into Your Course Management System looks like a pretty good read: definitely something to explore further. Looks like where there's a will, there's a way.

The Access Principle - The MIT Press

The Access Principle - The MIT Press
Cool. Not only do we have this book (hey, I found it using the bookmarklet "Title Browse" for the McGill Catalogue) but it is available free online from MIT Press after you register. Open access book that is open access - of course!

Yet Another Firefox Plug-in For Libraries

Yet Another Firefox Plug-in For Libraries - LJ Tech Blog - Blog on
In case you did not hear about this from a gazillion other sources.

Desktop Zen

AJ's Blog - Desktop Zen - Reducing Visual Clutter on your Desktop
The timing of this post above is so perfect I really have nothing to add.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Advanced Tricks in MS Word

General Disarray � Blog Archive � Ten things every Microsoft Word user should know
Since you were asking me about the TOC in Word today, I thought this post was appropriate...

I took a course once on advanced features in Word. Plus, I like to play around a lot with the underused features like Forms, etc., especially as they relate to instructional design.

This website has 10 great tips for efficient (and stylish) formatting in Microsoft Word. And hey, you know me - always efficient and stylish! Ha! How corny?

Writely - The Web Word Processor

Writely - The Web Word Processor
Although I am a big fan of the Backpack suite of social software, I wasn't overly impressed with Writeboard. Here is an alternative that looks even better. On the one hand, it's been acquired by Google (usually a good sign), although on the other hand, this means no registrations for now. I'd really like to try this out. In the meantime, I submitted my email address to be notified when it is open again.

At first glance, the main difference seems to be in the formatting options and the export/import flexibility. Hopefully, with collaborative software being the next "wiki" more sites like this will pop up and we'll have dozens to choose from.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

EBSCO: Which RSS Readers are supported by EBSCOhost?

EBSCO: Which RSS Readers are supported by EBSCOhost? lists Bloglines, and I am able to get an RSS feed, but the trouble is then getting to the database from the postings: A username and password are requested. Argh!! Oh ya, this seems to happen with LISTA, whereas I can get to the citations from my other EBSCOhost alert, or at least to citations from Academic Search Premier (the alert includes "Academic Search Premier; Business Source Premier; Humanities International Index; Canadian Reference Centre; SocINDEX with Full Text; Communication & Mass Media Complete.")

Meticulously Underthought: Pruning - A Malfunctionable Act

Meticulously Underthought: Pruning - A Malfunctionable Act is pretty old, but does cover some issues which are still relevant in RSS feeds, such as redundancy (then again, redundancy can be an albeit crude source of info on popularity of items) and lack of ranking of results via news aggregators. Word!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sharing Google Reader Subscriptions

Google Tutor & Advisor � Blog Archive � Sharing Google Reader Subscriptions
Note to self: Import OPML file from Bloglines in Google Reader and compare.

HigherEd BlogCon Library Presentations

HigherEd BlogCon
The presentations are up!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

HigherEd BlogCon

Library & Information Resources � HigherEd BlogCon

Looks promising. Must check back at the end of the week!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Podcasting: The Short Course

This brief article by Stephen Abram, VP of innovation for SirsiDynix, also includes a reasonable definition plus potential uses in an academic environment, a bunch of directories, and a bunch of search engines (in the PDF version). Requires a Proquest subscription to view.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Google Reader

Google Tutor & Advisor � Blog Archive � Google Reader
FYI. Some details about Google Reader. I don't think it is anywhere near ready to compete with Bloglines. Yet.

Beginner's guide to podcasts and podcasting

Beginner's guide to podcasts and podcasting (plus: how to create a basic podcast of your own) at Forever Geek

Way beyond what we need, but a nice definition (and distinction ) of podcasts vs. RSS for downloading audio.

Humor Skills - Where To Find Resources For Humor

S. Frank Stringham � Humor Skills - Where To Find Resources For Humor
How appropriate!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Keep Google from caching my site?

Interesting piece of info for webmasters and Google searchers alike.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Feed Icons

Feed Icons - Help establish the new standard
The offical icon location. Available in many colours!

Incorporating RSS feeds into your website

Library Web Chic � Blog Archive � Incorporating RSS feeds into your website
This more for you than for the workshop.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Internal search on this blog ain't workin'

I just tried an internal search and was dismayed to find... nothing. Using keywords from recent posts also returned nothing. Argh!! Not sure why this is the case as the settings were supposed to allow the blog to be ping'ed. The setting for 'notify' was 'yes', but 'add your blog to our listings' was set to 'no'. Not sure if the latter had anything to do with the problem. Will have to investigate further... I've set it to 'yes' and will check back in a couple of weeks at the latest...

NYRB's got a feed too

You can subscribe to the New York Review of Books feed, which is pretty cool. Not really sure how they're authenticating users though. Once subscribed to the feed (while authenticated), I was able to access the full-text via postings in Bloglines without being connected to VPN. Hmm.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Elf | Your Personal Email Library Reminder Service

Elf | Your Personal Email Library Reminder Service
No Quebec Libraries are yet on this list. Do we want to be? Possible topic for brainstorming session.

Best Podasting icon ever

Monkey Bites
in Wired
This is too cute. Maybe we can use the image in our presentation.

How to Use RSS to Know More and Do Less

Love the title. Not so into the ppt, but we can use for ideas, maybe.

Factiva follow-up

Been trying to test the Factiva feeds. Looks like you can only add your own searches if you use Newsgator, although I'm not 100% certain. I tried adding the Factiva pre-customized feed for 'Internet/Online Services' and although I could get the items to display in Bloglines, I could only access the full-text from Internet Explorer; via Firefox, an ID and password were required. Might have to play with this a little more.

Factiva feeds

Apparently, the results of any Factiva search folder can be turned into an RSS feed, which can be accessed through Newsgator (Alicia Hawkings, posted on Web4Lib, March 31, 2006). I'll have to try this!

TechCrunch | The State of Online Feed Readers

A Web4Libber recommended this article, published on March 30, 2006 in Techcrunch: The State of Online Feed Readers. Rojo and Bloglines came out on top on a "feature-set basis only" (Rojo beating out Bloglines on "'web 2.0' type features") whereas Google Reader and FeedLounge were the fastest performers in the web-based category. However, for true speed, NetNewsWire and FeedDemon, both desktop aggregators, beat the rest.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

EBSCO offering RSS feeds

Saw this item about EBSCO offering RSS feeds on RSS4LIB.

Using Bloglines - instructions with screenshots

betterdays - Using Bloglines (or How to keep up with dozens of blogs everyday)
Great set-up and beautiful screenshots! I was thinking something like this for some of the workbook.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 gives rss feeds to sites without feeds
Requires registration for some strange reason, but it works!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

FeedBurner - About Feed Syndication

I thought this was a slightly useful page on Feed Syndication. Our blog is already syndicated, but Feedburner might be a good tool to keep in mind anyway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

RSS Ideas for Educators

RSS Ideas for Educators111.pdf (application/pdf Object)
35 page document covered by a Creative Commons license. Could have some useful stuff.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Teaching RSS: Useful links

These resources were posted on Web4Lib on February 1-2, 2006: (useful for explaining RSS) and, where Nicole Engard's class materials should be online by February 13, 2006.

Friday, January 27, 2006

yahoo versus google

information aesthetics - yahoo versus google
I've seen this before and I still think it's cool. A visual representation of search results from a search conducted in both Google and Yahoo. Interesting for teaching about the % of overlap between search engines, and also differences in relevancy ranking.

Wikis test students' research skills

eSchool News online - Wikis test students' research skills
More in Wikis and information literacy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


citebase Search

See who is citing your work. Interesting idea.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hippocrates Medical Search Engine

Hippocrates Medical Search Engine
Supposedly searches the deep web in real time for medical info. Hmmm......

Wiki Subject Guides

Library Boy: Wiki Subject Guides
I know you're on a committee working on this, Gen, and this model seems very collaborative, and easy-to-use!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Are Traditional Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles Obsolete?

Are Traditional Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles Obsolete?
Interesting article/viewpoint on wikipedia. Requires (free) registration.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Are You a Librarian Test

OKCupid! The Are You a Librarian Test
"meant to separate the real librarians from the wannabes." The wannabes?!
I scored a measly 55% and according to the results, am merely an "aspiring librarian." Doesn't help that the test is seriously American-ALA-public librarian-biased.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Narrowcasting to Faculty and Students

Narrowcasting to Faculty and Students
Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship v.5. no. 3 (Winter 2005)
This article might be useful for designing a new subject guide template.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

EDUCAUSE | 7 Things You Should Know about Instant Messaging

EDUCAUSE | Resources | Resource Center Abstract
I love these short info pages from Educause.

Providing education on evidence-based practice improved knowledge but did not change behaviour - article

BioMed Central | Abstract | 1472-6920-5-40 | Providing education on evidence-based practice improved knowledge but did not change behaviour: a before and after study
This is close to my potential PhD topic, therefore I must read. But it does seem interesting from the title. I mean, even if we can demonstrate a gain in knowledge or skills, we still need to determine if this will change practice, and in turn, if change will lead to better patient outcomes.

PubMed Assistant - article

PubMed Assistant: a biologist-friendly interface for enhanced PubMed search -- Ding et al., 10.1093/bioinformatics/bti821 -- Bioinformatics
I'm not sure if this tool makes PubMed more or less confusing.
It's availablehere.

Study on EBM tool

Physicians Answer More Clinical Questions and Change Clinical Decisions More Often With Synthesized Evidence: A Randomized Trial in Primary Care -- Alper et al. 3 (6): 507 -- Annals of Family Medicine
Biased - both authors are affiliated with DynaMed, which, by the way, we do not subscribe to.

Are we set for information overload?

Are we set for information overload? - Tech News & Reviews -
Well, I am.

Google Librarian News - 1st newsletter

Google Librarian News
Discusses very basically how Google's PageRank works. In case you didn;t hear about this from a dozen other sources...

The Daily, Monday, December 5, 2005. Study: The link between information and communication technology use and literacy skills

The Daily, Monday, December 5, 2005. Study: The link between information and communication technology use and literacy skills
Might be interesting from a health literacy perspective.

Scopus - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice: Assessing the impact of clinical information-retrieval technology in a family practice residency

Scopus - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice: Assessing the impact of clinical information-retrieval technology in a family practice residency
Drs. Grad & Pluye's article.