“What is blogging?” or “Is there such a thing as too many feeds?”
While I was on the reference desk yesterday (sorry, no refgrunt), I was making use of a short lull by catching up on my blog and news reading. As I sat there skimming over my Bloglines feeds, my colleague and fellow blog fan Steve came up and noticed my subscription total — 59 feeds. He was amazed that I could keep up with so many feeds at once, and I must admit, it does take sometime. Although quite a few of those feeds are not very prolific, there are some writers who make up for those and then some. Steve commented that this volume of content is more reactive than proactive — meaning that I spend more time reading other people’s thoughts and reacting to them than I do coming up with my own. He’s probably right, and that concerns me.
I’ve gone through and cleared out some stuff that was either deadwood or feeds that I’ve stopped reading because they are too time consuming for what I get out of them. I’m left with 52 feeds, but 7 of them are not really serious stuff, more of an alerting service. I suppose that I will be adding more relevant feeds in the future, but for now I’ll try to keep it to just these, and maybe they’ll inspire some original thought that I can post here to keep my readers busy.
On the other hand, a good bit of blogging is about posting one’s own thoughts and reactions to other things, whether they are events in the news or random websites. Perhaps the very nature of blogging is reactive, and those that have made it proactive have moved from blogging to…. what would something proactive be called? Journalism? Something else?
Normally, I don’t do quizes that try to peg me as one thing or another, but this one caught my eye with it’s result. Also, the quiz is only six questions with two option answers, so it’s a fast one.
You’re Stranger in a Strange Land!
by Robert Heinlein
Most people look at you and think of you as a Martian, even though you were born on Earth. Silly Earthlings, er, people. Anyway, you’ve been telling people about free love and relaxing like it’s some radical idea. Most of them want you to go back to the ’60’s (or Mars), but others are in your groove. Grok on!
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.
Bloglines is a great tool. I’m going to blab on about it for a couple of paragraphs if you don’t mind.
I’m trying to get that word into common usage, but since I’m a virtual nobody in the library blogging scene (much less the wider blogging scene), it probably won’t happen. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about.
When I first got into reading weblogs, I initially had my favorites bookmarked in a special folder just for blogs. Then I learned about RSS (possibly from Greg or Steven) and decided to check out reading blogs through an aggregator, or what I like to call a feeder. I was hooked! The convenience of this method was very intoxicating. I began subscribing to more blogs and new sources than I had in my bookmarking days. Then I began to get overwhelmed.
Mondays were the worst. I would come into work early, turn on my computer, and SharpReader would load and then download the new entries for all of those blogs. It would take me close to an hour (sometimes longer) to catch up on the reading. Also, since I started maintaining a blogroll of my favorite blogs to read, I was having to add to both my feeder and to the blogroll every time I ran across a new one, which I didn’t always remember to do.
I had heard Bloglines mentioned a few times as being a good place for beginners to get familiar with reading RSS feeds, and Steven touted the capability to filter email to the feeder, which is a nice for saved searches in Google News and other sites that do not have RSS but do have email announcements. I wasn’t sure I wanted to give up some of the features that my desktop feeder provided for me, but there were two more aspects of Bloglines that convinced me in the end: blogroll generation from subscribed feeds (no more duplication of work!) and the ability to access my feeds from anywhere (no more ovewhelming Monday mornings!). I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and I hardly remember any of the features that my desktop feeder had that Bloglines doesn’t have. Probably the only thing I miss is the automatic archiving of posts, but all I need to do for that is to go to the website of the blog in question.
Yet another librarian blogging about del.icio.us.
I have resisted jumping on the del.icio.us bandwagon until now. For the most part, I haven’t felt the need to make public and categorize my bookmarks. I even doubt that I will ever use it for that purpose. However, I thought it might be nice to give some of my favorite websites a plug by adding them to my del.icio.us. For those that care, here’s the RSS feed.
I voted this morning in the special election for Kentucky’s 6th district Congressional Representative. I hope that there is a good turnout both here and in Wisconsin, where they are voting in the Democrat primary. I hate that the leaders of this nation are usually decided by a minority of citizens.
Where was GWB from May 1972 to May 1973? Why was he allowed to end his commitment to the Texas Air National Guard eight months early to go to the Harvard Business School while the Vietnam War still raged on?
A friend just sent me a timeline that was published in the Jan/Feb 2003 issue of Mother Jones that examines GW’s service in the Texas Air National Guard. That’s right folks; this was published over a year ago. I was hearing rumors a couple of years ago about GW having gone AWOL from the Guard during the Vietnam War, but only just recently has media attention become so hot that GW has needed to dig up proof of his service. I would be interested in knowing if certain events in this timeline are true, such as:
Hired by Texas agricultural importer, Bush uses F-102 to shuttle tropical plants from Florida.
October 1, 1973:
The Air National Guard relieves Bush from commitment eight months early, allowing him to attend Harvard Business School.
I wonder, how many enlisted soldiers who served in the Vietnam War were allowed to end their commitments early to attend school while the war was still being fought? I’m also currious to know what happened to GW’s records?
I hope that the media will give this enough attention so that someone with power can get this investigated.
Today was more interesting than last week. There were no frustrating encounters.
Today was more interesting than last week. There were no frustrating encounters.
Student needs a general book on speech pathology.
Searched for speech and pathology keyword in OPAC
Found a topical journal
Browsed the subject heading Speech therapy.
Found several introductory books
Student cannot email an EBSCOhost article to himself — needed to add the @eku.edu to his email address
Students needs to find an article in The Journal of American History published in the past twenty years on something that happened before 1877.
Searched America: History and Life, limiting to journal and using keywords for pre-1877 events
Do you have Consumer Reports?
Student needs a general book on geography
Where are the PS books?
Another student with the history assignment
Student needs a book on positivist sociology – searched for positivism and sociology keywords in OPAC
How do I print from library computers?
Student needs old tests professor put on reserve
More thoughts, links, and general blabbing on open access publishing.
On the LIBLICENSE-L, Rick Anderson recently brought up the question of whether or not the American Libraries Association (ALA) has considered going to an open access publishing model for it’s publications. It seems that the Medical Library Association has one open access journal, although it isn’t listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) at this time and is only available through PubMedCentral. Oddly enough, they do have subscription rates. The Science and Technology Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) (a part of ALA) has made their Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship quarterly available online through an open access model.
As I mentioned yesterday, my dean asked me to put together some information about open access for the other librarians here and to come up with ways that we could be involved with the open access movement. I’ve been surfing around the web and in databases this afternoon, looking for articles and other information that can help me distill this nebulous thing down to something I and my colleagues can digest. I was surprised by how many titles were listed on the DOAJ page for library and information science. There is only one that I recognize imediately as being reputable, and that is D-Lib Magazine. Also, like any list of journals, there are likely to be title changes and publications that have ceased.
My library dean has me working on ways to bring more awareness of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and open access publications in general. It has been a while since I took a look at the DOAJ, so I have just spent about five minutes browsing around in there. It looks a lot cleaner than I remembered. I appreciate the New Titles page, but as I was skimming through, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if they had an RSS feed for their new titles? Or at the very least, an email list?”