I’m working on a complete re-design of this blog. I’ve been tweaking the stylesheet and layout of this semi-out-of-the-box MT scheme for years, and I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and work on an entirely new look for the blog. I have the front page tweaked out on the test blog, and now it’s on to the other templates. The new header here may give you an idea of changes yet to come. Of course, all of you who read this in your RSS aggregator could care less if I colored the whole thing in fuschia and beige.


Snappy new term for RSS aggregators.

Karen asks, “How long before major browsers integrate aggregators? (And when are we going to find better names for these tools?)”

1. I wondered if Mozilla might be developing something like this, so I took a look at their website. Turns out that someone has created an RSS reader plugin for Firebird. There are also Aggreg8 and NewsMonster for both Firebird and Mozilla. It looks like there are several other plugins being developed, as well.

2. I offer the term feeders. It’s short, snappy, and to the point. Of course, it will only work if other people use it. If you like the term, I suggest you start referring to your RSS aggregator as a feeder.

rss journals

What if your favorite professional journals were delivered to your desktop via RSS?

Today I was commenting to my boss that I had found a resource of professional literature that was not dry or irrelevant — all of the library blogs sent daily to my RSS feed reader. That got me thinking a bit more, and it made me wonder what other uses could be made of RSS. One that had occurred to me the other week is having an RSS feed of new books as they are added to the catalog. I even found some discussion of such a tool on several blogs, as well as a resource called Project FLOW which plans to put together a toolkit of innovative add-on features for web OPACs.

Another idea that occurred to me this evening is publication through subscription RSS feeds (or even open-access models). For instance, the PLoS Biology journal recently released to the world could announce new articles or issues by making them available through an RSS feed, instead of or in addition to their current method of email announcements. Similarly, if I have an online subscription to Serials Review, I could get articles sent to me through some sort of secure RSS feed available only to subscribers. This method could come in handy for those publications that post articles online before they are published in the print editions, which mainly occurs in the sciences.

Now, I am not someone most people would consider to be an original thinker, so I figured that if this idea had occurred to me, then surely some of the more geeky types would have thought of it already. Sure enough, Wired already sports this feature on their website. Maybe some of the geeky library publications will soon follow?