Category Archives: librarian stuff

Research through images

Not that I have anything particularly insightful to say about it, but flickr.com has become a very powerful research tool for this librarian. Sometimes you just don’t know what you are looking for until you see it. Lately I’ve been researching sustainable/green technologies for homes, and being able to browse through millions of images to gather information is really helpful.

I’m also blown away by the diversity and niche-ish-ness available from the various groups on flickr. For example, today I happened upon this group devoted to pens. Yes – pens. Good pens. Some really nice photography from the pen freaks. Makes me want to go buy a new pen.

Tagging

Try as I might, I just can’t get into social bookmarking/tagging. I have tried using del.icio.us, and digg, but I can not dig the deliciousness of either. I try to add appropriate tags to my blog posts, but that is it.

I’m not sure why. I like them. I think they are cool. But I just don’t use them.

Weird.

Numbers

Visits to this blog increased from an average of about 50 a day to over 170 — and the day is still young — since Steven Cohen put up a link to the Google Reader vs. Bloglines story yesterday.

People read Steven’s blog. Gotta remember to suck up to him more.

UPDATE: Now it is up to 268. THANKS STEVEN!   It is now time to publish Bibliosk8er’s Manifesto!

UPDATE: Now up to 328. Note to self: piggybacking on someone else’s popularity, while frowned upon in high school, works well on the interwebs.

RSS Readers: Google Reader vs. Bloglines

I’ve had a bloglines.com account for some time now. Honestly, I haven’t used it that much, but I do think it is useful from time to time. For those who don’t know, among other things, bloglines.com allows you to aggregate posts from any site with an RSS feed, and read/link to the posted items from bloglines.com, rather than having to check lots of sites every day.  In other words, if you read lots of news sites, blogs, etc., you check one spot instead of dozens.

At the Computers In Libraries conference last week, Steven Cohen sung the praises of the Google Reader — Google’s RSS reader. Since I’ve seen him speak at several conferences and he’s never given me bad advice, I checked out Google Reader.

As usual, Steven is right. Google Reader is cool. But first, let me tell you what is STILL good about bloglines.com :

  • When you set up an account with bloglines, you are not only automatically set up to subscribe to RSS feeds, but you are also immediately able to start your own blog. Is it pretty? No. It is a simple blog, with from what I can tell no options for different themes, layouts, etc. But it is a blog, and is right there.
  • I still think bloglines has a nice page layout. It isn’t fancy, but it is functional. The majority of the page is the window in which posts are displayed — nice and wide. Looks good. Displays images from the posts.
  • When you are reading a post on bloglines, you can click a link to see who else subscribes to that feed. Nice feature for finding other interested in the same stuff. Not sure if Google Reader does this — I’ll check.

 So, what is so great about Google Reader?

  • Well, if you have gmail account you an just go right into Google Reader with no sign up.
  • You can import your subscription list from another reader. Don’t have to re-enter all your info.
  • Since it is part of the Google system, you have easy access to all the other Google tools.
  • Most important: Google Reader allows you to click a link and share items to a public page that it creates for you. For example, here’s my public page. As you will notice, there is an RSS stream for your public page, which allows other people to subscribe to it. Yes, you can create an RSS stream of what you are reading. Sort of cool.
  • There’s also a “friends” function in Google Reader. Haven’t played with it much.

As you can see, Google has included a lot of social networking tools within Reader. I think this is what bloglines was missing.  They both allow you to aggregate information for your own use, but Google Reader has added the ability to share that info with the group.

Anyway, pretty cool.

Do I want the extra functionality? Probably. Do I want to sign over more of my online activities to Google? Maybe not. Will I continue to ask questions like this and then answer them? Most definately.

Discuss…

UPDATE: I added a link to my shared matrial from Google Reader over in the sidebar, under bibliosk8 stuff.