Friday, September 5, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

RSS feeds. I've been using them for ages at home, but I actually had no idea what RSS actually stood for until quite recently. Real Simple Syndication. Makes sense to me, it is real simple!

I'm using Bloglines for here at work because we have an older version of Internet Explorer on our staff PC's that doesn't have the RSS button enabled on it, but at home I use Internet Explorer to do it. I just click that button and it saves them in my favourites, and when there is a new post to read, it bolds them in the list in the favourites.

But Bloglines seems to work quite effectively for a work environment. I've been tinkering around creating folders so that I can have all of the blogs written by my dear colleagues together, other library interest blogs in a folder, a folder for museums and art galleries and photography sites, a folder for fun stuff and so on. It's a little cluttered looking but I seem to be able to navigate around it ok.

I'm looking forward to when we get the blog links in the 23 Things page up and running, so that everyone can see all of the blogs submitted there. We have had a few little technical glitches along the way, which has meant that they're not all visible yet, but as they are put up, they will go on the BCCLS blog so that everyone can see them until we get the glitches ironed out.

But back to the subject of RSS feeds, I can see a lot of applications for them for both internal use and externally to customers. Already customers can RSS feed things from eLibCat like the What's New lists, What's On, info about One Book Many Brisbanes, things like that. But we could also have blogs for libraries RSS feeding news about events and promotions out to our customers.

Internally, we could have our wiki up and running and if you are working on a certain task, like magazines or AV Incomplete, you could RSS to those pages, and receive notice of any updates on those topics, rather than all 400 of our staff getting an email about it when we don't need to know.

I don't really read straight up library blogs myself, as mostly they're about stuff going on at the actual libraries. But there are some interesting industry ones I like to read. Here's a bit of a list:

Michael Stephens' Tame the Web (lots of Web2.0 information and inspiration)
The Annoyed Librarian - a bit whingey and sour grapey... but raises some valid points.
Librarian Idol

There are lots of others, but I can't remember them off the top of my head, I'll share them later.

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