Friday, January 28, 2005

Pew Blogging Survey

The Pew Internet & American Life Project just published the results of their study on the state of blogging. While the bloggers themselves are largely young, well-educated men, blog readers are becoming more diverse. I was a bit surprised at how widespread blogging has become in the past year.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

DeskTop Search engines

Are these different from Mac's Sherlock?

Yahoo beta version
Google Desktop
Copernic -- The Slate review (below) gave this one an A

Slate's review of a number of these

One more Top Trends last year and next.

InfoToday's January Newsbreak

Google spawn

"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." from the Google Print Page

We keep being told that users want Google. One box. They don't want to have to decide where to go to find stuff. That makes sense. But Google has more and more special search areas.

So some separate search areas are ok. But how many?

Or maybe the thing you do is start people out with the single box; once they've mastered that, then you move them on to other options.

MORE: 1/27 Elliot points out that Sherlock already does something like this using channels. It's an interesting point. I hadn't thought of it because I don't use Sherlock. It looks as if Sherlock seems to differs from Google in a couple of ways: 1. it searches other question answering services like Ask Jeeves & 2. it is a piece of software you have to have on your computer rather than being a web-based service. So that goes to a later entry on this page, viz Desktop Search engines.

Elliot's Nonsense is now at:

Elliot's Blog is now at

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Catalogablog -- David Bigwood


Don't really know about this but he has a piece on Folksonomy and Metadata for Digital Still Images

Folksonomy 101

One of the best introductions to folksonomies or tagging that I've found is by Nick W. on Threadwatch. He not only explains how folksonomy works, but also why it is important. Folksonomies are controlled vocabularies created by multiple users and shared. Tags are important because
Simply put, tags are important because they allow your users to generate content and classify that content in their own unique way.
He goes on to explain how they work in Well worth checking out. Clay Shirky writes about the costs of creating and maintaining controlled vocabulary. Also see Louis Rosenfeld's post.

Elliot's blog

Elliot writes:

My RSS feed for my blog is now available anonymously. Please consume
with your favorite reader :)

Monday, January 24, 2005

So why are there two different groups?

Check out the lists on Top Tech Trends and Emerging Technology notes from ALA Mid-Winter. See any similarities?
(the lists are contained in 2 earlier entries on this page).

Emerging Technologies Interest Group -- notes from ALA Mid-Winter 2005

CHAIR: Rose Nelson

REPORTER: Rose Nelson


MEETING: ig_business_meeting


CURRENT ACTIVITIES: ETIG will be sponsoring a program on Institutional
Repositories for ALA in Chicago. The program will focus on policy issues
and best practices for implementing an institutional repository.
We will also be cosponsoring with Open Source Systems I.G. a preconference
and general session on Shibboleth and Internet2 for the upcoming ALA in

Recap of the Top Tech Trends

  • Storage space-it's becoming cheaper and smaller. How do libraries respond
    to patron's need to create better use of their external storage, whether it
    be an Ipod or flash drive?
  • frbr-functional requirements for biblographic records in OPAC.
  • Blogs and other bubble up technologies such as RSS. What are the
    implications for libraries? How are libraries making use of these
  • Portability of data-with the proliferation of handheld devices, how do we
    design interfaces to our library information databases that will work with
    all types of devices?
  • Digital Rights Management-sharing playlists? How does this affect content
    creation or dissemination?
  • Delicious Library-people creating their own libraries. How do we manage
    the rights on this?
  • Blogs seen as light weight content management systems. An example of this
    is the New York Historical Society creating staff blogs.

FUTURE ACTIVITIES: sponsor a program on Google Print and Google Scholar for
Annual 2005 in Chicago; begin a concerted effort to build a robust online
community through forums that debate and promote emerging technologies;
begin development of a program on the creation, impact and uses of blogs in

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Mid-Winter ALA session on Institutional Repositories

The Current Topics Discussion Group meeting in Boston addressed institutional repositories. Michael A. Keller (Stanford University) and Shane Nackerud (University of Minnesota) were some of the presenters at the group's meeting in Boston. The PowerPoint slides from Mr. Keller's presentation and from Mr. Nackerud's presentation are now posted at the ULS web site. To access them, please go to:

Thursday, January 20, 2005

LITA--MidWinter 2005--Top Tech Trends Committee report

GROUP: Top Technology Trends Committee

CHAIR: David Ward

REPORTER: David Ward

CONFERENCE: midwinter

MEETING: Committee meeting


CURRENT_ACTIVITIES = The Top Technology Trends committee hosted a
discussion by some of LITA's recognized technology experts on Sunday
morning at ALA. The speakers were Karen Schneider, Andrew Pace, Tom
Wilson, Clifford Lynch, Marshall Breeding, Joan Frye Williams, and Walt

The full list of trends, along with bibliographies of each and detailed
minutes from the meeting will be posted on the committee's website. An
incomplete list of the many trends discussed by the group includes :

  • Storage - bigger and cheaper

  • Blogs - including the rise of the "Citizen Journalist" and the need to
    evaluate bloggers for accuracy

  • Ebooks - is the 2nd, better generation coming?

  • OPACs - why they suck, and what can be done about it (FRBR, and interface
    like Delicious Library)

  • WiFi - and security concerns

  • Broadband - VoIP and rural underconnecting

  • Google - what Scholar and Print mean for libraries

  • Folksonomy - users are coming up with their own uncontrolled vocabularies
    for their personal searching and filing needs

  • DRM - digital rights management and its effects on libraries

Also discussed was the way many new trends no longer come from the top (big
research libraries) down, but rather are "Bubble Up" technologies that
start from consumer trends or smaller areas and then catch on directly with
libraries of many different sizes.

FUTURE ACTIVITIES: The committee is watching the development of the ALA
Online Communities project, and is interested in starting a threaded
discussion group on trends using this software when it is available. This
is seen as an opportunity to provide an additional ongoing and interactive
forum for discussion of top technology trends.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A page on useful search engines

I've made a page with info about selected search engines. It's on JShare at . You'll have to login with your JHED login info. ( formerly GuruNet ) is now free

Search from the web site ( ) or a install a tool bar plug-in similar to a Google search plug-in.
"Search engines are terrific when you’ve got a complex request; if you are trying to recall, say, the name of a Victorian Scottish woolen bonnet, there’s probably a page out there that you can dig up. But if you need to know what pie in the sky means, when Benjamin Franklin was born, or whether Aeschylating is a cromulent word, a search engine isn't your best bet. You need a FREE one stop reference tool."

Localizing Google Scholar in FireFox

Go to to find out how to create a bookmarklet in FireFox so that hits returned from Google Scholar include link to our local SFX resolver. You'll need to know the following:

  • base URL=
  • our logo image=