Christina's LIS Rant
Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Fear of Bloggers in Business and Journalism
When I talked
about searching across blogs, I really just scraped the tip of the iceberg in potential uses. Blabble and a couple of other companies are now promising "new" services to monitor blogs, fora, etc., for brand information, reputation and other intel. It's easy to set up vanity searches with alerts in Blogdigger, Feedster, Google, Yahoo, Waypath, PubSub.... So there's really no need to hire a firm for you if you've got a half decent librarian on staff who knows how to power search the internet. I would think that you would get more out of clustering a search on your brand with Clusty than one of these paid services anyway.
This post that I link to was pointed out by Topix
. Basically some company sent an advertisement to Gillmor regarding their product. What's created the uproar is that the company is selling the product so that companies can basically generate cease and desist letters to threaten bloggers who post negative reviews of their products (even if truthful and fair). Eeek. As all the well-thought-out comments say, that's not the best way to handle this type of thing.
I meant to post this on another blog, but while I'm here
I realize that any mistakes I make, I can't hide because they'll be forever in the feed... so...
Bill Ives has gotten permission to open up access to his writings for KM Review
. Free registration is required. Of specific interest to me is his newest one, Ives, Athey and Joost, "New Tools to Link the Changing Workforce," v7 i4 (Sep/Oct 2004)28-31. Just about every organization remotely related to aerospace is facing a crisis: the majority of the engineers are ready to retire. KM has long been touted as the solution to all our problems. Unfortunately, instead of a panacea, KM's become a money drain with small ROI and low participation (some places, not in my workplace, of course). This article discusses some ways blogs might work better for KM than the standard repositories. Maybe we need a combined oral history/storytelling/blogging software?
Google Cheat Sheet
Pointed out by Gary on the Search Engine Watch Blog
Exactly what it sounds like. You probably know a lot of these tips, but it's nice to have them in one place. I didn't realize there was a proximity operator (*). Hmmm. Worth more investigation.
Current Election - Maryland State Board of Elections: PG County Ballot Questions
Yea. The library's facilities bond is question B. So what's my rant? There's no information on this on the Library's
site. No luck with Google. I tried the county site, and they have a PDF that says to look at bill CB-64-2004 and points you to the legislative information system
. Then you search for the bill, and have to open a word document (can you even do this in the public library? I doubt it - they don't have any word processing on their public computers and the staff has Word Perfect.) I asked a full time staff member on Sunday, and she didn't know what it was about.
Ok, so it's all to renovate the New Carrollton branch - this is needed, so I'll vote for it. What about people like my husband who just votes against all referenda without taking the time to do the research? Why can't the library and the county say more clearly why they're asking for $14M? I bet it won't pass.
e4engineering.com: Sketch and search
Design Engineering, 18 October 2004.
'CADFind Sketch & Search', as the package is called, is claimed to be the first commercial design retrieval system in the world that can find 2D engineering drawings from a sketch. Uniquely, it works for any kind of mechanical engineering component.
How cool. It would be better if you could go to the parts department at Pep Boys and draw a picture of the part you need for your car using a pen and a pad... but this is a good first step and it's in production. From the company's site
, their "retrieval accuracy ... exceeds 98% for high quality drawings and 95% even from a basic sketch."
(BTW, This is here on my library site instead of my sci/tech site because I'm interested in the IR part of this more than the parts part of this.)
Voida et al: Interviewing over instant messaging
Pointed out on Mathemagenic
A Voida, ED Mynatt, T Erickson, and WA Kellogg. "Interviewing Over Instant Messaging." Presented at the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems held in Vienna April 24 - 29, 2004. p. 1344-7. (Mathemagenic points here
for non-ACM subscribers)
The authors don't refer to the significant literature on conducting virtual reference interviews. Nevertheless, there are some points here that might be worth looking into.
- does it hurt trust to post canned responses without a suitable delay to indicate you've processed the question
- do people scroll up through the conversation when responding to questions
- how do virtual reference librarians deal with customers who mult-task? Do customers expect librarians to multi-task?
Cool hit map trick
Pointed out by MonkeyMagic
It clusters and maps the IPs of visitors. Pretty cool. You'll see a huge cluster where I am, let's see who else?
Where are visitors to this page?
(Auto-update daily since 15-OCT-04)
If you'd like to get it yourself look here.
Library Technology Now Needs Volunteers (esp. writers)
Library Technology Now seeks to be "Your one-stop resource for library technology news and product reviews written by library people for library people." They are still in the formulation stage, so now's a good time to get involved. It's funded by the North Texas Regional Library System and the Automation and Technology Round Table of the Texas Library Association but it's international in scope.
Reference by walking around
(pointed out by KP on the CLIS list
Like management by walking around... or as I used to call it, guerilla reference, Texas A&M equiped their guerilla librarians with tablet PCs as reported by Smith and Pietraszewski ("Enabling the roving reference librarian: wireless access with tablet PCs" Reference Services Review
v32 n3 (2004):249-255. DOI: 10.1108/00907320410553650).
I like this idea, but of course it's expensive to start and do if you don't already have tablet PCs and wireless.
Nanotech Searching Talk notes
If you're here, you're in the wrong place :) I've posted the notes from the talk on my sci/tech blog
. The title above should link to it.
Washington Post: Google Offers New Book-Search Feature
By Michael Liedtke (AP) Thursday, October 7, 2004; 7:49 AM Pointed out by daily e-mail newsletter.
Expanding a program introduced last year, Google is inviting publishers to include entire books in its index, enabling people to peak at the contents before making a decision on whether to buy.
Although entire books will be scanned in, the new feature won't let people read them entirely online. But participating publishers must allow people to read at least 20 percent
Ok, so... to sound like LibraryStuff and Shifted ... why can't we do this from our library catalogs? Wouldn't that be nice? At least they now offer the pictures of the covers.
A rant fitting of the title of my blog
So I'm catching up on my feeds this morning and I run across this fascinating response
to a thread on a mailing list
to which I don't subscribe. KGS, a personal hero of mine regardless of our very different political views, slams an article in the monthly ALA mag. I haven't gotten through my copy yet and it's at home so I hopped on over to the ejournal online. Just great, they're two (2) months behind in posting the new issues. So being a librarian and all, I go over to one of the more than 300 databases my library buys and find it
. Why does Academic Search Premier
have it before the ALA site? What does this say about where I'll look next time? What would a customer have done? Given up. So this rant has nothing to do with commenting on KGS's rant -- although I may do that later.