Christina's LIS Rant
Thursday, September 30, 2004
  Clusty the Clustering Engine
No doubt I'm the 10 millionth person commenting on this today. Gary's talked about Vivisimo quite a bit, but the NY Times story announces the launch of the beta web clustering search. It gets results from Gigablast, MSN, Lycos, and others. My title here links you to the advanced search. One thing, in particular, that I wanted to point out is the LII is listed a search source as are PubMed and FirstGov. Vivisimo has been offering ClusterMed so this isn't too big of a surprise, but the LII link I think really demonstrates that they're listening to librarians. Thank you.

May I also point out some other features? The Encyclopedia, is actually Wikipedia. The Gossip tab searches tabloids, I guess. The documentation isn't that hot, but the site's still in beta.

The NY Times article mentions that it searches blogs, too, but I'm having trouble actually extracting them. More on this later.

Update: If you click on the "customize" tab and then select "blogs" you'll get a blog search tab. In the results, it provides the name of the blog (like Christina's LIS Rant). The results seem to be full of links to the Blogdigger homepage which isn't really very enlightening (not a comment on blogdigger, which I like, but its only the homepage - no content). It's very slow. Use this, maybe, to do product review comparisons. Maybe restaurant comparisons? Maybe to see what people are saying about your brand?
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
  O'Reilly Network: The New Bloglines Web Services
by Marc Hedlund 9/28/04
By now I'm sure everyone's heard that Bloglines will be offering "web services APIs". Does everyone know what that means? I thought not. In the linked article the author describes why this is important and gives some ideas for developers. It just might be the answer to the headaches in network traffic caused by over eager aggregators. Prediction: some company, maybe Bloglines, will offer a corporate feed server that will offer employees a menu of diverse (maybe selected?) feeds grabbed once an hour and delivered on demand. Corporate librarians could select feeds with input from staff. Users can choose which to add to their browser.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
  ResearchBuzz: Isolating Google's Printed Material in a Google Search Form
Pointed out by TVC
Tara Calishain (of Web Search Garage fame, what not in any libraries yet? Hmm, it is in 18 libraries but too new to be in Yahoo or Google? We haven't cataloged ours yet... ack, I'll link this later) worked out a tool to search the Google print index? Excuse me while I crawl out from under my rock. Since when did Google index print materials? Oh, I guess back in March or so. See Notess article here. Well, I guess if you live where you don't have a public library and do have internet? Maybe on the International Space Station? Otherwise, stick with your library's remote access to Masterfile or Infotrac!
Update: There must be at least 100 participating libraries owning an item for it to be included in Open WorldCat. Then, it might be up to a quarter of a year later until it gets indexed by the big search engines. So, eventually, we'll be able to link to the above book.
  (IUCr) Crystallography Journals Online -- RSS Feeds for Every Journal!
Ingenta and IOP rightly get a lot of credit for publishing RSS feeds. I would now like to turn the spotlight on a smaller publisher the International Union of Crystallography. If you're into materials science, physics, or chemistry, check them out. Incidentally, they've also responded to the UK's House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into scientific publications with this submission: Publishing Crystallography Journals in the Electronic Environment.
  Library Stuff: Reports a bookmarklet for WorldCat lookup!
Now I've totally stopped with new content and am just parroting what I read, so if you subscribe to Library Stuff - just skip this post.

Michael Fagan, Jessamyn West and Andrea Mercado figured out how to get Jon Udell's library lookup bookmarklet to work for the WorldCat records on Google.
  ^&*$ Well, it was only a matter of time....
Greeting me in my inbox this morning:
Dear Furl Members,
Tomorrow we will be making an official announcement that Furl has been acquired. However, we wanted you to be the first to hear the news. We are joining LookSmart, a provider of Web search and research-quality articles search, in addition to other high-quality search products... we are officially allocating 5 gigabytes (GB) of storage for each individual member's public archive...

Ok, so the 5 GB is cool and the service is still supposed to be free. I guess we'll see.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
  Wow, look at furl today
Pretty! New tool (at least new to me): right click menu item. New preference: allow spiders.

Incidentally, I'm cpikas on there if you want to see my public folders.
Monday, September 20, 2004
  Frazz Comic
Posted to the CLIS List by C.U. 9/20/04. The scary thing is that I think I said this same thing around 5th grade when our local public librarian came and talked to our class. I still remember convincing my mom to call the local library to find out how long it takes turtle eggs to hatch after we saw one our local box turtles lay eggs out our back window. Sure enough the librarian looked it up and gave us the answer and the citation.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
  The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY): Search engines for blog browsing
by Jan Dempsey, 9/15/04
A very quick column on searching across blogs.
Update: found via Topix blog feed.
  Search Engine Watch Blog Opens
Today Danny Sullivan announced the new Search Engine Watch Blog. They do realize that they're confusing us a little:
Blogs, forums, SearchDay, Search Engine Report, Search Engine Update -- what do I read? How do I take it. Don't worry. Very shortly (like in a day or so) I'll update our Search Engine Newsletters page to better explain things and outline the various feeds we offer.
Friday, September 10, 2004
  Eliyon People Finder
Pointed out by Mary Ellen Bates in her tip of the month for September 2004, pointed out by TVC.
This is a really cool tool. I'm not really involved in business searching but I did a project in library school for the b-school research project on reconstructing information on failed dot coms (see here and here). This would definitely help them. It's something worth keeping in the back of your mind.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
  NEA Study: Reading at Risk
June 2004. Pointed out on the CLIS-List (archives) by Karen Patterson.
NEA did a comprehensive survey of the reading habits of Americans. Of course we read fewer novels, that's a trend that's been around for a while. What this report indicates, however, is that reading is plummeting. Eeek.
the report can be further summarized in a single sentence: literary reading in America is not only declining rapidly among all groups, but the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young. The concerned citizen in search of good news about American literary culture will study the pages of this report in vain.

n=17,000. The reading must be "novels, short stories, plays, or poetry in their leisure time (not for work or school)."
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
  Washington Post: Homework Problems? Help Is a Click Away.
by Pamela Gerhardt 9/7/04 (free registration required)
I'm tickled pink with this article. It's nice that a large newspaper has an article on this *expensive* electronic resource. I've done trials with Tutor.com and I've been pretty impressed. I've also directed lots of kids to it when I've substituted at the public library. It's even got a whiteboard that you can use to graph math problems.
Update: I should probably tell you where I got this. I followed a link from the Technews.com daily headlines newsletter.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
  How Wikipedia resists vandalism
Pointed to by j. I am now getting off the bandwagon of obsessing on Wikipedia. Just wanted to point this post out. I am not offering a challenge, just trying to provide reassurance to any library people who might be on the fence about Wikipedia.

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina's LIS Rant by Christina K. Pikas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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