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Blogs and RSS for Libraries

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  • 1. RSS and Blogs For Libraries John J Meier Science Librarian Pennsylvania State University
  • 2. Not another new technology!
    • There are many new technology solutions available with different functions
    • Don’t let technology drive your workflow – Find a solution that fits your library
  • 3. What does a blog look like?
  • 4. What does a blog look like?
  • 5. What does a blog look like?
  • 6. What does a blog look like?
  • 7. What does a blog look like?
    • Professional Communication
    • Library News
    • Portfolio / Resume
    • New Book Announcements
    • Frequently Asked Reference Questions
    • Staff News and Announcements
  • 8. What are Blogs?
    • Blogs (short form of web-logs) are a method for easily publishing information to the web
      • Usually composed of entries that go in reverse chronological order
      • Can allow multiple authors for entries
      • Can allow anyone to comment on the entries, creating a conversation
  • 9. What are Blogs?
    • Blogs (short form of web-logs) are a method for easily publishing information to the web
      • Usually composed of entries that go in reverse chronological order
      • Can allow multiple authors for entries
      • Can allow anyone to comment on the entries, creating a conversation
    • Can publish as RSS
  • 10. What is RSS?
    • Really Simple Syndication
    • Rich Site Summary
    • Uses XML formating
  • 11. What is RSS?
    • Really Simple Syndication
    • Rich Site Summary
    • Uses XML Formatting
    • Re-use Same Stuff
  • 12.  
  • 13. Combine the benefits of RSS and blogs
    • Use blogs to easily and quickly write news and information for users and co-workers
    • Use RSS to publish blog entries and other news on multiple web pages and in email
    • More information that is updated frequently for less effort and staff time
  • 14. Strategies for using blogs and RSS
    • Bring it together (Aggregating)
    • Put it on your website
    • Ease the transition to RSS
    • Examples
      • Dust off the Frequent Reference Question blog
      • What they want – new book announcements
      • Eye popping – using RSS in live displays
  • 15. Combine multiple feeds into one
    • Strategies
    • Publish information you create in blogs
    • Publish information from news sources
    • Select from multiple sources
    • Advantages
    • Reduce work by reusing what exists
    • Selecting information rather than creating
    • Be a filter to the information overload
  • 16. Useful Feed Aggregators for Combining Multiple Feeds
    • Google Reader
      • Tag RSS feeds and Share as an Atom feed
    • Bloglines
      • Create a feed of selected entries using “Clip Blog”
    • Feedjumbler
      • Merge/splice several RSS or Atom-based feeds into one combined RSS and/or Atom feed
  • 17.  
  • 18.  
  • 19. Penn State Aggregated Blogs
  • 20. RSS on your website
    • XML is just HTML without the formatting, so you can add it to your website
      • Use CSS to add “style” to the appearance
    • For those without XML/CSS expertise
      • Feed2js.org creates java script code to embed any RSS feed in your website
      • Other websites can be used to create “tickers” or other formatting for your RSS feeds
  • 21. Transition from email to blogs
    • Email may be the traditional form of communication to staff or users
    • For blogs
      • Send out an email with the headline of each new entry and a link to blog for reading it (some blog platforms can do this for you)
      • When the RSS feed from the blog is used on the web it will lead readers back to the blog
  • 22. Transition from email to RSS
    • RMail and RSSFwd are two examples of many services that can put feeds in the inbox
    • Methods for moving to RSS
      • Introduce a RSS reader for everyone to use
      • Find a reader that is built into a browser, your email program, or an online account
  • 23. Examples
    • Firefox – you can bookmark RSS feeds
      • You can also install an RSS ticker in the browser
    • Thunderbird – you can set up an inbox for all your RSS and news feeds
    • Google Reader – if your staff or users have a Google account, it is very easy to add RSS feeds to Reader and place in the iGoogle homepage
  • 24. More examples (to avoid lawsuits)
    • Other browsers
      • Internet Explorer
    • Other email clients
      • Eudora
    • Other websites
      • My Yahoo
      • Feedburner
  • 25. What does a blog look like?
    • Professional Communication
    • Library News
    • Portfolio / Resume
    • New Book Announcements
    • Frequently Asked Reference Questions
    • Staff News and Announcements
  • 26. Reference Desk Blog
    • Early staff use of a blog platform
      • Transition from paper notebook
      • Hard to get staff to use consistently
  • 27. Reference Desk Blog
    • Early staff use of a blog platform
      • Transition from paper notebook
      • Hard to get staff to use consistently
    • Tips to make it work
      • Integrate into a system that is already in use, like iGoogle
      • Make it a public page as well, this could serve as a Frequently Asked Questions page
  • 28. New Books Blog
    • Use the Catalog
      • Many library catalogs that supported email alerts offer the same as RSS
      • May or may not support images
    • Do it yourself
      • Only blog highlights or the most popular titles
      • You have more control over how much content there is, but it’s a lot more work
  • 29. New Books Feeds
    • There are also many library services on the web that offer RSS and javascript updates including images
      • LibraryThing
      • GoodReads
      • Shelfari
    • Some are only free to small libraries or personal collections
  • 30. Small organizations and libraries can use LibraryThing to as a catalog for their collection.
  • 31. You can be a goodreads “Librarian” if you have over 50 books in your profile (cheaper than a MLS)
  • 32.  
  • 33.  
  • 34.  
  • 35. Actively feed to a Powerpoint presentation
    • Requires purchase of software
      • Presentation Point add-on for Microsoft Powerpoint
    • Allows the updating of a file during real time
      • You can display streaming database information
      • Has additional Datapoint and Newspoint functions to show SQL data and RSS feeds
  • 36. Example: Plasma Screen Displays including RSS Content
    • Static content
      • Information about the library
      • Pictures of library staff
    • Database driven
      • Library instruction class times of the day
    • RSS Feed driven
      • News feeds via third party software
  • 37.  
  • 38.  

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