The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Thursday, February 12, 2004

No More Commercial Radio... Ever!

Today I listened to Radio Paradise on my ride home from work. I lost the signal once but was able to immediately log back into it. Yesterday I listened to The Beat Basement on the ride home, and I didn't lose the signal once. How? Through PocketTunes on my Treo 600, which was plugged into the cassette adapter so it sounded great coming through my car's speakers.

How incredibly fantabulous and perwonderfect is it to be able to listen to internet radio streams in the car? I can't make up enough words to describe it! I guess I don't have to worry about getting satellite radio anymore....

(I will, however, add my voice to the chorus asking for Live365 support in PTunes!)

11:11:04 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Taking RSS and Blogging to the Next Level

rss + sfx in mt

"Was inspired by something Tangognat said in my comments about linking RSS search results to link resolvers being an important piece of any ideal citation management software, so over lunch today I whipped up this proof of concept:

Using MovableType and the MTRSSFeed plugin, I'm pretty much just grabbing and listing the RSS feed of search results already kindly generated by HubMed (of PubMed). For each item, I also grab the guid (where the HubMed feed puts the pmid) and then use that to generate the necessary openurl....

Anyway, this is strictly proof of concept and not necessarily of real use or functionality. It still needs all those other pieces that I want in a citation manager. But it does give me hope. If this kind of baby step is possible using just MT plugins over someone's lunch break, imagine what a real programmer can do. :)

Later -- The SFX links now point to the Ex Libris demo link resolver instead of the link resolver belonging to my library. Which actually now makes these SFX links the exact same as the ones you can already find on the HubMed site. Oh well. But you get the idea. Just pretend that you're also getting a slew of full-text options linking you directly to the article in question." [rawbrick weblog]

Now that's what I'm talking about! A beautiful proof of concept relevant to What I Wanted to Say at BloggerCon. Be sure to view the demo, pick an entry, and click on "SFX Link" to see a better visualization of what I was trying to say.

Thanks, Carol!

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Play with Interesting Sites

Here are a couple of third-party services that libraries could take advantage of to experiment with new services!

  1. WINKsite
    Alan Reiter highlighted this site today because he used it to transform his Camera Phone Report Weblog into a stripped down version suitable for mobile devices. This free (for the moment), hosted service will work best if your library has a blog because you can feed it the URL of your RSS feed and it will automatically aggregate your content on your WINKsite.

    Like Alan, I was able to create a WINKsite version of The Shifted Librarian in about five minutes. You can view what it looks like in this emulator on a computer or you can go to http://winksite.com/jayhawk/shifted to see it on your mobile device! Although the software will eventually end up being sold to telecommunications companies and middlemen, you can play with it now and add chat, surveys, guestbooks, and more to your WINKsite, and you can even create a pre-fed aggregator of feeds, say for local information for patrons!

    Will your people really use this now? Probably not. But it's fun to play with, you could reach early adopters with it, and it gives you a sense of how social networking, RSS, blogging, instant messaging, mobility, and ubiquity will come together in the future. Price to play: free!

  2. Furl
    Furl is a web-based bookmark site that's been getting a lot of play recently and along with del.icio.us, it has been mentioned by many librarians in particular (Library Stuff caught both of them early on). I'm still playing with both sites, but Will Richardson is taking a more active approach:

    "Better yet, Furl lets you create a bunch of different categories for the links you save and then it'll even spit out an RSS feed for each category. Now I knew this was pretty cool when I read it, and I started playing with the idea of using Furl to send cool links to the various departments at my school (since that's one piece of my job description that I never seem to get to.) Well, here ya' go. My newly created English Department site includes a page just for links that is filled with sites that I have "Furled" and pushed to the page via the RSS feed. Again, not rocket science, but a pretty cool new process that allows me to update pages without ever going there. That in itself is a time saver, and the fact that I can annotate the links makes it even better.

    Now, let's take it a step further. Say I share my Furl login with a number of my colleagues who may be interested in, let's say, the campaign of John Edwards. Whenever we come across some relevant info, we just furl the page into the Edwards category and it automatically gets sent to our aggregator or to that special page we've made to archive our research. Or how about this...my school sets up a Furl account, and every browser has the Furl It link on it's toolbar. Whenever anyone at my school sees a page of interest on the Web, they add it to our collective database. Pretty cool concept..."

    So if your library isn't already highlighting new web resources on your site (internally or for patrons), or if your reference department needs a better way than Post-It Notes to share and organize links, give Furl a whirl (or del.icio.us)!

10:23:37 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Is There an Echo in Here?

A New Technology Lets Colleges Spread Information to People Who Want It (emphasis below is mine)

"College researchers and public-relations officials are starting to take advantage of a new technology that can help get their news and information out more quickly and directly to the people who want them.

The technology, called RSS, is already in use on some news sites and Weblogs. But colleges are beginning to catch up....

While no one tracks how many colleges are using RSS feeds, those that have it include Carleton College, Pacific University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, and the University of Nevada at Reno. And college officials note that the number of institutions employing the technology is growing.

Jeremy Trumble, Web-services manager at RIT, says that students there are getting the benefits of RSS without even knowing they're using it. Every student has the opportunity to create a Web portal that presents a personalized version of the university's Web site, similar to a My Yahoo page. During the customization, students decide which information they would like to have regularly updated. That tells an RSS reader built into the software which feeds to collect. About half the institution's students have created personalized versions of the Web site through which they get updates on campus news and events.

'Students live on the Web today,' Mr. Trumble says. 'They don't look for a paper. They don't go looking to find information. They want information brought to them.'

Brian Koranda, a Web designer and producer at Carleton, uses the RSS feed to send out notices to the institution's alumni magazine and to provide students with a variety of information, including listings of campus events and movies at the local theater.

'It allows you to see a lot of updated information all at one time,' he says. 'It's only going to get bigger in the future.' " [The Chronicle, via Weblogg-ed News]

9:17:26 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Valentine's Day PSA

WAN2 SND A TXT MSG THIS VLNTINES DAY?

"Not only does your girlfriend/boyfriend expect you to, but USCellular is counting on it as well (good for their bottom line) - so to encourage you, they recommend some trendy text messaging phrases for this Valentine's Day:

WUBMV - Will you be my valentine?
QTPI! - Cutie pie!
:-* ME! - Kiss me!
IWYWH - I wish you were here.
HAK - Hugs and kisses.
SYS - See you soon.
CUL8R - See you later.
ILY or ILU - I love you.
LOLV - Lots of love.
:) - Smile.
H4U - Hot for you.
HRU - How are you?
LDL - Let's do lunch.
PCM - Please call me.
@}->-- . Send a rose." [textually.org]

Of course, if someone sent me a text message that said "HAK," I would probably think they were choking and requesting help....

I sent my first SMS message this week now that Sprint has finally gotten it working, and I'm looking forward to becoming a statistic and sending my second one on Valentine's Day!

9:00:13 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!