Archive for June, 2008

Technorati Reflections

June 29, 2008

I must say that this tool (Technorati, as well as the numerous other blog directories) certainly helps you navigate the blogosphere.  Being able to search the content (by keyword, tag, author, topic) of the plethora of blogs that exist is one of the most obvious benefits.  I’d be careful of the word “authority” though (yes, I’m a bit skeptical) — knowing how many others refer to or reference a particular blog, does not automatically elevate a blog from merely being a “popular” blog to being an “authoritative” one.  Evaluation is still required (and necessary to really establish reliability and/or true authority).  But, showing some sense of “authority” or “popularity” is certainly a great starting point for your evaluation.  I’d still evaluate a blog (and its content) similarly to that of a regular web page, or any other source for that matter (e.g., Who’s the author?  Are they an “authority” and do they have the right credentials?  What else have they done?  Are they knowledgeable and informative or merely ranting?  Etc., to just name a few criteria.).

Then again, let me put on my devil’s advocate hat (I seem to do this often) . . . if the information were not “authoritative” or accurate or [you supply the adjective], beyond mere popularity, it probably wouldn’t be referred to by too many other bloggers.  Hmm.

Ah, the joys of the information age.

Another benefit to your researching efforts could be an awareness of tagging.  What tags are being used?  Do they make sense to you?  Do they increase your awareness to new ideas or concepts?  Do they provide another target point for your search?  Tags could definitely be valuable to your information retrieval strategies.  And, they could certainly help to keep you up-to-date with the jargon and the current language being used to describe various concepts. 

Technorati (and other blog directories) offers you yet another searchable source for information — some of which is good, some of which is not so good — it can help you locate experts, opinions, rants, topics of shared interest, etc.  Yeah, this is a good thing, another tool in the toolbox.

Parting thoughts from my Sunday afternoon musings: “User beware?”  “User be aware?”  “Be a user?”   “All of these?”  I know my answer .  .  .  how about you?

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Del.icio.us Reflections

June 26, 2008

What an ingenious way to bookmark!  At first, I wasn’t completely convinced that organizing these pages using “tags” was the best way to go, but I may just have to re-wire my thinking (i.e., “Tom, just do it!”).  The more I play around with del.icio.us, the more sense it seems to make.   And, combine this utility with the joy of serendipitous discovery .  .  .  aaah, how did we ever manage before?

The biggest advantage (in my humble opinion) is having all of your favorites stored online, and being able to access them from any machine, device, or location.  The biggest disadvantage: the potential for wild, exponential growth .  .  .  spiraling out of control!  Then again, the term “favorite” denotes repeated/frequent visits .  .  .  and to play the devil’s advocate, if your list of favorites is too long, how “favorite” are they really?    Hmm.  I wonder.

Which leads me to my final reflection: will I be able to use this in my professional setting? 

Abs.olute.ly, it’s as easy as pie and equally del.icio.us.

Good Press for SLA!

June 25, 2008

Here’s an article about the SLA conference last week from the Washington Times.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jun/23/library-techies/

Blogging Reflections

June 25, 2008

Before I chose WordPress as the blog service that I was going to utilize, I examined numerous blogs (all of the blogs already linked to the “23 Things” page, Stephen’s Lighthouse, and several of the blogs linked to my institution’s external and internal blogs). The variety was amazing and provided me with plenty of examples as I entered my blog design phase.

Having worked with Blogger (our internal blog) as well as WordPress (our external blog) already, I opted for WordPress primarily because of the increased functionality (in my humble opinion) and more customizable.

The good news: the whole process is fairly easy and straightforward. The bad news: the addictive (and time-consuming) nature of designing and editing the front page to look just right. Some more good news: I can always go back and change what I don’t like . . . a definite work in progress.

For now, my goal is to keep it simple and to keep moving forward.

Hello world!

June 24, 2008

Here I go! Thanks to the Special Libraries Association and their “23 Things” program, I’m entering the world of blogging. And, while I’ve been doing some blogging at work, this is my first personal blog. I’m not sure what direction or focus I’ll take, but as with all things, getting started is sometimes the hardest part.

I signed up for and completed the Week 1 activities for the “23 Things” prior to the SLA Annual Conference last week. While at conference I was introduced to “Twitter,” and now, as I begin the Week 2 activities, “blogging.”

So hang on . . . it could be a wild (and eclectic) ride!