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~ Archive for Weblogs ~

NY Times article, “eliminate the middleman”


James Fallows has discovered RSS, among other things.  He has a
question for publishers, noting “Information is both invaluable and
impossible to value.”  He cites the phenomenon of the give-away
culture, exemplified in free web sites, blogs, and more or less the
open access movement.  Who’s going to pay for information if it is
free?  Well, for a long time libraries paid for information that
was made freely available to the general public, albeit with greater or
lesser convenience to the individual.  Now, there’s more material
freely available and at increasing convenience, depending on the speed
and stability of one’s internet connection.  But publishers and
libraries still provide value by collecting and organizing disparate
data.  What the price of that should be is another question. 
Many believe that the free, open source, file sharing, whatever you
want to call it, movements harm those who are simply trying to make a
living or cover costs (small companies, scientific societies,
independent artists) and will not harm those who are making
astronomical profits (the record companies, the Microsofts, the
Elseviers.)  Maybe we need to educate others about choices, and
some can play a role in that, rather than attacking the open movements
in fear of losing what they little they have. For example, it seems
that scientific societies have in interest in open access rather than
dismissing it.  Fallows (oh yeah, that’s what started this) ends
on an optimistic note (but not for the “middlemen”:”No matter how that
battle turns out, the public will win the longer war.  The
Internet’s impact on the value of information may still be in flux, but
its long-term impact on middlemen is clear.” Maybe it isn’t so much
elimination of the “middlemen” but those who would profit extravagantly
and serve their shareholders first.  (Sources; Open Access News; Bob Stepno)

Blogging in the university


Online Journalism Review has another interesting article this week on
blogging and its acceptance in academia.  Four prof bloggers are
interviewed, including LSU’s Kaye Trammell. (Source:

SciencePORT: a blog directory with science emphasis


Finally a blog directory with a significant number of science-oriented
news sources and weblogs.  Categories include natural sciences
(physics, chemistry, astronomy); health and medicine; technology; and
even libraries.  Resources range from news to personal weblogs to
weblogs for institutions and labs. Some are field specific (e.g. mass
spectrometry blog.) Many non-English sites.   A find. 
(Source: Confessions of a Science Librarian)

How to search blogs


It ain’t easy, but Christina Pikas of Johns Hopkins offers several
precise tips, whether using Google or Yahoo or one of multiple services
specializing in blog searching.  (Source: beSpacific)

Library weblog directory


Peter Scott has compiled an excellent directory of library weblogs and a bibliography on blogging for libraries.  (Source: Tame the Web via Library Stuff)

Aggregation of Sun Microsystems’ employee weblogs


A page aggregates public weblogs of Sun employees… (source: Library Stuff)

Article on blogosphere


Source; Dave Winer

Audio blogging


(Source: Scripting News)

“Confessions” gives a presentation


John DuPuis posted his slides “Blogging for Science Librarians.” Seems like a reasonable overview of the how and why. Mentions two other science library blogs, namely STLQ and Englib, not Pullen or RIH. (Then again, the others are Canadian, like the confessor. I enjoy reading his blog, although he is not as prolific as the others.)

Influence of weblogs on political campaign?


An Associated Press article discusses how weblogs may contribute to, comment on and impact politicial campaigns. While some weblogs are oriented around a specific candidate, some provide journalistic commentary, such as Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo; “blogs let [Marshall] mix news, opinion and personal observations with no meddling from an editor.” Further, the article mentions how blogs synthesize and digest information from mulitple disparate sources. Some take a jaundiced view of political weblogs, however; a GOP operative described bloggers as “armchair analysts in their bathrobes (with) no serious interest in leaving their living rooms to actually help the campaigns.”

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