Archive for the 'Cinematic Internet' Category

OPLIN 4Cast #102: Aggregation, Library of Congress Goes Tech, Online Searching, Blogging Help

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

1. Are you aggregated?
Several major companies have launched new data portability sites recently, all in the hopes that you will use them as your aggregator for all things social.

2. What’s the Library of Congress up to these days?
The LOC is 208 years old today. Even in it’s old age, it’s tech savvy.

3. There is more to conducting a search than Google
The users are changing, the technology is changing, the sources are changing.

4. Blogs are WORK.
It doesn’t matter if you are writing or reading blogs, they can be very time consuming. Why put forth the effort? Stats really aren’t available for most blogging software, so we just assume people are reading what we have to say. Here are some tips on making the whole process a little more efficient.

4Cast #88: Microsoft/Yahoo, New Google Views, Amazon/Audible, Going Green

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

1.  “Microsoft + Yahoo = ?”

Microsoft’s bold and unsolicited $44.6B bid for Yahoo shocked many and even appalled a few bloggers.  Meanwhile, the world waits for Yahoo to make its move.

2.  New Search Views in Google

For as long as we can remember, Google search results have been displayed in a vertical list of 10 results.  Now, in addition to this list, you can also view results by Map, Timeline, or Info.

3.  Amazon Buys Audible

Internet giant Amazon.com has announced that it will acquire a leading online provider of spoken word audio content, Audible.com.

4.  The Green Scene

Libraries are an obvious choice for the “green” consumer, and now they’re kicking it up a notch by introducing additional green initiatives and ideas.

4Cast #84: 2008, Wikia Search, Netscape, Teens

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

  1. Library/Web 2.0/Tech Predictions for 2008

It’s officially 2008, and along with the New Year come predictions of the technologies (web, library, otherwise) that will make it big in ’08.

  1. Wikia Search Goes Alpha

On January 7, Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales launched the alpha version of Wikia Search, a search engine that allows users to rank results, thereby increasing relevancy for subsequent searches.

  1. Netscape No More

Netscape Navigator, once the go-to browser for over 90% of web users, will no longer be supported by AOL (its current owner) beginning February 1, 2008. The Netscape Team encourages users to download Mozilla Firefox instead.

  1. Teens & Technology: They’re Savvier Than You Think

Now more than ever, teens are embracing the “conversational nature of interactive online media.” This behavior creates a new platform on which to serve teen customers.

4cast #82: SAFE Act, Broadband, Search Trends, Beyond Google

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Good Guys, Bad Guys & Wi-Fi

When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SAFE Act last week, it sent a shudder through coffee shops, hotels, libraries, and anyone else offering open Wi-Fi access to the Internet. While the new bill doesn’t appear to require that these entities actively police their wireless users for illegal online activities, it does up the pressure for them to report any such known or suspected activity.

2. It Sure is Slow Out in the Sticks

According to a recent Pew Internet study, 50% of all Americans now have broadband Internet access at home, but this number still lags far behind in rural areas. As the link between broadband penetration and economic health becomes more apparent, the FCC is coming under increasing fire for their inability to address the problem.

3. The Year in Guilty Pleasures

Google, Yahoo, and Ask have all released their 2007 reports outlining the top search trends, with interesting variations between the three engines. Social networking was huge across the board, and of course… troubled celebrities are always on our minds.

4. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Googling For

Google got your (or your patron’s) goat? There are always more – and in some cases, better – search options out there.

4cast #80: Kindle, Firefox, Manifestos, SEO

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Amazon’s Kindle Starts a Fire

The Kindle (Amazon’s new wireless, handheld eBook device) was released this week, followed by lots and lots of reviews, and a few ruminations about the future of books and libraries.

2. Speaking of Fire…

Firefox, the free, alternative web browser to Internet Explorer, is readying Version 3 for release (for the very brave, an early Beta 1 version is now available to download and test). Although Firefox continues to increase in popularity, some are beginning to question whether newer versions of Firefox are really all that.

3. We, the Librarians…

As libraries invest more time and money into technology, they often come to rely heavily on ILS vendors, resulting in sometimes messy, dysfunctional relationships and misunderstandings. Roy Tennant recently wrote a manifesto that sets some basic ground rules for library/vendor relationships.

4. Someone Will Find Us, I Just Know It

Search engine optimization (SEO) describes a set of strategies that webmasters can use to improve their site’s search engine ranking and draw more traffic (see 4cast Podcast #25: Library Web Presence for some library-specific tips). Because many businesses rely on web traffic for their revenue, a whole slew of shady, spammy SEO practices have emerged in an attempt to stay two steps ahead of the constantly changing Google search algorithms.

4cast Podcast #25: Library Web Presence

Monday, November 19th, 2007

For years, libraries have been issued the challenge of creating an effective (but not overly invasive) web presence. For many libraries, the extent of this presence can be found in a single location—the library website. This is an excellent start, but what else can libraries do to ensure ongoing virtual visibility in their communities?

In this 4cast Podcast, Laura Watkins (OPLIN Library Services Manager) returns from the annual Internet Librarian conference with six tangible ways that libraries can improve their web presence.

OPLIN 4cast #67

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Don’t Be Afraid of the Internet…

A new report from the National School Board Association finds that in spite of widespread fears about predators, porn, and potty language, social networking websites are actually pretty safe for children. Furthermore, teachers should be creating more educational opportunities for students to use them.

2. … Unless You’re Running for Office

A U.S. Senate Committee recently approved the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007, which would require the development of V-chip-like filtering technology for the Internet, cell phones, and just about any device that displays or relays electronic content.

3. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do More Privately

All of the major search engines are aggressively engaged in a so-called “privacy war” as they try to win over customers. According to a report by the Center for Democracy and Technology (PDF), each one has made recent, significant policy changes that allow users to search the ‘Net more anonymously.

4. Woe is Broadband?

In recent months, observers have begun to realize that when compared to much of the industrialized world, broadband Internet access in the United States is expensive, slow, and still unavailable to far too many people.

OPLIN 4cast Podcast #22: Database Search Terms

Monday, August 6th, 2007

OPLIN recently revised the research database access page on our website to allow us to also provide lists of databases purchased by individual libraries. Previously, the page only listed databases available statewide. This change is still ongoing, as libraries continue to inform us of the databases they buy for their patrons, but so far it seems to be a good change.

As part of the process of developing the new access page, we took a closer look at the type of searches people were doing when they look at the databases. We thought you might be interested to hear what we saw.

OPLIN 4cast #62

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. iPhone Arrives, People Go Bonkers

Last Friday, after months and months of intense hype, Apple finally released the iPhone into the wild. Some are hailing this new gizmo – a mobile phone, camera, multimedia player, and wireless web browser all in one – as a revolutionary step that changes the rules for multiple industries. But how will it affect libraries?

2. These Books Are All POD, All of Them!

What do you do when a patron wants a rare or out-of-print book that your library doesn’t carry? Some libraries (including Cincinnati Public Library) are discovering Print on Demand (POD) services that can create and bind a single copy of these otherwise hard-to-find works. A few libraries are even looking into setting up this service in-house.

3. The Future is in eBooks (or Not)

As the Second Annual World eBook Fair begins tomorrow (offering a month’s free access to over 750,000 eBooks), the prospects of the eBook market are still pretty murky, at best. If they’re not going to replace regular books, then are they good for anything?

4. Powerset is Powering Up

There’s a new search engine coming down the pike called Powerset, which aims to provide a “natural language” search engine that will, in theory, be easier to use than the usual keyword-oriented search engines. The company has already attracted a lot of attention (and investors), but has yet to unveil their product.

OPLIN 4cast #59

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Ask Goes 3D (Funny Glasses Not Required)

Does any other search engine stand even a remote chance of becoming as popular as Google? Many users (librarians included) point to Ask.com, which just unveiled a major redesign that some are hailing as the next great, evolutionary step in search.

2. What’s That Search Engine Got That This One Don’t?

Of course, Ask.com and the other “second-tier” search engines are fighting an uphill battle. Not only does Google have deeper reserves, but they’re also entrenched to the point that many searchers aren’t even aware of the alternatives.

3. Please Sir, Might We Digitize Some of Your Manuscripts?

Microsoft’s Live Search Books has been in beta since December, but only recently began adding still-in-copyright content from a slew of major publishers. The difference between them versus Google Book Search or Amazon’s Search Inside the Book? Why, Microsoft asked permission!

4. The Twits Are Getting Louder

It was still unclear back in March, but Twitter seems to be catching on across the ‘Net, signaling the dawn of another trend – micro-blogging.