Where librarians and the internet meet: internet searching, Web 2.0 resources, search engines and their development. These are my personal views and not those of CILIP or any other organisation I may be associated with.
Daybees is a search engine that you can use to find events that are taking place. It's got a very simple search interface - keyword, location, date from/to and you're done. It will pull up results with a map and links. I found the results quite variable - it found events taking place near me over the May bank holiday without a problem, but it didn't pick up the IFLA conference in Singapore later this year. It did pull up a couple of CILIP events though, so it's definately worth trying out.
It really makes me wonder if some companies ever learn *anything* about *anything*. Here's the latest social media disaster, and this time it's from a company called Epicurious and you can find them on Twitter. Only you won't find their recent tweets, because they've all been removed. But how is this for a sample: "Boston our hearts are with you. Here's a bowl of breakfast energy we could all use to start today:" Here's a screenshot that I blagged:
Needless to say, the response on Twitter has been fast and unforgiving:
Just another perfect example of what not to do on social media.
A nice, free and easy alternative to Google Alerts . You can monitor the Web for interesting new content about your name, brand, competitors, events or any favourite topic with Talkwalker Alerts! Talkwalker Alerts are an easy and free alerting service that provides email updates of the latest relevant mentions on the Web directly to your email box or RSS feed reader.Well, that's what they say.
I tried it out, and it looks exactly like a Google alert service.
It will create an account for you, so that you go in and change the alerts whenever you need to. There doesn't seem to be a limit on the alerts that you can create, and it's a free service, so you might want to give it a go. It's different to Mention, which I'm still enjoying using since you can really do a precision search - I'm presuming that it pulls its data from Google.
If you're looking for a different way to keep up to date with your favourite websites then you probably use an RSS reader. Syndifeed is hoping to change that by trying to provide you with an experience similar to that which tablet users get with Flipboard and Zite. Simply register and discover sites that you're interested in. Syndifeed will then pull in stories for you in a magazine based format.
I wasn't overly excited with it - the interface was not very sophisticated in comparison to other applications that I've played with, but if you're new to this method of news curation, you might find it worth exploring.
If it's all getting a bit much for you, and you need a break from Bing crooning, Noddy belting it out and Sir Cliff being all Cliffy.... there are plenty of cynical, cruel and completely inappropriate songs to cut the sweetness of the season. In no particular order:
This next one is.. strange. Christopher Lee, heavy metal and Christmas carols. What could possibly go wrong?
Anyone remember Spitting Image? This is one of their greatest. Worrying I think it's even more appropriate now than it was when it first came out.
Christmas with the Devil, by Spinal Tap. A cheering little ditty.
We Wish You'd Bury the Missus / Moe Teitlebaum. This is very dark and macabra. Not to everyone's taste, so be warned.
Tim Minchin - White Wine in the Sun. As with anything Tim does it's very clever, brittle and powerful. This is being sold on iTunes, with proceeds in December going to charity.
It's beginning to look a lot like fishmen. Think Christmas, Lovecraft and 1950s American chewns.It's worryingly catchy.. you'll find yourself humming along.
Another Lovecraftian one. 'I'm dreaming of a dead city.'
Ho Ho F*cking Ho. Kevin Wilson. Contains VERY bad language, and not to my taste at all. However, someone might like it.
Tom Lehrer. If you want biting cynicism, mixed with superb lyrics, you can't do better than Tom Lehrer. Sit back and enjoy his genius.
Merry Christmas you suckers. A fun little cynical ditty. The lyrics are excellent.
The night Santa went crazy. This is really amusing, if you like the idea of a crazed Santa going on the rampage and killing Prancer and the rest of them.
Dominick the Donkey. This is just..weird. An Italian Christmas donkey. Seriously.
The Anti Christmas Song. If you liked Bing and Bowie, then you probably won't like this.
Joss Stone - the Anti Christmas Carol. Not one of her best, to be honest.
The Anti Christmas song. Yup, another of them, with a horror turn.
Now, if you've made it this far - congratulations. I'm finishing with the very best Anti Christmas song that I know, which is also the most gentle, loving, sweet Christmas anthem that I know. It's quite simply, one of the best songs ever written. I give you the Pogues, with Kirsty McColl and The Fairytale of New York City.
Keep up with your news! Resultly is a tool that can best be described as a current awareness resource. Simply let it know what you're interested in (this could be a word, phrase, person, event, etc) and provide it with some parameters. These could be anything from the social network that you're interested in, to the length of time a video should be and so on. You can also input your location to get local data (though I'm not entirely sure if this will work outside the US).
The idea is that Resultly will then start checking content for you, and will display it on the screen when it finds anything new. It looks a little like this:
Quite how valuable it will be I'm none too sure. I'm certainly seeing more on Twitter than this tool is returning to me. I can also get Google to run email news alerts as they happen, so I'm not sure it's offering anything new for me in that respect. The value would be in the extent that I can focus searches, and use it to automate the searching of resources that are not made easy, such as Facebook, but I remain to be convinced really.
with Conferize. This is an interesting looking site, as it brings together lots of information about different conferences which you can attend virtually. You can also find people and speakers and hashtags as well. That's the good side, the bad is that I really didn't find much by the way of conferences that I was expecting to find, but I'd be interested in your experiences - please let me know via comments!
I got to thinking the other day, which is always a very bad idea, but there you go, sometimes I just start and then can't stop. So, I picked a company that I have dealings with, and decided to work out how much they know about me.
My address - no big deal there of course, but they could then find out how much my house is worth, and probably how much I paid for it, and when.
My phone number - even if I didn't get it to them (and I probably did) it's going to be easy enough to get.
My age - fairly closely, though if I'm ever asked for my birth date I give it a year or so out.
My gender. Pretty easy, given my name.
Now, that's all basic stuff. Let's see what else they can work out.
If I'm dating someone, with (potentially) a rough indication as to their age
If I have any medical conditions
Drug related issues
How healthy I am
If I am an alcoholic
If I've got pets
If I live on my own, or have children
If I have children, how old they are
How often I have friends over
If I'm vegetarian or not
If I have any pets
If I have a car
If I prefer a shower or bath
How often I shower or bathe
What I like to read
What I like to watch on television, which channels and when
(Potentially) my sexual activity and sexual preference
My disposable income
If my parents are alive or not
How many children I know, or are close to, and their ages
Size of my house
If I have a garden, and how large it is
How susceptable I am to advertising
If I go on holiday, and probably where
How much I drive
Have you figured out which company I'm talking about here? If you'd said Facebook, you'd be wrong. Ditto if you said Amazon, but I can understand why you would have said either company. Similarly, it's not Google either. In fact, it's not primarily an internet company at all - it's Sainsburys. All of the things that I've mentioned above they could work out by watching by buying patterns via my loyalty card. Of course, the more that I shop in one chain, the more they'll know. I'm also guessing that I haven't actually even scratched the surface of what they could logically deduce from what I buy.
Suddenly, what Facebook/Google/et al know really rather palls into insignificance doesn't it! If you can think of anything else a supermarket could work out, based on your buying patterns, please add them into the comments - I'd love to see what I've missed out.
The World's first subject-based social network is how Sulia defines itself. I certainly wouldn't use quite such a description myself, but I have to say that it's a very useful and interesting site. It's what I would term a 'news aggregration source' since it finds information on over 1,000 subject specific channels, bringing you top stories and news. It filters out irrelevance and spam in real time, and dynamically ranks over 2 million sources every day.
It's a free resource and you log into it using your Facebook or Twitter credentials. If it's the first time that you've used it, Sulia will suggest some news channels for you - Election 2012, Sports, Tech and so on. Once you have made some choices it will then start to display stories for you to look at. This is my page for information on Social Media for example:
You get to see recent stories with brief summaries, and you can like them, comment on them, or share them on Facebook or Twitter. I personally found the story segments too large for my liking, and would prefer them much smaller so that it's easier to scroll through. Sulia also gives me the opportunity to follow specific individuals and creates a 'following' page so that I can drag subject stories and individuals together in one place.
Sulia also provides a 'leader board' of experts in particular subject areas, but it seems that you don't need to have joined it in order to be one of their experts. I guess this is where the 2 million plus trusted sources comes into play, as they may have decided that a particular blog is worthy of the accolade. I was slightly surprised to find myself listed, and my posts being curated, and it didn't take me very long to find other colleagues from Twitter on their list as well. I'm not quite sure how I have a 'global score' of 45 for the last week, but it seems that I have. That's not particularly good though, since I'm only ranked 341 in the list of experts in the library field, but I'm sure I'll get over it.
It's a good tool - it was pulling up lots of really interesting stories for me to look at, and I could easily spend a long time trawling through the site. However, what it really did scream at me was 'iPad' since it would be a much more enjoyable resource to use, and it's crying out for an app. On the other hand, if you don't have a tablet, this is a great resource that you can use to view information in a new form. I'm not sure that it's going to compete with Zite as my favourite tool in this area, since that's the one I prefer on the iPad. A similar tool is Pulse.Me which can also be read on the web as well as a tablet.
Sulia is certainly worth looking at though, and I'd encourage you to take a few moments to explore its functionality.
A new way to discover and read the day's news This is another news curation system which pulls out major headlines for you from various different resources - think of it as a self selecting collection of RSS feeds and you won't be that far wrong. You can build your own list of favourites, share them with friends and discover new resources. Nothing particularly new here, since News.me, XYDO and a bunch of other resources are doing the same thing, but it's another alternative to add to the list.