Tuesday, December 20, 2005

article about folksonomies

At the new blog Infotangle, there's an excellent overview of social bookmarking, folksonomies, and other Web 2.0 phenomena in the article "The Hive Mind: Folksonomies and User Based Tagging"

Currently in Congress December 1-15, 2005

The latest issue of Currently in Congress is available on the U.S. Mission to South Africa's Library webpage: http://pretoria.usembassy.gov/wwwhic00.html

Highlights: Defense spending bill, PATRIOT Act reauthorization, and the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act.

Hearings include: Safety of Imported Pharmaceuticals, International Maritime Security, Response by Charities to Hurricane Katrina, and Avian Flu

Previous issues are archived on the website.


For those experimenting with question and answer databases, answers.firstgov.gov might be an interesting example. It allows you to filter Q&As by topic, and also has a "People who viewed this answer also viewed:" feature.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bibliographies Compiled at Air Univerity Library

This is an impressive collection of topical bibliographies compiled by librarians at the Air University Library. See www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bi...

Friday, December 16, 2005

At long last, new Thomas look

The new Thomas look was heralded back in July, and was supposed to look like this , but now that they're finally up and running they look like this. Amazing to note how much web-aesthetics change in just 6 months!

Easier ways to post to ircworld and other blogger.com blogs

There are (at least) two shortcuts to posting to blogger.com blogs that bypass the cumbersome "go to blogger.com, remember your password and enter it, login, select create new post" procedure. One is to download the Google toolbar with the "Blog this" button. When you see a webpage you would like to post to the blog, just click on the button and it will bring up your blogger.com editing screen.

A newer and more interesting variation, for Firefox users only, is the "Blogger Web Comments for Firefox" utility. This pop-up allows you to see what other people have said about a web page, and also allows you to send a post to the blog (to ircworld or any other blogger.com blog you're a member of) without leaving the page. It's an extremely handy tool...read all about it at

Link Harvester and Hub Finder

The monthly "Worthwhile Web" column on the OSIS net is always a reliable source of interesting web discoveries; this month I was delighted to find out about www.linkhounds.com . There are two tools here of particular interest; Link Harvester is a sophisticated tool for analyzing links to a particular domain or web page. Hub-finder identifies sites that have co-occurring link to sites on a particular topic. This can be very useful, and draws on the same logic that citation indexes used to identify relevant resources in the pre-online days. Let us say say you are looking for good sites on defense/security information. You submit up to 10 of your favorite security info sites to Hub Finder, and it will find additional sites that are linked to from at least two of the sites you entered. For example, I entered www.fas.org, www.cdi.org, and www.globalsecurity.org. Hub-finder then found 22 other sites with at least two matching backlinks, including several interesting sites that I'd not been aware of.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

National Archives

The National Archives website has a new look and lots of tantalizing information. Of particular interest is the new Access to Archival Databases (AAD) section, which enables common searching in multiple archives. See AP story (thanks to Resource Shelf for catching this)

Friday, December 9, 2005

For hours and hours of browsing pleasure...

...check out the Washington Post's new "U.S. Congress Votes Database" It let's you browse every voice in the U.S. Congress since 1991. Enjoy! Also a useful reference site..

Telling America's story....

Ordinary people are sometimes better public diplomats than government officials, and storytelling is an effective medium for creating people to people empathy and mutual understanding. Marylaine Block's December 9 "Ex Libris" article ( "Tell me a story") reviews several excellent storytelling sites on the web. Storytelling, and StoryCorps's Oral History Project, is also the cover story in this month's issue of American Libraries.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Library 2.0

The Talis white paper Do libraries matter? The rise of Library 2.0 offers some interesting perspectives on the future of libraries. The authors propose a strategy for libraries to adjust to the emergence of Web 2.0, which incorporates some of those trends that have been discussed her lately, e.g. social bookmarking, the web as a platform for running applications, increasing democratization of the web, syndication (ie. pushing content rather than pulling audience), etc.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

More fun in the classroom

National Center for Education Center's has some neat tools in its "Student's Classroom", including a handy "CreateAGraph" application that generates graphs and charts on the basis of input data.

Social bookmarking entering mainstream?

The November 22 edition of PC Magazine takes a look at what it describes as "community search engines", including del.icio.us (which by the way gets a poor score). For IRCworlders who are wondering what social bookmarking is all about, and enjoy the PC Mag style of comparing products, this article, "Never Search Alone" by Rick Broida, may be worth a quick glance. An indication that this type of online collaboration may be entering the mainstream?

Sunday, December 4, 2005

More on del.icio.us and social bookmarking

Del.icio.us and the social boomarking phenomenon is an interesting development worth looking into. An excellent introduction, that includes an overview of several social bookmarking tools (including CiteULike), is the article "Social Bookmarking Tools: a General Review" from the April 2005 issue of Dlib magazine. Jon Udell, creator of the wonderful "Walking Tour of Keene" screencast (see enthusiastic posting at ircworld in March, 2005) has also created a nifty screencast that provides a whirlwind 5 minute tour of del.icio.us from a user's perspective.