I could be in trouble. Steve Cohen talks really fast. So bear with me. I'll type as fast I can. Wait, I don't need to take notes. Here's Steve's presentation - http://stevenmcohen.pbwiki.com/IL2007 I'm just going to sit back and listen. Thanks, Steve!
Recently in RSS, XML, Newsfeeds Category
Do you need to explain RSS to a librarian, attorney, friend, relative or casual acquintance? Don't bother. Just direct them to this 4 minute video by Lee LeFever of Common Craft called RSS in Plain English. He tells you what you need to know to get started with RSS, no more, no less.
It's an interesting little production. He doesn't use PowerPoint or screen captures, instead, he taped his hand and web pages on paper, using a marker for emphasis. It reminds me a bit of the Scott Adams (Dilbert) presentation at SLA, which was, of course, very entertaining, and was also the first time in many years that I've seen anyone use an overhead projector. During the question and answer period someone asked Scott if this unconventional and, some would say, outdated, presentation medium was a negative statement on PowerPoint. I don't have his answer verbatim, but he said something to the effect that he thought is was more "live" to see him physically move and swtich the transparencies.
I'm still wondering where they found the projector....maybe Ebay?
If you're reading this blog, you're probably already familiar with RSS. But if not, here's a couple of great resources for you to help you get started.
Tom Mighell & Dennis Kennedy wrote an article for Law Practice Today called "RSS Resources You can Use: Automated Web Surfing for Lawyers." It's a very nice introduction to RSS, and lays out all the basics.
If you're more of a visual person, and my guess is that most of us are, you might also like to take a look at the RSS Tutorial for Law Librarians, by Jason Eiseman, Computer Automation Librarian at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. In a little over a half an hour, you can find out all you need to know to get started with RSS.
No more excuses!
St. Louis continued...After spending all that time at the Newsgator booth, I became a woman on a mission. Here we were, in the same convention center with many of the leading legal publishers; but which ones are offering RSS feeds for their content? I canvassed the exhibit hall, and while I didn’t visit every booth, I found some serious progress is being made on the RSS front.
First, there’s BNA. Their email newsletters are very popular among the attorney population. And yes, their information is soon to be offered via RSS. They can even create keyword specific feeds that searches across all the publications you subscribe to, and aggregate the result in a separate feed. Contact your rep for more information.
Lexis, in their Publisher product, and Westlaw, with Westlaw Watch, give you the option of RSS feeds. If you’re using these tools, these can be a significant source for RSS data.
Westlaw is also incorporating RSS into their Docket Watch product. An RSS feed could be perfect for keeping up with developments in that area.
What about CCH? Not so much. Heck, they’ve only just started sending selected newsletters out by email. It may take them a while….
During my rounds, I suggested RSS feeds to any publisher offering current awareness tools. RSS feeds are not technically difficult to create, so it’s within easy reach of any publisher large or small. Once the demand is there, I daresay so will the feeds.
I’m sure there were more, but that’s the RSS news I was able to glean from the exhibit hall floor this time around. You can thank me later, when all the news that’s fit to print is being delivered seamlessly to your attorneys desktop.
I had good intentions. I had planned to blog regularly while at AALL in St. Louis. But things just got too busy, as they tend to do at such events. Besides, you really wouldn't want to read anything I might have written after a long day at the exhibit hall. Still, I have a few of what I think are items of significance to discuss. Better late, than not at all!
Newsgator was is the exhibit hall this year, and that’s where I headed first. I had a strategy. I knew I wanted a thorough demo, so I skipped the first program under the correct assumption that the exhibit hall wouldn’t be busy. It’s a good thing, too. Things were relatively quiet, and I spend a good hour looking at Newsgator’s enterprise product.
Newsgator’s RSS reader has been around for a while. It integrates nicely with Outlook, adding folders for RSS feeds in the Outlook folder structure, and is a popular software choice. But I have bigger fish to fry. My fantasy is to make Newsgator the delivery method of choice for all of the firm’s electronic current awareness newsletters, alerts, internal information and outside third-party content. It looks like it might be up to the task. Email alerts could become a thing of the past; forget managing Outlook subscriptions lists. With Newsgator, attorneys could easily subscribe and unsubscribe to the RSS feeds of choice. Newsgator offers an administrative interface to handle your RSS offerings. Feeds can be pushed to a particular group or user, and selected ones can be made mandatory. You can even create topic folders that will combine more than one RSS feed into a single, readable display.
So, for example, if you have an alert running on the name of your firm or organization, you can include a Lexis Publisher feed for general news, and Westlaw Watch for legal news, and offer both RSS feeds in a single folder, so that they can be reviewed separately, or together. And all of this would happen within Outlook, in a folder that looks just like another email folder. Feeds can also be optimized for viewing on handheld devices, such as Blackberries.
If you’d like to provide more focused news, you can choose to set up special keyword searches to run across all your available RSS feeds, collecting that information in to a custom topical feed. For example, you could create a special search on Sarbanes Oxley, to collect news headlines from your available RSS feeds, and presents them as one specialized feed. You can also easily create your own RSS feeds with Newsgator.
There’s a chicken and egg problem, of course. While there’s a lot of information available via RSS, certainly not everything is there yet, so the transition to all RSS alerting can’t happen all at once. On the other hand, Newsgator offers a function that allows you to receive an email and include that email in a Newsgator folder. (This is good for listserv email as well.) But still, any non-RSS email alerts wouldn’t be optimized for RSS, and wouldn’t be as easily scanned by the user. The other problem is that Newsgator can only handle straight text emails, and won’t render html email. That may be remedied in the near future.
It’s one thing to talk about the future, but the burning question, at least in my mind, is what exactly is available in RSS now? Ah, that’s the subject of my next blog.
Keyword RSS feeds are a powerful tool. For example, you can create an RSS feed in Yahoo News to be alerted to new articles with your search terms, as they're published. These feeds are comparable to news alerts that you can pay good money for out there in the for-fee world.
To use Kebberfegg, just type in your search, select the kind of news you're looking for, and Kebberfegg will provide you with dozens of keyword feeds based on your terms. No need to visit each news site to find their RSS option; they're provided to you, quickly and easily.
This tool is a convenient way to create different keyword feeds, but it's also helpful to simply browse the lists to remind you of the many sources for current news.
[Spotted on Inter-Alia]
Did you know that Tim Stanley, formerly of Findlaw fame, offers a new RSS service called Auto Recalls? Or that there is a web site out there called PatentMojo that helps patent professionals create watchlists for patent searches, using RSS feeds, of course?
If you're having difficulties convincing your co-workers or boss about the importance of RSS, just print this article out for him/her. It ought to do the trick.
RSS is really such a simple concept. Publish RSS feeds, then let those that are interested subscribe to them. No fuss, no muss, and so far, no spam. Not much in the way of ads yet, either, though that's likely to change.
Just as intranets became popular after the introduction of the web, businesses are starting to see how RSS feeds can be an efficient way increase communication within an organization without increasing employee's email burden. InformationWeek's article, Order from Chaos Via RSS, explains how businesses such as Disney and Microsoft are implementing RSS.
RSS feeds are handy because they can be automatically created when new content is added to an application or web page, reducing the need for employees to wander the intranet looking for updates, or digging through emails trying to find the really important stuff.
Watch for RSS feeds to really take off as the tools to read them become more commonplace. Start asking for RSS capability from vendors now.
RSS has really taken off over the last couple of years. Yet there's still a relatively small percentage of people actually using RSS on a daily basis and few law firms have embraced RSS as a delivery mechanism for internal or external information. But that's going to change, probably sooner rather than later. All that's needed is an enterprise approach to RSS, putting the capability to read RSS files on every desktop in your organization.
I always thought that RSS would really take off once Microsoft incorporated an RSS reader into Outlook. There's no hint of that on the horizon, but Newsgator has filled the gap. Newsgator's RSS reader integrates with Outlook, putting RSS feeds right where they belong. Newsgator is now positioning their product in the enterprise market, according to a Red Herring article, RSS Goes Corporate.
Certainly the Newsgator strategy seems to make sense, though other players in the industry, namely, PubMed's CTO, Bob Wyman, writes in his blog, "I've regularly argued against PubSub investing too much in aggregator development since it is inevitable that Microsoft would eventually blow away whatever we created." It's hard to dispute that logic.
Pluck investor Allen Morgan also has an interesting point concerning enterprise newsreaders. According to the article, he states "It's a mistake to sell newsreaders straight to the enterprise at this point." He believes that grassroots adoption is the only way drive the corporate buying cycle. "When the CIO is the last person not to have it, the CIO decides to buy a license." There's definitely a certain logic to that point of view as well.
Reports that the upcoming version of Internet Explorer will include an RSS reader are encouraging though I can't help but think that integrating into Outlook, as Newsgator does, makes more sense.
At any rate, it's hard to know exactly when RSS will hit the corporate world big time. But once it does, we'd better be ready!
There's good news and bad news. The good news is that Factiva has announced that they will provide Factiva track folders via RSS to subscribers at no additional charge. The bad news is that it appears that this will only work on Newsgator. Can somebody explain to me why they would require the use of Newsgator??? I'm missing something obvious, I'm sure. Maybe it's a security issue? Help me out here...
The number of RSS feeds continue to grow in leaps and bounds. Here's just a few sources for feeds that have cropped over over the past few months.
Law Journal Feeds from Washington & Lee Law School - Currently includes 550 journals.
U.S. newspapers with RSS feeds, organized by state.
I was wondering just last week which email web service would be the first to offer RSS feeds. Yahoo, perhaps? Hotmail? Ah, I should have known. How about Google's Gmail!
But we're not there quite yet. Though this article is from October, I still don't have a button for an RSS feed on my account.
But still, it looks like we're closer! Now if only Gmail would pick up POP email from my other email accounts, I'd be ready to give it a real test!
The Seattle Public Library is offering RSS feeds that will alert users to overdue books and notify them when a new book is available by their favorite author according to NPR's Future Tense, Libraries Get Hip to RSS.
Sirsi is pointed to as the first library automation vendors to offer RSS feeds with their catalog software. Any search that can be run in the Sirsi catalog can be saved as an RSS feed.
Also quoted is Steven Cohen, of Library Stuff, who points out that while there is limited demand for RSS feeds right now, it will likely increase significantly in the near future. How much better to be in front of the curve rather than behind it!
And once RSS is more commonplace, both public and private libraries could deliver new book lists on specific topics as customized RSS feeds. Let's just hope the REST of the library automation vendors catch up with Sirsi.
Genie Tyburski has updated her Law Office Computing article, Feeding the News Junkie's Habit, discussing how lawyers can use RSS newsfeeds for delivering relevant and timely news.
While you might expect news and search sites to offer RSS feeds, there's other content that is quite suitable for RSS as well. For example, if you'd like to monitor new, published patent applications, try FreshPatents.com where you can grab a feed for all new applications by industry, inventor, location or agents. You can also sign-up for a weekly email alert with new applications that match the keywords you select.
It just goes to show that just about any site that publishes new information on a regular basis could use RSS feeds to keep readers/researchers coming back.
[Spotted on RSS in Government]
RocketNews is now offering RSS keyword feeds. Just run a search, then select the orange XML button for the feed. Add the feed to your aggregator, and future search results will display.
The XML button has been showing up on RocketNews search results for some time, but I could never get the feeds to work. So if you tried before without success, you might want to give it a second look. It's working for me now!
If you're a news junkie, you'll like MSNBC's new RSS feeds. You can opt for top news, politics, health, business, entertainment and more. In a moment of weakness I signed up for politics. Who needs to watch the news anymore? I'm happy to avoid the latest slow-speed chase which inevitable appears on our local stations.
According to Darlene Richter, (Using RSS to Create New Services, Online, July/August 2004) RSS isn't just for Internet content. It can also be a useful way to keep employees within your organization appraised of customized news and intranet content as well. You can display RSS news feeds on your intranet, or, if your audience uses RSS aggregators, offer feeds to alert users of the status of projects, monitor web statistics or otherwise replace the "notifications" that are now sent out as email alerts.
Spotted on Library Stuff, NPR is now offering 5 national, and 7 local, RSS feeds for NPR content. I'm excited...the only thing I miss about driving the congested Southern California freeway system to work is NPR. And that's not enough to get me off the train and back in the car!
RSS feeds are spreading and multiplying. Keeping track of them is likely to get harder. For a continuously updated list of sources for finding law-related RSS feeds, and a good selection of the higher-quality RSS feeds available, see Genie Tyburski's RSS News Feeds for Law.
RSS news content is being added by the minute. Those words were no sooner out of my mouth (figuratively speaking) when Time Magazine announced their new RSS feeds. The categories are quite generic, i.e., "Top Stories", but tracking the most viewed or most emailed stories sounds intriguing.
If you prefer sports to current events, but can't stay glued to the TV all day, try the new RSS feeds from ESPN.
Blogs are nice and all, but what really got me hooked on RSS was the ability to monitor commercial news sources, and even better, to receive regularly updated, customized search results automatically via RSS feeds. You can get current news from a particular publication, by subject area, or keyword.
I've been experimenting with RSS news delivery for a while now, so I thought I'd share the information I've found with you. I will continue to add sources to this entry as I find them.
I've been wondering, okay, sometimes whining, occasionally outright complaining about the lack of RSS from either of the "big two" legal online vendors. So I was very excited to see the RSS option appear on the revamped Intraclips administrative interface.
RSS is not the only enhancement, but rather part of a fairly significant Intraclips overhaul. Another item on my wish list, wire services, is also now available for the first time via Intraclips for those who want REALLY current news.
While it's true that there are other web-based RSS aggregators out there such as MyFeedster, DailyWhirl, Newsgator, even MyYahoo, none hold a candle to Bloglines. I've recently switched from my desktop aggregator, Newzcrawler, to Bloglines and haven't looked back. Now I can access my feeds from any computer. Bloglines also offers some unique features that I think you'll like. More on that later. Let's start with the basics.
Is RSS a useful means of delivering current information to attorneys and/or staff? Jennifer Klyse, an enterprise application analyst at a Washington DC law firm thinks so. She is in the process of implementing the Newsgator news aggregator for selected users at Patton Boggs. She also updates her project team via an RSS feed. That just two examples of the use of RSS in an enterprise environment included in the Econtent article, Can RSS Relieve Information Overload?
I remember the exact moment that I became interested in the potential of RSS for research. I'd been familiar with RSS for several years and played around with feeds a bit, but RSS just wasn't thrilling me. Then I read Steven Cohen's article in Information Outlook, "The RSS revolution: Using RSS: An Explanation and Guide." When he said that he monitored news on a particular company via RSS I was hooked. My only complaint? He didn't detail how to do so in that particular article. But that's okay....he wrote a book!
Last week I discussed "What is RSS?". Now that you know what RSS is and what it can do, let's talk RSS aggregators, those wonderful things that make sense of RSS files.
http://lawlibtech.com/archives/000324.htmlI've posted several entries about RSS resources and tools. This week I thought I'd define RSS for those of you who aren't familiar with it. I have a LOT of information on RSS to share with you, so I'll start with the basics, then continue posting on RSS tools and content.
I could tell you that RSS is an xml format for syndication of current web content. I could also tell you that it stands for Rich Site Summary OR RDF Site Summary OR Really Simple Syndication. But none of that really means much to most people. So let's discuss what RSS will do for you.
There are a variety of ways to find and deliver news information to your organization, including tools offered by proprietary services as well as free options on the web. My presentation at the recent SCALL Institute discusses the methods of delivery, vendor tools, web services and a brief introduction to RSS feeds. (Be aware that the presentation is 3 meg in size, and could take some time to download.)
I will be presenting at the SCALL (Southern California Association of Law Libraries) Institute, Feb. 28th, on the various ways to deliver news and current information. Below is the bibliography for the session which includes selected materials on blogging, RSS, intranets and content licensing. I've included links when the materials are available on the web. Thanks to Marlene Bubrick for making this bibliography presentable.