Saturday, May 2, 2009

RSS is not my initials?

A few years back, when working on the Public Services-IT group, I heard Cara Randall (now with the California Railroad Museum library) mention the idea of SPL pushing program, service, and new title info to our public. Alas, here we are. Try these for ideas.

I've used bookmarks and e-mail subscriptions in the past to organize my favorite websites. Unshelved, for example, pops into my inbox everyday. I have "Experienceology" bookmarked also. Now that I've played with RSS I can see some advantages and setbacks. First, I haven't looked at "Experienceology" in awhile; I had good intentions of checking it often but bookmarks can get lost in a long list of sites. "Favorites" take some organizing and a constant reminder to visit them. Second, Unshelved can clog my Inbox at times and I end up having to do more e-mail maintenance so I don't fill up.

RSS, then, takes the maintenance portion away somewhat and puts everything in one place. The trick, then, is to remember to log in to Bloglines to check them. Will I do that? Not sure. At the same time I'm cutting back on spending I'm also trying to not become the proverbial mouse in the wheel, or is that a hamster? One of my professors put our information consumption in context once. He said that the average person in the early 1800's could expect to read the equivalent of one edition of the New York Times in their lifetime. Now some people read that during breakfast while checking e-mails, their blog, their favorite Internet news site, and the book that is due tomorrow. Does that make us bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter? Or does it make us a tad nutty? I don't like feeling deflated or shorted because I didn't squeeze all this info in promptly.

What's my point? There is a reason, when people leave for vacation, that they profess a desire for no phones, TV, or Internet. We need a break from it; it seems no amount of "stuff" is enough or fully quenches that appetite.

I will place myself somewhere in the middle for now and I am glad SPL is trying to get the word out to people where they are about our new items.


  1. I vote for "that makes us a tad nutty." It's amazing -- and sort of scary -- how easy it is to slip into addiction with this stuff. Maybe Facebook et. al. should have warning labels like those on cigarette packages?

  2. The backlash is arriving, and bloglines is part of it. You're right that it takes the "incoming" out of your inbox and gives you the means to get your updates on your terms.