To RSS, or not to RSS?

Apparently, Walt Crawford, wrote an article in the February issue of Cites and Insights that tromps on the idea that RSS feeds from ILS vendors is a valid service. In return, Walt is tromped by Jenni at The Shifted Librarian. She points out, and rightly so, that denouncing RSS because it is used by too few patrons, is not a reason for the service to not be offered. Jenni describes many library programs that are offered to a very small number of our consituants. I have to agree with Jenni on this and not just because I am addicted to my feeds. RSS will be, and is, the new way that information is distributed. Are libraries going to wait around to be the very last institutions that implement something everyone else is using? While still in the early stages, RSS stands to be the thing that will change the way people interface with not only information, but the internet in general.

For more reading on this, you can go to the Free Range Librarian post on this discussion as well. I am just waiting for Walt to reply to these responses to his opinions on RSS. It should be interesting.

–Jane, skips off to the desk

5 thoughts on “To RSS, or not to RSS?

  • February 8, 2005 at 3:54 pm
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    “Apparently, Walt Crawford, wrote an article in the February issue of Cites and Insights that tromps on the idea that RSS feeds from ILS vendors is a valid service.”

    Except that I did no such thing. I take it you didn’t read the relatively brief commentary, but relied on Jenny’s flame as to what I said. I did not denounce RSS, I did not say that no service should ever be offered until everyone uses it, and I most certainly did not suggest that libraries should be the last to implement something. I commented on another person’s blog entry, one that raised a few mild cautionary notes about the extent to which the public at large has signed on to RSS.

    I did post partial responses at TSL and FRL. Don’t know whether the FRL comment has even been posted yet. As usual, comments don’t get read as often as posts–particularly not via RSS.

    I’m learning more about the ethics of blogging, I guess, and (as I suspected) about the “conversation” that takes place in the community. I’m not thrilled with what I’m learning.

  • February 8, 2005 at 4:32 pm
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    Whoo oooh, Walt appears to have posted on your blog! Now I want to actually read what he wrote and not just Jenni’s commentary.

  • February 8, 2005 at 4:37 pm
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    I feel I should clarify my above posting. I admire Walt’s work, so I was not intending to actually take part in the argument against the piece in Cites and Insights. What I was commenting on, was the point that Jenni made, and others have in the past, about the way in which libraries are *sometimes* slow to implement things. The merit of RSS has been a hot topic of late. I was intending to support her idea that service, even to a small group is still a worthwhile service. In the post, I intended to show what I considered to be an interesting discussion, which I was hoping that Walt would respond to, in his usual intelligent way. So, Walt, I apologize if you thought this was a flame. I was only intending to follow the discussion happening elsewhere.

  • February 8, 2005 at 4:39 pm
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    Yeah, now that I’ve read what Walt himself wrote, I find myself mostly agreeing with him. There are times, though, when the library community can jump on a new technology and make it work for us (and that includes our patrons). Not sure if RSS is one of those technologies or not…

  • February 8, 2005 at 7:46 pm
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    OK, I apologize if my tone was harsh. But, you know, Jenny mostly wasn’t “tromping on” my opinions any more than I “tromped on” RSS–she was flaming at what she asserts my opinions to be. That’s really hard to respond to, and I’m not sure I have the patience to respond to this sort of thing.

    Famous? I don’t know about that; Jenny’s certainly a bigger voice in the blogosphere/infosphere, for example. I’ll admit that I only encountered your post thanks to PubSub (hi, Steven C.!) and the usual “ego” feed–but I’ve added it to my ever-growing list of Bloglines feeds.

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