A Question of Feeds

I have not seen anyone write about this yet and my library has created quite an interesting conundrum that I am positive is not unique unto us.

MPOW has some very nice subject blogs maintained by subject librarians. We put all kinds of useful and interesting things on them. Users can subscribe to their content using RSS. Everything is lovely and the birds are twittering.

Some of our library departments also have internal blogs. These blogs live on our intranet and thus are not accessible to the public. If we need to read them from outside our offices, we have to enter the password for the intranet before gaining access. This sounds fine until one tries to subscribe to the RSS feed of the blog.

It can not be done. The intranet is password protected and thus so is the feed. I have set up feeds for other password protected projects with RSS, Basecamp for example. It worked fine, but as far as I, and my other frustrated colleagues have found, there is no work around. This has resulted in many of us not reading the blogs at all. The only one I see regularly is the blog maintained by the reference staff because it is the active desktop on our reference desk computers. When I sat regularly, what I really mean is “ever.”

I know why the blogs are not viewable to the public. If they were we could not write posts like, “Professor Q has yet again sent his students to find Item X which we do not own. Please inform the students that they really should be looking for B.” I get this. I do.

However, if many of us are not reading the blogs because they are hidden away and we can not get RSS feeds in our readers, is there a point to maintaining them? I think they still have value; it is just diminished from its potential.

If your library uses blogs for internal communication, have you solved this problem? Ignored it? Used it as a way to humiliate frequent offenders into behaving?

–Jane, needs the feeds