Zemanta – New Must Have Plugin!

Today I went to Pres4Lib and during the break out on Creative Commons content, we learned about Zemanta from John LeMasney. Zemanta is a plugin for FF that integrates itself into your blog posting and emails and maybe more – and it finds content based on what you’re writing about for you to add to enhance your writing.

Finding content was never this easy

No matter what you’re writing about: books, music, or how to save the planet, we have highly relevant content to enrich your posts.

Images from Flickr, Wikipedia, Getty and other great sources

So, I installed it and started writing an email to a friend about how excited my pups were that they were coming on the trip with us – and guess what? Zemanta found pictures of Coda & Beau for me to insert into my email!!! Check it out:

Zemanta Found Coda & Beau

This is just the coolest app ever and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before today!!

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Why WordPress?

I taught a class earlier this week where I told the participants that we were going to use WordPress to create a website. One question I got way why WordPress over Blogger? My answer was personal preference – but now I have some really great reasons for why WordPress over Blogger.

If you’re using a blogging package to create your entire website – then you can’t use Blogger because Blogger doesn’t have the ability to add pages. Blogger is purely for blogging and nothing else. WordPress on the other hand has a lot of CMS functionality and can easily be used to create a website around a blog.

The other reason I like WordPress is because you can switch from a hosted version to a version on your own server with minimal effort.

And the last and most important reason … WordPress is open source!!

I have just one problem with the WordPress.com site – I wanted to use it in my class where we were creating websites with mashups – and we couldn’t use JavaScript :( I understand the reasoning and appreciate that the people at WordPress are just trying to keep their sites secure, but it means that I had to use Blogger in my class and we couldn’t create a website – but just a blog with a bunch of posts by the attendees with snippets of JS from various sites we used to create our mashups.

Overall, I’m still recommending WordPress to students in my classes – and to everyone I talk to – but I have to find a viable alternative for my hands-on mashups class.

Publish your blog on the Kindle

I found this on TechCrunch yesterday:

One of the neat little sub-features of Amazon’s Kindle is being able to subscribe to blogs on it. You have to pay for the privilege, but for heavy Kindle users, it makes sense as you can get the content delivered to you wirelessly for your favorite blogs. You know, like TechCrunch.

But the biggest limiting factor of this so far is that only the big blogs have been included in the blog directory. Starting today, anyone can make their blogs available via the new Kindle Publishing for Blogs Beta program.

I don’t know who’d pay to read my blog on their Kindle (where it doesn’t look as nice as it does in their RSS feed reader or on the page itself), but it’s an option.

New feed search engine

I just read about Feedmil on DownloadSquad and thought I’d give it a whirl. It’s a feed search engine with some interesting little levers you can move about to alter your search results. I tried a search for libraries and well-known and a bunch of actually well-known library blogs came up. I then searched for open source and found some neat sites that I didn’t know about before.

feedmil

Looks like something I’ll have to play with a bit to get the hang of – but a neat tool to mention to your friends who are looking for what blogs to read.

Finally Twitter Returns to Adium

I was pretty darn upset when Twitter sacked its IM service, but this from ReadWriteWeb:

Popular Mac multi-service IM software Adium will include sophisticated support for Twitter in its next version, Adium has announced on its blog. Instant messaging access has been shut off for months and isn’t coming back any time soon, the company confirmed in October, but Adium has built its own system.

I can’t wait!!!

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Uses for WordPress

I am a huge WordPress fan. I use it for all of my blogs (except SLA-IT – which I have no control over) and I use it for all of my friends who want to set up their own websites. So, when I saw this post for 11 Non-Traditional Uses of WordPress I had to share it with you all.

Check it out and see if you can use WordPress to help improve services to your patrons – or just for your own personal use :)

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Blogs & Scholarship – Survey

Just got this via email and wanted to share it with you all:

If you are a tenure-track (or tenured) librarian at a college or university, you are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Arthur Hendricks from Portland State University, Branford Price Millar Library. I hope to learn what your library’s policies are regarding blogging, scholarship and promotion.

The survey is at http://survey.oit.pdx.edu/ss/wsb.dll/s/2bfge8d and the deadline is April 1, 2009.

….

If you have questions about the study itself, contact Arthur Hendricks at bvah@pdx.edu and (503) 725-5879.

I’m not a tenure-track librarian – but I know that some of you are – so take a few minutes and help out with this survey.

Libraries that Twitter

Yesterday I taught a workshop on Mashups for Libraries, during which we got to talking about Twitter because I showed them TweetCongress.org. I mentioned that I knew libraries were using Twitter, but I couldn’t name any off the top of my head. Today I find this amazing list by Lindy over at Circulation. Check it out and see which libraries are already using Twitter.

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Menus in WordPress 2.7

Wow!  It has taken me a while to figure out how to find all of the tools in the new WordPress with the new layout.  Overall, I’m pretty darn pleased with the upgrade!! Plus, it has built in ‘Automatic Upgrade’ so that all upgrades will be easier from here on out.

If you’ve upgraded and find it hard to find all of your tools and menus, you can give Ozh Admin Drop Down plugin a whirl. I learned about this tool from Download Squad and might give it a try myself since it looks so clean and organized.

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