Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
In this expanded second edition Michael Sauers has provided a very useful starting point for any librarian or other information professional interested in starting a blog or using RSS (Really Simple Syndication).
The first half of the book is dedicated to blogs and blogging. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the three types of blogs: individual, subject‐based and organisational, and describes how blogs have affected traditional media and search engines. Chapter 2 is a compilation of notable library‐ and technology‐related blogs, along with a sampling from each of them. Not surprisingly, several of the blogs that Sauers mentions have been discontinued or moved to another site (including the authors’ own blog). The third chapter is devoted to interviews of prominent library and technology bloggers, with standard questions for each, such as: “Why do you blog?” or “What got you started blogging?” and “What advice would you give a potential blogger?” While this is interesting and useful information, the real substance in this part of the book is in chapter 4, which provides detailed instructions and advice for setting up a blog on the Blogger website (www.blogger.com).
The second half of the book is devoted to the use of RSS and RSS aggregators. Chapter 5 provides an introduction to RSS and its history and development. RSS allows authors and publishers to distribute frequently updated content automatically. This is especially useful for readers who would like to subscribe to updates to their favourite web content. Chapter 6 addresses the use of aggregators, which are web applications or client software that allow one to read content distributed via RSS. Sauers describes the types of aggregators, such as stand‐alone clients, embedded clients, server‐based, and web‐based, and then goes on to provide step‐by‐step instructions for using Google Reader, a common feed aggregator. Chapter 7 includes links to and descriptions of a number of useful library‐ and technology‐related feeds. In chapter 8 Sauers discusses how to create feeds, which can be created by writing original code, or which may be semi‐ or fully‐automated. For those interested in creating a blog and providing RSS capability, this chapter is especially useful. The final chapter of Blogging and RSS is devoted to micro‐blogging through the use of Twitter, including creating an account and best practices for the use of Twitter.
Overall this book is an excellent introduction to blogging, RSS and Twitter. It includes a robust list of references, as well as a glossary and an index.