The purpose of this empirical study is to investigate the use of, and perception of, weblogs in the Irish library and information profession, in order to ascertain the…
The purpose of this empirical study is to investigate the use of, and perception of, weblogs in the Irish library and information profession, in order to ascertain the extent weblog technology is used by Irish librarians, and what factors promote or discourage the use of weblogs.
The research questions answered in the study were: “What types of library/librarian weblogs exist in the Irish library community?”; “Does the Irish librarian community use weblogs and other social communication technologies?”; “What factors affect the uptake of blogging technologies by Irish librarians?”. The methodology employed in the study combined quantitative and qualitative techniques, and involved content analysis of existing Irish library and librarian weblogs; a survey of Irish librarians concerning weblogs and other social communication technologies; and interviews with Irish librarians who maintain weblogs.
The study found that a high proportion of Irish librarians read weblogs, but weblogs are not extensively used as an information resource or communication method, and e‐mail and websites are preferred. The professional use of weblogs was found to be associated with simplicity of use, and a proactive attitude to technology and to library users. Constraining factors included time concerns, fear of misuse of the weblog, the limitations of the linear nature of weblogs and the newness of the technology. Interest in weblog technology is growing and its uptake will ultimately depend on the interest of the librarian and the perceived and actual needs of the library users.
This study analyzes, for the first time, the Irish biblioblogosphere and contributes to the emergent body of knowledge concerning librarians' use of weblogs.
The purpose of this research is to show how spam is generated and what methods have been proposed to combat it.
An experiment whereby a number of e‐mail accounts using different ISPs were set up and then checked for spam over a period of nine weeks. The results were compared to two pre‐existing e‐mail accounts. The types of spam received were classified into broad headings.
Financial spam was the biggest single type of spam received, with health‐related spam second. The growth in spam over time was noted, as was the volumes of spam received by different Internet Service Providers. The effects of using “obvious” names versus unusual ones in the e‐mail address were measured, as were those of using spam‐filtering software. In the former case, no significant differences were found, but filtering software certainly helped to reduce the volume of spam received. Active involvement in a pornographic site did not, surprisingly, greatly influence the amount of spam received. The biggest single factors affecting the volume of spam received are the length of time the e‐mail account has been active and the use, or non‐use of filtering software. It is by no means certain that responding to spam increases the volume of spam received.
The research was conducted over a relatively small time period and small number of accounts were examined.
Methods of combating spam and some urban myths about it are examined.
To those tasked with dealing with spam, the paper provides some ideas on the scale of the problem and how to address it.