May 30, 2007

::schwagbag:: has a new rss feed address

It's been a while, but I'm back (more about that later). The rss feed has changed to:


subscribe to ::schwagbag:: by email

I'll keep the old feeds up and running for a little while longer, but they will be disappearing soon.

Posted at 3:26 PM| Permalink

January 30, 2006

::schwagbag:: goes to work(

Admittedly, the title of this post is a bit of a double entendre, and, regretfully, I haven't been able to maintain this blog with the same frequency as I had prior to moving to Toronto and starting a new job. I hope to be able to get back to it, but more about that in a later post : )

I had posted what i thought was going to be my final addition to the 'expat files' a while back. However, a freelance journalist contacted me shortly thereafter for an interview about what I wrote in The final installment of the Expat Files: Tips, advice and some lessons learned. The piece has just been published in, a sub site of the National Post:

Different country, different rules: A transfer to the United States is rarely simple by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco

This story focuses on cross-border hardships experienced by Canadians who have moved to the United States for work - and ohmagosh, did I really say 'flabbergasted?' There is one minor clarification that I'd like to make:

" . . . the Kennedys ended up having to go through many of the same frustrations as Ms. Vokey, who handled her own transfer."

I didn't have to handle my initial move to the US on my own, and various people/groups helped get the paperwork ready my TN visa. What I did say was that anything beyond an H-1B Visa (i.e. anything having to do with permanent residency/green card) would be my sole responsibility, including lawyers fees, application fees, etc.

That's not to say there aren't great opportunities to be had south of the border! I'll be speaking with LIS students here at Faculty of Information Studies in conjunction with the University of Toronto Student Chapter of the American Library Association next month about opportunities for Canadian librarians looking south (and boy, does 'south' ever sound appealing right about now!) for career opportunities.

Posted at 9:54 AM| Permalink

October 18, 2005

Nielsen's Weblog Usability Mistakes

We all know and love Jacob Nielsen's informative and sometimes brusque website usability updates, and yesterday he released Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes. Given that ::schwagbag:: has already made it to one loser list : ), I gave Nielson's piece a good read to see what else might be in need of some attention. In particular, Nielsen's points concerning the scanability of links and titles have been noted!

Posted at 10:18 AM| Permalink

August 8, 2005

Housekeeping: new ways to subscribe

Without giving it a lot of thought, I changed the RSS 2.0 feed to include both extended entries and comments a few months ago. I like to have comments included with feeds because otherwise I never go back to visit a blog to check to see if comments have been posted. I took the 1.0 feed down from the main page, but it still works.

Realizing that not everyone wants all that jibber jabber clogging up their aggregators, I've reinstated the RSS 1.0 feed and created a 2.0 feed with extended entries, but minus the comments. Now you can take your pick:

extended entries plus comments

extended entries, no comments

extended entries, no comments

email subscription

Posted at 12:15 PM| Permalink

February 17, 2005

Subscribing to an email list (listserv) using Bloglines

Geoff Harder (aka The Blog Driver's Waltz) has just posted an ever so handy guide to using Bloglines to track listservs:

I tried this yesterday with a different set of instructions that I came across, and gave up, dazed and confused. Thanks Geoff!

1) Log into Bloglines

2) Click "Add" (top left-hand corner)

3) Look towards the bottom of the page where it says "Create an Email Subscription"

4) Fill in the blanks (e.g. Name = web4lib; Folder = listservs; ...)

5) Click "Create Email Subscription"

6) NOW, go to the folder that you created and the subsequent title of the feed/page you also just created

7) VOILA. At the top of the page you now have the option to "Send Email" and the ability to include any commands you require (e.g. TO SUBSCRIBE TO WEB4LIB:
Send the message "subscribe Web4Lib your name" to

That easy!! You are able to reply, forward and do other standard email functions as well.

As of today, I'm listserv free! Hooray for my inbox!

Posted at 3:36 PM| Permalink

January 28, 2005

Library News and Subject Blogs at GSU

Wow, now this is cool: Library News and Subject Blogs at Georgia State University Library. I posted a while back about an article outling the efforts at GSU, but just today caught a glimpse of what they've been up to.

I would love to know what they've used to set this up. Looks like it might be a home-grown application that they've built for their own use, and not a commercially available blogging system. Coooooool!

Posted at 12:17 PM| Permalink

January 27, 2005

Enhancing Internal Communications with Blogs, Wikis, and More

Enhancing Internal Communications with Blogs, Wikis, and More by Nick Finck, Mary Hodder, and Biz Stone provides an excellent overview of how to approach knowledge management in organizations with some of the new slick information/communication tools out there such as blogs and wikis. This presenation provides more than just description, and offers practical and actual examples of usage within each of the authors' respective workplaces/organizations/lives. This is a must-see for anyone interested in these apps or getting one off the ground in their own organization.

An overview:

With so many virtual teams today, along with what some are calling the "collapse of email." Organizations are looking for new and innovative ways for teams to communicate. For many, the integrated communication and information-sharing system that inexpensive Blogs and Wikis provide are just what the doctor ordered. In this session, attendees will learn:

The Resources section points to some great articles. One which I found particularly interesting was Ten things your web sites should be doing by Nick Finch.

Posted at 10:19 AM| Permalink

January 11, 2005

Delivering the News with Blogs @ GSU

An interesting article that discusses the use of Blogs in an academic llibrary environment as an alternative news delivery system: "Delivering the News with Blogs: The Georgia State University Library Experience." The article is a preprint, and will be published in Internet Reference Services Quarterly, Volume 10, issue 1 with expected publication in March 2005.

From the abstract:

To deliver information about library news, services and resources to the science faculty and students at Georgia State University, several librarians developed a blog, Science News. Despite the increasing popularity of blogs (or weblogs), few libraries have taken advantage of what they offer. Blogs can be updated easily, frequently and continuously, making them an appealing alternative to static newsletters.

Posted at 7:31 PM| Permalink

January 6, 2005

Pew Internet Survey: State of Blogging

Just came across this bit of info on the diglib listserv, and included some of the snippets, below. You can also read the full results of the survey.

Blog readership shoots up 58% in 2004 6 million Americans get news and information fed to them through RSS aggregators

By the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture.

Two surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in November established new contours for the blogosphere and its popularity: * 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. That represents more than 8 million people.

* 27% of internet users say they read blogs, a 58% jump from the 17% who told us they were blog readers in February. This means that by the end of 2004 32 million Americans were blog readers. Much of the attention to blogs focused on those that covered the recent political campaign and the media. And at least some of the overall growth in blog readership is attributable to political blogs. Some 9% of internet users said they read political blogs "frequently" or "sometimes" during the campaign.

* 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online. This is a first-time measurement from our surveys and is an indicator that ***_this application is gaining an impressive foothold_***.

* The interactive features of many blogs are also catching on: 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs.

* At the same time, for all the excitement about blogs and the media coverage of them, blogs have not yet become recognized by a majority of internet users. Only 38% of all internet users know what a blog is. The rest are not sure what the term "blog" means.

Posted at 10:51 AM| Permalink

December 1, 2004

Blog to watch: On Google Scholar

On Google Scholar tracks news, tips, tricks about all things schoogle.

Posted at 10:12 AM| Permalink

'Blog' is Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year 2004

Meriam-Webster declared yesterday that based on lookups in their online dictionary, the #1 Word of the Year for 2004 is blog:

Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.

Posted at 9:47 AM| Permalink