From the technosphere

I haven’t posted much over here on the technoblogs recently, although Google’s gradual displacement of Microsoft (this time via Google Docs&Spreadsheets for Word/Excel) is covered over at Librarian’s Place.  Of course, Google has also bought YouTube, and out of the plethora of coverage of that, I recommend Barry’s on Content Matters, in which he explains succinctly why the deal is a no-brainer for Google.

Incidentally, while at Content Matters, Barry has for some time been writing an excellent series of articles on "the 50 content companies that really matter". He has recently got around to O’Reilly Media — a fascinating company and well worth reading about — it "continues to push the envelope in making content available to consumers in different formats and platforms", writes Barry. Tim O’Reilly coined the phrase "web 2.0" and is pretty protective about its use, paradoxically. Don’t be put off by this, though, it is an intriguing company, and if you do find it interesting its blog (O’Reilly Radar) is worth following.

Micropersuasion draws attention to a review of rss readers, with a handy comparison table. if you like to track more than about 10 blogs (and comments), rss is really the only way to do it sensibly; it allows you to spend your time reading instead of faffing about clicking all over the place (the wrong thing half the time if you are like me). I highly recommend Bloglines, but have not seriously tried the others on the list. The reader we have recently had installed on all our computers where I work does not figure on this table at all.

Ever heard of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication? (JCMC for short.) It is going to have a special issue on social network sites, as highlighted by Dana Boyd. Call for papers over at Apophenia, Dana’s blog.

Getting less technical now. M. E. (Liz) Strauss has recently discovered Library Thing. Although it has been going for a while, it is a great initiative so I’ll mention it again now. Apparently it has improved a lot since I last tried it, so I may give it another go on my next holiday from work. The idea of trying to catalogue all my books now at this stage of my life is totally daunting, but if I were younger (without so many crates in the attic of finished books, and books that I’d read and forgotten I’ve read from libraries, given away, etc), I’d jump at it.

To end on a light note, Problogger here provides ten techniques to get more comments on your blog . Apparently 90 per cent of the online community are "lurkers" who read blogs but don’t comment; 10 per cent comment "a little"; and only 1 per cent comment "actively". Well, all I can say is — no comment 😉