Books, pipes and virtual gifts

Some bits of technology:

Inside Google Book Search: Add Book Search results to your site. According to this post, you can now "easily add a dynamic book bar to your blog". You tell Google book search what your blog is about, and they generate some code to make you a bookshelf of titles on that topic. So they say. The example given in the Google blog post is created by mixing "flower arranging" with "wedding plans".

Lots of posts everywhere about Yahoo Pipes, this one on O’Reilly Radar, which aim to allow "people to easily mix, match, filter, sort and merge data sources into RSS feeds. These resulting RSS feeds are called Pipes and they allow you to do things like find all of the parks in your city or convert the news to Flickr photos. The product allows you to browse pipes, search for pipes, share pipes, or clone somebody else’s pipe." Apparently the site crashed within minutes of the announcement, but it might have calmed down now.

Virtual gifts are now a serious business model.  "Will people really pay real money to send a virtual cupcake or virtual roll of toilet paper to a coworker, friend or secret love?" Some people think so, it seems.

Google docs and spreadsheets  is now available in 14 languages, if you count US and English English as two; and "simplified" and "traditional" Chinese as two, as Google does: English (US & UK), French, Italian, German, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazil), and Russian. This application is Google’s version of Word and Excel, with the additional advantage of being able to share and edit documents and spreadsheets among a group – in different places if you like, or in a classroom, or whatever. 

How not to get a job

Link: Content Matters: Five Things to Avoid When Job Hunting Online.

I’ve appointed many people to many jobs over the years. In the process I have read literally thousands of resumes, because where I work we get hundreds for every job we advertise. I have stopped being surprised at the common mistakes people make — really basic ones,  such as: sending a generic letter without any customisation; not containing some or even any of the information requested in the advert; no indication that the applicant has thought about how his/her skills match the job described; spelling and grammar errors (in applications for an editing job); and so on. So I very much agree with Barry’s post linked above. Some people charge for the advice Barry is providing for free. It is sage advice.

What is text?

Link: John Battelle’s Searchblog: Wonderful.

An increasing number of blog posts in the rss reader come with video clips. I don’t watch them and have the volume on my computer turned permanently to "off" (being a victim of ever-increasing noise pollution). What made me watch the example at this link? I don’t know, but it works fine on silent. All John Battelle ("king of search") says about it in his post is: "I love it that this was done by a professor of anthropology". Go on, take a peek — I loved it too.

Nits: love ’em and leave ’em

Link: Times Online – Alpha Mummy – WBLG: How to both get rid of, and yet learn to love, nits.

The Times has recently relaunched its website, in a particularly disgusting shade of lime green but I suppose that is neither here nor there. In the process the paper has launched some more blogs, one of which has an offputting title, "Alpha Mummy" (in lime green for all I know, I’ve only viewed in rss). Nevertheless, AM claims to be a group of Times writers who are also working mothers, so I have subscribed for a bit to see what I think of it. So far, the posts seem mainly to be about issues concerning younger children, but, in regard to the post I link to here, I can say only one thing: "spot on". This woman has been there, done that and got the T shirt. (And so have I.)

Dream holiday

Here is a description of the holiday of my dreams:  Booklovers’ Holiday 2007. A holiday for people who love books, set in the biggest vineyard in the world. From 14th-21st July 2007 at ‘La Maison Verte’, Languedoc. A week for you to relax and talk about books in the Languedoc sunshine. Full details of the holiday are on the 7daywonder website , with photos of last year’s holiday available.

This year’s titles for discussion:

"The Nightwatch" Sarah Waters
"98 Reasons for Being " by Clare Dudman
"Lady Chatterley’s Lover" D.H. Lawrence
"The Shadow of the Wind" Carlos Ruiz Zafon
"Shifting Skin " Chris Simms
When I live a more free lifestyle than I do at present, this is the kind of holiday I will be taking. It sounds truly lovely. Last year, Clare wrote a photo essay about the holiday on her blog, Keeper of the Snails, which I recommend reading if you are lucky enough to be able to consider going along in 2007.