March 23, 2004

Monitor Ohio Public Utilities with RSS

Almost every Web site has a what's new section or page. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio shows us that RSS syndication is a great way to allow your customers to monitor what's new on your agency's website.

Jeffrey S. McNaughton, PUCO Webmaster, reports that the Commission is now offering two new RSS feeds.

Recent PUCO News Releases:
http://www.PUCO.ohio.gov/puco/rss/PucoMediaRelease.rss

What's New On the PUCO Web Site:
http://www.PUCO.ohio.gov/puco/rss/PucoNewContent.rss


Posted by Ray Matthews at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2004

Publications by RSS - Wisconsin Shows How

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) now has their publications syndicated as RSS channels. These publications are brief discussions about the Wisconsin government and the state legislature in particular, and public policy issues facing the legislature. The office also prepares the Wisconsin Blue Book, the almanac of Wisconsin government, and assists with decennial redistricting.

Steven R. Miller, Chief of the Bureau reports that at "Subscribe to LRB News Feeds" they now have RSS channels for eleven publication series and one for each of twenty-one subject areas. So for example, if you were interested in following State and Local Government in Wisconsin, you could learn about new briefs through the categoryRSS feed.

What a wonderful idea! Too bad more libraries don't offer RSS feeds for new acquisitions. Publishers, too, could follow the lead of the LRB and Amazon.com and offer specialized category feeds to alert potential customers of new offerings in subject matters of interest.

The Research and Information Services section of the LRB also responds to requests from legislators and from the public about legislation and government and they provide assistance with legislative history and research. While is common service in other states, few library staffs in the country can claim to provide a service like this of collecting and publishing answers to user queries. Wisconsin Briefs, for example, is a series of well-researched answers in PDF format to Frequently Asked Questions, and they are now syndicated using RSS.

Well done, Wisconsin!

Posted by Ray Matthews at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

Sun to Integrate, Boost RSS

Sun Microsystems will participate in driving open standards for RSS to bring together the fragmented RSS/Atom communities. “It’s time for it to stop being a cottage industry," says, Tim Bray, Sun's new technical director of software, "and start becoming a boring bureaucratic standard.”

Sun said this in announcing that it will develop RSS for internal communications as well as delivering external information among developers, customers and partners. It also plans to integrate RSS in its tools for its Java Desktop System.

Michael Gartenberg, vice-president and research director for the Personal Technology and Access and Custom Research groups at Jupiter Research, notes that RSS has matured to the point that Sun and Microsoft are interested and recognise the significance of the file format. “The fact that the major vendors are starting to get on board is really interesting, but this has really been a grassroots technology that has picked up a life of its own,” he said.

Full story: "Sun to develop RSS technology"(ComputerWeekly.com) | "RSS makes its way into Sun" (ComputerWorld)

Posted by Ray Matthews at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2004

China Censors Target Blogging

Reporters Without Borders reports today that Chinese authorities have stepped up their Internet censorship to include blogging, closing two sites hosting blogs, Blogbus.com and and Blogcn.com.

Blogbus.com was closed on 11 March "until further notice" for allowing a letter to be posted that was critical of the government. Blogcn.com was shut down on 14 March.

"After closing websites and discussion forums, the Chinese authorities are now targeting blogs, one of the last outlets for expression still open to Internet-users," said the international press freedom organisation.

Blogbus.com and Blogcn.com allow Chinese Internet-users the chance to keep up a personal page without any technical knowledge. The sites are very popular, Blogbus.com alone hosting more than 15,000 blogs that have now been made inaccessible.

"These latest moves against bloggers," according to the report, "top off the authorities' efforts to strangle web use."

Read the full report: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=9545

Read more: China Shuts Down Two Internet 'Blog' Sites (Reuters, March 18)


Posted by Ray Matthews at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)