Do you have trouble keeping up with all the online content produced by your friends and the people you admire? Many people who interest me post to blogs, Flickr, Google Reader, Twitter, and more, and it can be a pain having to visit an assortment of different sites to see all of their updates. I’d been hearing about FriendFeed for a while, so last month I went ahead and created an account. FriendFeed publishes all of your friends’ updates in one convenient location and makes it easy for your friends to do the same with your content.

What I like about FriendFeed:

  • It’s easier than having to run around to different sites – sort of like using an RSS feed reader instead of visiting all your favourite blogs individually
  • It allows you to comment on all types of items and even gives you the option of quickly indicating which posts you like (you can also see which other users have “liked” the same item)
  • If you’re interested to see what a particular person has been up to lately, you can easily see all of their updates

What I don’t like about FriendFeed:

  • It can be a bit overwhelming – especially because, by default, FriendFeed includes updates from friends of friends. Even after whittling down the number of types of posts that appear, it’s still a lot, and this is especially worrying considering the following point:
  • Not many of the people I follow use it. Naturally, this is always the case with new technology (would you have bought a telephone in the days when most of your contacts didn’t yet own one?), but it means that I have to continue monitoring the individual sites to catch updates from my FriendFeedless friends.

Overall, I definitely think it’s worth a try, and if you go for it, don’t forget to add me.

Making library schools smarter

When I started library school, I expected more of a focus on technology – after all, everyone knows that libraries need to be on the cutting edge to provide the best information services, right? Well, it turns out that library school is more concerned with teaching traditional skills, and to be fair, even the most tech-savvy wouldn’t get very far without a solid foundation of basic skills. But I still think we could squeeze in a bit more computer training, so I was interested to read the debut editorial from Conversants, a brand new open-access journal about participatory networks. The article, which came my way via Words for Nerds, is called making library schools smarter:

Librarians need to realize that the knowledge and implementation of user-centric technology is not optional; it is a pillar of library infrastructure. Technology education components of Library and Information Science programs need to be developed and improved to provide the crucial training to prepare librarians for success and innovation, and to provide excellent services that match patron needs.