UK eInformation Group

Web 2.0 Updates

Ten Reasons Why ‘Enterprise RSS’ Has Failed To Become Mainstream

This article by Mike Gotta is a response to an article that appeared in ReadWriteWeb and which declared Enterprise RSS to be dead. He disagrees that feed readers are the main reason for this and says that “Enterprise RSS has not taken off yet – as opposed to actually having ‘died.’ ” He goes on to list what he thinks are 1o reasons for the slow take-up of Enterprise RSS.

Richard Hare later comments:

At some point you have to stop focusing on the technology and give people tools which fit with how they work.

At British American Tobacco, instead of an IT-style RSS launch which overpromises on functionality irrelevant to 80% of users, we quietly placed a feed on the intranet homepage and linked it to the Twitter-style updates in our Facebook-style social networking tool/internal directory. At no point did we mention “feeds”, “rss” or any other jargon which could potentially create barriers.

This confirms my own experiences of Enterprise implementation of not just RSS but also other Web 2.0 technologies. Those that have been particularly successful have not used terms such as wiki, blog, feeds nor have they required the user to switch applications to view the information. Instead, services are integrated seamlessly into the Intranet pages. Easy for the user but admittedly not always straightforward for the Intranet development team to implement.

February 7, 2009 Posted by | RSS | , | Comments Off on Ten Reasons Why ‘Enterprise RSS’ Has Failed To Become Mainstream

ticTOCs Journal Tables of Contents Service

ticTOCs is a new scholarly journal tables of contents (TOCs) service and Heriot-Watt is one of the fourteen partners who have developed it. You can use ticTOCs to search for the most recent table of contents of over 11,000 scholarly journals, from over 400 publishers and also view them on the ticTOCs site.

You can view the latest TOC (table of contents) of the journal, link through to the full text (where subscriptions allow), and save selected journals to MyTOCs so that you can return to the site and view future TOCs. Alternatively, you can save your selection as an OPML file and import the list into your favourite RSS reader. Highly recommended.



December 11, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , , | 1 Comment

Page2RSS – Create an RSS feed for any web page

Page2RSS monitors web pages for changes and notifies you of those changes by RSS. Simply type in the URL of the page you wish to monitor and then add the feed URL to your favourite feed reader. Excellent tool for pages that do not offer their own RSS feeds. Hat tip to Phil Bradley for this.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , , | 1 Comment

Web 2.0 applications: yes, maybe, no?

I ran a Web 2.0 workshop for North West Academic Libraries (NOWAL) on 2nd May 2008 at Salford University. The aim of the event was to give people a taste of what Web 2.0 is all about and an opportunity to test drive some of the applications. Inevitably, we were limited by what we were allowed to use on the computers in the training suite, and the absence of speakers on the PCs meant that I had to do the commentary for Common Craft’s YouTube video ‘RSS in Plain English’ . I suppose one could regard that as a mashup of real/1st life and the electronic world!

At the end of the day, I asked the participants to think about which applications they would definitely use, those that are worth considering (the ‘maybe’ category) and those that would get the definite thumbs down. As they had varying experiences of the technologies, and were looking at them from different perspectives, it is not surprising that some ‘stuff’ ended up in more than one category. We even invented a new award (see And finally… )


There was only nomination for this category. Second Life (SL) did not seem to have any supporters on this workshop. As one has to download software to run SL and run it on serious, heavy duty network connections we were not able to experiment with it on the day. Some of the workshop participants had had bad experiences with it in the past and I did not help matters by recounting the tale of my disastrous attempt to attend an SL meeting the previous evening. Those of us who had tried it agreed that the technology is still getting in the way and it has a long way to go before it is promoted to the ‘maybe’ list.

Nevertheless, it is being taken seriously by Manchester Business School who have commissioned design and new media agency Corporation Pop to develop a Second Life island for them


Pageflakes – for pulling together frequently accessed information of all types. Can be kept private but also made public as a Pagecasts, for example Dublin City Public Libraries, East Lothian Libraries, ActiveIT.

Flickr – publicise your events, launches/relaunches of services, new library facilities

RSS – great for personal current awareness, but also a way of adding content to your web site, blog, Facebook etc. and generally facilitating the sharing of content.

iGoogle – your very own personalised Google start page for frequently accessed information of all types, but ‘tabs’ can be shared with colleagues.

YouTube – link to ‘how to’ videos, create your own virtual tours of your library, or make videos of your key events.

Wikis – great way to collaborate on documents for example a glossary of acronyms and abbreviations (under development by one of the workshop participants).

Blogs – can be used as sources of information and as a quick and easy way to provide news of services, events and ‘What’s New’ to users. Several of the workshop participants were already active bloggers.


Social Bookmarking for example FURL,, Connotea, 2Collab – could be a good way to provide access to evaluated subject and reading lists. Connotea (owned by the Nature Publishing Group) and 2Collab  (owned by Elsevier) are aimed at researchers and scientists. “If only we could persuade our academics to use them” exclaimed one workshop participant.

Facebook – worth a try but, because of its structure and minimal import/export options, beware of possible extra work in having to re-enter content held on web sites, blogs and start pages .

Google Docs – several people thought that they might use Google Docs as a way of collaborating  on documents but only for personal use and for applications where it would not matter if the document was inadvertently made public.

Presentation sharing services for example Slideshare, authorSTREAM. A good way to share lectures and also presentations on library services.

Nominated for both the ‘Yes’ and ‘Maybe’ categories were: YouTube, RSS and iGoogle.

And finally…

A new category. The winner of the John ‘you-cannot-be-serious’ McEnroe award goes to – ta da, ta da:


I did try very hard to convince them of how wonderful Twitter is and was joined in my endeavours by some of my followers (thanks chaps and chappesses, your efforts were appreciated by at least me). The presence of the BBC, Timesonline and even No 10 Downing Street on Twitter did not help. I suspect that the main problem is the Twitter associated jargon and nomenclature. The name ‘Twitter’ generated enough titters on its own, but when quickly followed by tweets, twitterstream, TwitKit, Twitterfeed, Twitterment, Tweet Clouds etc … well, I think you can see the problem.

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Web 2.0 - general | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

RSS in Outlook 2007

There are several ways in which you can add RSS feed to Outlook 2007 but the quickest way seems to be:

1. On the Tools menu, click Account Settings.
2. On the RSS Feeds tab, click New.
3. In the New RSS Feed dialog box, type or press CTRL+V to paste the URL of the RSS Feed.
4. Click Add. In the next box you can change the folder in which it is to be stored.
5. Click OK

May 1, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , | Comments Off on RSS in Outlook 2007

Converting RSS feeds to email alerts

As well as RSS alerts for new blog postings and comments,  you can offer your readers email alerts. There are several services that will convert your RSS feed to email. One is Feedburner.  Sign up for a Feedburner account and follow the instructions to create a Feedburner version of your feed. Once it has been set up click on the title of your new feed, then the Publicize tab followed by the Email Subscriptions link on the left hand side of the page. Follow the instructions and you will be given the code to add to your blog. In WordPress, add a Text widget to your layout and paste the code into that.  In Blogger, under Layout select Page Elements and then Add a Page Element. Choose HTML/Javascript, give it a title – for example ‘Email Alerts’  – and then paste the code into the box.

Blogarithm is another RSS to email conversion service. Set up an account, follow the instructions to get the code and paste it into a Text widget if you have a WordPress blog or an HTML/Javascript Page Element if you are on Blogger.

April 27, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , , , | Comments Off on Converting RSS feeds to email alerts

How do I delete individual items from a feed in Google Reader?

This is a frequently asked question and I’m afraid the answer is that you can’t 😦

April 26, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , | 11 Comments

Web based RSS readers store old feed items

At a recent UKeiG workshop on ‘Blogs, Wikis and RSS’ (April 22nd 2008), one of the participants noticed Google Reader was displaying very old items from one of her organisation’s RSS feeds. I suggested that the author of the feed had failed to delete them when updating the feed but When I checked our own UKeiG Events feed in Google Reader, deleted items going back to January 2007 where displayed. Had I also been guilty of not removing old feed items? I checked the code and the feed did indeed only have five items rather than the dozens suggested by Google. So it seems that Google Reader keeps old feed items and includes them in the list when you subscribe.

Bloglines behaves in a similar way and goes back even further (February 2006).  Newsgator also had some old items but only going back a month.

April 26, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , , , , | 1 Comment

Feed icons – different colours and different sizes

The de facto standard for a feed icon may be the orange square, but your style police may insist on a different colour. Feed Icons at provides a file containing the standard orange icon in two sizes and a second file of 50 12×12 coloured icons based on Adobe Photoshop’s default colour palette. If those do not suffice, the Developer Kit package includes icons ranging from 12×12 to 128×128 in various formats, including AI, EPS, SVG, PSD, PDF, PNG, JPG and GIF.

March 23, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , | Comments Off on Feed icons – different colours and different sizes