Welcome to Online Insider ...
... the editorial blog by Marydee Ojala, Editor of ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals. ONLINE Insider intends to extend the reach of the print publication, presenting a more timely commentary on the products, people, and events that shape today's online world. It explores new technologies as they impact the working lives of information professionals, explains resources for specific topic areas, and expounds on information management tools and techniques.

Information Ethics

Marydee Ojala @ 3:33 am

Barbara Quint’s got a podcast over at the Information Today blog all about librarians, their future, and ethics. It reminded me that the January/February issue of ONLINE will run an article by Bobby Brody on the same subject, but with quite a different take.

OnlineInformation 2005

Marydee Ojala @ 2:31 am

I’m in London for the Online Information and Content Management Europe conference so most blogging will be over at the Infotoday Blog site. I have found it interesting that almost every morning since I’ve been here, the newspaper delivered to my door (the Observer and the FT) have published articles about libraries digitizing their book collections. And I honestly don’t think any of those writers know there’s an online show in town!

Cataloging Thanksgiving

Marydee Ojala @ 1:20 pm

First of all, happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the U.S.

Now for my minor rant of the day. Last Sunday, the Indianapolis Star ran a column by Erika D. Smith called “Techno File” that gave seven Web sites she likes. Smith does this column on every third Sunday. I usually glance over it and my reaction is usually “I wish she’d fact check herself.” This past Sunday one of her sites was Google Catalog . My impression is that this hasn’t been updated in years. Well, this short week was so crammed with work things that I didn’t have the chance to fact check until this morning. My impression was not wrong. Those scanned catalogs date from 2002 and 2003. Want to shop at Google? Go to Froogle . My advice to Ms. Smith is, “Please ask your librarians for help. They know these things. At the very least, take a look at a site before you recommend it!”

The Week Before London

Marydee Ojala @ 11:13 am

Once again the Online Information show starts the week after Thanksgiving here in the U.S., which means I cut the long weekend short to fly to London. I’m doing two presentations and I’m on a panel, plus I’ll be doing some blogging both here and at the Infotoday Blog as well. There does seem to be some news coming out of the conference, but not as much as I remember from prior years.

Scopus announced yesterday that it is now including links to full text articles in scholarly journals archived by JSTOR. I’ll be talking with the Scopus people in London, so may have more to report next week.

Thomson Scientific is doing a half day update meeting next Wednesday. They’ll be talking about some new launches regarding citation indexing and journal usage reports and enhancements to Thomson Pharma, Thomson Data Analyzer, Derwent World Patents Index, and DialogLink. I wonder how many attendees at the show will realize that Dialog is now part of Thomson Scientific and is quickly being relegated to a product line rather than a pioneering company.

LexisNexis Butterworths will have four press releases at the show, or so they tell me, some of which sound very similar to products already released in the States. However, because of licensing considerations, they haven’t been released in the UK. Others are tailored to the British market.

I’m sure there will be other corporate announcements rolling in as I indulge in some turkey tomorrow.

Spammer Sense of Humor

Marydee Ojala @ 8:50 am

In the midst of writing my editorial for the January/February 2006 issue of ONLINE (which is a terrific issue, by the way, with articles on XML, ethics, content management, Web resources for teachers, wayfinding, intranets, and a whole lot more), I checked my email. One spam message stood out. It said “Our University Enrollment department has been trying to contact you. The date for enrolling in our 2 week degree program is ending on
Friday, November 18th, 2005. As of now we can only 0ffer you a BA, BSc, or a MA.
If you enroll by the due date then your degree of choice and transcripts
can be sent to you within 2 weeks.”

Never mind that it was sent after Nov 18th, so even if it was legit (getting a degree in 2 weeks is obviously legit, right?), it would have been too late, but it was sent from the domain name “bandito.com”! Yes, of course, I’m going to respond to the banditos! Could they any more plainly tell me that they’re crooks?

VNU Gives Up on IMS

Marydee Ojala @ 8:03 am

Well, the $7 billion takeover of IMS by VNU is off the table. VNU shareholders brought sufficient pressure to void the proposed deal. Now rumors are swirling that shareholders will force a breakup of VNU itself. Looking at the structure of the company, it’s pretty easy to see that there are divergent businesses which could probably survive as independent companies. Market research could be one business and trade shows another. It will be interesting to see what people at next week’s Online Information show in London have to say about this. After all, Online Information is part of the trade show piece of VNU.

Moody’s Takes on the Economy

Marydee Ojala @ 3:04 pm

According to a press release Moody’s spent $27 million to acquire Economy.com, which includes the Dismal Scientist site. Both Economy.com and Dismal Scientist started out as free services, but switched to a subscription model several years ago. Even charging for the information doesn’t seem to have brought in enough revenue to keep them afloat as an independent entity.

Topix Adds Blogs

Marydee Ojala @ 7:00 am

I really like Topix.net for news searching. It gets down to such a local level while also covering the major U.S. and international mainstream media. Now it’s adding blogs, according to its own blog . But not just any blogs, only those it thinks have “journalistic” value. The blog post about adding blogs has an interesting analysis of blogs versus mainstream media in terms of what types of information are covered. I need to do some more trial searches on the blogified Topix before I can decide whether this is useful for my information gathering purposes or not.

Google Patent CD

Marydee Ojala @ 10:27 pm

When Steve Arnold keynoted the Internet Librarian International conference in London last month, he mentioned he’d done a study of Google patents and talked about how difficult it was to find them because the company is so secretive. I think he mentioned it during the Tuesday night panel at Internet Librarian in Monterey as well. Now he’s got an order form on his Web site for a CD of the patents. Once you get to the site, click on Google Patent Collection. The CD costs $50 plus $8 for shipping and handling within North America.

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