How to trap, not just search for, web information

Information TrappingTonight I browsed a copy of Information Trapping: Real-time Research on the Web by Tara Calishain. It’s an excellent guide to the use of RSS feeds, tags, feed aggregators and web page change detectors to bring information to you as and when it’s published.

Coverage included, amongst other things:

  • What is RSS?
  • The difference between meaningfully structured (XML) feeds and web (HTML) pages
  • Choosing and using feed aggregators
  • Tagging
  • Advanced use of search engines such as Google and Yahoo
  • Setting up notifications of changes on specific web pages
  • Using email notifications

By far the majority of students still think that finding information on the web is all about using a search engine. This book is ideal for getting people past that stage. Well worth trying out in a few school libraries, not just for students – it’s ideal for librarians wanting to get up to date on these new research skills.

eduBuzz blogs get Google Analytics

Google Analytics logoThe eduBuzz blog system now has Google Analytics monitoring every blog – we hope. Time will tell if we’re collecting everything we think we are.

Back in December 06, Exc-el bloggers gained a Google Analytics plug-in. That worked fine at first, but before long there were complaints of stats “flat-lining”, although checks showed the stats were still being gathered OK.

Checking the Google Analytics support information at the time led to the conclusion that we were using it in an unsupported way. We had various individuals registered with Analytics accounts, and their multiple accounts were monitoring pages within the same domain. The supported arrangement is to use one account with one domain (although I can’t find a link to that info just now).

Now we’ve removed that plug-in and embedded the tracking code into the WordPress template files using guidance from the WordPress MU forums. Link.

If you’ve an eduBuzz blog and want access to the Analytics stats, let me know the email address under which you’ve set up your Analytics account and I’ll set that up for you.