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Preview: Phil Bradley's Blog

Phil Bradley's Blog

Updated: 2008-01-22T14:19:13.202Z


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Why are you still subscribing to this blog, when it hasn't had an entry since July 2006, and that was one to say that it didn't exist any longer. The last 'real' post was back in December 2005, and I find it astonishing that according to Bloglines there are still over 200 people subscribing to it. If you're interested, the 'new' weblog is over at:

The RSS feed is

You might also want to take a look at

But don't bother to hang around here, cos ain't nuttin' happening.

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If you're seeing this message, then you're still subscribed to my old weblog, and I moved it a couple of years ago. Please unsubscribe from this weblog, and re-subscribe at

Thank you!

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According to Bloglines my old blog - Phil Bradley's Blog which is the one that you're looking at now, still has over 200 subscribers to it.

This blog is no more. It has ceased, and gone to meet its maker. It's pushing up the virtual daisies, and gone to join the Choir Invisible. It is an EX-BLOG!

If you want to keep up to date, take a peek at MY NEW WEBLOG over at Typepad. Alternatively the RSS feed is at if you want to subscribe that way.

Look forward to seeing you shortly at the new home.


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The link to the feed on my new site is If you move across to it, you'll see that I'm supposed to look like Lou Reed, FDR and Robert Altman. (Yes, it's a slightly cryptic comment, but I'm trying to encorage all 250+ of you onto the new blog.

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I stumbled across Google Librarian today, and it's not good. Firstly, it is not affiliated with Google, and is not endorsed by them. Quite how long they'll be able to hang onto the name is interesting, and why Google didn't think to register it in the first place is another interesting question, but there you go.

Anyway, having got that out of the way, the site itself offers various options - Google Explained (taken from the Wikipedia: Google is a very large and popular search engine on the World Wide Web of the Internet) Google services overview, where the site tells you about various Google options, and why they're useful for Librarians - Google Earth is fun to play around with if you are bored apparently.

There's a tutorial (with incorrect, out of date information in it), some advanced search techniques (to be added by November 28th), understanding results, Firefox and Google, Google Watch (rumours, coming soon), and a discussion board.

I have no idea who has set this up, because they don't tell us. In short, it has currently very little value at all. I don't like knocking things, and am always keen to see what new things people come up with, but in this case, I'm sorry - I can't see any point in it at all. Perhaps it'll improve shortly, at which point I'll be happy to eat my words.

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As you know by now, I'm moving my weblog across to: Phil Bradley's weblog at Typepad. Latest entries there cover:

New FreePint Newsletter now out
New IRN issue available
Fly with Google
Who's afraid of Google? Everyone
Finding people

and a few others besides.

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Gnosh is a new multi search engine which looks very promising. More information on it over at my new weblog.

Another reminder... this weblog is on its way out. I'll be adding less and less here, and more at In order to avoid these irritating little reminders, cut this weblog from your aggregator and move to the new one! Thanks.

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I'm going to be talking at the Association of UK Media Librarians on December 7th on the topic of weblogs. You're invited to attend; registration is at 6.30 and it is taking place at LexisNexis, 35 Chancery Lane. If you're not a member the cost is £5. If you're interested in coming along, please email Mary Cameron at cameron_mary at yahoo dot com.

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I've been playing around with the new application from Google - their analytics application. I've found it very useful, and there's a full write up over on the new weblog.

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mightyv: Welcome Ah, now this is a useful site! It allows you to see what's on television. There are a number of sites that do that, but the reason that I like this one is because you have a wide variety of channels, and you can personalise the thing. You can also search for particular programmes as well. And it's free. Worth taking a look, if for no other reason than you can see what you're missing while you're online.

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Google Analytics is another interesting new feature from Google. It seems to be a statistics and tracking package (free) that allows you to see which keywords perform on your site, and which ones don't. The idea is that it allows you to focus your marketing resources on campaigns and initiatives that deliver ROI. In order to use it you need to sign up, paste some code on your site and sit back and check the results. I've added it to a couple of pages on my site and I'll report back with more information when I've got it.

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Google Base has now gone live. You can post adverts, information, recipes, reviews, course descriptions - almost anything that you want as long as it conforms to their policies. I'm not going to go into detail yet, simply because I've not had a chance to play with it, but if you follow the link you can read the Google FAQ for the service, and see some screen shots that might ground the concept a little bit more.

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Found this site thanks to the ALA TechSource weblog. It's a blog subtitled 'monthly news and information programming from the Decatur campus library of Georgia Perimeter College' and shows what can be done when a library starts podcasting.

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UKeiG (aka UKOLUG) has added a swiki to their weblog. I mentioned swikis a couple of days ago - it's a combination of wiki and search engine. Try it out!

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Don't forget that my weblog is moving! Please unsubscribe from this feed and move across to the weblog at Typepad called Phil Bradley's weblog. I'm mirroring my entries at the moment (except for these reminders) so do move over, since you'll be seeing these more often. Cheers!

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PubSub Community Lists: The Librarian List Want to see other librarian weblogs? See who is doing what? Then this is the place to come. It's an excellent collection, based on a ranking system of links.

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FreePint Newsletter 194 is now available. Covered in this issue is VOIP.

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It's not exactly a secret that I adore Exalead. They are always coming up with good things that they slip into place. They have now introduced the ability to search within searches. Run a search and then scroll down. At the bottom of the left hand column is an option to modify your query (with a phonetic search for example), and you can also search within results as well. More good things are also promised in the near future, so watch this space!

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Searching the Guardian. Friend and fellow information professional Ian Winship alerted me to this story in the Guardian written by Emily Bell, editor in chief. The take on the article is that the newspaper has now made it easier to search their site. No more "baroque syntax" that delivered poor results, apparently.

All well and good so far; I'm certainly in favour of making life easier for people. However (you knew that was coming didn't you?) I think they've made a total dogs dinner of the thing. If you follow the link, you get taken to the page where this story is discussed, and there's a little 'Search this site' box to the left. It's very small, so you can't see more than 11 or 12 characters in your search string, which is annoying. And there's a 'Go' button. That's it. It is only when I've actually hit the Go button and the search has been run that I'm presented with some filters, such as sections (with a useful indication of the # of hits it's true), and the option of choosing publication year. If I already know that I just want stories from the weekly supplements for 2003 I have to run the search to begin with. It would be really nice if I could actually type all that into the search box to begin with, but apparently this would be some of that 'baroque syntax' that they're trying to get rid of.

It also gets worse. No help screen means that I have to guess what I can do. Two words seems to do an AND search and the results are based on relevant results. However, doing a phil bradley search gives me results that do contain both words, but they are separated in the results that I looked at. The first reference to Phil Bradley with both words next to each other is result #24. I fail to see how that improves relevance.

It's true that I can do a phrase search with "..." but I have to guess that. But wait, it gets worse! Suppose I want to find references to Microsoft, but without reference to Google. Microsoft NOT google doesn't work. Neither does microsoft not google do anything. Microsoft -google doesn't do anything at all either. So I'm making the assumption (and I could be wrong) that there is no way that I can do a search that excludes other words. This is better searching? There are over 600,000 articles in their database and there isn't even a NOT option?

Thanks, but I think I'll stick to baroque syntax if it's all the same to you.

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A Swicki is a play on words, roughly speaking. It's a cross between wiki and search - hence swiki. OK, I'll explain more. A swiki allows you to create your own search engine that covers a subject that is of particular interest to you. The owner and visitors get to collaborate on what the swiki finds, to modify and focus it. There are a number of advantages to these beasties - they let you really start to dig through the net to find good quality information, and other users also assist in this process. In theory you might be able to make money from them as well.

We're starting to see these things roll out - the link goes to a really helpful article from Wendy Boswell at and she takes you through the process of creating one, which you could add to your website or to your weblog for example. She's using a utility from Eurekster that lets you create them. I'm betting that they're going to be the next interesting thing on the net, and I'm also involved in beta testing what is essentially another version, about which more in due course.

I think this is a natural development as we are all getting disenchanted with the results that the traditional engines are providing us with, so it's only logical that something is going to come along and fill that gap. It's another incarnation of where Web 2.0 is taking us, where people are taking control back from the large corporations and doing their own thing with the web.

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Further to my posting of a couple of days ago, there's a lovely little addition on the Exalead home page. Run your cursor over the Exalead icon and you'll see exactly how to pronounce it. There's going to be a link to a page explaining in more detail; EXA=10 to the power of 18, and LEAD = guiding, thus helping people to find their way in the multitude.

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I've previously mentioned that I was getting fed up with the Blogger software, so I've decided to move across to Typepad instead. It has lots of advantages, including a category approach, a nice quick post feature and a bunch of other stuff. I'm still going to keep this weblog going for a while, but there will be an increasing number of 'subscribe to the new version!' posts.

So, the new version is at: Phil Bradley's weblog Please unsubscribe from the Blogger version (the one you're looking at now) and subscribe to the Typepad version (which the link goes to).

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Wikidweb Wikidweb (Wiki Directory of the WEB, or Wiki'd Web) is a free, open, instant internet directory. Here you can add a link to any site or page (but preferably sites that aren't already well known), review other pages, and edit entry descriptions. Optionally, you can create an account (which can still be anonymous, if you'd like) to get added functionality, such as "my watchlist", "my contributions" and customizing your interface.

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Item from the Boston Herald says that Amazon is going to sell individual book pages. Customers will be able to buy a portion of a book, or even just one page for online viewing. This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I wonder how long it will be before they take another step down the route and become a publisher themselves by letting you upload your own content and buy it via their existing interface.