Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogs, RSS, and Wiki's

This icon, known as the "feed icon" ...Image via Wikipedia
RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader", or "aggregator", which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs.[1]

While RSS feeds can help keep track of changes to blogs used as project centers, there is another collaborative environment which is more naturally suited for collaborative on-line projects, WikiWikliWeb (wiki wiki is Hawaiian for "quick") or wikis. Like blogs, wikis have been around for some time and are popular among technology buffs. The original WikiWikiWeb project is dedicated to software programming and is quite extensive. Blogs can be highly personal, wikis are intensely collaborative. They feature a loosely structured set of pages, linked in multiple ways to each other and to Internet resources and an open-editing system in which anyone can edit any age (by clicking on the "edit this page" button). No knowledge of HTML is needed, but whereas blogs tend to use a modified WYSIWYG editing environment, Wikis use a simple set of formatting commands.[2]

Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 15 million articles (over 3.3 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. Wikipedia was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and is currently the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, ranked 7th among all websites on Alexa.

Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other projects:[3]

  1. Commons
  2. Free media repository Wikinews
  3. Free-content news Wiktionary
  4. Dictionary and thesaurus
  5. Wikiquote
  6. Collection of quotations Wikibooks
  7. Free textbooks and manuals Wikisource
  8. Free-content library
  9. Wikispecies
  10. Directory of species Wikiversity
  11. Free learning materials and activities Meta-Wiki
  12. Wikimedia project coordination

[1] RSS feeds from Wikipedia
[2] Blogs and Wikis: Environments for On-line Collaboration
[3] Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Relating articles selected Andreea Loffler

The Wall Street Journal Online has an interesting debate between Jimbo Wales of Wikipedia and Dale Hoiberg, editor in chief of Encyclopedia Britannica.[4]

[4] Will Wikipedia Mean the End Of Traditional Encyclopedias?
Wall Street Journal Online
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Useful Law Blogs

ABA Journal Blawg 100Image by insidetwit via Flickr

The ABA Journal provides a website that contains access to all types of legal blogs. The blogs are all listed by topic, making it convenient to find a blog in whatever legal area you are searching. These blogs can be found at

There is also a great legal defense blog which is published by the DRI. The DRI put out a magazine call "For the Defense" which covers all the new material on defending claims. This blog allows reader to comment, submit their own blog, or just read. "For the Defense" and their blog, in my opinion is the best up to date blog on the internet. This blog can be found at :
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Blogs, RSS Feeds, and Wiki's

Image representing Wikipedia as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

Blogs, RSS Feeds, and Wiki's

Blogs, RSS Feeds, and Wiki's Blogs are online open-sources that allow for the "building of something" in which there are no limitations. For example, Wikipedia is an open-source website that has an abundant of searchable information and referenced cross-links to additional online open-sources.

Open source means that anyone can have access to the text, edit it, make comments, and most likely have the ability to update the content.[1]

Below are a few examples of a large number of possibilities that might initiate the building of an online open-source:
  • Creating a journal of photos, videos, and commentary of visited vacation sites shared amongst various travel-goers.
  • Branding a product or service for build customer confidence and loyalty.
  • Building personal and business reputation to promote skills, expertise, or professionalism.
  • Creating political survey forms to gather comments or opinions of controversial topic (i.e., Healthcare or Wall St. Reform in the U.S.).
  • Create an RSS Feed that provides continuous news updates (i.e., BP oil spill in the Gulf).
Search engines are naturally drawn to research-oriented websites and usually consider them more relevant than shopping sites -- which is why most of the time -- the highest listing or ranking for a query is a Wiki page.

The information on Blogs, RSS Feeds, and Wiki's should be taken with a grain of salt because there is no guarantee of accuracy. This brings an important point regarding the prior section on Search Engines – that is, search engines base "authority" not on the accuracy of the web sites information but rather on its notability or popularity.

Google Blogs, RSS Feeds, and Wiki's  

Below are tools offered by Google that allows for the creation and retrieval of information using their unique products and services:
  • Google Blog Search -
  • Google RSS Feeds Search
  • Google Wiki

[1] Michael Conniff, "Just what is a blog, anyway?," OJR: The Online Journalism Review, September 29, 2005
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