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So … you might have suddenly been bombarded with about 200 posts in your feed all from this blog.

First of all – I am SO sorry.

Secondly – to make a long story short, I’ve changed my username everywhere to “esquetee” (like SQT) since librarienne and epist are already taken in many places.

Thirdly, and Most Important – I’m combing my old blogs Epist (this one) and Librarienne into one new blog – Esquetee.  In the process of doing so, every post ever was inadvertently reposted.  ARGH.

Again, I apologize.  Please forgive me and follow the RSS feed at the new digs.  Thank you for understanding!

Socializing in Google Reader vs. Bloglines

Over a year ago I started using Google Reader as my aggregator and I added a little widget to my blog’s sidebar for my “Shared Items” — posts from my RSS subscriptions that I found interesting, amusing, or just plain weird.  In Google Reader it’s very easy to just click “Share” (or hit Shift + S) and – voila – the post you’re reading is in your Shared Items.

And I like to share, by golly.

But part of sharing is the exchange, the two-way street, the trading off… I’m not getting enough of that.

Bloglines Example

Let’s start with Bloglines – the original aggregator for many people in my little circles.  In Bloglines, it is fairly easy to share, albeit indirectly.  You subscribe to a feed, you click on “Subscribers” and then you get a handy-dandy list of the public subscribers.  You see a name you recognize and you click on it to find other feeds that like-minded friend is reading.   You subscribe to the ones you like and all that wholesome blog love is passed along.



In Google Reader, you have to already be connected with people on Google Talk (Gmail’s chat) in order for their Shared Items to show up in your feeds. Otherwise, you have to get the URL of their Shared Items from their blog (which is how I peak over the shoulder of Robert Scoble, the techie tasmanian devil) or from them directly.

Google ReaderOf course, it helps if they’re using Google Reader and marking items to be shared in the first place.  I can see from my “Friends” tab in Reader’s Settings that several people I know are using Google Reader, but none of them have any Shared Items.  From what I’ve seen, you can’t just search for like-minded folks on Google Reader and see what kind of feeds those people are reading. If there is a way, please … um… share.  Thanks!

On the other hand, when people are willing to share, there are many wonderful ways to do this in Reader.  For example, I have all my feeds sorted into folders (ie. art, food, library, tech) but when I come across a specific post that I want to file away for a specific purpose, I edit the tags (ie. brainstorm, comment, products, tips).  So if I want to share the stuff I’m reading with people in certain contexts, I can make a whole folder of several feeds public – like “libraries” – or I can make a tag of specific posts public – like “tips“… Actually, in Reader folders and tags are technically the same thing but you can see from the image to the left that Google will display them differently in the sidebar, depending on how you’re using them.

So if you’re using Google Reader and you’re Sharing stuff (or you’re going to start now  🙂  ) please send me a line or send me your feed’s address.  I’d love to peak over your shoulder, too.  C’mon. I’m a librarian. What people read fascinates me.

In summary, here’s a gloss of sharing options in Google Reader and Bloglines, to the extent that I’ve figured them out.  If you can think of more details to add, I’m happy to hear them.

Google Reader Bloglines
Finding other users:
contacts on Google Talk
direct URL

Sharing levels:
default is everything private except Shared Items
individual folders / tags can be Shared, but the URL has to be provided in order for people to know about it

Finding other users:
public subscribers on common subscriptions
direct URL

Sharing levels:
default is private, but once you turn on “public” everything becomes public all at once and you have to individually mark feeds as “private” … sort of the opposite of Google Reader

Susan tagged me to do the following meme:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

So having just finished The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (who will be on campus today at4pm!), my contribution is thus:

“Well, Clare, there’s nothing wrong with my legs.”

“Okay, then, we’ll go to the Orchard.” I take her arm, and away we go. When we get to the edge of the Meadow I say, “Shade or sun?” and she answers, “Oh, sun to be sure,” and so we take the path that cuts through…”

I tag Unexpected Librarian, should she choose to accept.

I’m trying out a dual-blog personality for a while – I’ll be writing on everyday me stuff here at the original “” and I’ll be putting my more library-like stuff at the brand new “” … so, I should probably rename this one but I don’t know what to use yet.  Ideas?

Word of the Day for this past Monday:

abecedarian ay-bee-see-DAIR-ee-uhn, noun:
1. One who is learning the alphabet; hence, a beginner.
2. One engaged in teaching the alphabet.

1. Pertaining to the letters of the alphabet.
2. Arranged alphabetically.
3. Rudimentary; elementary.

So, I’m looking ahead to June and the ALA Annual conference in D.C. I’ve heard all sorts of opinions on Annual from “don’t bother, it’s too big/expensive/not worth it” to “freebies! networking! parties!” I haven’t done much yet in the way of conferences, certainly nothing with, oh, 30 thousand Nancy Pearls running around (bless her heart … even if she did leave out Connie Willis).

Naturally I started asking around to figure out what this whole Annual thing was all about. Here are some things I’ve learned this week (please feel free to correct, counter and add in the comments):

– ALA is all about committees; you go to Annual to see your tribe, I mean, committee
– not all the events happen in the convention center; a lot of committees hold their stuff in the hotels
– call or email people you know and plan on coffee/lunches beforehand; super important for 1st timers
– if you’re not on a committee, you’re not really in ALA yet
– ALA brings a mobile post office along so you can send yourself all those freebies you pick up
– don’t register at the convention center, register at one of the satellite places, usually a hotel
– did I mention committees?

I think you see the trend I’ve been picking up on. And I’m happy to be active, but how do I choose a committee? There are all those great bloggers in RUSA MARS, and then there’s the great connection between the IRRT and my new job, oh but I should probably hook up with NMRT, too. Doh! Pretty soon I end up with a schedule like this (fast forward to June) in which I’m listening to Meredith Farkas in one room, the European Library Education panel in another, and a librarian from Chile in a third. All at the same time.

About a week ago, Jennifer and I posted about the need for a library student community and Karin took us up on the idea.  Lo and behold we now have LIS Students at Ning, which is a simple little community-making website.   Our little ning corner already has some great discussions going, such as:

– Does your school have a thesis or practicum?
– Figuring out this year’s ALA Annual in D.C.
– Doing the library science degree at a distance

But wait!  I can sense what you’re thinking … you don’t want yet another place to go check for updates and such.  No problem – you can tap into the site on the RSS feeds in the comfort of your own cozy reader:

– Read all the forums in one feed (RSS)
– Read posts to the Ning site (RSS)
– or, Read the aggregate of all members’ personal blogs, if they’ve shared the link (RSS)

For the good of us all, visit the Ning site at least once – – to sign up.  It’s simple and painless.  Use the “Sign Up” link in the black bar at the top and you won’t even have to deal with another window or the back button or anything.  Takes you less than a minute.

I almost let it go by! Two days ago, Librarienne turned one year old. Oh, what a stormy year it has been. My head is a spinning cloud of many different thoughts right now so I’ll just pull a few out of the air and paint this post with random colors (how’s that for mixing metaphors!):

– As of this moment I have at least 5 posts in draft status … the oldest one was a comparison of Google Books vs. Google Scholars, another one looked at the paradox of librarians protecting patron confidentiality when so many people are so blatantly public these days, and the most recent post to go on draft status was a look at some movies we watched over Spring Break and which all seemed eerily related somehow (Sherrybaby, Lady Vengeance, Possession, Match Point).

– I wish I had made a screen shot of all the looks/skins/appearances I put my blog through in the past year. I must have tried a dozen different WordPress themes at one time or another with different widgets and what-nots. It would be nice to look back through them and remember what I liked or didn’t like about each one. For those of you reading this on an aggregator, I recently added a widget to my sidebar for my Google Reader shared items. That little box is *way* more active than this blog, I’m sorry to say, but it’s also a good place to see what I probably wish I had time to blog about.

– Which reminds me… I’m toying with an idea for a little class research project, but I’m not sure how well it would work so let me know what all you bloggers think of this. I’d like to find a lot of different blogs that feature a link or widget to the blog writer’s Google Reader shared items list and compare the number of items they share to the number/frequency of posts they write. Long ago in another land I had read something about the large number of content readers vs. the comparatively small number of content creators. I’m wondering if the amount of stuff we, as content creators read, affects the amount of our output. Of course it does, but how? I’m not sure exactly how to measure that. Number of links or citations per post? Number of shared items against words per post? At first I thought it might be better to look at Bloglines lists instead to know how many feeds blog writers subscribe to, but – with myself as a great example – I know that subscribing does not necessarily equal reading. The idea is still in its infancy.

– I’ve recently subscribed to a blog that is completely out of place in my blog reader – it’s not techie, not about libraries, not news … it’s about … (wincing in embarrassment) romantic comedies. Well, it’s from a guy who edits and writes screenplays for these bizarre little tokens of pop culture. And I, for one, think his blog posts are really fun and witty reads. He includes so many “what were they thinking??” quips when he discusses the latest script he had to suffer through, but he doesn’t go completely cynical, which is refreshing. One of my favorite posts of late has been his combination of “petting the dog” with “jumping the shark” thus creating “posting the pet” … I am plenty guilty of this over in Flickr (slideshow recommended).

– Some big changes at home of late. Very positive changes that raise big questions about the future, which is always closer than I think. In some ways my partner and I are complete opposites, but one of the things we have in common is that we’re both rather reserved, private people. It takes us some time to really integrate ourselves into a new circle of people. I’m thinking of this now in light of a theory I read about way back in high school, that has constantly popped up in my mind over and over since then. I like Erikson’s ideas but disagree with some of the values he includes in his stages of development. For example, my partner and I are on the cusp between two stages right now. The corresponding “crisis” per Erikson is “intimacy vs. isolation” and “success vs. stagnation” (… actually, Erikson uses the term “generativity” where I use “success” because he was referring more to producing children which has no interest for us whatsoever). So here we are, still trying to iron the details of “intimacy vs. isolation” as we look ahead to “success vs. stagnation” and I can see how a person’s methods of dealing with the former will significantly affect the latter. I can see we’ll have a lot of details to figure out in the next couple years but I think a lot of these details are going to figure themselves out, too. I’m wondering, in an excited what-will-I-get-for-Christmas way, what our backgrounds will make of us.

A new video for Tracey Thorn’s song “It’s All True” gives a great visual representation of online interaction – a room full of people each sitting behind a computer and a desk, each flaring up in turn until eventually they’re all doing the same moves in synch. One could look at this as an optimistic example of the future of collaboration, or it could appear as a nightmare of conformity.

I also see the irony of so many people being so close together but only interacting indirectly. Like all the people I see at bus stops on cell phones, or when people are on their laptops in class and talking to each other in the online forum rather than looking up and speaking face-to-face. It’s a crazy world.
Oh, and I like the song, too.

New Blog!

Starting February 2012 I'm combining my two blogs into one:

Thank you for updating your RSS reader to the new blog!

sara.q.thompson [at]

@esquetee on Twitter