Information Management Magic

This week�s focus is on information management… tools to manage and organize your online info! Features: Yahoo�s new Desktop Tool, Canadian MSN Newsbot, tools to manage your mountains of Favourites or Bookmarks, new feed for BRAIN_blog, and a fab new way to contact the friendly Library staff.

1) Yahoo Desktop Tool (Windows only)
Google’s desktop tool, (mentioned last October) now has competition: Yahoo�s Desktop Tool. Similar to Google�s tool, Yahoo Desktop searches all the files on your computer (Word, Excel PowerPoint, IE web pages visited, music, etc. ) Yahoo Desktop has its own interface rather than displaying search results in the browser, and offers a preview panel with viewers for the various file formats it can index, showing hit highlights within the documents as you view results.

2) Newsbot Canada
Last week, MSN launched Newsbot Canada in beta, an aggregator of 4,800 news sources from around the world. (Previously MSN Newsbot was only available for the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin American and Africa.) Newsbot is a personalized news search and aggregation tool. It works similar to Amazon.com that recommends books based on your previous preferences. Instead of suggesting books, Newsbot suggests news stories based on other stories you selected to read. Recommendations are made by category, for example Business or Technology. You can also search for news stories by keyword and your search history is saved so that you can run the same search again later. For more information, see the Search Engine Watch blog.

3) Bookmark/Favourites Management
Here�s the problem: you�re at home and you need a web site that you stored in your browser�s Favourites (IE)/Bookmarks (Netscape) on your computer at work. You don�t remember the name of it or the URL, all you remember is it was a goody. What to do? Here�s another problem: you have lots of sites saved on the topic of e-learning but you�re dying to know what sites other people have saved! Yes, I know you share these problems with me! Admit it. Well, agonize no longer, folks! There are some bookmark management tools out there (free, I might add) that not only store your bookmarks on the web so that you can access them from any computer but also show you who else has stored that bookmark.
Del.icio.us is one such tool. Mind you it is in �pre-pre-alpha� according to the developer, so it is none too pretty. However, it does the job. Here�s what to do:
1.) head on over to http://del.icio.us/
2.) Click on the About link to learn a bit about it and click on Register to log in.
3.) On the About file you�ll find links to 2 items that you should save to your toolbar or Favourites/Bookmarks: a link to your bookmarks page and a link that you can click anytime you want to add a bookmark.
4.) When you add a bookmark you can add subject categories to make it easier to find later.
Other interesting things to do at del.icio.us are: find out how many other people have linked to the same bookmark you have saved by clicking the �and # other people� link under your bookmark title… you can also see what other bookmarks these folks have saved. You can even subscribe to someone�s bookmark list if you find his/her taste in bookmarks particularly interesting.
There are other tools out there that are not pre-pre-alpha and that do something similar. Check out:
Furl: http://www.furl.net/index.jsp
Unalog: http://unalog.mine.nu/

4.) IM the Library
Students and staff at Mohawk now have another way of contacting Library @ Mohawk staff � thru instant messaging! The Library@Mohawk can now be reached through Yahoo, MSN and ICQ Instant Messengers. We�ll be logged in and waiting to hear from you 8:30am � 9:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:30am � 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Our more comprehensive chat service, AskTheBRAIN is also available (10:00am � 9:00pm Monday � Friday and 8:30am � 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday for more involved research questions.) Here are our IM identities:
Yahoo: librarymohawk
MSN: librarymohawk
ICQ: 198032612
This is a pilot project for the month of February. We’ll be waiting to hear from you beginning February 1st!

5.) BRAIN_blog now available as a feed
You can now read the BRAIN_blog in your newsfeed reader! What’s so great about that? If you have a news feed reader you can add the BRAIN_blog feed and you no longer have to visit the BRAIN_blog (we’d miss you) or wait for messages to find out when new content is available! Click the “Site Feed” link that is located at the very bottom of this page and add it to your reader. You might be asking yourself, �What is a feed reader?� �Why in blazes would I want one?� Here are some tutorials and background info:
From the Virtual Chase, a tutorial on �Finding News Faster: XML-Based Feeds in Research”
RSS Toolkit (from the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association)
Feedster Basics Tutorial
Keeping Up-to-Date the E-asy Way (a presentation from last year�s Connections Conference. See part 3: Tools to manage your news in one place.)

6.) Late breaking news!
This just in: Google plans on offering a search engine for TV programming and is set to launch it next Tuesday! The engine will work by indexing the closed captioned text of the programs. While you won�t be able to watch the show once you�ve found it in the Google search engine, you will be able to find out when it aired, when it will be repeated, and you�ll be able to see up to five still images from the show. More info at Canoe.

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