Thursday, March 08, 2007

Taking a circular route

ABC's Good Morning Americahad a short piece this morning with an interesting take regarding college students use of social networking sites. The piece, now an article on the ABC news site, After Years of Telling All, 20 Somethings Start to Clam Up, also discussed options for those who want to have their information removed from web sites. The article highlights an anonymous law school student who even with stellar grades and an impeccable resume was unable to secure a job in a law firm. After investigating she realized her job search was, in effect, being sabotaged by other people hijacking her personal Facebook pictures and posting them explicit comments on a message board. While none of the HR firms interviewed would admit to doing Internet searches on potential new hires, it is an open secret.

It has been a couple of years since I Googled myself to see what still lives on the Internet. After all, being told cyberspace is forever and seeing it are two different things. I took a few minutes this morning and searched. Most of returns were AU library, IRC, CMCIG, ALAO, and blog related. I did find a few understandable oddities; a PUBLIB list serv archive question from September 1999 (I was required to post a question for class) and a web page where an author cited a library handout I created in 2002 because I cited her article in the handout. Two of the most interesting results were blogging search engines IceRocket and LibWorm.

According to the About IceRocket page, they are "pioneering commercial search by putting the interests and wants of consumers before advertisers. IceRocket has innovative blog search technology to search blogosphere. " Arriving at IceRocket Blog Search via a blog post entry from Google, curiosity compelled me to see what I could find. I typed in my name, selected the "exact phrase" option, clicked search, and 345 posts authored by me returned! It seemed excessive until I realized the IRC blog easily has over 400 posts for collection development and information; add in this blog, the IRC book review blog, and CMCIG blog, and suddenly the number is not all that staggering. A perusal of several results pages revealed they were authored by me with the earliest dated 8/29/06 and most recent 3/5/07 (Monday). I was intrigued by a statistical selection, a small green icon next to different entries enumerating outside links. There were icons next to Library Cloud posts, but they did not work. Icons attached to other people's listings did work, so it may be linked the track back option in blogger that is not currently active here.

LibWorm is another blog search engine, "a professional development tool, and a current awareness tool for people who work in libraries or care about libraries." The main page states "Search the Biblioblogosphere and Beyond" and referres to itself as "the librarian RSS engine" with over 1500 available feeds. I first noticed this search engine a month or so ago when it was an outside link in the Library Cloud StatCounter account. When it was part of the returns for my initial Google search this morning, I decided to take another look at the product. A simple search returned over 282 records with only the first two pages actually belonging to me (as an author). An "exact phrase" search returned 44 records, only two pages, all of which were Library Cloud posts authored by me. LibWorm encourages you to create an account and submit a feed. I did create an account, but our feed already existed. Both of these blog search engines provide opportunities to search for library specific information. I have not used either beyond doing quick "me" searches, but they are worth a second look.

Tags: Social networking concerns, IceRocket, LibWorm, Blog search engines

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