A while ago here on Slaw I published a Yahoo pipes tutorial, and tried to show how we can take a set of authoritative feeds for a particular topic and mix them together as a current awareness tool. This new site is a good example of a subject-based feed mix. It’s also a good example of how feed mixing might help for the development internal collections; not simply because it pulls together like subject feeds, but more so because it uses the concept of feed filtering.
For this site, the DUI Lawyer Blog Watch, we’ve taken a group of bloggers (Criminal law bloggers) that touch on the subject of DUI, but whose commentary isn’t exclusive to that area of practice. For those blogs, we’ve placed a filter on the Pipe that only allows posts that contain the terms DUI or DWI. Once this pre-filtering is complete, we then use the Union module to bring the feeds back together before the final output.
It’s a very helpful technique; and one I hope most in-house law librarians will soon become familiar with.
Similar to the Florida lawyer blogs site we produced back in January, I’ve pulled one of my clients in to help. Lawrence Koplow, both a Phoenix DUI lawyer and an active DUI blogger, is going to help to spread the word and monitor for any new DUI blogs we can add to the collection.
The lesson I’d like to share here is an analogy. And that is, while I’m producing a site like this on the public-web for marketing purposes, the concept of subject-based feed mixing for lawyers behind the firewall is just as applicable. And the same way Lawrence is helping as a project champion externally, could work just as well with a Practice Chair or topical expert within your firm! Not only does it help in getting the word out about the new collection, but there’s an added advantage of getting regular feedback from an expert who’s already actively monitoring the subject area.
I really think this approach is a win-win for all involved. I also like the potential to help market and simplify RSS technology. Feed mixing & filtering to produce active collections has the potential to be very powerful. And despite what vendors will/may say, this isn’t something that Enterprise RSS can do. In an advanced state, RSS collection building will require many types of term inclusion and extraction (and at various intervals). It will go way beyond the simple mixing of raw feeds. It’s going to take a collection development approach.
The future of current awareness and the mixing of active content should prove to be very exciting!