digital knowledge. digital culture. digital memory.


A Fiji blogs feed - one step further

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Fiji blogs feed
One of the key partner technologies to blogs is syndication. Syndication, in this sense, refers to publishing your blog (or any other web resource) in one of several standardized formats that can be read and processed by other computers. Syndicating your blog is commonly referred to as publishing a feed.It would be fair to ask, why on earth would I want to do this? The argument is twofold,

  1. More readers - This allows your readers to access your blog through the increasingly popular channel of feed readers like reddit, Google Reader, or right inside of Mozilla Firefox or Thunderbird. One key difference between surfing the web and using a feed reader is that your posts will arrive like new email in the feed reader of every one of you subscribers - you do not have to hope that they will surf to your site of their own accord.
  2. More readers - This allows your content and links to your blog to be gathered, processed, and used in new ways. One exciting example is through aggregators. Aggregators bring content together from diverse sources. One interesting example is the Fiji News feed that I put together.
I am indebted to fellow Fiji blogger Vakaisavosa who has suggested a number of additions to my original list of active Fiji blogs. I have gone through my list, plus those of Vakaisavosa's suggested additions that met my criteria of recent activity and Fijiness, and pulled together all available feeds into one aggregated Fiji blogs feed using Kick RSS. This feed will let you watch almost all Fiji blogs from a single feed.

This brings me to my final point - I notice that several Fiji bloggers conspicuously lack feeds to their blogs. Turn on those feeds, my friends, so that Fiji's diverse voices can be heard even louder!


Fiji blogs!

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One of the most popular ways for individuals to participate in digital culture and collaborate online is through weblogs (or just blogs) - and Fijians are no exception.

The following is a list of active blogs about Fiji or by Fiji residents. Notice how diverse these blogs are in style and topic - they range from personal diaries, to blogs sharing photos with overseas relatives, to promotional blogs, to self-published journalism.



Benefiting from the global digital commons

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Google Books beta
The developing cultural and financial economies of the South Pacific, while lagging behind developed nations in terms of information infrastructure, are in a unique position to take advantage of many of the fruits of the information age. One can see this taking place in numerous forms - mobile phone adoption out paces copper telephony across the region, satellite television is common where cable TV delivery is almost non-existent, and digital content delivered via the Internet has gone some way to narrowing the information gap between the Pacific region and the developed world.

One area where this final point has a great deal of promise is within the domain of libraries. Generally speaking, the geography of the South Pacific region has always been a significant barrier to the development of library collections in the region. It is a fact that the total cost of acquiring a book in the South Pacific is significantly higher than in countries with local publishing industries and markets. However, as more and more digital content becomes available online, the total cost of delivering that content to library users in the South Pacific becomes closer to the total cost of delivery to users of a North American, European, or Australian library.

The same is also true for innovative online library services. One fascinating and occasionally controversial (see here and here) example is Google Books. Through digitizing the collections of a number of major libraries in the US and Europe (Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford Universities, the University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library), Google Books has provided no-cost full-text searching and a visual peak inside of millions of books to Internet users around the world.

Recently, Google Books added a new feature that explicitly ties the service back to libraries in 30 countries - Find Libraries.

Each result includes a "Find Libraries" link to help readers find libraries that hold the book -- ideally a library nearby, or if need be, a library far away. For example, after reading Martin Gardner's book Fads and Fallacies, I wanted to follow up on Immanuel Velikovsky's books about scientific explanations for biblical miracles. Clicking on the "Find Libraries" link for Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision, I found that a copy was available in the University of Sao Paulo library.
[Bruno Fonseca, Finding the wealth in your library (and everyone else's), Official Google Blog, 24/8/2006]
Shortly thereafter, John Blyberg of the Ann Arbor District Library posed the question, if Google Books can incorporate library holdings into their search results, "They [Google Books] should have no problem with me incorporating Google Books into our hit-list. Right?" John reports that Google did briefly object, but ultimately allowed him to roll Google Book page previews into his catalogue results at Try a keyword search for "frommers pacific" and click on the Look inside this book @ Google Books to see this in action.

The combined public and private sectors of the entire South Pacific could not put together an endeavor as colossal as Google Books, yet the beauty of the information age is that we in the Pacific get to be full beneficiaries of Google's investment.