Category Archives: Communication

Create Own RSS Feed or Email Alert to Monitor Web Site Changes

Monitoring changes to Web sites can be an important part of legal practice, whether for litigation, competitive intelligence, current awareness, or any number of other reasons. RSS feeds and email alerts make potentially laborious process much easier. Instead of going out to the web site every day, you can automatically receive notification of any changes.
But what do you do when the site doesn’t offer a RSS feed or email alert? Build your own. I put together this short handout for a class I taught last week. In it, I describe two tools – PonyFish (RSS) & Watch That Page (email) – which allow to you create your own monitoring service.

Read this doc on Scribd: Build Your Own RSS Feed or Alert

WisconsinEye Progress Report

There’s a lot going on with WisconsinEye these days. Last night, Christopher Long, President & CEO was the guest speaker at the joint meeting of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Chapter of the Special Libraries Association.
It’s More Than You Thought
Many of us probably think of WisconsinEye as CSPAN for Wisconsin, and, yes, while it does serve that role, it also does much more. In addition to its coverage of state government, WisconsinEye captures other aspects of Wisconsin public life, “from the Capitol to Main Street and city halls, community centers and neighborhoods.”
Availability
Christopher explained that WisconsinEye is available on the digital tiers of both Time Warner and Charter Cable. It is also available online. DVDs are also available for purchase from WisconsinEye for those wishing to have a permanent copy of a particular broadcast for their collection.
Coming Soon
Christopher gave us a sneak peek of some planned upgrades. A email alert service for upcoming programming and video archive search engine are currently in the works. An RSS feed for newly archived programming is also planned. There will also be new types of programming, such as expanded areas of coverage within the capital (committee rooms, rotunda, etc). Several new series are also planned, including a legal affairs series.
For Legislative History Research
There were several questions from the audience about using WisconsinEye coverage for legislative history research. Christopher indicated that this type of use was welcomed. Note that their user agreement indicates that:

Users who are schools, higher education institutions, State of Wisconsin agencies, libraries and municipalities are authorized to record, reproduce, internally transmit, publicly display and perform our Content to their respective students, employees, or patrons for educational, training, research and other non-commercial and non-political purposes.

Although thousands of hours are already available in WisconsinEye’s archive, accessing them at this point is difficult since one would have to browse by date to view the content. I look forward to the addition of the video search engine. Presumably, this will make content much more accessible and, therefore, useful for conducting legislative history research.

Disposable Phone Numbers

There is a service called Numbr (formerly Craigsnumber) that provides free disposable phone numbers. You say how long you need the number (one hour to one month) and tell it to what real phone number(s) you want it forwarded.
There are some additional advanced options and you can terminate or extend the number if desired. Get your number at the Numbr web site or call (415) 234 5678.
One suggested use for a disposable number is when posting a contact number on an auction or ad. I could also see using it for online transactions or prize registrations when a phone number is required. I’m sure there are lots of other uses. If you think of any, add them to the comments.
Source: inter alia