I’m just a link in your chain

My networks aren’t adequately networked. This week, I’ve been diligently trying to streamline my use of these Web services. As it turns out, there are ways to integrate some of them. For example, Brandon Partridge, one of the guides at Mahalo Greenhouse, whipped up a new Facebook application for Mahalo, the human-powered search service designed to produce spam-free results.

Yesterday, Lon Harris and I added one drop to what may eventually become an ocean of Mahalo search result pages. That was fun. (I did say it was spam-free, not typo-free.)

Another Facebook application, Flog, lets me display a feed from my local community’s Topix.net news discussion. Ideally, the Topix newsfeed for my city would appear on the city’s Facebook group page, but for the moment I can only add it to my Facebook profile.

John Fulton, an adjunct professor of computer science at Franklin University, is the first of my neighbors to begin aggregating hyperlocal news on Topix. I’m sure he’d welcome a few more volunteers to serve as assistant editors.

Another neighbor, Bob Robertson-Boyd, social networking product manager at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), is advocating wider use of WorldCat, the online catalog that links to more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.

By the way, Timothy Dickey, a research technical intern at OCLC whose lovely wife is a local journalist, was the recent recipient of the 2007 Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)/Ex Libris Student Writing Award. His winning paper proposed improvements in online library catalogs that would address the relationships among library materials such as music recordings. Dickey and his wife, Jennifer Hambrick, are musicologists.

For a perspective on just how much social networking we’re humanly capable of, see Christopher Allen’s analysis of Dunbar’s Number.

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