All entries for Friday 19 November 2004

November 19, 2004

Google Scholar

Writing about web page

From the FAQs:-

Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

Interesting development. Apparently, Google have done deals with publishers to let them index content which they normally wouldn't be able to get to, because it's behind a subscription barrier. If you search for "search engines", there's a result for a paper titled "ProFusion: Intelligent fusion from multiple, distributed search engines". That paper is published by the Journal Of Universal Computer Science, a subscription-based service.

Google require that participating publishers and other groups make abstracts available so that users can see more than just the existence of a paper; they can get some idea of its relevance to them. Presumably this is win-win: Google gains a new search resource, and publishers and others get to show their wares and maybe gain new subscriptions.

Danny Sullivan does his usual sterling job of analysing this new service.

Adverts in RSS

Writing about web page,1272,65745,00.html

FeedBurner are offering their users the chance to embed adverts in their RSS feeds. At first glance that seems irritating and somehow just… wrong. RSS is a syndication format and thus not suitable for advertising content. But the guys at 37 Signals have adopted this strategy, and they say:-

Bottom line: People put a lot of time into their blogs and I don't see a problem with them being compensated for their time. I also don't see why RSS should be "immune" to revenue generation. RSS is simply content and ads simply support content.

It's probably true that RSS is going to go the way that web pages went in the nineties; first there'll be adverts, then there'll be competition to see how ads can be made more eye-catching, then there'll be counter-measures (RSS readers with ad-blockers built in) and so on.

In fact, it's already started. In the comments to the 37 Signals announcement:-

Not so hard to avoid the ads if you use a ad-blocking proxy. Add something like the following and you'll never see the ads:-
// signal vs. noise is now polluting its rss feeds with ads.
|| (dnsDomainIs(host, "") &&
shExpMatch(url, "*/~a/*"))

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