Case study

KANSAS City Public Library: It seems a lot of RSS feeds are listed on KCPL website, but I had difficulties to understand some titles. For example, there is one section called “test”. Honestly, I have no idea what this supports to be so I clicked the link “test”. Then I was brought to the Block Business Center and more links appeared. Unfortunately, I tried 4 links, “Tax time”, “Forms 101”, “Find Information” and “Ask us” and none of them worked (They are all broken links). I do not know what happened over there, but obviously as a visitor, I was not happy with this experience.

Hennepin County Library: Same thing happened at here. This library has many feeds, but very few of them are working. There are so many RSS-FEED icons on the page, but some of them are links and some of them are not, which is very confusing. In addition, in the subject guides section, no RSS FEED icon works. If you click that icon, I am sure you will get the message “sorry, the page’s not there.” If I am a newbie, I won’t be able to locate the proper feed.

NHMCCD: I really like this RSS feeds. This site gives very clear explanations and all feeds are listed alphabetically. After you click the feed, it displays very detailed current RSS feed content, which tells me if this is what I want. Unfortunately, I don’t have student card or library card, so I could not go any further.

Tacoma Public Library: This site’s RSS feeds are very well organized. Visitors should not have any problem to find what they want. The site provides two options, so you, as a user, do not have to subscribe the feed. You can just read it online. In addition, they provides very detailed help information to teach people how to use the RSS feed and how to subscribe them. Very well done.

University of Oklahoma Libraries: The RSS feed list is great on this site. They broke down the LC classification number to each subject and users could subscribe each section as they wish. Also I love the search function. But I have one small comment. If they could let people to tick all sections they want, and subscribe them together, it’s going to be wonderful. Right now, if you want to subscribe 15 subjects, you have to do it 15 times, which is waste of your time. Great RSS feed lists.

Western Kentucky University Libraries: I compared this site with the previous 5 sites, and found this one did not have too many feeds. I thought that they might be able to manage this small number of feeds very well, but I was wrong. There are two major problems. The first one is that the naming is not appropriate. As a university library website, they use old stuff and new stuff on its website as RSS feeds, which are not suit for its academic setting. The second one is that they mix all sites together. On its homepage, they have blogs, external links, and internal links. Not all of them could be subscribed. Within the scope of blogs, they have two different blogs on this site which have different appearances. One is hosted on campus, and another is from Blogspot. I think these problems really defeat its credential.

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3 Responses to “Case study”

  1. Jill Says:

    Hi, I agree with your comments about Western Kentucky U.’s site not being very appropriate for an academic setting, and U. of Oklahoma’s feeds for LC numbers being a neat idea, but broken down too finely. Jill

  2. Glenn Says:

    Broken links on the Hennepin County Library feeds are now fixed!!

  3. Daka Says:

    Hi Qingyi! Interesting comments. I can no longer find the article I read this in but I remember it says one of the issues that has made RSS not compltely mainstream is because RSS feed links are stll failing quite often. This may change as the feature becomes more mature – however, right now from a usability standpoint, I wonder how this impacts long term success.It is frustrating as a user, when things don’t work!

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