Sunday, December 30, 2007

Do people realize?

This may be old news -- but it was new news to me. I realize a lot of people like LibraryElf. Because it helps them keep track of their library materials. What can it "deliver"?

What's delivered?
Email and/or RSS alerts before items are due
Email and/or RSS alerts on overdues and holds
Consolidated list of yours or your family's library loans and holds
Cellphone text message alerts for holds (US and Canada)
Real-time checking by browser

But I don't like the idea of opening of my private information to strangers so I've never used it. Plus I stumbled upon something on bloglines while looking for Oklahoma library news...that some folks who use the RSS feature may not fully realize...

Surely this is just a fluke and I wouldn't be able to see anything additional... so I clicked the preview option

Personally I don't view this as a good thing (of course considering my last post I may have residual paranoia) And it could still just a fluke -- so I searched by Library Elf URL and found...3,520 posts on bloglines.

Do these users realize they are sharing so much information? Do they care? I find it rather disturbing. But to Library Elf's credit -- they do have a disclaimer in their FAQ

It is important to note that if you use public RSS aggregators (e.g. Bloglines, Feedster, Rojo, etc.) you should be aware that some of these services may allow other users to read your RSS feeds. This means that putting a private RSS feed in a public aggregator could mean that others will be able to read your feed information.

Important Reminder: keep in mind RSS feeds are not without risks. Some public RSS aggregators may allow other users to read your RSS feeds -- even if you have set your profile to "private". If you have questions about your RSS software, please contact your RSS feed service provider.
Even with it listed the users understand? You may want to make sure your patrons who use Library Elf understand.


Brian C. Gray said...

Even in the public RSS readers, the user can mark individual feeds as private. I warn people about this all the time in my web/library 2.0 workshop.

Adri said...

Good to hear Brian - I hope others are instructing their students and patrons the same.

Chris said...

This was discovered some time ago - the same thing happened with Seattle Public when they first created RSS feeds in their catalog, but they eventually fixed that I believe.

Background can be found here -