For anyone who’s interested in how libraries and librarians are blogging about the swine flu outbreak, I’ve just added a dedicated RSS feed over on the HotStuff 2.0 blog: http://www.daveyp.com/hotstuff/?p=268
It’s an ugly bit of coding and definitely a “crappy prototype”, but here’s a quick & dirty mashup of the blog posts tracked by HotStuff and Google Maps…
If you look at the overall keyword cloud for HotStuff 2.0, you can see librar* bloggers like to talk about libraries, books, reading, books and libraries.
When some things are more popular than others, this gives rise to Tim Spalding’s “Harry Potter Effect” — everyone’s got the HP books on their shelves, so, if you’re not careful, they end up becoming the top recommendations/suggestions for almost any type of book.
In our case, in many of the keyword clouds, “library” and “book” keep on coming out as the largest words. Whilst this is an accurate reflection of what the blogs are talking about, it does hide some of the more interesting and relevant keywords.
As an example, the full keyword cloud for presentation has “library” as the largest word…
…click on “redactum!” and you get a cloud with some more interesting words such as “audiences” and “interaction”…
* apologies for the cod Latin!
I’ve added another bit of code to HotStuff 2.0 to try and locate blogs with similar content. In theory, the suggestions should improve as more posts are consumed (the good ol’ Network Effect) as this gives the code more data to find matches on.
For those interested in such things, the code compares the word frequencies of the blog in question with those of all the other blogs to try and locate those whose content is similar.
For anyone who’s interested, I’ve just posted a couple of HotStuff widgets: www.daveyp.com/hotstuff/widgets/
The second widget allows you to add a word cloud (based on either all words, words used by a specific blog, or for a specific word)…
I’ve added a couple of new features to HotStuff 2.0 today…
1) “Top blogs” for specific words — this locates the blogs which contain the highest ratio of posts containing that word (matching on the common word stem). For example, currently The Kept-Up Academic Librarian is the top blog for universities and Phil Bradley is top for searching.
2) “Hot or not” score for each blog — using a top secret formula (which I might patent as “BiblioBlogRank”!), for each day’s blog posts, points are added or subtracted to the overall score for that blog. Points are gained for using words which have seen a recent increase in usage, but are lost for using words that are declining in usage. For reasons that even I’m not too sure about, Slaw is today’s hottest blog and TangognaT is the least!
As promised/threatened just before Christmas, the new version of HotStuff is now up and running: www.daveyp.com/hotstuff/
It’s still early days, so it’ll be a week or two before it really starts to pick up on the hot new topics in the biblioblogosphere. So far, it’s sucked in just under 1,000 blog posts and found nearly 17,000 unique words.
You can also search for specific words (e.g. Dewey, LCSH or cool) or view keyword clouds for specific blogs (e.g. “Walt at Random” or “Tame the Web“). There’s also a keyword cloud that pulls everything together to show the most used frequently words from all the blogs.
Once again — if you’d like your RSS/Atom feed adding, just leave a comment (same goes for if you’d like your feed removing!). You can see a list of the current feeds on Bloglines: www.bloglines.com/public/liblogs
After killing off Hot Stuff due to a server upgrade, I find that I’m kinda missing it!
So, I’ve decided to have a second stab at the problem and this time the code is much cleaner and faster. In particular, I’m using Bloglines to handle fetching all of the feeds and then grabbing the new posts via the Bloglines API.
It’s too early for the code to start spotting new keywords and topics yet, so it’ll be early in the new year before it launches fully. In the meantime, feel free to check that your favourite library/librarian blogs are included in the list of sites I’m pulling content from: http://www.bloglines.com/public/liblogs.
Please post a comment with the URL of any blogs you’d like including!
I’m hoping the make the new code a little more visual, so expect to see things like these…
 HotStuff 2.0 is gradually appearing here: http://www.daveyp.com/hotstuff/
As one final “hurrah” from the Hot Stuff service, I thought it would be fun to put all of the data into Wordle. Every day, for the last 2 years or so, my code has saved away the top 100 words from all of the new blog posts from around 500 librarian blogs…
…so, from all of this painstaking research we can clearly see that librarian bloggers love to talk about books!