Tomasky, Spring, Kosmix

I've added a link to Michael Tomasky's blog at the Manchester Guardian. I used to buy a weekly digest, printed in tabloid format on something like india paper, of the Guardian and Le Monde when I lived in New Orleans in the early '80's. When the Guardian went online, I became a daily reader, for it's international coverage and for a view on current affairs from afar. Tomasky is an American correspondent whom I came to like for his wry, good-natured coverage of the recent elections.

The Spring blooming peaked this weekend, and with rain forecast, I walked around my neighborhood taking pictures on Sunday, which you can see on my Facebook page. The rain came on Monday, much-needed.

Reading a story on the web-guide-generating site Kosmix in the Sunday New York Times, I was intrigued enough to take it for a spin. Pleasing to the eye, configurable interface, but, sorry to say, not especially useful for reference work. It is a commercial site, a sort of mega-portal, aggregating already selected content from hot apps like Google Trends, Twitter, Hulu, YouTube, and mainstream news sites Yahoo Buzz, Digg, CNN and Newsweek, like a cow's fourth stomach.

I did a search on the Reconstruction Era to see if Kosmix would index any gov or edu archives, like American Memory , or Documenting the American South at UNC. No, Kosmix leans almost entirely on Wikipedia for non-commercial content. It's handy for the casual browser, but it lacks the recall required for reference work.

No comments: