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Using RSS Syndication to Track Items

I have added a new HowTo to the site:

RSS Syndication

With all the interesting things going on here on Oort-Cloud, it is useful to know how to track the things you want to pay attention to, so we have installed a number of useful RSS syndication feeds to help you do just that.

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Books Worth a Look

Oort-Cloud community,

Thanks to Ron Jerome and his awesome Biblio module, as well as his speedy response time to ongoing development issues, we now have a new open section on Oort-Cloud:

Books Worth a Look

Books Worth a Look is a place to add your favorite books, and most importantly tag them and rate them, and then review them and discuss them on Oort-Cloud.

There is also a "New Books" menu on the right, so you can keep up with new additions.

Try it out, and be sure to report any errors, and give lots of feedback and suggestions for innovative ways to utilize the new archive.

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Shinguuji - Pt. 1

Sakura raced through the bamboo forest towards unidentified cries of distress, heedless of the pain that throbbed in her left side. The steep mountain slope made the climb treacherous as she pulled herself along from oversized stone to oversized stone, hands and feet seeking any available hold. By the gods, she thought, someone besides myself here in the midst of this dense wilderness? Surely, I am thousands of li from any settlement.

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Discussion: Is "Foundation" No Longer a Classic?

So, I was reading Twenty Years Ago the Classics Were Different by James Wallace Harris, in which he says:

Twenty years ago I wrote an article about the classics of science fiction for the fanzine Lan’s Lantern – and later made the essay into a web site at the Classics of Science Fiction.... The final Classics of Science Fiction list wasn’t selected by me, but was assembled from the most frequently recommended books from 28 best-of lists and other sources dating back to the 1950s. Of the 193 books on the list, I’m not sure how many I would personally recommend today.

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Tags and Titles

I have noticed some interesting trends (and the potential for more) emerging here on Here is a brief rundown.

First, there is the use of various "fiction" tags, regarding which a "nonfiction" tag would be equally useful.

Second, I have seen someone post something that is a discussion item with a title that begins "Discussion: " and the tag "discussion". Similarly, one might post a review with a title of "Review: " and the tag "review", or "Fiction: " and "fiction".

This a useful idea for a number of reasons:

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OpenLit Milestone and an First

Greetings, Terrestrials and Extras, we have an OpenLit milestone and an Oort-Cloud (and possibly a science-fiction/fantasy/publishing) first.

In OpenLit we address two kinds of openness: open distribution and open content.

On Thu, 02/22/2007 @ 03:32 hafoc posted his Lance Steele story Cold Boot which opens with this remark:

Introducing Lance Steele! For reasons which shall become obvious, I'm thinking of donating him to this community. I bet people could have a HOOT playing around with him.

Paul B. Hartzog's picture Polls

We installed an Advanced Poll Module, which enables us to do more sophisticated polls (in addition to the older simpler poll), so I have added a menu item called "Polls" which will show you all of the polls to date, regardless of type (if you are logged in).

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Oort-Cloud Mission Statement - Feedback Request

Just throwing this out there for some feedback...

I have added the Oort-Cloud Mission statement at the top of the front page in big friendly letters. It's not quite "Don't Panic!" but it works. :-)

We would like it to be more visible on the site in general, which could be accomplished by:

  1. putting it in a block on the side
  2. keeping it front and center (but possibly smaller)


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The "" Tag

Just a quick note:

Please reserve the "" tag for posts about Oort-Cloud administrative pages (such as Social Publishing or the FAQ) and for discussion about how to use Oort-Cloud effectively.

For example, Jack Bell has posted some recent items on his Oort-Cloud blog that use the tag properly

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URLs in Bibliography Entries

Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" (which I just added to the Oort-Cloud Bibliography), is a good example of the utility of the "URL" field in bibliography entries.

In this case, it links over to the online location of the work.

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