Posts Tagged ‘RSS’

Recently the famed government website, Thomas.gov, released a set of enhancements that make it more web 2.0 friendly. Like all users of the net I welcome the updates and look forward to further changes. Unfortunately it still lacks the ONE feature for which I’ve been wishing: tracking. RSS, e-mail, text message, carrier pigeon, or some kind of update to a single bill is still not available. Luckily websites like GovTrack.us and The New York Times  provide this simple feature.

While, the list of available Thomas RSS feeds includes resources aplenty, the complaint remains. California has a  simple website for legislative information and codes. One can easily subscribe to legislative updates via e-mail. For example, cuss free week (ACR 112), displays links at the bottom to subscribe to updates and even contact the bill’s author, Assembly Member Portantino. Am I missing something or am I asking too much from Thomas.gov?


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Access to Government Documents in an easy to retrieve and searchable way is in a constant state of flux. One Gov. department may offer superior searching capabilities where another might have TXT versions in a humongous list. Today’s complaint is the lack of RSS being provided by Thomas.gov. The handy web-site that allows you to follow current and previous US Government bills. Luckily, there are other options (govtrack.us and washingtonwatch.com) however govtrack.us has it’s technical difficulties and washingtonwatch.com isn’t inuitive.  Thomas.gov needs to provide RSS status to bills.

Govtrack.us also offers web-code to embed tracking, but it doesn’t play well with wordpress:

.GovTrackEmbed { font-size: 85%; color: black; border: 1px solid black; background-color: white; padding: 5px; width: 350px }
.GovTrackEmbedTable { font-size: 85%; color: black }
.GovTrackEmbedTitle { font-weight: bold; color: blue; text-align: center }
.GovTrackEmbedHighlight { background-color: AntiqueWhite }
.GovTrackEmbedFooter { font-size: 90% }
.GovTrackEmbedDate { font-size: 90%; }
.GovTrackEmbed a { text-decoration: none }

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A Tale of Two Blogs

It may be or not be well known that I maintain two blogs. In theory this allows me to talk library and information shop as The LiS Kid and prattle on about nothing as Philippe for America. In practice it is mostly prattling on in both forums. For some, this may be a disturbance in their blog reading routines. Why should I have to check out two blogs for one dude? If you are the kind of person who favorites or remembers all the blogs you read then I am sorry. I am not sorry for my having two blogs, but am sorry because you don’t use RSS. Don’t go to the Internet and blogs, make them come to you. RSS is REALLY SIMPLE (haha get it? no, then learn about RSS). With RSS you can read my blogs and all the others you choose from the comfort of a single browser or reader program. In no time you’ll be screaming, “I got 99 problems but a blog ain’t one”.

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