How long might it take to influence a national service? And what approaches would you take if you wished to do this?  Well let me give an example of how Twitter can be used.

On Thursday 5 November 2009 Tony Hirst (@psychemedia) asked Joy Palmer a question about the RSS feeds provided by the COPAC service:

@joypalmer while you’re there ;-), any idea why copac rss results list only a fraction of the html results?

Joy, manager of the JISC-funded COPAC service, responded:

@psychemedia had to check on that one! rss only displays new items for that search (2 weeks).

to which Tony asked for the reasons for the policy:

@joypalmer What is reason for that policy? is there a way of getting all books in the feed, other than by scraping?

Joy asked for examples of what was needed:

@psychemedia curious to know why wld you want all of them? i.e. what use case are you thinking? tis something we cld address if strong case

I spotted this discussion and contributed with an example of why I feel that RSS should be used for much more than just news alerts:

@joypalmer For me RSS is useful as a generic syndication format & not just for alerting. e.g. see


@psychemedia @briankelly Sold. we’re moving to new hardware right now. Will add to the to-do list for Jan.

A nice example providing evidence of  how Twitter can provide benefits in the workplace.  But as well as ensuring that a richer set of feeds will be developed for reuse by third party developers I thought this example was also interesting in showing that despite the advocacy for service to provide RSS, there’s still not a widespread understanding of the reasons why a comprehensive set of RSS feeds are needed.  Is this, I wonder, due to the fans of RSS simply pushing for deployment of RSS but failing to make the case for how RSS should be used?