Archive for July 6th, 2013

An indescribable followup

Posted in Libraries on July 6th, 2013

Early last week (June 28, 2013, to be exact), I posted “Indescribable“–about the oddity of running into a few public library websites where Bing and other search engines didn’t show brief descriptions of the sites.

I’m seeing more of those (as I continue the sweep of public library websites–smaller and smaller libraries as the project continues–toward A Library Is…: A Collection of Public Library Mottoes and Slogans).

The answer sounds like something out of The Price is Right, and yes, I know I’ve said that before.

To wit, Plinkit. Quoting from the site:

Plinkit Is:

  • A service that state libraries and consortia provide to local libraries

  • A template-based web site creation toolkit made using open-source software

  • A multi-state collaborative supporting Plinkit services

  • Provided as a web-hosting service

Lots of libraries, especially smaller ones, use Plinkit websites. They’re clearly reasonably customizable and, more important, they provide reasonable-quality websites for libraries that might have trouble building and maintaining their own scratch-built sites.

And I’m guessing–with no proof, but one key piece of evidence–that someone at Plinkit thought it was a good idea to include as a default a robots.txt file that disallows the kind of crawling that produces site summaries in search engines.

I’m guessing this for two reasons:

  1. Now that I’ve been paying attention, all of the sites with this oddity I’ve seen lately have been Plinkit sites.
  2. Search for Plinkit itself on Bing or Blekko and, guess what…you get the “indescribable” message. (Not, oddly enough, on Google.)

I choose not to comment further on the (in)advisability of doing this, mostly because I don’t know enough to provide thoroughly knowledgeable comments.

Oh, and if you’re interested in A Library Is…: The best way to reserve a copy, and possibly the only way to get one (other than as a future perk for substantial contributions to Cites & Insights) is to contribute toward my IndieGoGo crowdsourcing effort to underwrite $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets (2013-14). As little as a $12 contribution can get you a free copy of the PDF ebook when it’s ready.

 

 

 

 


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