Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FOCOL and the library basement

I started as the assistant to Fox Cities Online through the Appleton Public Library. I sit in one of the fancy basement offices in the library and manage the database of FOCOL with Microsoft Access. I get a login to the APL computers and everything. Pretty exciting, right? I get to read the newspaper, surf the internet, chill out on Facebook, check out whatever I want to find new businesses, clubs, services and, well, basically anything in the Fox Valley. I also have to find ones that went out of business and remove them from the list.

The most difficult part is the part that sounds easy - assigning categories and keywords. It is hard to put each place into one main category when some places easily fit into more than one. Also, coming up with keywords takes some thought. I've been putting in a lot of keywords for each place I add and it seems like I put in more keywords than the last guy. But, if you were looking for somewhere in the Valley that does haircuts for men, you could search for men haircuts, barbershops, salon for men, etc.

The boring part is clicking on EVERY single link to make sure it is still active. Since no one has gone through the database in awhile, I am finding a lot of dead links to remove. It takes time though.

Today was my first day. This is my new Wednesday side project. I already like it better than my actual job.

And, if you are looking for any businesses, clubs, services, etc in the Fox Valley, try searching on FOCOL to find what you are looking for.

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