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#4 – Setting Up an RSS Feed

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Time for.. Thing #4 – Setting up your RSS account. 

 a. Decide whether you want to use Google Reader (NB you will need a Google email account) or Bloglines.  If you need some help deciding between the two, take a look at this article.

Of course If you feel like exploring, and you have the time,  feel free to set up accounts on both sites, play around in them, get a feel for the interfaces, and decide for yourself!

 b.  Set up your account – following the guidelines, both are fairly simple to set up and use.

 c.  Add a few of your favourite websites, news sites and of course-  blogs to your account.  To get the most out of your reader, you need to add lots of feeds. Try to subscribe to 10 or more feeds in either Bloglines or Google Reader.

Of Course…… First of all you can add the 23Things blog so that you will know when new content is added!

 Heres how:  Copy this link to the blog : https://23thingsdevlibs.wordpress.com

If you’re using Bloglines: login to your account, click “Add” at the top-left of the screen, paste the link into the “Blog or Feed URL” box, and click “Subscribe”. The next screen will give you some options on where you’d like to save the feed (you can organize your feeds in folders), once you’ve made your choices, click “Subscribe” at the bottom of the page.

If you’re using Google Reader: login to your account, click “Add subscription” at the top-left of the page, paste the link into the input box that appears, and click “Add”.

 Next Step: Once you’ve subscribed to the devlibs feed, take a look at some of these sites and subscribe to their feeds as well. To find their feed addresses, you will have to visit the site and look for the RSS icon or an ‘RSS/Subscribe’ link. They’ll be there somewhere….

Guardian

The Times

 Final Step: Still looking for more feeds to subscribe to? Getting addicted? Go to some of the library news blogs listed below. Some of these links go straight to the RSS feed – for the rest you’ll have to find the feed yourself…. Subscribe to feeds from the list. Read them weekly until October Daily is better. Why? Because you only really understand RSS by using it regularly.

Library blogs to set up feeds to:

Librarian in Black: Sarah Houghton-Jan covers many of the important stories in the ‘biblioblogosphere’ (!) in short and snappy posts.
Phil Bradley’s weblog
: Phil is a professional librarian and his blog is very useful way to keep up with new Web 2.0 tools.
Stephen’s Lighthouse:
Stephen Abram blogs about future strategic developments in libraries.

.Information Wants to be Free: Meredith Farkas’s blog. Meredith has written a very useful book on the uses of social software in libraries.
UK WebFocus
: Brian Kelly’s blog. Brian is based at UKOLN and his blog focuses on all aspects of digital information management, but especially Web 2.0 developments.

Make sure to visit your aggregator at least a couple of times this week to check for new content in the feeds you’ve subscribed to! (you’ll be surprised at how addictive RSS feed-reading can become!) And don’t forget to blog about your experiences using these tools!

 Further Readings (entirely optional!)

Categories: Week 4 Tags: , , , , ,

Finding and Sharing information

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Congratulations!  You’ve made it to Week 4!  How time flies….. 

Over the next couple of weeks you are going to be learning about RSS feeds and other news based websites and blogs.  These are particularly useful Web2.0 tools that can assist anyone who is interested in up to date information, which of course, means all of us in the “library business”

 If you have been following the 23 Things programme so far, you will already be using some powerful Web2.0 applications.  You have a blog, you can download photos and even change them around using online image generators. 

 The technological world is changing on almost a daily basis; new gadgets are being developed, mobile phones can now search the web for you, GPS systems are now sold as standard in new car models.   ipads, ebooks, notebooks, apps…the list goes on!!  This is an exciting time…but it can be difficult to keep up with all the new technological advances.

So,  the first activity this week is  on more familiar ground for most of us. 

 Activity 1. 

 Research and create a new technology related blogpost about something ( anything!) that interests you. Post it onto your blog so that all the 23 Things participants can share the information you have found.  Keeping others up to date can be an important element of blogging.

Where do you start?…..

Well there’s the BBC Technology site or Wired Magazine or  The Guardian

Does this new technology excite you?  Does it worry you maybe?  Do you have concerns about its use or can’t you wait to embrace it? 

In the next “thing” we are going to look at a way of keeping up to date with all the latest information.. RSS Feeds

Good hunting!

Categories: Week 4 Tags: , , ,

RSS Feeds – What Are They?

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

What is RSS?

There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most people opt for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. It allows users to view “feeds” or “newsfeeds” from blogs, news services and other websites.  Each feed consists of headlines and summaries of new or updated articles.  If you see something that you think you would like to read then you can click on the headline to view the full story.

In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionizing the way news, media and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information.

You will find RSS referred to as “feeds” or even “news feeds”. You may have seen one of these icons on various websites as you’ve surfed the web:

rss

 So, what does RSS do? Think about the websites and news information sources you visit every day. We all know how long it takes to visit those sites and search through the ad-filled and image-heavy pages for just the text you want to read.  RSS allows you to visit all those information sources and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually.

In addition, web searchers don’t necessarily have to keep checking back to any particular site to see if it’s been updated – all you need to do is subscribe to the RSS feed, much like you would subscribe to a newspaper, and then read the updates from the site, delivered via RSS feeds

Benefits

For an individual consumer of that content, RSS feeds can save you untold time and energy through simple to use feeds.  The RSS feed gives you the ability to keep up with what you are interested in on the web using an RSS aggregator (which is a fancy way of saying, ”An online place that collects all of your favourite stuff and dumps it in one place.” ) such as Bloglines or by using the RSS feed reader functionality built into a homepage like My Yahoo or iGoogle.

For a library, RSS feeds gives the power to inform on a whole new level. RSS feeds give you a way to provide a steady stream of pertinent fresh content on your library’s or organization’s websites, portals, blogs, wikis and more.

 Activities

 1.  Watch the Common Craft video about RSS.  It makes RSS easy!

 2.  Sign up for an account with a news aggregator.  Some people like Google Reader (shown in the Common Craft video), and some like Bloglines. .

  You can find a Bloglines setup tutorial here

And a short video on using Google reader here

Categories: Week 4