Week 4: RSS

RSS
Real Simple Syndication. You may have heard the term before, but did you know what the letters stood for? RSS is a powerful tool that can help bring information to you. Take a look at this YouTube introduction to rss.


The video mentions the following rss aggregators or feed readers

You should already have a gmail account. You will be using it in the following activity.
Discover: - Go to Google reader and create a free account. Once your account is created, add at least 5 RSS feeds to your account. Make sure that one of them is the Powerhouse Museum’s picture of the day blog.
Some others you might consider are
Hint: To search for blogs use blogs or rss in the search term, or use Google blog search to find blogs on your favourite topic
If you need extra help contact nswpln@gmail.com or your consultant.
Explore: - In your blog, create an entry that reflects on what you searched for and what you found. If you are stuck, you can use these questions to help start you out:

  • What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?

  • What sites did you select for your RSS reader?

  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work?

  • How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?

  • Did you find any good examples of other library blogs?
Remember to take a moment and share your thoughts and comments on someone else’s blog.
Adventure - (remember this is an OPTIONAL activity)

  • Add a news feed to your own blog.

  • Sign in to your blog

  • Go to layout

  • Click on ‘add a page element’
  • Add a ‘feed’ to your blog (eg an ABC news feed)
Note if you want to add an rss feed to you blog you can do this through using Google reader.

50 comments:

Kim said...

I found this to be quite fun, though bit of a chore trying to find feeds from my favourite websites.

All in all quite useful, though I am going to stick to the pre-scripted comics feed I get direct to my email.

CatyJ said...

This little adventure has been a tad frustrating. I can add page elements to my blog without too many problems but the act of adding a feed page element was more problematic. I had issues with getting the right/acceptable feed url so in the end I added a link page element instead. This way I can link straight from my blog to my 2 RSS aggregators (Bloglines and Google Reader) which is possibly more useful for me as I will now be inclined to check my feeds more regualrly.

jenny yan said...

It's been really interesting to climb up to week 4 and to be able to learn more. I've an account with Gmail for a quite while which seems quite useful for me to do learning 2.0. I think flickr has similar function as facebook. However the trouble is now it seems I have to have a notebook to keep up all my logins and passwords. Of course I could use the same login/password for all, but if only I'm lucky -- the site allows me.
I understand use RSS my favorable information will come to me. But I find
'bookmarks'/favorites is a lot easier way to be used for keep your favorite sites save. Then why we need RSS? Maybe this is just another way to get information?
Now the trouble is not that we don't have enough information but we have too much information and too many good websites and spend too much time to login in or out and login in and out again for information. Doesn't technology mean to simplify the way of information retrieval?
Sorry for my doubt.
By saying so, it doesn't mean I don't enjoy this learning.

pls@slnsw said...

RSS is really useful for keeping up with blogs and other information which is updated at irregular intervals - you don't have to keep checking for updates - they are 'pushed' to you so you only have to check in one place - your rss aggregator.

Ellen

Bambino said...

I am still undecided about RSS. It was quite fun setting up the reader and subscribing to feeds (although it varied considerably from one website to another in how easy this was to achieve!). Like Jenny commented, at the moment I can't really see much benefit to me personally over the daily emails I already receive from the various websites of interest to me. I can see that the reader would be useful if you subscribed to a great many feeds and needed to manage them.

For a library though, I can see RSS would be really beneficial. The library would have a great online method of promoting library events, services, new collections, and so on, to members and customers. This is especially great for the customers who don't visit the library often in person. I think libraries really have to got to not only 'keep up' (especially with the younger library users) but really be at the forefront of technology and RSS seems one good way of achieving that.

Superchicken 77 said...

I think RSS is great fun and helps to sort out the garbage from what I really want to read. I think it has great potential for the library for marketing purposes.

Runnerslegs45 said...

Great for the latest book reviews.
I agree that the link from one's own blog is much easier to use
than adding feed url's.

tracy24 said...

I'm still not completely savvy with using RSS. I have received some interesting info, but I can't seem o narrow it right down to what I really want. I added a book review site, but I get reviews for EVERYTHING, when I really just want fiction for kids and young adults. I'm sure there's a feed out there somewhere for me - I just have to find it.

bookgirl76 said...

I am having fun using the RSS. There are lots of blogs that I want to subscribe to. It is easy to get carried away though. Where will I find the time to read all these feeds anyway??
I like that the RSS aggregator saves me having to go to each of the different blogs, and my email doesn't get cluttered up with new emails ever time one of the sites is updated.

Jalen said...

So I've done the exercises in this lesson (not without a little bit of difficulty, though). I've set up a Blogline account and added 6 RSS feeds, including that of the Powerhouse Museum's Photo of the day blog. I've also added a newsfeed to my blog as asked.

In Google Blog Search, I've played with all three options given: create an email alert; add a blog search gadget (which linked me to iGoogle); and, subscribe to a blog search feed. Of these three, I find the email alerts most useful as these go directly to my gmail. I only need to go to my gmail and there they are waiting to be opened, anytime, anywhere, unlike the RSS feeds which went to my work computer's internet webpage next to Favourites. With all these sorts of information exploding on me, I will urgently need to add one more skill: speed reading.

Alex Lantana said...

I'm with bookgirl76 & Jalen - lots of stuff to subscribe to, but the volume is a bit overwhelming. I think I'll stick to the few email feeds I get and look at the other sites if I feel like it.

I'll probably persevere with the RSS feeds after we've finished Library 2.0, because I don't think I'll get the hang of it completely in just a week.

Alex Lantana said...

Ok so I've shown my self to be a bit of a Luddite. I have now watched the video and my arrows are still pointing in the wrong direction!

I have to agree though that It could be addictive just to keep on subscribing to new feeds. I think you could easily get out of control, and you could spend all your time monitoring the incoming feeds.

SeaShell said...

RSS feeds vs email lists.
I can appreciate a newsreader brings together all the information you have a direct interest in - but you still have to go and get it!!!
Belonging to a email list ensures the information comes to you when it is available.
But.. I have never been an email list administrator and can only imagine the bounced email from out of date addresses. A newsreader overcomes this issue.

shirl said...

I prefer Google reader to bloglines it is easier to follow.

Jerome's reading said...

This is my first comment so far in Learning 2.0. I have found it interesting and at the same time a little overwhelming of all the new technologies and possibilities for using the internet. I'm determine to perserve though!

Ross said...

I have been using an RSS aggregator (google reader) for over a year and I find it to be a very useful way of keeping up to date with the latest library related developments. I have found that it is necessary to be ruthless with your subscriptions otherwise you end up being swamped with information. You soon learn which sites are worth syndicating and which ones are of little value. RSS feeds also offer a valuable tool to those involved in local government corporate libraries: i.e. streaming info to key staff in accordance to profiles. Particularly once more government sites become RSS enabled.

yiyia said...

I found this task a bit diffucult. I will come back to it later to add my RSS feed. I will just have to keep at it to get better and to have some fun with it, like the others have stated.

yiyia said...

I found this task a bit diffucult. I have not yet added my RSS feed to my blog spot. I will have to come back to it later and added my feed page and then I will keep practising to get better and have some fun like the other participants.

clyde said...

frustrated...a little. this one will take a little longer to get used to. more the finding and attaching rather than understanding the process of it all. enjoying the challenge must admit.

Scarlet said...

I have now subscribed to both Google Reader and Bloglines. No problem setting it all up at all. My only real problem is trying to fit in the time it takes to do the most enjoyable 2.0 activities into my working day. I am still a bit unsure why I would want both subscriptions, wouldn't it just be easier to have a single one? Maybe I have missed something here and need to be enlightened.

pls@slnsw said...

It is a good idea to consolidate your feeds in one reader. It was a good idea to try both of these so you knwo which one you prefer the style of. If you choose to stay with Google reader you can embed the feeds on your blog.

Ellen (PLS)

Alanina said...

I seem to have got the hang of connecting feeds via the Bloglines aggregator, although it took lots of false starts to find sites of interest that had the RSS facility. I haven't embarked on the adventure part of the lesson as it's taken all week to Explore! I have a question that really relates more to the week 3 session that I hope isn't too dumb: when I try to link a photo to my blog site from Flickr using the "Link this" option, I can't connect to the picture, even though I've typed in the URL. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Keep persevering,
Alanina

annieshomework said...

I found this week to be the most challenging, both to my skills - just how does that Bloglines work again?, and to my thinking, not to mention yet more passwords. I have a notebook here to keep track of them all. I can see the reason why people use RSS aggregators, but I haven't found that value for myself yet...but I will keep looking!

Marian said...

I enjoyed working with feeds and found the biggest problem was limiting my selection. There are so many good sites to subscribe to.

Linking to my blog was fairly easy, I think remembering to go and check bloglines when I'm really busy could be a problem, but checking the element on my blog will be easier as it sits there as a reminder.

Pete said...

had a bit of trouble putting the feed onto my blog. eventually worked out that blogger requires the url of the actual feed page not the web page it is referring to. right clicked on the feed button of the page i wanted to link to, opened in new window, then up came the url of the feed page. bloglines will take the url of the web page and find the feed on it.

haven't been able to find out how to delete my bloglines account. google accounts and flickr accounts are deletable, bit hard to find out how, but still deletable. anyone know how to delete a bloglines account? they really don't want me to go.

ls said...

While skimming through some of my colleague's blogs, I was impressed to find some had posted You Tube clips.

How do you do this?????

Annetta said...

I agree with Bambino - as enjoyable as the Week 4 has been, I'd rather stick to my daily e-mails.
As for the libraries using this technology, especially to promote various events and to keep our clients up-to-date with the latest news regarding collections and services - yes, I can appreciate RSS's usefulness.
Annlibrarian.

Annetta said...

I agree with Bambino - as enjoyable as the Week 4 has been, I'd rather stick to my daily e-mails.
As for the libraries using this technology, especially to promote various events and to keep our clients up-to-date with the latest news regarding collections and services - yes, I can appreciate RSS's usefulness.
Annetta.

Annetta said...

I agree with Bambino and at the moment am quite happy (or otherwise) with my e-mails.
As for promotion and marketing our services, collections and events RSS are great!
Annetta.

Annetta said...

I have found a lot of iteresting and funny sites but resisted 'being carried away on wings of technology' and added only 6 to my Blogline account.
As enjoyable as it had been I'd rather stick to my daily e-mails instead...RSS are great but the time restrictions and information overload is becoming an issue...
For a library though, I see RSS as really beneficial, especially for promoting library events, services and new collections.
Annetta.

Sunny1 said...

I wasn't able to upload flickr images onto my blog and so I progressed on to RSS feeds. I have set up an account in bloglines but cannot find the RSS feed button on the Powerhouse site. I'm spending more than the anticipated time per week on this and still getting nowhere. Yet another disastrous experience. Very frustrating.

pls@slnsw said...

Sunny1,
you should be able to add a feed in bloglines by adding the URL for the blog page itself.
Mylee (PLS)

Dorothy said...

If you are having problems getting the photos you uploaded from Flickr to show up in a public search see Dorothy's Blog post Flickr public search problems for some tips

Amy's Blogspot said...

This was tricky as well as fun to complete. Some websites were harder then others to subscribe to their feeds, but once completed I have found quite useful.

Jerome's reading said...

I found RSS very interesting and I managed to subscribe to a number of online magazines that focussed on what I'm interested in. RSS is a great tool to sift through the myriad of information out there on the web. A great tool. A public library could use it to post to patrons book reviews on their specific interest.

Sparkle said...

I have been trying to put a list of feeds into my blog but have only been able to insert a link with no icon...can anyone help?

Arabella said...

This section of Learning is definitely more complicated.
I couldn't subscribe to one of the
feeds I selected. Any clues?

pls@slnsw said...

Arabella,
we need a bit more information to help you - please email nswpln@gmail.com and we'll see what the problem is.
Mylee (PLS)

Arabella said...

Thanks PLS, I think it was technology - I got it to work.

Library Trekker said...

It was comforting to see that others had similar problems to me with this one. I can't really see the advantage to the average user. I think for personal use I will stick with favourites.
Some of the sites are not easy to add as a feed (or is it just me?)

This has been the most frustrating part of the process so far.

luckygal said...

I thought the concept was great but being new to blogging and RSS is was a little daunting! I can see why people would use RSS feeds but as i am not a frequent interenet 'surfer' i dont know how much i would use it. i usually only do a search when i am looking for something i particular. In a way bloglines feels a little bit like another junk mail box - the content can be relevant but usually isn't interesting enough to keep. But, like i said, for the frequent user i can see it's value and think its a good concept!

tattler said...

I have to agree with most of the postings.The RSS excercise has been both informative and challenging. I know i need to go and re-look at this to truely wrap my head around it. Though for borrowers' RSS feeds would be great.They can customize their account and receive info on whatever they liked. That would personalize the realtionship between the client and library technology.
As for me i don't know whether at this point i would really use RSS like other postings i prefer favourites and i think being bombarded with all that info would do my head in!!

Corplib said...

had thought that RSS for the more internet savy users, during this exercise I found that it is very easy & useful tool.

I first went for the obvious library links, but then looked at other areas in my job that would benefit council to keep 'on top' of current trends etc. in urban planning, environment & more, this will take time to filter but once set up will be a very useful tool.

RSS also could be used in libraries to include on library blogs for public, keeping up with latest releases, staff knowledge base enhancements etc.

WillC58 said...

RSS just like cheating but even better and quicker. Great idea and cuts down on continually checking you favourite sites etc, All that stuff now comes to me.

54andcounting said...

Hi there, I'm still a plodder at this game. Trying to meet the requirements in a tight time frame. Sometimes having the "wobblies" and seeking help from colleagues. RSS feeds do sound great, but one still has to find the time to access them and sort the chaff. I can see the endless possiblities for meeting library requests in a specific subject or private library arena, a bit harder to pre guess those left base queries you get in a public library branch. However I will persevere. I have to confess I feel like Jenny Yan regarding the comparison with bookmarks.....

Linda said...

RSS Feeds have heaps of potential.

I'm doing a course and I've added a few relevant information sites and databases to my bloglines account. That way I can just check in once and see any new resources and/or information that's been added without having to go in and out of several sites. I think it's great. It is just like the old(?) librarian's concept of SDI but in electronic form.

I've also subscribed to Christchurch City Libraries, NZ RSS feed for their new weekly fiction list so interested to see how that works out.

golb said...

Week 4 done. I now have gmail, yahoo, bloglines, blogger accounts with nothing really connected, although have added feed to my blog.
I subscribed to a few library suggested feeds from bloglines site but too american for me. Haven't the time at the moment to search for more local content but have added BBC News.
I have read that the links for feeds are far more stable than just linking to a web page for updates. I think that a communal blog in a library with feeds of professional interest would benefit any work place.
As I am doing this at home I was wondering about the download usage in the work place and does it lead to slower networks? Roll out the cable!
All in all it is good to know about these tools if only to be able to discuss them with library users.

Bear said...

Loved the RSS feeds and know that they would be very useful.

newtechgirl said...

I like the concept of RSS but don't know if I will have the time to look at another source of information - sites I'm really interested in already send info/updates straight to my email. The concept of RSS is good - if you have the time.

bloggersbeware said...

It took a while to work it all out, but I managed to attach the power house meusem photo of the day. When I tried a site I thought I wanted there wasn't the option to do so. I will eventually add more onto the blog site, when time allows. This took a while to sort out, but I can see the benefits of it.