Official Thread: Activity one – Newsflash!
The first activity for this week asks you to explore the separation of form from content through RSS. How did you go testing out the news.com.au example given? Did it work as expected? The study material also mentions dedicated RSS readers. Do you use an RSS reader? If you do, you may want to share it with the Discussion Board so that other students can try it out. It’s been an interesting year for RSS, really, given that in the first half of 2013 Google discontinued Google Reader, which was one of the most popular RSS readers. I’d be interested in hearing if anyone here was using Google Reader at the time (I was), and whether they started using a new RSS reader like Feedly or let their RSS reading lapse? I also wonder what impact other technological change could have (or have had) on RSS – site format changes, for instance, might not feed back into pre-existing RSS addresses (this may be part of the issue noted with the news.com.au feed?), but is having a list of regularly-read sites ideal for reading on mobile devices, for instance during downtime in commutes or on breaks?
I haven’t had a chance to go through the activities for this week in detail yet. However, I did want to comment on my RSS experience, based on your questions in this thread…
I used to use Google Reader, and had all my feeds organised according to the departments of study I take care of in my workplace (library), as well as according to my various interests (e-Learning, professional development- technological developments, UX, etc.).
When Google announced that it was shutting down its Reader, I moved to Feedly with no hiccups whatsoever. I did not let my RSS feeds lapse, as they’re a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the information streams you’re interested in. It’s faster than hunting around the web for what you’re after sometimes. This push technology is marvellous and saves a lot of time in my work world, where I am constantly required to find information for myself and others for a variety of reasons.
However, when I have time to scratch myself, I might have a closer look at Netvibes – I hear it may be a better alternative to Feedly. (Not that I’m experiencing any issues with Feedly as such… but it sounds as though it might suit my needs better.)
My RSS feeds are imperative for my own development in the workplace, as well as keeping my Twitter streams alive and kicking. Librarians are a funny lot… they live for sharing information that might be worthwhile with another who might need it. LOL
Just my two cents worth.
Thanks for this! Having relevant or interesting, and updated, information come straight to you, without having to search for it, is a great advantage of RSS (even though I unfortunately did let my feeds lapse when Reader shut down…). We’re going to cover this in the next few weeks of this module too, but it is interesting to think about how our patterns for seeking out information online have changed over time – how information can come to us, either in a solicited way (RSS feeds) or unsolicited (links through social media, for instance, although even then we have to some extent curated who we are seeing content from and from whom we are getting links). It’s also worthwhile considering who is sharing and why – being a librarian living for sharing information is a particularly fascinating perspective to bring to this!
Further to this point, Tim… I forgot to mention…
Because I use my Feedly feeds on a daily basis, I am quick to delete feeds that haven’t been updated for 2+ months. Information changes so quickly, if a blog is not being attended to regularly, I delete the feed. I’m quite ruthless about doing so as well. (However, my blog/s tend to lapse over time due to other work commitments, I must admit. It’s hard to maintain a blog when one works full time and studies. It’s a passion, or has to be an imperative part of one’s work, I’m sure.)
Perhaps, as the nature of my work relies so much on providing timely and accurate information, I don’t bat an eyelid when deleting a feed I have been noticing slowing down or becoming non-existent.