But what if you could visit all those blogs and more information sources in just one place and all at the same time? Would that be valuable to you? Well, you can! A lot smart people out there who like to keep up-to-date and save time have created services to make it easy to follow your favorite blogs and other information sources. It’s called RSS.
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web.
In the information world, RSS has changed the way news, media, and content creators share information, and it is changing the way everyday users are consuming information. Join the revolution by setting up a RSS account.
1. Read more about RSS and/or watch this Common Craft video.
2. Set up an aggregator account using either Bloglines or Google Reader. It’s free. Follow the directions at these sites:
3. You will want to add some of your fellow participants’ blogs to your Bloglines or Google Reader account. This will help you keep up-to-date on what they have to say about the Things, their discoveries, and comments. You can add additional feeds for Web sites, news sites, podcasts, and more, too.
It is easy to add the feeds. In either account, you copy and paste the URL into the Subscribe or Add box then click the button. You can add a Bloglines button to your toolbar, too, which makes it easy to subscribe. Follow the instructions at the site.
4. Add at least three other news feeds, blogs, or Web page updates to your account. There are several ways you can locate RSS feeds:
- When visiting your favorite websites -- look for that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation of the site. The orange square above is one type of RSS feed icon. Here are some other RSS feed icons.
- Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations, and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.
- Do a blog search in Google. This search limits results only to blog postings. This can lead you to bloggers talking about what you are interested in.
- Look at this site for library blogs worldwide.
Some interesting feeds:
- Reader’s Club new review feeds
- Unshelved - Library cartoon feed
- CMLE Info Feed--news from CMLE, Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange
- SELCO Librarian comments from staff at SELCO/SELS
- Northern Insights, the Northern Lights Library Network Blog
- WebJunction-Minnesota has a blog
Some MINITEX Blogs
• Digital Reference
• ELM blog
• Blog About Technical Services
• Reference Services
Think about these things as you blog:
- What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
- How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your school or personal life?
- How can teachers or media specialists libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?
- Which tool for finding feeds was easiest to use?
- What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?
- Find any great sources we should all add to our feed reader?
These resources will give you more information on the hows and whys of RSS.
- CNET Video: RSS – Feel the Need for Feeds (3:32) – a good over view of what RSS is and the benefits to users.
- Feed Me: A gentle introduction to Internet feeds - a good tutorial from Palinet, a library cooperative