RSS made simple

Always chasing information? Spend too much time locating your favorite sites to see if any new content (feeds) have been added? Yes, del.icio.us (see Post #14) is very helpful for locating your favorite 'static' sites, but the logic is really backwards.

Why should you do all the chasing of your favorite sites? Enter RSS. Often called Really Simple Syndication, this process simply collects all the sites of your choice (called aggregating) and 'pushes' all the updates back to you, and all in one place.

This 2-minute video says it all.
(alternate site)


Key Advantages of RSS to Educators:
  • Students that blog their assignments or research or reflection/journaling -> all updates will be sent to the instructor in one place. No more chasing.
  • Or, when researching any topic, simply subscribe to the leading news agencies, data-rich blogs, and other key resources and let them syndicate (push/send) you updates as they become available.
  • Keep track of news, podcasts, photos, blogs, just-about-anything of interest.
  • Reading on the internet requires two separate skills: one, the quick analysis to find what is worth reading, and the second, a switch to slow analysis to carefully consider what has been found. What RSS does is allow students to make this distinction, to receive content as "bits" easy to scan, and then to select what they want to read.
Subscribe to an RSS feeder today. if you're already a Google fan, go with Google Reader as it integrates nicely. Another popular RSS feeder is Bloglines, and here is a nice step-by-step tutorial.

A supplement to an RSS feeder is FeedBurner (recently purchased by Google). It offers site statistics and much more. Other great RSS tutorials and information: