Monday, February 07, 2005

Will Richardson's Chat on Weblogs and RSS

This is wiki group task 1 for week 3 which was to summarize Will Richardson's presentation. I think others must have written this in their personal blogs, but they didn't contribute to the wiki. Consequently, here's my publication as a group of one.

Will Richardson's presentation was 1/31/05 via Learning Times about Weblogs and RSS, and it was most informative. He explained that RSS can mean Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication. Its advantage over email is that you control what you receive, so you don't get ads and other unwanted information.

There are two parts to RSS. One is the feeds. These are like magazines. The other is aggregators. These are like mailboxes. The feed is information (a magazine) that arrives in your aggregator (mailbox) for you to read. A feed is a URL such the feed to his site http://www.weblogg-ed.com/xml/rss.xml. This page will not make much sense to you or me, but it's important to your RSS aggregator.

At this point, Will talked about setting up an account at bloglines.com--his preference of aggregators. It's easy and free to sign up--just follow the directions on the web site.

Going back to that feed of URL above, copy the URL, and paste it into the subscribe line of your bloglines.com. There are various kinds of items you can add to your bloglines besides blogs. One is news. You can do a news search via RSS at Yahoo and Google News. You can add your search to bloglines. (I was a little unclear how to do this.) In Google, the RSS search page is http://www.justinpfister.com/gnewsfeed.php. It converts your search to an RSS feed. Yahoo is easier to do. Either way you can add this search to your bloglines, and it will search for this news feed about once an hour. RSS is thus really a tool for lifelong learning.

Feedster.com can be used to search for weblogs in education. RSS can be a classroom communications tool. Will subscribes to his students' blogs, and his students subscribe to his and each others'.

More content means you need more information management. With RSS you can read what I write AND what I read. Will talked about Furl at http://www.furl.net. You can use it to search and save to archive. People can subscribe to your furl account and see what you have been reading. You can http://del.icio.us to save whole web pages, and it is available as long as furl exists even if that web page ceases to exist on the web. It saves the page as a link.

In conclusion, the key to RSS is that it brings information to you.

If you're still confused, see his "RSS Quick Start Guide for Educators" at http://www.weblogg-ed.com/rss_for_ed. I printed it out, and it's amazingly helpful.

1 Comments:

Blogger aaron said...

Yes...RSS brings it all to us. Check out Pubsub, a 'Matching' Engine rather than search engine. You designate a query and it will do all the filtering for you, continuously notifying you (via RSS) as new and relevant information is created and published. It's like searching into the future.

10:32 PM  

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