Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week 4, Thing #8 & 9: RSS Feeds

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds were a mystery to me and seemed intimidating. After working through this tutorial, I regret not having explored it earlier. I didn't realize that I already receive a RSS feed through ASDN who sends me their Smartbriefs by e-mail. The concept of a RSS aggregator was completely new to me. I joined Bloglines as my RSS aggregator and found their tools to locate feeds, blogs and podcasts only marginally helpful. Instead, the links and resources provided on our Raven About Web 2.0 tutorial were much more relevant and led to other interesting links. I particularly found the Edublog Awards packed with great blogs to subscribe to. Instead of using Bloglines as my gathering place for librarian-related feeds, I decided to use my own blog to collect feeds most relevant to me as a librarian. I love adding more gadgets to my blog and watching it grow as my own knowledge of these tools grow. I can already see the benefit of having these feeds at your fingertips to provide instant professional development, as well as keep teachers abreast of new technology and ways to utilize them.

Here are my thoughts on the other search tools:
  • Wish they had a Help feature to better understand what capabilities they offer for entering search items. For example, can you use Boolean Operators? When I searched "school library," I didn't come up with anything too interesting.
  • Very discouraging. Searched "arts education" and collected stories totally unrelated to even arts or schools. The third result from my search was "Conn. man is cited for owning an endangered ape." Don't see the connection!
  • This one offered tags and categories to help narrow your search, as well as links to learn how to navigate your way through the website. Much more satisfying and fruitful.
  • Technorati: Wow! Well worth waiting for! This one trumps them all. Plenty of support to help the novice find what he or she is looking for. Not only do they provide suggestions to help narrow down your search, but they organize your results by blog, video, photos, etc. It's very well organized and easy to navigate. I also liked that you could limit your search "a lot of authority.

1 comment:

  1. I also hadn't understood the power of RSS before doing this class the first time. But boy am a believer now -- I would never be able to keep up with this class without the RSS Feeds -- but I find that I have to be very selective about what I put on it. Otherwise it is so overwhelming that I can't keep up. I am one of those perfectionists who feels like I have to read it if it is on my feed..... I know, I am sure there is a 12 step program for that....