Organizing Via RSS Feeds

One of my tasks today has been to organize my RSS feeds. I’ve never used RSS feeds before, preferring to go to each blog individually for the visuals. After reading Richardson‘s assertion that I could “read more content from more sources in less time” (p. 72 in Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts), I realized that was exactly what I needed from my RSS. The amount of information I’m trying to keep up with is too much for me to read effectively without some “power” strategies to help me skim and filter.

I had started up a newsreader in Bloglines, somewhat at random, and had stuffed a number of interesting blogs and sources into it. I had already saved all of the class blogs that I needed to follow in a bookmarks folder on my browser (my usual method). Today I started the process of opening all of them and transferring the links to the RSS aggregator. None of them have a specialized RSS link for me to click on (since these are mostly beginner learning blogs), but I was able to use the home web address of each blog into the RSS list. Only two of the blog addresses did not cooperate with the process.

I also set up a folder on the reader for “class blogs” to organize the content. It seemed to work well to set up the folder first, and enter the links I wanted.  To be clear about that process, I pasted blog web address into the “new context” box, which generated several “widgets.” I then picked one widget for each blog (usually the one marked RSS), and dragged it into the appropriate folder.

This gave me instant information (how many new posts for each blog in the reader), and all of the blogs neatly arranged to assess easily. Best of all, I did not have to constantly click back to a bookmark folder to find the next blog or post.

Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 6.12.10 PM
Screenshot of current folders in Bloglines.

Blogs with new content were bolded and numbered, showing me at a glance what had not been read. I could mark single or several posts as read or unread. I expect this is standard procedure for most RSS feeds.

Although I was a little lukewarm about the usefulness of the RSS feed initially, I am won over by the ease with which I can follow all of my fellow students’ postings. Now to organize my other educational feeds. I don’t know if I would use feeds for my usual recreational reading because the visuals are part of the pleasure of the visit, but for churning through other reading, it’s a Godsend. Now if I can figure out how to post a few of these feeds to my blog, I’d be set. I’d settle for my blogroll links showing up as they are supposed to. Next up: introducing a few of my regular reads.

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2 thoughts on “Organizing Via RSS Feeds

  1. Joy,
    I also created an RSS feed for the first time and find it to be fairly handy! If you would like assistance on getting your blogroll onto your home screen, let me know because Carmen helped me to do that just today. Oh, the new things we are learning!

  2. Hi Joy! This is fun. We are already sharing learning Bonk-style through our virtual conversations. I was going to offer to help you with your blogroll, but now Lynn can. How cool.

    I like how you provided a step-by-step of your process working with Bloglines. I chose another aggregator, but for those using Bloglines who might be confused, this could be very helpful. When Lynn and I were working on her blog yesterday, I shared with her that much of the way I have learned about how to navigate Web 2.0 has been through ‘googling’ my questions and then sifting through other bloggers’ blog and forum posts. Another thing I shared with Lynn is that each time I google a question, I put the year, 2013 (or whatever year it is), after my question. Since Web 2.0 is constantly changing, this helps find the most recent info. Perhaps someone needing help with Bloglines will find your post, and voila! shared learning. Bonk would be proud 🙂 Happy reading and aggregating!

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