RSS: activities 1-3

Activity #1 – setting up an account on either Bloglines or Google Reader.
Both of these aggregators offer similar features and functionality and the choice between the two usually comes down to personal preference. But if you need some help deciding between the two, take a look at this article.

To find out how to set up an account in Bloglines and Google Reader and add feeds to them, take a look at one or both of these online tutorials created by your friendly Imperial Library staff:

If you feel like exploring, feel free to set up accounts on both sites, play around in them, get a feel for the interfaces, and decide for yourself!

Activity #2 – subscribing to lots of feeds
Ok, after completing Activity 1 you should have added some feeds to your Bloglines or Google Reader. But to get the most out of your reader, you need to add lots of feeds. Try & subscribe to 10 or more feeds in either Bloglines or Google Reader.

step 1: Start by subscribing to the blog for the Learning 2.0 programme. This is what you do:

  • Right-click on this URL: https://learning20atimperial.wordpress.com/;
  • Select “Copy Link Location” or “Copy Shortcut”;
  • Open up your aggregator (i.e. Bloglines or Google Reader), and subscribe to the feed using one of these methods:

If you’re using Bloglines: login to your account, click “Add” at the top-left of the screen, paste the feed URL into the “Blog or Feed URL” box, and click “Subscribe”. The next screen will give you some options on where you’d like to save the feed (you can organize your feeds in folders), once you’ve made your choices, click “Subscribe” at the bottom of the page.

If you’re using Google Reader: login to your account, click “Add subscription” at the top-left of the page, paste the feed URL into the input box that appears, and click “Add”.

step 2: Once you’ve subscribed to the Learning 2.0 feed, take a look at some of these sites and subscribe to their feeds as well. To find their feed addresses, you will have to visit the site and look for the RSS icon or an ‘RSS/Subscribe’ link. They’ll be there somewhere….

BBC News

Guardian

The Times

Stephen Fry’s blog

step 3: Still looking for more feeds to subscribe to? Getting addicted? Go to some of the library news blogs listed below. Some of these links go straight to the RSS feed – for the rest you’ll have to find the feed yourself…. Subscribe to at least 3 feeds from the list. Read them weekly until September. Daily is better. Why? Because you only really understand RSS by using it regularly.

Library blogs to set up feeds to:

Librarian in Black: Sarah Houghton-Jan covers many of the important stories in the ‘biblioblogosphere’ (!) in short and snappy posts.
Phil Bradley’s weblog
: Phil is a professional librarian and his blog is very useful way to keep up with new Web 2.0 tools.
Stephen’s Lighthouse:
Stephen Abram blogs about future strategic developments in libraries.
Information Literacy Meets Library 2.0
: an IL blog edited by Peter Godwin & Jo Parker.
Information Wants to be Free
: Meredith Farkas’s blog. Meredith has written a very useful book on the uses of social software in libraries.
UK WebFocus
: Brian Kelly’s blog. Brian is based at UKOLN and his blog focuses on all aspects of digital information management, but especially Web 2.0 developments.

Make sure to visit your aggregator at least a couple of times this week to check for new content in the feeds you’ve subscribed to! (you’ll be surprised at how addictive RSS feed-reading can become!) And don’t forget to blog about your experiences using these tools!

Activity #3 (optional) – using Page2RSS
For web pages that don’t have an RSS feed available, Page2RSS will create one for you. You simply type in the URL of the page that you’re interested in, copy the feed that’s created by Page2RSS, paste it into your favourite reader and you’re done.

You need to:

  • Go to the FreePint website
  • Copy the URL from the address bar of your browser
  • Go to Page2RSS and create create an RSS feed for the FreePint site. (You simply paste the FreePint URL into the search box and click on the ‘to RSS’ button.)
  • The FreePint RSS feed address will appear in the address bar of your brower – copy it.
  • Once you have copied the feed address open up your GoogleReader or Bloglines account and paste it in.
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One response to “RSS: activities 1-3

  1. If you are having problems adding feeds to Google Reader while using Internet Exporer 7, see the following advice:

    In typical Microsoft fashion – IE7 does not seem to allow you to add feeds to anything other than IE7.

    So, as suggested in this article:
    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/03/add-feeds-to-google-reader-in-internet.html

    you can either:

    1. Copy and paste the link into your feed reader
    2. Add Google toolbar 5 http://toolbar.google.com/T5/intl/en-GB/ which should mean you start getting the option to add the feed to google reader
    3. Start using Firefox instead

    Let the Learning 2.0 team know if you are having problems!

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