Tag Archives: RSS

Thing 4: Current Awareness

RSS feeds

I’ve been subscribing to RSS feeds for a while and I have to say Google Reader makes this so easy. I can easily subscribe either by pressing a button (if there is one) on the source web page or by copy and pasting the URL of the feed into the subscribe box in Google Reader. (It’s easy to unsubscribe too, which is always helpful!) Email subscriptions are easy, but if you subscribe to a few, I imagine they would clutter up your inbox quite quickly. With Google Reader, if I’ve been away or haven’t checked them for a few days I can easily mark the contents of a feed as having been ‘read’ and without all of the tick boxes that you get with emails.

Two that make me smile are Clients from Hell and Times Educational Miscreant (my sister’s a teacher and she pointed me to this one, but it’s still funny even if you don’t teach!) Good Library feeds include The Daring Librarian and Ned Potter’s The Wikiman.

(PS – I’m reading Accidental Health Sciences Librarian, by Lisa Ennis and Nicole Mitchell, and they’ve written different sections on Blogs and RSS feeds which got me thinking that I when I say/see ‘RSS feeds’, I’m often thinking ‘Blog’ – but that’s not necessarily accurate! Non-blog RSS feeds that I subscribe to include the BBC news feeds and Journal Tables of Contents (Health Information and Libraries Journal amongst others) although the latter tends to be email subscriptions, rather than through Google Reader.)

Twitter

I’ve been on Twitter for just over two years and I have to say, I actually prefer it to Facebook in some ways. I can search topics easily, even if they don’t appear in my news feed and I can follow anyone, (usually) without them having to approve our ‘friendship’; so I can follow Terry Pratchett, even though he has no idea who I am, and he can chose whether or not he follows me (I doubt he does). The one thing I would like is to be able to privately reply to someone without the whole world knowing I’ve complemented a friend on his new haircut, but that’s not really in keeping with the idea of Twitter. Let’s face it; if I really wanted it to be private I wouldn’t be sending it via Twitter.

It’s only since I’ve started my Certification that I’ve been using Twitter to keep up to date with Library related things, but it has been very useful and I’ve learnt a few things that way that I wouldn’t have heard about otherwise (although I can’t think of an example off the top of my head). It was also good after the West Midlands Branch Information and Networking Day I went to in April as I could see what other people had thought about the day, as well as look at a few of their photos (there was always people in the way when I tried to take them!) as we had all put the same hashtag on our posts. Phil Bradley is on Twitter, as is Jo Alcock (from Thing 3) as well as the West Midlands branch and the HLG and CDG special interest groups which I belong to.

Storify

I haven’t come across Storify before and although it looks likes an impressive mashup site I have to say I can’t really see the point. I may be a bit biased – as part of my MSc I studied a programming language called PHP which is used in websites; it means that I can (and did for my dissertation) get feeds from blogs, Facebook and Twitter (amongst others) and post them as part of the webpage code.

If anyone is interested my test page for my Dissertation webpage is still online: http://mi-linux.wlv.ac.uk/~0821606/index.html (it’s a mock up using feeds from various local libraries)

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