Sunday, June 03, 2007

RSS - Feeds R'Us

I'm a really big fan of RSS. It has become my primary source of online information. I like the idea that I can have information pushed to me without asking or having to go find it (once I subscribe to the feed).

The problem that I have is that I now have too many RSS feeds. I use NetVibes as my RSS agrregator, and I receive over 200 feeds perday. So I am reduced to scanning headlines and then reading those feeds that interest me. I still think it's a great way to get information, I just need to perhaps have a better personal "RSS filter" and stop subscribing to every feed that strikes my fancy. the efficiency of RSS more than out weighs the volume of information being sent to me

Another good RSS aggregator is Pageflakes. Both NetVibes and Pageflakes advertise themselves as much more than RSS aggregators, and in fact they are - complete with thousands of add-ons, they truly are Web start-up pages or portals.

If you are new to RSS check out the video from CommonCraft "RSS in PLain English". here is the YouTube version:

I will be using RSS feeds and aggregators (supported by blogs and wikis) beginning this Fall to augment and eventually replace text books. The information is more immediate, current, relevant, and how it is received by the learner can be customized. What do you think of my idea to remove text books and replace them with RSS feeds and other Web 2.0 technologies)?...

(Photo - The Universal RSS Logo/Icon by orangejack)


Anonymous said...

We use Pageflakes at our (small) school - they have a good educational setup template at which features modules such as a grade tracker and class schedules. The 'sharing' feature also allows our teachers and students to use it as a collaborative tool.

Quite good actually.

John Marks

Ian H. MacLeod said...

Thanks for the comment John, and for the link to the template. I've been using NetVibes, but I will definitely check out the Pageflakes link. I really like the collaborative aspect of it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ian:

My name is Stephanie and I am a member of the Pageflakes team. I came across your blog about RSS feeds and noticed your mention of Pageflakes. If after viewing the link posted by the previous user ( you should have any more questions or desire any additional information, I would be eager to help introduce you to Pageflakes.

Feedback from users is always appreciated and I would look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached through the email address posted below.



Ian H. MacLeod said...

Thanks Stephanie. I am an Information technology faculty member at NSCC, the Nova Scotia Community College, in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada.

I have been using RSS feeds, blogs, and wikis in my courses for some time now, and have just recently come across Pageflakes. I like what I have seen of it so far and I will be sure to take you up on your kind offer if I have any questions.

Stephanie said...

Dear Ian:

Well, I look forward to hearing from you! I have added your blog to our RSS feed gallery to make it more available to readers. You can find it with the following link:

I also noticed that you have an RSS button for Netvibes on your blog. Would you be interested in adding Pageflakes as well? All the info on our RSS feed button can be found at the following link:

I hope you have a positive Pageflakes experience and look forward to ANY feedback!