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23 Mobile Things: Thing 10 – Social Reading

I didn’t really set out to cover Thing 10 in the 23 mobile things project today, but that’s what happened. (I’m participating in the ANZ23MobileThings project and they’re not due to cover Thing 10 for a few weeks yet, so I’m jumping ahead!)

Moving to Feedly

Google Reader really is going  away soon. I was ignoring the inevitable, until today. I tested out a number of alternatives right after Google’s announcement. When nothing really resonated as a good replacement,  I decided to ignore the issue, while hoping one of the tools would eventually outshine the others.

After a less than thorough look at a couple of tools today, I decided to go with Feedly. It has a web service, iOS app and Android app, which fits my needs. After fiddling with various settings on the iPad app, I can see there’s lots of flexibility in how feeds are displayed and interacted with. I haven’t looked at all the options for sharing, synchronizing between apps and such, but decided it was time to bite the bullet and make the switch.

Importing your feeds into Feedly is easy, just log in with your Google Reader account and you’re set. After GR disappears on July 1, you’ll still use your GR account to login to Feedly, but they’ll have all your feeds safely stored on their own servers. Read their post for more on migrating and tips on making Feedly feel more like GR

I was determined to clean up my GR account before I migrated though. I’d let my GR account grow weeds. Lots and lots of weeds, so I spent several hours  deleting dead feeds, reorganizing folders, taking detours off to read lots of interesting posts I’d missed and finally exporting a backup copy of my GR account. There’s still work to do, I suspect I have far too many feeds, there’s more weeding to be done. But I’ll do that from my spiffy new account on Feedly.

Do Feed Readers Still Matter?

I  know that many people use Twitter as their primary source for finding blog posts and news items. I certainly rely on it heavily.  But I still like to visit RSS feeds and know that I’ve caught up on the blogs and news sites that I find most important. Twitter certainly helps me find sources that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise and there are any number of people I follow on twitter who can be counted on to find lots of interesting content. But I’d be willing to bet that those folks are relying on feed readers to find much of the content they’re  sharing. Why else would there have been such an outcry when Google announced it was closing down GR?

 

 

MHLS Build Your Base Online project – RSS examples

I’m working with the Mid-Hudson Library System on a 10 week 23 things online learning project, which is part of their Building Your Base  project, a 2 year grant funded project focusing on helping library staff explore new ways to connect their communities.

This past week we explored RSS as a tool for gathering information and to push information back out to the community. As part of this, I’m going to use this space to show the group some examples of how they can repackage rss feeds on their web sites and the web sites of other community organizations.  Our course web site is on wordpress.com and doesn’t allow embedding javascript content in blog posts. And anyways, maybe these ideas will give other people some ideas too!

The example here is an RSS feed for the Hudson Valley Reads readers advisory newsletters. (more…)

Google Reader : Tags have feeds

wine-google-reader

I use my Shared Items feed from Google Reader to drop odds and ends of interesting items on the sidebar of this blog. Handy, but it’s just one feed.

I wanted to be able to create other topical feeds from all the stuff I sift through in Google Reader.  One way that came to mind was to bookmark interesting items in delicious, add unique tags and feed them out from there. Doable but an extra step or two.

Sifting through the Google Reader help files tonight in preparation for an RSS in Libraries class next week, I found an answer.

  • Tag the items you want to share with an appropriate topical tag.
  • Then on your Settings page, set that tag to public.
  • Voila, you have a public page for items with that tag and subsequently a feed that you can use as you like.

There’s also a handy option on the settings page to create a “clip” of the content with that tag. Copy and paste the code and you have a handy gadget for that tag on your blog or web page.

Since it’s the time of night for a glass of wine, the items I tagged were all about wine bargains!

FeedMyInbox – super easy rss to email

FeedMyInbox is a fairly new tool for getting RSS content via email. And it’s dead simple to use. Enter the URL for the feed and your email address. That’s it! You’ll get an email with a confirmation link and then you’ll start getting a single email every 24 hours for each feed you’ve subscribed too.

If you don’t know whether a site has an RSS feed, just enter the URL for the site itself. FeedMyInbox checks for you. If there’s more than one feed (try npr.org for example) you’ll get a list of feeds to choose from. Pretty slick.

And for bloggers who want to provide readers with quick way to let users sign up for their blog via email, create a link to FeedMyInbox and add your feed address on the end like this:

http://www.feedmyinbox.com/?feed=http://your.url.here

Plop it somewhere on the sidebar of your blog and you have an easy way to reach readers who aren’t using RSS feed readers.

Try it out: Subscribe to Polly’s Blog

There are other tools, like FeedBurner, that do this same thing by providing a box to put on the sidebar of your blog (see the right side of my blog). But I’ve found FeedBurner is a bit daunting to new bloggers.

RSS feeds for web searches

Most of us have a few (or many!) topics that we do repeat searches on in the big search engines. This might be a research topic you’re trying to keep up to date on, your library’s name or even your own name. An RSS feed for a subject search can save you some time by automatically send you recent changes in the top hits for your favorite search. (Reminds me of setting up SDI searches in Dialog many moons ago!) But none of the major search engines make it easy to set up an RSS feed for a general search.

So thanks to Digital Inspiration for this tip on how to create an RSS feed for a subject search (more…)

Feevy – dynamic blogroll on your sidebar

feevy lets you put updates from other blogs on your sidebar. Instead of a static list of links to other blogs (or in addition to), readers will see the latest entries from your selection of blogs. See sidebar for an example.

After signing up for an account, you add each blog address and select a generic icon for each blog or upload an image/avatar for each blog.

(more…)