RSS Feeds and Aggregators

What does RSS stand for? There seems to be no agreement on this issue. Among the contenders: Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary,

An RSS document is a feed. Feeds can be easily gathered with an aggregator. That is, fans of a blog or a news source do not have to actually visit each of the sites they love each day hoping for updates to read. When a blog or news or media source or an established search is updated, the user can have the new post automatically sent to their aggregator or reader.

RSS feeds can be important to teacher librarians in several ways.

• You will want to subscribe to a number of TL blogs to keep up in the field.
• You can have these feeds sent to your blogs or Nings or wikis or information portals to keep them fresh and to lead your community to relevant news.
• You will want to encourage your faculty and your students to learn to have the information they regularly need pushed to them rather than having them have to go out and pull it. Some of the databases students regularly use for research allow them to set up feeds for their searches. When more content is added to the database, students get updates.
• You will want to encourage your community to set up feeds to your own library’s blogs and other content.
• Feeds can be very useful in setting up pathfinders for student and teacher use. For instance a Spanish teacher and her students might value a pathfinder that includes feeds from news sources in the Spanish language. A science teacher might want to establish a group of feeds to keep students up to date on news in the sciences.

You can choose among a variety of aggregators:

Once you have set up your aggregator, look for the orange and white RSS logo to subscribe to feeds.

Another way to establish feeds in a larger way is to create personal information portals using such widget- or gadget-based tools at iGoogle, PageFlakes, or NetVibes or MyYahoo!

The following feed options are interesting ways of locating, selecting and viewing information.
Tabbloid Turn feeds into online magazine http://www.tabbloid.com/
Alltop http://alltop.com/Answers “What’s happening?” in topics that interest you. A search engine is good for answering questions like, “How many people live in China?” but has a harder time answering, “What’s happening in China?”
Lazyfeed http://www.lazyfeed.com Enter topics of interest and relevant real time feeds come to you
Fivefilters http://fivefilters.org/pdf-newspaper/ RSS Feeds Converted to newspaper in a PDF
Guzzle.it http://guzzle.it/ Personalised news dashboard. Read only the news you choose. More http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/08/31/stay-informed-topic-based-reader-roundup/
Twine, Strand, Friendfeed http://webworkerdaily.com/2008/10/22/strands-twine-sipping-from-the-information-firehose/
Some start/RSS collection pages with feeds
Feedly http://www.feedly.com/ Firefox add-on – RSS feed reader, can create a start page organized like a magazine pagewith your favourite sites
Netvibes OR igoogle OR Friend feeds http://mashable.com/2009/05/03/social-start-pages/
Not really feeds
Zinepal http://www.zinepal.com/ Convert favourite online content into ebooks and printable, magazine-style PDFs


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