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Introduction to RSS feeds prepared for librarians

Introduction to RSS feeds prepared for librarians

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    RSS for librarians RSS for librarians Presentation Transcript

      • Getting a handle on RSS
      Deborah Winarski Park Ridge Public Library
    • What is RSS?
      • Really Simple Syndication
        • A time-saving way to receive news and information updates (often called "RSS feeds", "news feeds" or "feeds") from your favorite Web sites and blogs.
        • Using RSS enables you to see the most recently added contents of a web page in a concise, easy-to-read format
        • Feeds typically consist of headlines and short summaries of new articles, blog entries or search results
    • There are probably a number of web sites or blogs you read on a regular basis. One way to read them is to visit each web page separately and scroll through its content
    • RSS feeds make it possible to see the content of them all together in a simpler format
    • Keeping up via RSS is…
      • Convenient : everything is in one place
      • Faster than loading full web pages
      • Free of ads (mostly)
      • Anonymous (does not require e-mail address)
      • Available for smaller devices (cell phones, PDAs)
      • Highly customizable (more about that later)
    • Basic terminology
      • FEED
      • A web feed is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it.
    • Any web site or content provider could potentially syndicate an RSS feed
      • News
      • Blog entries
      • Photo-sharing web sites
      • Calendars/ event announcements
      • Advertisements/ sales
      • Job postings
      RSS feeds are particularly useful for sites on which content is updated frequently and is time sensitive
    • How do you know if a web site you visit regularly has an RSS feed? This symbol is one common indicator
    • Sometimes you need to look carefully for an indicator of a feed. … and when this link is clicked, a user sees feed choices on a separate page On this site, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page…
    • Here are the feeds offered by CNN
    • Blogs will often omit the orange icon but include links that say “Subscribe”
    • On Picasa.web’s photo sharing site, the feed is very hard to see…but it’s available!
    • Subscribe RSS Other ways RSS feeds may appear XML icon With logos of feed readers
    • Feeds are customizable
      • Visit topix.net and create a feed with news from 50,000 sites containing keywords you select
      • Traffic.com has real time feeds for Chicago traffic hot spots
      • User-specific feeds on Flickr show you newly added photos from your friends , new comments on your photos
      Many sites offer feeds which match your location, your search terms, the specific content you want to see.
    • Opportunities for libraries
      • Blogs your staff creates
      • Upcoming events
      • Newly added titles
      • Personal account notices (holds, overdue books)
      • Specialized catalog searches
      Keep your patrons notified of
    • The Seattle Public Library offers RSS feeds for individual search results. Clicking this link gives a user updates any time a book on Jewish mythology is added to the catalog
    • Convinced?
      • Then… what’s next?
    • An aggregator is needed
      • Also known as a feed reader or news reader , an aggregator is software or a web application which gathers syndicated content in a single location for easy viewing.
    • Where do I find an aggregator?
      • It used to be necessary to download and install specialized software
    • Where do I find an aggregator? One web directory, The Open Directory Project, lists 79 feed readers still available for Windows
    • But separate software is not necessary now
      • You probably already have the capacity to read RSS feeds.
      The newest browsers integrate the capacity to display RSS feeds properly
    • RSS feeds are created with XML, a markup language older browsers do not display properly. This was not always the case! The “XML” at the beginning of this page indicates that you have clicked an RSS feed which your browser is not interpreting properly
    • This is a properly displayed feed in Apple’s Safari browser
    • Here is an RSS feed displayed in Internet Explorer 7
    • Managing feeds in your browser is similar to using bookmarks or favorites . In IE7, feed titles are displayed on a tab on the left, next to Favorites When a title is clicked, the content of the feed is displayed on the right
    • Managing feeds in your browser is similar to using bookmarks or favorites . In Firefox, feed titles appear on your Bookmarks Bar. Clicking the title reveals a dropdown list where you choose a headline to view
    • RSS in E-mail Clients Microsoft Outlook 2007, Apple Mail, and Mozilla Thunderbird all have sections for viewing RSS feeds.
    • RSS in E-mail Clients In Outlook 2007, The names of your feeds appear beneath your regular e-mail Inbox
    • RSS in E-mail Clients Apple Mail is similar, with a section for RSS feeds underneath your mailboxes Clicking the feed name on the left displays the headlines from the feed in the top viewing pane
    • RSS in E-mail Clients Clicking a headline from the top pane displays its contents in the bottom pane
        • Run from software on your computer
        • Only allow access to your feeds while at your own computer!
      Stand-alone feed readers, browser-based readers, and readers within e-mail applications…
    • If you want to be able to read your feeds from any computer, you have web-based aggregators as an option.
      • Web-based aggregators are web pages which you can customize to contain your feeds.
      • You may already be using a web-based aggregator without being aware of it.
    • If you have customized your start page for web-based e-mail, then you are probably already using RSS feeds Feeds added to Yahoo’s start page
    • Many of the gadgets Google allows users to add to customized home pages take advantage of RSS. These are all RSS feeds.
    • When the + sign is clicked, the feed’s content is displayed without leaving the iGoogle home page.
    • Pageflakes Here is a Pageflakes.com customized home page including tools like a calculator, to-do list, and Google search box
    • Pageflakes RSS feeds appear along with the customized tools on this page.
    • RSS feeds embedded in personalized web pages
      • Can be accessed from any computer, using any browser
      • Are options on “start pages” of major e-mail services and web portals (yahoo.com, google.com, pageflakes.com)
      • Display your RSS feeds with other content, like weather, photos, stock quotes, games, etc.
    • For the more serious RSS user… There are web-based applications dedicated only to reading RSS feeds
      • Bloglines
      • Google Reader
    • Bloglines is one popular web-based feed reader Feed titles appear on the left side of the page Here are the headlines for each feed
    • Clicking an individual headline displays the content of the article
    • Here are Google Reader’s feed titles Headlines of the selected feed appear here Users select whether to view feeds in the compact “list view” format…
    • … or view more of the article in “expanded view”
    • So…you can view RSS feeds
      • In a stand-alone application you download and install on your computer
    • So…you can view RSS feeds
      • Within a browser or e-mail program which tracks your feeds and shows them to you as bookmarks/ with your e-mail
      • In a stand-alone application you download and install on your computer
    • So…you can view RSS feeds
      • On a “start page” or web portal you’ve customized with your own content
      • Within a browser or e-mail program which tracks your feeds and shows them to you as bookmarks/ with your e-mail
      • In a stand-alone application you download and install on your computer
    • So…you can view RSS feeds
      • On a “start page” or web portal you’ve customized with your own content
      • Within a browser or e-mail program which tracks your feeds and shows them to you as bookmarks/ with your e-mail
      • In a stand-alone application you download and install on your computer
      • Within a browser-based application designed specifically for RSS feeds
      • Within a browser or e-mail program which tracks your feeds and shows them to you as bookmarks/ with your e-mail
      • In a stand-alone application you download and install on your computer
      With these you can access feeds only while at your computer
      • On a “start page” or web portal you’ve customized with your own content
      • Within a browser-based application designed specifically for RSS feeds
      With these, you can access feeds from any browser on any computer
      • On a “start page” or web portal you’ve customized with your own content
      • Within a browser or e-mail program which tracks your feeds and shows them to you as bookmarks/ with your e-mail
      With these, you can view feeds along with other content
      • In a stand-alone application you download and install on your computer
      • Within a browser-based application designed specifically for RSS feeds
      With these, you view only RSS feeds , but with a wider variety of display, searching, and tagging options
    • So…you can view RSS feeds
      • On a “start page” or web portal you’ve customized with your own content
      • Within a browser or e-mail program which tracks your feeds and shows them to you as bookmarks/ with your e-mail
      • In a stand-alone application you download and install on your computer
      • Within a browser-based application designed specifically for RSS feeds
    • Which aggregator should you use?
      • Do you regularly use more than one computer?
      • How many web sites with RSS feeds will you subscribe to?
      • Will you set aside time just to read blogs and check web sites…
      • … Or would you prefer to see feeds while doing other online activities?
    • Keeping up via RSS is…
      • Convenient
      • Fast
      • Ad-fee
      • Customizable
      • Happy reading!
      For permission to use, contact Deborah Winarski (dwinarski@park-ridge.lib.il.us)