Staying Current Using Blogs& RSS feedsAmanda StoneSouth Carolina State LibraryApril 19, 2007
Blogs A blog is a user-generated website whereentries are made in journal style anddisplayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary or news ona particular subject, such as food, politics, orlocal news; some function as more personalonline diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, andlinks to other blogs, web pages, and othermedia related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual althoughsome focus on photographs (photoblog),videos (vlog), art (sketchblog), or audio(podcasting), and are part of a wider networkof social media.(Wikipedia, 3/2007)
Blogs in every flavor• Websites you already visit, newspapers,local, state, & national organizations,associations, government agencies,libraries, universities, churches, authors,companies, politicians, candidates,professionals in every field, the passionategardener down the block, the crankygeezer with political views
RSS• Really Simple Syndication(among other things)• Type of XML• Link between blogs andyou• Need an RSS reader
RSS readers-RSS or news aggregators allow you tosubscribe to RSS feeds and read them inone place.• Web-based readers– Bloglines, Google Reader, MyYahoo• Client-side readers– FeedReader, NetNewsWire• Plug-ins– Firefox, Safari (Mac), IE7
Advantages of RSS• All-in-one reading source• Helps keep track of both frequently –and-infrequently updated sites• Few spam or ads• Information presented how *you*want it
Disadvantages of RSS• Sometimes feeds just have headlines,not full-text• The information you need may nothave an RSS feed yet• Information overload!
What’s available via RSS?• Blogs• And a whole lot more:– Table of contents of journals– Search engine results– Newspaper articles (The State)– News, press releases, current information– Weather, hurricane info, coupons, packagetracking, price watching, recipes, stockupdates, calendar of events (cities,associations, theaters, etc), comics, trafficconditions
How to find blogs/RSS content• Things you already read• BlogrollsSearch Engines for RSS feeds• Feedster http://www.feedster.com• Technorati http://Technorati.com• Google http://blogsearch.google.com
Government & RSS• USA.gov-RSS Library– Business, Consumer, Defense, Education,Environment, Community, Health, Safety,Reference, Science• South Carolina agency RSS feeds– SC.gov– SCPRT– Department of Education– State Library– University & Colleges
Podcasts/Vodcasts•Podcasts are audio contenttied to an RSS feed. Think ofthem as radio shows straight toyour computer. Often sent toiTunes for iPod or other mp3players•Vodcasts (Vidcasts) are videocontent tied to an RSS feed.
Government & Podcasts• Federal Podcasts– USA.gov-Podcasts from the U.S.Government– Free Government Info-Government Podcsts• South Carolina– Employment Security Commission-Jobcast– ETV• Other– NPR, Politicians (Jim DeMint), Candidates(Barack Obama)
References/Resources• Del.icio.us-http://del.icio.us/astonesc• Information Trapping: Real-Time Researchon the Web (book)• Handout with links