Friday, May 25, 2007

RSS = Really Student Specific?

Have been having a bit of a think about whether or not I like using RSS feeds. I think my overwhelming response is that I do... but that equally I find them overwhelming at times. I use the Google Reader and have done so for a fair while now. But, if I'm thinking about why I might like to promote RSS feeds to other people, I think it might be helpful if I thought about some of the pros and cons

1. The news comes to you!
2. Don't need to remember loads of URLs after finding a gem provided I've subscribed to it
3. If you find the right aggregator, they're a doddle to manage
4. Very skim reading friendly!
5. Interesting articles can be highlighted, tagged and shared
6. Great for getting multiple-perspectives on current affairs / issues
7. Useful for reading and later reflecting on articles
8. Facilitates integration with other web 2.0 services

1. Saying 'RSS' to people often produces a glazed expression
2. Something new to learn about - straw that broke the camel's back time?
3. Not all RSS feeds are user friendly and can be pretty xml-scary
4. They can be pretty addictive!
5. Sometimes there can be an overwhelming number of articles and posts to read... especially if you haven't checked in for a day or two
6. Do you really read everything as thoroughly as if you'd had to track it down?

Think I'm going to start encouraging my group to try out an RSS service. So often the RSS feeds from OU sites seem to be just about their site. How about them recommending sites for students? Helping them see where's good to go to get informed and stay current? Why not make it more than just dull static course news? Why not remember that we are linked to the rest of the world and part of one big information ecology? Stop looking in, start looking out?

Mull, mull, mull...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...