Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Info On RSS Readers - Library 101 Presentation

In my presentation I mentioned that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. What that means is if you really like the blog and want to be alerted to new content you can copy a bit of code that will connect and keep you up to date with new content.

It is similar to a magazine subscription; you like the magazine and you want to receive it on a regular basis. Unlike magazines there is no fee involved and you can start and stop at any time.

Another way to look at it is there use to be three television networks that created content. After the program was canceled or finished its run it would go into syndication where other television stations could air the show when they wanted to show it to you. Most times it was 4:30a.m.

Instead of a company distributing the content when it wants to the user or patron gets to decide what content to received from millions of choices.

What You Need To Get Started

You will need to have what is called a RSS Reader. This is software that looks at the code, goes to the website or blog and transmits the new content to you. In class, I showed you Bloglines which is a free service that you can use to keep track of your favorite blogs, podcasts and web videos.

If you look at the bottom of the PCC Libtech blog you will see two buttons. One of them is for Bloglines. After you set up your account you can click that button and subscribe to the blog. The orange icon is another way to subscribe to content for other applications and services that use that format.

If you are a Google Guy/Gal no worries. If you use Google applications and services you just need to activate your Google Reader account. Google has a tour page that will explain the process.

Now I've tried to give a basic explanation but there a video that will make it crystal clear. Back in 2007 I wrote about the Common Craft videos and this is an example of my RSS In Plain English post from 2007. Definitely check the video out; it will help you understand and get you started building your link collections.

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