Thanks to IFPRI’s Information and Knowledge Management Specialist Pete Shelton the KS Toolkit has a new section on RSS. He shares with us the following tips:

  • Although RSS and newsreader services are often promoted as potential time savers, they also can be highly addictive. Thus, instead of resulting in less time following your favorite websites and blogs, you often spend the same or more time following more and more (and more!) websites and blogs. As Lee Lefever warns, “Be careful- it’s addictive!”
  • There seems to be a general pattern from passive RSS use to a more proactive approach that involves sharing your subscribed and favorited items with friends, family and colleagues. To offer one analogy, users often begin by setting up an iGoogle page featuring feeds from their favorite sites, blogs, etc. and may even go about organizing them by topic, etc. using the tab feature. As you get used to using iGoogle, however, you may find that you only follow feeds featured in your home tab and you may also want to keep better track of your favorite articles, blog posts, etc. Subscribing to these feeds using a newsreader like Google Reader will allow you to save these items by tagging, starring or sharing them in your reader while also acting as a searchable database for all the content in your subscribed feeds. Moreover, Reader allows you to remix these items into your own customized feed, which you can then publish to your own website, blog or share with your email contacts.
  • Try doing a Google News search for coverage of your organization in the news media. These results can be used to create a dynamic feed (i.e., automatically includes new stories as they are published), which then can be published directly to your organization’s website or you can subscribe to this feed using your newsreader software of choice. Using newsreader software such as Google Reader allows you to selectively tag, star and share which items to publish to a new feed produced by your newsreader that can then be republished to your site.

 

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