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Keeping Current on News and Research in Less Time. Camille Andrews & Nathan Rupp February 2006. Overview. What is RSS? How to Find and Read Feeds Bloglines What are Blogs? How to Find and Read Blogs What is Social Bookmarking? and Connotea . How many people are using RSS?.

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Keeping current on news and research in less time

Keeping Current on News and Research in Less Time

Camille Andrews & Nathan RuppFebruary 2006


  • What is RSS?

    • How to Find and Read Feeds

      • Bloglines

  • What are Blogs?

    • How to Find and Read Blogs

  • What is Social Bookmarking?

    • and Connotea

How many people are using rss

How many people are using RSS?

From the Pew Internet & American Life Project:

“6 million Americans get news and information fed to them through RSS aggregators…”

“Five percent of Internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online. This is a first-time measurement from our surveys and is an indicator that this application is gaining an impressive foothold.”

What is rss
What Is RSS?

  • Form of XML

  • Not much by itself – need an RSS reader

  • Various versions

  • RSS stands for:

    • RDF Site Summary

    • Rich Site Summary

    • Really Simple Syndication

      See “RSS” in Wikipedia for further information

What rss looks like xml
What RSS looks like: XML

Feed title

Feed description

Feed date

Article title

Link to article

Article description


What rss looks like reader
What RSS looks like: Reader

Feed title

Feed description

Feed date

Article title/

link to article




What you can get with rss
What You Can Get with RSS

  • Announcements

  • News headlines

  • Tables of contents

  • New web page content

  • New blog posts

    New, frequently updated information

Why you would use rss
Why You Would Use RSS

If you want an efficient way to monitor lots of sources of information

World news

Prof assoc news

Local news

Favorite blogs

Higher ed news

Library news

Tables of contents

Publishers’ news

Tech news

Advantages to rss
Advantages to RSS

  • Less clicking and more reading!

  • Helps to keep track of frequently AND infrequently updated sites

  • Little spam or ads (ala TIVO)

  • Information presented how YOU want it—no reading weird color schemes

Disadvantages to rss
Disadvantages to RSS

  • Some feeds just have a headline or excerpt, no full text

  • Your favorite site may not yet have RSS—but you can created a feed for the site (more on this later)

  • You were once clicking to 200 sites a day, now you’re reading 200 RSS feeds!

How you get rss
How You Get RSS

  • Web based RSS readers

    • Bloglines:

    • NewsIsFree:

    • Pluck web edition:

  • Desktop RSS readers

    • infoRSS:

    • NewzCrawler:

      Many more – see the RSS

      compendium at

Finding feeds
Finding Feeds

  • On the site itself:

    • One of these buttons:

    • Text links that say XML or RSS

    • A link that says “syndicate this site”

  • Use a feed locator

  • Search Google for specific feeds

    • site: rss

    • site: rss

Feed locators and search engines
Feed Locators and Search Engines

  • Google Blog Search:

  • Feedster:

  • NewsIsFree:

  • Syndic8:


  • More from the RSS Compendium:

    Your aggregator may have lists…

Rss panel for firefox
RSS Panel for Firefox

Other resources
Other Resources

  • U.S. government feeds:

  • RSS compendium:

  • Lockergnome:

  • RSS tutorial:

  • RSS tutorial for content publishers and webmasters:

Setting up a bloglines account
Setting up a Bloglines Account


  • Register for an account

  • Pick a couple of subscriptions from their list just to see how it works

  • Some things you can do with Bloglines:

    • Clip or email items

    • Organize feeds and clippings into folders

    • Add and delete feeds

What are blogs
What are Blogs?

  • "Blog/WebLog: a web page containing brief, chronologically arranged items of information. A blog can take the form of a diary, journal, what's new page, or links to other web sites."

  • Most blogging software produces RSS feeds.

Scott, Peter. (2001) “Blogging: Creating Instant Content for the Web.” Internet Librarian 2001, Pasadena, CA

Keeping current on news and research in less time

Blog title

Post date (in reverse chrono-logical order) and title

Links, Previous posts, or Blogroll

Post and links to other sites/blogs



What kinds of blogs are there
What kinds of blogs are there?

  • Pundit, news, and political blogs (“citizen journalists”)

  • Personal journals and diaries

  • Business/corporate blogs

  • Organizational and project blogs (including blogs for communities of interest and practice)

    • For professional development

    • For organizational knowledge management

  • Not all text-based: Picture, audio (podcasting), and video (screen or vodcasting)

Blogs in science and academia
Blogs in science and academia

  • Personal (both research and diary)



  • Associations

    • American Society for Enology & Viticulture-

How to find them
How to Find Them?

  • Blogging indexes and search engines

    • Feedster-

    • Technorati-

    • Daypop--any regularly updated current events

    • Blogdex-

    • Google Blog Search-

    • Your news aggregator (e.g. Bloglines)

How to find them1
How to Find Them?

  • Blogrolls and Blog Recommendation Pages

    • Blogrolls-Lists of links to other blogs the author is reading found in the sidebars

    • Links to other blogs within posts

    • Blog recommendation pages

      • e.g. Blogging about Incredible Blogs

Factuality and authority
Factuality and Authority

  • Blogs should be vetted like other media: books, newspapers, etc.

  • Blogs trade editorial oversight for timeliness

  • More onus on the reader for critical analysis

Six reasons to read blogs
Six reasons to read blogs

  • Current awareness and personal information management

  • Conversations taking place and subjects being discussed here that aren't elsewhere

  • Faster updates

  • Easy to explore other fields

  • For fun!

Another way of tracking
Another way of tracking. . .

  • Save what you’re reading

  • See what others are reading and saving through. . .

    Social Bookmarking!

Social bookmarking what is it 1
Social Bookmarking: What Is It? (1)

  • Web-based system of bookmarks or favorites

  • Accessible from any Internet-connected computer

    • No more finding you’ve saved a bookmark you need on your home computer while you’re at work

    • No more e-mailing links between computers

What is it 2
What Is It? (2)

  • Added feature: tagging and folksonomies

  • Everyone “tags” saved websites with their own keywords

    • i.e., I could save Mann Library website with tags like mann, mannlibrary, library, myjob, etc.

  • Can tag more than websites (indiv. blog entries, photos, your ambitions and things to do list)

What is it 3
What Is It? (3)

  • Extra-Special Feature! Collaborative--everyone can see what you bookmarked and how you’ve tagged (though some applications allow privacy)

  • In looking at what others have tagged with the same or similar words, you can discover other resources

Social bookmarking applications
Social bookmarking applications

  • Del.icio.us

    • Popular general social bookmarking site

    • Main features:

      • Page Title

      • Description (optional)

      • URL

      • Tags

Other social bookmarking applications
Other social bookmarking applications

  • Connotea-

    • for scientists (developed by Nature Publishing Group)

    • difference between tagging by general community and specialist community

    • Better bibliographic tools and finer control

      • Indication of co-author status

      • Ability to add more notes and comments and see those of others

      • Auto-import of bibliographic data from certain databases and publications

      • Better tag control

      • Import/export in RIS (readable in most citation management programs)

      • OpenURL support

Connotea auto imports info from
Connotea auto imports info from:


  • PubMed

  • PubMed Central

  • Science

  • Supported EPrints repositories

  • Supported Highwire Press publications

  • Blackwell Synergy

  • Wiley Interscience

  • Amazon

  • HubMed

  • D-Lib Magazine

Other social bookmarking applications1
Other social bookmarking applications

  • Furl-

    • General service like but also saves page and allows comments, rating of pages

  • Citeulike-

    • for academics (allows academic citation info, export into BibTex format, notes, includes lots of biological and medical papers)

  • Scuttle/Scuttledu-

    • -for educators (allows notes on grade level, subject area)

Not just web bookmarks
Not just web bookmarks

  • Flickr-

    • Photos

  • 43 Things-

    • Things to do

  • LiveJournal, Technorati

    • Blog posts

Which one
Which one?

  • Social Bookmarking Comparison Tool

  • Not limited to just one

    • Multiple bookmarklet tool

Why is it useful
Why is it useful?

  • Can access your bookmarks from any location

  • No transferring to multiple folders and allows multiple categorizations and uses

  • Easier to save things

    • bookmarklets

    • slightly more automated than Endnote and Refworks (and some give you notes fields and export features)

Why is it useful1
Why is it useful?

  • Another method of discovery—see what others have found interesting or useful

    • similar to Google’s Page Rank

    • easier to find ‘long tail’ in that few people have to link with similar words to cross your path

  • Communities of users, tracking terms and trends

    • especially useful in specialized communities like Connotea and Citeulike

Problems with tagging
Problems with tagging

  • Everyone calls everything something different (blogs, blog, blogging; tagging, folksonomy,, social bookmarking)

  • Can’t ever be sure of finding everything on a subject

  • Synonyms and multilingual issues (rose- pink in French, flower in English)

  • Perspective (me, toread, torec)

Problems with tagging1
Problems with tagging

  • Tyranny of the commons (better with trusted network/ranking system a la Slashdot)

  • “Unacceptable” meanings (MLK)

  • Hard to represent hierarchies

  • Privacy issues-what if you don’t want to share?

  • Not on your server. What if it goes down?

  • Free for now but later?

  • Spamming and gaming the system

Tagging is good for
Tagging is good for

  • browsing

  • finding other people’s opinions and interests

  • catching latest trends,

  • triangulating terms and concepts

  • new things, things that change over time

Keeping current with rss

Keeping current with RSS

General RSS resources:

RSS compendium:


RSS tutorial:

RSS tutorial for content publishers and webmasters:

And many many more…

More information on blogs
More information on blogs

  • The Internet Courses: Weblogs-Dr. L. Anne Clyde, Professor, Faculty of Social Science, The University of Iceland--

  • Weblogs Compendium—Peter Scott

  • “Blogging 101”-Jenny Levine (The Shifted Librarian),

More social bookmarking resources
More social bookmarking resources

  • April 2005 issue of DLib magazine

    • “Social Bookmarking Tools (I): A General Overview” - Tony Hammond, et al. (

    • “Social Bookmarking Tools (II): A Case Study – Connotea” - Ben Lund, et al. (

  • del.icious bookmarks for this workshop