Thursday, 19 February 2009

RSS, Feeds and Readers

I'm posting on this topic a bit earlier than I would have liked, but I'm going to be offline over the weekend and don't want to leave too much to be done on Monday.

I've now subscribed to quite a number of feeds. Some news sites, for instance: including two (Education and Northern Ireland) from the BBC. The Guardian Education and Comment is Free. The Fawcett Society. Also some (academic) journal feeds, though I'm still trying to work out how they operate. My assumption is that when a new issue is published online, I'll now know about it through Google Reader. That would be really useful, and would by itself make it worthwhile for me to have started using the Reader. I've also subscribed to Adam Smyth's, which collects and posts information about conferences, publications etc. in my area. I don't actually think this last will inform me about anything I wasn't likely to have found out about anyway, since Adam sends details about all important events to a mailing list I'm on. But now I'm on both I can compare and contrast and find out.

Is this going to be useful to me? Well, it will be a lot more useful once I've organised my subscriptions and sorted them into folders. I puzzled yesterday evening over how to do this, and (think I) got it worked out just as the time came for me to stop. I'll have to see, now, whether I can remember how it was done. At the moment, my subscriptions just look like a muddle, which is not only aesthetically unpleasing but also contributes to my sense that I'm not really in control of what I'm doing.

The other point -- also raised, I think, by Dave from the Thursday group -- is that I am not sure how many of the academic journals, societies etc. I'm interested in are actually on board with RSS. I just looked up the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, but as far as I can see there's no feed on their site. They communicate through a listserv, which I've never signed up to and probably won't. On the other hand, searching for the Society through Google Reader led me to Everything Early Modern Women (, which I hadn't known about but which should be useful. So, swings and roundabouts.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure you'll all be happy to learn that when I went back to Google Reader yesterday I had no trouble creating folders and then organising my subscriptions. The neat and tidy order I've now produced is giving me enormous (i.e. totally disproportionate) satisfaction. I am now trying to resist the temptation just to sign up to more and more feeds. Now that I've got the point, I'm aiming to sign up only to sites that I would have looked at anyway or can see might be useful to work. I wonder how long these good intentions will last