Alchemical Thoughts

Article Note: Stephens on RSS

Posted on: November 10, 2007

Citation for the article:

Stephens, Michael. "RSS." Library Technology Reports 42.4 (July/August 2006): 36-44.

I continue my reading of this journal. I am on the RSS article now, and the one thing that caught my attention this time was the suggestion to use Suprglu to create an rss portal or at least put a set of feeds in one place and then make then accessible to your audience. I had heard of Suprglu before, but at the time I did not think it would be something I would want to use personally. It seemed like one more account to create. However, giving it a second look now, I could see some potential for the library. I may need to go back and play with it a bit.

The article also points to the importance, once again, of training your staff. Stephens writes,

"The most important thing you can do for your staff–for all staff members– is to show them how to aggregate RSS feeds. That training opens up a valuable, timesaving tool for them. The same goes for library users. Turn them onto the ease of RSS, tout your own feeds in classes, and continue to promote your feeds every chance you get" (41).

Yesterday I had a professor in education come visit me. She needed for me to show her some of the online resources available for her research interests. We took some time to see the available databases, and in passing, I mentioned that some of the databases allowed her to set up alerts for specific journals. She could get these alerts via e-mail or on an rss feed. She did not seem to know what the idea of a feed was, but sadly, since we were trying to keep things brief, I did not press. But as I have time now to think about this, I am thinking there is an opportunity there waiting to be tapped in promoting use of RSS for the faculty.

As another reminder to myself, I should create a link to a page explaining what RSS is and how to use it in the library blog. The more I read and think, the larger the "honey do" list gets. Then again, that's ok. It means we are moving from thinking to application as we learn.

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