May 28, 2007

Of all the services under the “Web 2.0” umbrella, I was least enthusiastic about RSS and had never considered trying to get a reader prior to the class.  I think I was not encouraged by definitions such as

RSS is an XML-based format that allows the syndication of lists of hyperlinks, along with other information, or metadata, that helps viewers decide whether they want to follow the link.” (Nottingham)


I didn’t find it impossible to understand, I just wasn’t sure of the benefits for myself.  I’ve been using newsgator as my reader for a bit and I’ve found it really helpful for this class in keeping up with the class and I’ve started using it myself to keep up with news sites etc.

I’ve been trying to think about the application for librarians and I think it was Steven Cohen’s article that touched on these applications when he discussed reference services for current news, using, for example, the Moreover search engine.  I think this would be a more useful application for public libraries, though beyond this I think the possibilities are limited.  Perhaps instructing library patrons in how to set up an RSS reader could be a practical application for librarians.

I think RSS readers have more possibilities in academic libraries, which Luke Rosenberger’s article also argued. I’ve never yet attempted to use RSS feeds to follow publications in e-journals or databases before, though it does seem promising given the volume of publications out there.  Though I think that this would be more of a concern for faculty and PhD students than undergrads.

Apart from professional applications, I’ve enjoyed using newsgator and I can see why people can get stuck on it for hours.


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