4.11.2009

Feed Me (Thing 30)

RSS Reader: My Custom Newspaper

Aside from email, my RSS reader and online bookmarks are the most useful tools for retrieving, organizing, and sharing information. The mornings that I am fortunate enough to not have any technical issues requiring my immediate attention, I scroll through my reader while enjoying my first cup of coffee – it has become my morning (and afternoon and evening) newspaper, complete with comics. Almost everything on the Internet can be subscribed to via RSS; my subscriptions include not only blogs, but also photo streams, word-of-the-day feeds, and even Facebook status updates.

Google Reader

RSS Reader

While I cherish each of my 100-some subscriptions (when I cease to do so, I unsubscribe), I would like to cut out some of the irrelevant material that comes through, e.g. posts that purely list a website’s sponsors. I looked into filtering my feeds via websites such as FeedRinse and FilterMyRSS, but since each feed needs to be filtered individually, I quickly decided that it was much easier to just skip an item in my reader, than it would be to filter each feed and then subscribe to the filtered feed and unsubscribe from the old, unfiltered feed. However, these tools could be useful for teachers & media specialists needing to filter feeds for student consumption, hopefully avoiding the Beetle Sex incident.

Spreed, a website that enables you to speed-read an article a few words at a time, was an RSS tool I found to be interesting. I prefer to scan the items in my reader, before deciding whether to read the full article, so Spreed is not something I will be using with most feeds; however, I think it could be useful for reading longer material, such as an e-book. By combining Spreed with DailyLit, a website that provides books via RSS feeds, I may actually read War & Peace someday.

Delicious: Bookmarking Training Wheels

Diigo

Bookmarking on Diigo

I love social-bookmarking, but everything Delicious can do, Diigo can do better.

  • Example 1: Sharing - Rather than sharing bookmarks with individual users in my network, Diigo enables me to share bookmarks with groups of contacts, regardless of whether they use Diigo or not. One way I use this feature to send bookmarks to teachers by subject matter, e.g. I can send all the science teachers a link at once, without having to enter all their emails.
  • Example 2: Organizing – Like Delicious, Diigo allows users to sort bookmarks by tags or groups of tags, but Diigo also allows users to create lists of links, which can then be shared online…or even printed,for those who still kill trees. I like to create lists of select resources on a topic, i.e. rather than sending a someone all bookmarks I have pertaining to their question, I make a list of my favorites to share.
  • Example 3: Publishing – Diigo makes it possible to send links directly to your blog or social-networking services such as Twitter. Beyond dynamic linkrolls, Diigo users can also embed static lists of links on services such as Netvibes.
  • Example 4: Discussion – This is where Diigo truly trumps Delicious, as there really is no way to discuss websites on Delicious. Sure, you can add a short note to a bookmark, but no one can respond to the note. The hallmark feature of Diigo is its ability to highlight text on page and add annotations. Depending on the privacy levels of one’s notes (personal, shared with a group, or public), other users can view and respond to these comments.
  • Bonus for Educators - Diigo allows teachers to create classroom groups with accounts for each students. Students can then easily share & discuss webpages with each other and their teacher.

If you like Delicious, you will love Diigo – you just have to give it a chance. Check out my bookmarks on Diigo via my linkroll in the sidebar. I am also still feeding my bookmarks to Delicious, if you would prefer to scope out my bookmarks on that site.

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