RSS feeds for ELT

Bloglines: promises, and delivers!

Real Simple Syndication [definition; Wikipedia entry], or RSS as it is better known, might at first sight sound like another bit of geeky technology that you can live very happily without, thank you.

Basically, it will involve you setting up an account (eg at Bloglines) and specifying which website(-s) and/or blog(-s) you want to track for new content. The next day (say), you will have to log back on to your new account to read any new content that has been found and brought to you at your account [+ info].

Which websites and blogs publish an RSS feed?
Not all websites publish what is called a "feed", which is what Bloglines et al use to gather the content for you.

If you can see an orange icon that looks like it is transmitting radio waves (right), then the site has an RSS feed which you can very simply add to your Bloglines account, and start receiving content from that site too.

Is it worth it…?
A very long time ago, when even email was in its infancy, I came to a seminar at my present employers, at which someone explained that the teachers (now my colleagues) had not wanted to use email until they discovered how useful it could be to them personally — for things other than teaching.

I'd suggest that RSS is like that: discover that it's useful to you personally, to bring you things on your hobbies and interests, and you'll quickly be convinced…

5 RSS feeds of general interest
Below, five sites on topics that interest me: try them, or look out for others that will interest you

5 RSS feeds of interest to English teachers

Try RSS. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it…

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  1. For ideas for exploiting YouTube, has an interesting feed.

  2. For truly freaky information addicts, try ,-)!!!

  3. Hi There,

    Thanks for mentioning my learning technology blog. Nice article on RSS. Like you I find it totally essential as it save me hours of trawling around on websites and takes me straight to the good stuff. I actually prefer Netvibes to blog lines as it's nicer to look at and a bit more versatile (can integrate in email, flicks, video search etc).

    I wrote an article with instructions on how to create a personal homepage here Creating a personal homepage

    There are step by step instructions for setting up a page on Netvibes and also some suggestions for good blogs and sites to subscribe to.

    Hope it's useful

    Nik Peachey | Learning Technology Consultant, Writer, Trainer

  4. Yes, NetVibes would be a good alternative to Bloglines, Nik.

    Google Reader would be another…

    It's also true that you still have to go to the page that is aggregrating all your feeds — though it soon becomes obvious that it's better to go to one than 100.

    You can get round the "problem" partly by making Bloglines (or whatever) your default home page…

    Or making it one of your default homes, by separating them by a vertical line: |

    Thus …com | http://www. etc.

  5. Now, Google Reader is what I'd recommend: Bloglines got seriously messed up when they tried to make it more "social"!

  6. And then Google Reader died, too, of course.

    There are still lots of alternatives, with TheOldReader being my current choice.

    People seem to be blogging far less now and spending far more (possibly far too much 😉 time on Twitter.

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