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Keeping up to date with more than 140 characters – The joy of RSS

In my last post I mentioned that I’d got my RSS reader down to 0 and I thought it might be useful to share what I meant by that.

Many of you will understand the idea of Twitter – you ‘follow’ those people whose updates you want and they are pulled together into one central place.

RSS does the same, but for blogs.

You will need an RSS reader (I’m using Feedly since the demand of Google Reader, although others are available!), and a website you want to be kept updated about. Assuming the website produces an RSS feed (so most blogs will, as will many news websites), you simply copy and paste the URL (web address) into Feedly. Next time that site updates, the update will appear automatically in your RSS reader. This saves the time consuming business of working your way through a list of bookmarks on the off chance they’ve updated. It also ensures that you don’t miss a post if you’ve been reliant on Twitter to let you know when your favourite edu-blogger has posted something new.

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Caring is sharing. 

A good percentage of my tweets start with ‘just read:’ – these are things that I’ve found through my RSS reader and think other people in my Twitter network might be interested in.

I found that a few other people were doing it, and I found it a good way of finding out about new blogs to follow or interesting articles to read. When I started I was (and still am) picking up a few favourites and retweets, so I’ve carried on.

You can share to Twitter (or any other network) straight out of Feedly. The one draw back is where possible I like to add the twitter name of the person who wrote the article. A few I just know, but in many other cases I’ll actually follow the link to the original blog and tweet it from there as I stand a better chance of being able to work out the Twitter name of the author.

I also use the brilliant IFTTT service to keep a record of those blogs I’ve shared on the ‘Ihavemostlybeenreading’ Tumblr here. If you’re looking for some blogs to start off with, you could do worse than having a flick through some of those posts and following the links back to the blog.

Dave Stacey

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