Learning Spaces: Blogs: RSS Feeds
It's easy to become overwhelmed by the information found in blogs, audioblogs, or vlogs. Most regular readers and listeners use a news aggregator and RSS feeds to help them manage their favorite resources. RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication (RSS).
Watch RSS in Plain English from CommonCraft from YouTube.
Read Information Avalanche Rescue: RSS Feeds in the Classroom by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson. Try some of the feeds and resources.
Read Web Feeds Delivered to Your Digital Doorstep (PDF) by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson in Teacher Librarian, April 2007.
Go to the Libray of Congress RSS Feed page. Notice all of the options for news and information.
Using an RSS News Feed
Most blogs contain an RSS link. It's often at the bottom of a sidebar on the blog. You can use this file to subscribe to "feed" from this blog.
You use a news aggregator to view a list of all the new resources from all your subscription feeds. Aggregator software generally allows you to see a master list and well as individual feeds. You can then choose what you want to read, hear, or see. You can also download these feeds to your iPod or other handheld device.
Explore some examples of RSS feeds:
- Cincinnati Library RSS
- Duke University RSS
- Hennepin County Library
- Kansas City Public LIbrary RSS
- Library Journal RSS
- Library of Congress RSS
- Mabry Middle School RSS
- Reader's Club RSS
- School Library Journal RSS
- School Library Media Activities Monthly RSS
- Unshelved Cartoons RSS
- USA.gov RSS
- RSS Feeds for Libraries (a list of many)
Creating an RSS News Feed
If you want to easily distribute your news to others, you need to create an RSS text file. This file is then downloaded by others in their new aggregator. An RSS file contains static information about your site such as a title and description along with dynamic information about your site content. Once you've created your RSS file, you can register it with news aggregators so others can find it. You'll also place a link on your blog so people can subscribe. Many of the blog services automatically generate your RSS file. However you may need to create your own if you're serving your own blog software. Use the following resource to create your RSS file: Introduction to RSS from WebReference.com
The easiest way to create a feed is by using Google Feedburner.
If you have some experience with HTML or XML, consider creating your own feed. Go to Enhancements: Social Technology: Syndication for step-by-step instructions.
RSS Feed Readers
Popular Feed Reader
Personalized News Readers
RSS Feed Creators
- FeedBurner - create audio and video content RSS feeds
- FeedForAll - create, edit, manage, publish RSS feeds and podcasts
- iTunes - must run in iTunes
If you don't have the time or interest to create you own, consider using a service that aggregates the news for you:
Use RSS to Stay Informed Easily by Jason Boley (High Tech Learning Student Project)
Links to the materials in this section can be found in the navigation bar on the left side of this page. Continue to the Learning Spaces: Virtual Conferencing page.