Monday, January 28, 2013

Thing 15 Staying Informed Reflection

I have been using Google Reader since March of 2012. It has changed the way I find information on the web. It brings feeds from different blogs and news agencies all together in one place. From this one place, I can choose to go out to the individual blogs to read more, especially if a feed has been truncated. Several blogs that I follow truncate their feeds because their blog entries were being posted verbatim on other “gathering” sites without necessarily providing links back to the original writer or blog. Another important thing to know about an RSS aggregator is that if I only read the content in the agggregator, the blog author doesn’t get the site usage information they would otherwise gather through products like Google Analytics. That site usage information may be used to help the blog owner make money or to help the blog owner decide what kind of content will be created next based on high traffic postings. I love my Google Reader and when an author creates something that is important enough to read, I click through to the original content to give the author information they can use to be a better content creator.

Sometimes having an individual RSS content stream would be useful. An example for me is Science Codex - a site that aggregates short research abstracts. It sends me so many reader subscriptions that sometimes I just delete them all without reading them because I don’t have time to catch up with the abstracts. I am sure there is a way, but I haven’t figured it out yet, to filter the different types of blogs into folders. For example, my education blogs, my crochet blogs, my cooking blogs, and my sewing blogs would go in individual folders and I can use my time more effectively to read through content in those individual areas but not all at once.

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