Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thing 3 -- Set up an RSS account and ad feeds

I have heard about and have seen demonstrated RSS feed readers--and have now spent a bit of time learning more about and exploring them. I can definitely see the practicality of using RSS readers for sites that I would frequently check (or that I SHOULD frequently check but in fact neglect).

I set up accounts with both Bloglines and Google, and did a bit of searching to see what I might be interested in. It took me a bit of time and exploration to figure out a bit of how each of them worked. I personally found more sites of interest using Bloglines--it seemed that when I typed in phrases, it did a better job of either interpreting them as phrases--or else its search logic better matched mine. When I did the same phrase search on both sites, it seemed like Bloglines came up with fewer hits but they were the sort of thing I was really looking for; Google came up with many, many more hits, but almost none of them were what I was actually after. (If anyone using this prefers Google, what features do you like better in it?)

In terms of how I might use suggested, I did add a couple of my fellow 23-things blogger's sites to my reader--and I agree that it will be easier to have updates automatically sent to me rather than clicking on each site individually. I also added a feed for a library which posts Publisher's Weekly bestseller lists on their library blog once a week--again, that is something that I usually check when I'm putting together an order, and I think that having the lists just come to me will be handy. I added a couple more sites out of personal interest--but suspect that I probably won't keep up with them over the long term--too much else that either needs doing or that I'd rather do.

Out of curiosity, do any of you have RSS feeds available for your library web site? If so, how do you or your patrons use them? Our patrons do occasionally ask what new __fill in your favorite genre or subject__ books we have recently acquired; I could see a potentially useful patron service in posting such lists in an RSS-feed accessible form so that patrons could easily be notified of new titles of interest to them.

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