Tag Archives: RSS

easy ways to read internet news and blogs

Patrick and I were talking yesterday about the “types” of people who want to read news and blogs on the internet. Nearly everyone uses the web to go out and read articles, so even if they don’t know it they are gathering feed-based information. This most basic method of information hunting-and-gathering is just fine, but there might be another way that fits your personal work patterns better.

Here is the breakdown as I see it. People will tend to do one or more of the following:

  1. go out to multiple websites each day and read articles, columns, journals, and news on their own “home pages”
  2. use a web-based service (Bloglines, Google Reader) to collect, or aggregate, the information on a single web page
  3. use a program (like Thunderbird) to collect articles from favorite news sources and treat them like e-mail

I personally like getting my news alongside my e-mail using Mozilla Thunderbird. I check my e-mail quite frequently and tend to fall behind on reading my favorite websites. By getting a message every time a new article is posted, I can keep up with things better. This is solely a factor of the way I like to work, not a choice based on efficiency or “correctness.”¬†

We at IT¬†expect other people feel the same way, so I’ve prepared a quick guide for any Thunderbird user who might want to try out gathering feeds in this way. Let me know if it helps!

technology we are thinking about

I’d like to share with you a few things that we are checking out in the Office of IT. These aren’t things we are committed to at this stage but if you have an opinion I’d like to hear it!

  • Moodle, an open-source alternative to Blackboard or WebCT. Moodle provides a set of course tools that include wikis, online quizzes, and grade books.
  • RSS Feed readers like Bloglines, Google Reader, and Mozilla Thunderbird. Check out the great video explaining the meaning of RSS.
  • web meeting capability, using WebEx or Adobe Connect
  • Confluence, a wiki-based tool for managing shared online workspaces.