RSS Lab Day Write-Up

By thauckthauck (1222838608|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Introduction

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So, I should probably start off my blog by admitting that I am a total Googleholic. Google runs almost every single part of my life. If one morning I woke up and Google was gone, I have no idea what I would do! The non-profit that I am a part of, University of Michigan Dance Marathon, uses Google Docs and Calendar to basically power our entire organization. When I need to find something on the web, I instinctively head to Google. And, when it comes to keeping in touch? Well, I am pretty much connected to Gmail 24/7.

That being said, it came as no surprise to me when I found that I preferred Google Reader over Bloglines to manage my RSS feeds.

Bloglines

I first started using RSS feeds with Bloglines. I thought it was a pretty cool tool, especially given the fact that my BIT 330 class is requiring me to create a Wiki page to track information on the internet about a topic of my choosing. Bloglines and RSS feeds in general are amazing tools for tracking news stories pertinent to your interests. You can set up Bloglines to receive feeds from everywhere and anywhere on the web that you would like and you can also add feeds that you base on searches that you set up within Bloglines itself. RSS feeds are especially useful tools for people that need to access news on the run. You do the work once, that is to say you subscribe to a feed you like, and from then on out the information comes to you!

I had a good deal of success, and actually read some pretty cool blogs that I found using Blogline's search feature, but something about Bloglines didn't feel quite right…

Finding My Way Home

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Then finally on the RSS lab day of my BIT 330 class I realized what was missing from my RSS experience: GOOGLE!!!

Professor Moore showed us how to export the RSS feed we had been keeping on Bloglines and import it into Google Reader - Google's answer to RSS. It seems as though Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz had it right when she said, "There's no place like home…"

I like everything about Google Reader: I like the layout, I like that I can access a Google search tool right on the top, and I love how it looks just like every other Google product. There is just something about the Google format that I just cannot get enough of. I imagine that from here on out, my go-to RSS reader is going to be Google Reader.

That being said, I am not willing to miss out on important RSS feeds for my Wiki project and still plan on using other RSS search tools to continue to add to my RSS subscriptions. My BIT 330 class did a project where we compared the effectiveness of different blog search tools. The class results revealed that Google Blog Search was not the most effective tool for everyone. One tool that I've found particularly useful is NewsIsFree. I am doing my Wiki on Southeast Michigan Economic Devolopment, and NewsIsFree led me to newspapers about a lot of local business news. Very cool!

Conclusion

I don't think I am ready to give up Google at all, but I'm learning everyday in BIT 330 about expanding my internet horizons. Hopefully by the end of the semester I will have achieved some sort of Google/rest-of-the-internet balance!

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