One of the main themes I wrote about in my book was the over-abundance of content online today. It’s both a blessing and a curse. We need better tools to be able to filter and get to content that matters to us.
One such tool is an RSS-reader. These news reader applications allow us to subscribe to changes on a website or blog. By creating your own collection of content sources, you can more easily browse through what’s new, read what you want, and dump the rest. One of the better RSS-readers out there is Google’s own Reader.
They recently added a new feature in Reader that allows you to track changes to your favorite site, even when there is no RSS feed! To use Reader, you need your own personal Google account. Next, just tell it which websites you like, and it will automatically collect new content. Add a colleague’s blog, the RSS feed from our front page news, and now, any site!
It’s the best way, I think, to stay on top of news, changes to wikis, and more. If you want to teach your students about RSS readers, we have one installed on our laptops called NetNewsWire. Instead of running in a webpage, it’s an application that you can launch from /Applications.